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Sexual Healing

[whitespace] Sexdoc Sexdoc.com allows online lovers to ask anything in the anonymity of the net

By Traci Hukill

THE MOST UNUSUAL QUESTION anyone's ever posed to local psychotherapist William Fitzgerald, known online as the Sexdoc, concerned puppy love. Well, sort of ...

"It was, 'How should I prepare for having sex with my dog?' " recalls the San Jose sex therapist with the clinical nonchalance peculiar to health professionals. "So first I emailed back and said, 'As inserter or insertee?' And he wrote back and said 'insertee.' So I said, 'The technical answer to your question is to wrap all four paws so he doesn't scratch you in case he gets excited. You really should use a condom because the dog could give you hookworm. And as a practical matter, you may be painfully disappointed, because dogs will jab three or four times until they find the right spot, then thrust deeply. Next he'll develop a big knob that locks him inside you, where he will remain passively for about a half hour.' "

Did he discourage the man? No way. As the Sexdoc, the authoritative voice behind the sex advice site at www.sexdoc.com Fitzgerald's job is to educate, enlighten and help people become "informed consumers" in the comfort of anonymity--but never to judge. Several times a week he logs on to his email account and answers questions from the panicked, the perplexed and the ignorant: "Help! I've lost my erection!" "My boyfriend touches me in all the wrong places." "Can I still have sex if my penis curves to the right?" He answers each one--as long as it has a direct return address he can push "Reply" to--with a kind of clinical directness. And then he removes names and email addresses and posts the questions, with answers, on the Web.

"The single most common question I get," he says, "is a variation on the theme 'Am I normal?' " Indeed, a vast number of worried queries from men pertain to penis size (for the record, "average" is 5 inches) and time to ejaculation (ditto, 90 seconds). The Sexdoc doesn't like his patients getting hung up on averages, though. He's likely to answer, "What's average eye color? Everyone's different," and reassure the questioner he's normal.

For the curious and inexperienced, the Sexdoc dedicates pages on his site to the importance of hygiene and protection and to helpful hints on successful oral and anal engagements. A tribute to his wry sense of humor, the latter is titled "Essential Safety Information for Ass Play."

Fitzgerald encourages people to accept each other's preferences as long as no one's getting hurt and counsels exploration--up to a point. He gets a lot of "We want to try a threesome" questions, and to those he advises extreme caution because of the potential damage to the primary relationship. In one posted response he writes that he's never met a couple that didn't regret their foray into the menage á trois.

But the most pervasive problem is one for which there's now a cure. "Every man, sooner or later, is going to have some problem with his erection, but this is not taught," he says. "Men are spoiled rotten from 18 to 39 by having an erection on command. That there's this neurophysiological switch that happens in men's 40s or 50s--that's a deep, dark secret."

As for Viagra, he applauds it but says it doesn't address the psychogenic issues--like anxiety and depression--that sometimes cause impotence, and that might signal trouble elsewhere in a man's life.

Whatever hair-gelled, cologne-drenched image the name might suggest, the Sexdoc is a smarm-free zone. From white Prince Valiant 'do to pink Polo oxford to gold-toed black socks on ottoman display, the 54-year-old Fitzgerald is a respectable guy who happens to say "fuck" a lot. And who got to page 83 in the Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices before he came across something new. "Not to brag," he notes demurely, adding that what separates great sex therapists from good ones is thorough knowledge of the subject.

Surprisingly, Fitzgerald's never seen the syndicated radio/MTV show Loveline, but he's heard reports and he doesn't quite approve of Adam Carolla's jocular habit of poking fun at callers. "Laughter reduces anxiety," he admits, "but it sounds like a Don Rickles ridicule act or something."

Then he busts out with a declaration that explains how he's attained the exalted position of sexpert to such distinguished publications as Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire: "Sex is my life," he says with perfect candor. "I take it very seriously."

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From the July 9-15, 1998 issue of Metro.

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