"Ask Dr. Tracy"

11/17/96 Advice Column

Beautiful is Tall and Blonde - NOT!,
The Erection Problem,
Fed up with Selfish Husband

Dear Dr. Tracy,


I just have a comment. I am latin. I have noticed that Americans think that being tall, blonde and slim is beautiful. It sounds like if a woman does not have those descriptions, she is not consider beautiful. I learned that there are many kinds of beauty. I have a female friend that hates herself for not having those descriptions. I told her that there are many different kinds of beauties but she does not get it. She looks at me like if I said something terrible.

This is stupid.

Dear Short, Smart Brunette,

You are right. Too many American men are stuck in the stupid belief that if a woman isn't tall and blonde, she's not beautiful. You also may be over-reacting a little -- don't forget that many Miss Americas are brunettes, as were a long line of American film stars, from Ava Gardner to Julia Roberts.

It's important not to generalize and let yourself get discouraged by those American men who have bought the "blondes have more fun" advertising. Just for fun, I asked The Old Seducer, who said, "Well, I always profess to appreciate a woman's inner qualities, but I also confess to being instantly ignited by the smoldering beauty of a brunette."

The first part of his answer is really the most important. The real problem is that too many men focus on "tall and blonde" or "dark and sexy," and never appreciate the more important qualities of a woman, like brains, kindness and sense of humor. How unfortunate for them. Our society is infused with visions of Playboy bunnies and Baywatch beauties, and men get the idea that only a woman like that will do. Of course, many of them wind up divorced and sorry.

Instead of fighting the stupid stereotype, look for men whose fantasy you fit. You'll find that there are many men who prefer (and marry) dark-haired women, short or tall, and who think blondes are superficial. If you hear a guy say he thinks tall and blonde is beautiful, dump him immediately, and don't give him a second thought. After all, who would want a guy with taste so shallow it only goes to the roots of your hair. "Developing Realistic Criteria" in my Library can give you more help in finding compatible men.

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I'm 19 years old, and still a virgin.. not that it bothers me, but my question concerns it. a week ago i had a date with someone aand we ended up in bed.

The most frightening thing i have ever feared has happened. when it was "my turn" to start the sexual intercourse, my penis wasn't errect. i tried thinking of reasons for that first time event cause it has never occured to me before. i got very frustrated by that and i think this event made me think twice now before getting to bed with girls because of the fear of un-errected penis.

Have any suggestions to calm an "old teenager" ?

Dear Worried Virgin,

When you try to have sex and it's not the right time, sometimes your little head is working better than your big head. It says, "Hey, this is too scary. I don't know this woman. I don't know who she's been with and I don't know if I really care about her, so I'm not going to do this."

Or the brain in your head goes tilt and says, "This is too fast. She's too beautiful. I want to impress her so much that my body is paralyzed with fear." If sex develops slowly, out of love, caring and a deep trust, you'll be more likely to succeed. You're only 19 and you should think twice about "going to bed with girls." Wait until you're in love with someone and she loves you back. First time sex is always tricky and you're not the first guy who failed on the first try.

Good sex happens when you're relaxed and uninhibited, when you totally trust your partner and vice versa. I know it's hard to believe, but you'll look back on this and laugh one day. In the meantime, try simply being affectionate and forget about intercourse. Your erection will happen when you aren't so worried about doing the act.

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I have been married for almost 9 years. My husband has his ways as all men, but his are different. He thinks i should pay all my own bills, including my car payment, insurance and all those type of things. He is makes me tell and account for every minute that im out of the house. We live with his mother for the whole time we have been married, because he had to by a very expensive sports car. I have used up all my savings because i got hurt and couldnt go to work for 6 months, and he refused to help with my bills, he said that i used the credit card and i have to pay for it. I have had it with him. Im afraid to leave because of his temper, he has a bad one. He has never hit me, but he is capable of violence. The worst part of this whole relationship is that no one can believe these things i said. They are all true, and are hard to believe for me too. What am i to do???

Dear Fed Up,

It sounds like you already know that this marriage is doomed. When people marry, they are supposed to share life, bills, and the good and the bad, in sickness and in health. They're supposed to support each other. That means if one makes more money, he or she contributes more, and helps the other one.

A good marriage is like a partnership. Each person deserves equal respect. Nobody gets to control the other one. Just because he's your husband doesn't mean he gets to make all your decisions.

You are being abused in this relationship, and you need to plan your escape carefully so that he doesn't get violent.

There are several books about how to divorce and be smart about it. Check them out of your library (and of course, hide them from your husband). Then start making your plans. It will probably take six months of planning. Tell no one what you're going to do. Not your mother or best friend. Trust no one. During the six months you'll have to gather financial information such as your joint tax returns, etc. Then go see a good divorce lawyer. Check with a shelter for abused women and see if they can help you make your escape. Finally, do it when he's at work. Simply disappear, and never look back.

You must take care of yourself when you leave, but you will find resources that can help you, and after all, you've been taking care of yourself all along anyway.

Get out and make a new life for yourself. The next time, choose a man who is giving and generous in character, who appreciates you and with whom you can share life.

Be strong.

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(Featured art from cover of Letting Go, by Zev Wanderer and Tracy Cabot, published by "Bitan" Publishers, Tel-Aviv, Israel)
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