Q. Hi, I am a shy, sensitive male who never actually met any single, attractive women. Since last june, 2005, I have been seeing a female therapist who has been very kind and compassionate with me. I always thought that talking about masturbation with a therapist would be pretentious and that I might be looked at as strange. Everytime I go shopping, I look at the covers of glossy magazines and I see images of these incredibly beautiful women and I get so overwhelmed, sometimes to the point where it feels like my testicles are going to explode. I just want to know how to verbally approach and confide in her about my feeling overwhelmed by thoughts of masturbation without being looked at sideways.

A. Do you feel it necessary to talk to her about your masturbation? Nothing that you wrote would explain your need to talk to your therapist about your masturbatory activities. Masturbation is quite normal and common. I am sure that there is nothing that you could say to your therapist that she would find to be new or novel. You will not shock her by talking about your masturbation any more than you would shock her by revealing that you have regular bowel movements. She knows and the fact that you have not needed to mention it to her would make her assume that all is well in both areas. If you feel this is something that needs discussed, don’t hesitate to bring it up in your sessions. Good luck.