Ask Isadora: What Did You Eat?

What Did You Eat?

* My new husband and I do not use birth control since we are open to starting a family.  Sometimes after sex I get all raw and itchy inside, and sometimes I don’t.  I don’t think how we have sex is any different when I do and when I don’t.  What could be going on?

Do you have any food allergies that you know of? If you are allergic to shell fish, for instance, and your husband eats some it will be excreted in his semen causing an allergic reaction.  Do some detective work on his food intake for two days before you have such a reaction.  If your response is to something he eats, it would be easy for him to change his diet or to use condoms for 48 hours after eating the suspected item.  If this doesn’t solve it, you may have to engage your doctor in the hunt for the culprit.

* I may have been exposed to HIV.  If I’m going to get AIDS I don’t want to know .  My friend says I am hiding my head in the sand and I should get tested.  Why should I?

The selfish reason is that if you are HIV+ starting a drug regimen now, early on, will allow you to live healthy for a longer time and stave off AIDS.  Many people have lived for decades as HIV+ without feeling sick.  The other reason is that your HIV status will be important to any future sex partners , health care workers who deal with you, and  to any future children you might have.  So the long and the short reasons to be tested is so you can protect yourself and  protect others.

* My wife has become an enthusiastic online chat room user.  At first it was just web sites that dealt with her interests like genealogy.  Now she goes to several sites that are for Baby Boomers and has become online friends with several men as well as women.  I don’t like this at all.  Should I say something?

Of course, but be careful how you do it.  Telling her not to talk to men online is very controlling.  Asking her what she finds online and trying to provide it yourself might be a better method.  Do you want more of her company?  Then ask for that. If you’re jealous of any male friends, then talk about that.  Sharing your feelings and asking for what you want always works better than laying down the law, especially with grown-ups, but usually with young people too.

* I have not been with a man sexually in a very long time.  Is there anything unhealthy about an adult woman being sexually abstinent fro men?

That depends on your reasons for remaining celibate and whether we are talking about physical health or emotional health.  If you just haven’t found a sexual partner to your liking or you prefer to be sexual with women, then as long as you have warm social connections with friends and family sex isn’t a requirement for a healthy life.  It does help to keep the vaginal tissues healthy and flexible, to bring blood to that area and keep it moistened.  Being sexual with yourself will accomplish that just as well as heterosexual penis in vagina intercourse.