Ask Isadora: No Tighty-whities

 No Tighty-whities
* I am a twenty-two year old male, six feet and one inch tall, in reasonable (and steadily improving) shape, but I have always had difficulty in selecting clothing that can fit. One area of particular discomfort is in regards to undergarments. While I’ve been able to find shoes in my correct sizes (that’s not a typo; insoles are vital), and I can work around trousers (belts are also vital), I have really no idea how to find underwear that is satisfactory. Are there specialty brands and fitters for men’s shorts like there are for brassieres? I am really at my wits’ end here, as I have become fed up with articles of clothing that attempt to castrate me and/or have me arrested. Your assistance is vital.

I wish I could just say “Brand X” and you’d hop off comfortable and happy, but it doesn’t work that way. I’m afraid you’ll have to resort to trial and error and some advice from knowledgeable sales personnel. Look in a large department store, online, catalogs, and in men’s specialty shops perhaps those catering to gay men for the widest variety of what’s available. I’m sure you’ll eventually find a style that works. Until then, as the Brits say, “Don’t get your knickers in a bunch.”

* There are certain sex acts my wife refuses to do, nothing painful or way out there, but things that I really miss. She just says “I won’t” and that’s that. Is there anything I can do to change her mind?

I don’t know. What have you tried? Pleading? Bribery? Horse trading? I have seen impasses like this, actually power struggles, broken by good old fashioned discussion and reasoned negotiations. When you are both calm and in a good mood tell her you have something important you’d like to discuss with her and then tell her how much you miss whatever it is from your love making repertoire. Don’t whine, don’t badger. Just tell her. Ask her if she can be specific about her objections to these acts, Is it a matter of cleanliness, weirdness factor, morality? Then ask her if there is anything you might do for her or any circumstances that would allow her to be willing to try it. Offer it. Praise her if she’s willing. Drop it if she isn’t. Perhaps you can bring the matter up again later after she’s had an opportunity to think about what you’ve said. Try to keep these discusses free of blame. Look at them like contract negotiations.
* It seems like sex addiction is the disease du jour on all the talk shows and in a lot of ads for “cures” . Many people helpers seem to specialize in it. Since you are a sex therapist, do you?
I am a sexologist who does not believe in sex “addiction” and I never use the term. I certainly agree that certain behaviors, everything from spending hours looking at online porn to habitually flashing your neighbors, are, to say the least, about poor use of time and talents. Yes, one can often get relief from stress by doing them or achieve a chemical “high”, but since I am a cognitive behavioral therapist, I see these as compulsions, bad habits, poor learning. I recommend much of Albert Ellis’ teachings on changing one’s thoughts and actions rather than traditional 12 Step Programs when we are dealing with acts rather than substance misuse. Ellis’ published materials can be found at My own clients have found them helpful for many problem behaviors.