Sex & Relationships

Ask Joan: Quickies!

Senior Planet’s “Sex at Our Age” column usually presents one detailed question and Joan Price’s detailed answer. But two or three times a year, she assemble short questions that need only brief answers, called “Quickies.”

Quickie #1: Sex Toy Etiquette

“I’m a widower starting to date women again. I have a sizeable toy locker that my late wife and I enjoyed using. These are high quality toys, thoroughly cleaned after every use. Is it appropriate to offer them to new lovers? Or should I purchase new toys for each new partner? Thank you for your sage advice on the topic of senior sexuality.”

Joan responds:

You don’t know how a new lover would react to being presented with a collection of lovingly used and well-cleaned toys. She might respond with enthusiasm, or she might find it creepy. Buying a new toy on your own is risky — you don’t know what your new lover would like. I suggest saying, “Would you like to bring your favorite sex toy to our next date? I’d love to learn what you like and assist in pleasuring you in the way you enjoy.” If that works out, you could open the next discussion: “I have a collection of toys that you might enjoy. Would you like to see what I have?”

Quickie #2: Oral Hurts My Jaw

“My boyfriend, 74, and I, 77, are having the best orgasms of our lives, without penetration. This is what we both want. I love giving him oral sex to arouse him, but when he gets closer to orgasm, he likes me to suck the tip hard. This can go on for a while, and it hurts my jaw and sometimes even my ears! It’s quite uncomfortable, but I don’t want to stop when he’s close. How can I speed up that stage of moving toward orgasm?”

Joan responds:

I hope you’ve told him the truth about your discomfort so the two of you can try some workarounds. Two suggestions: 1. When he gets close, switch from your mouth to your lubed hand, squeezing and releasing the tip the way he likes. 2. Incorporate a vibrator. There are many great vibrators made for penises and others, like Magic Wand and Volta, that work for any genitals. Switching from mouth to vibrator can give him the intensity he needs. Talk to him — work out a plan.

Quickie #3: Wife is Embarrassed

“My wife and I have been happily married for 44 years and still enjoy a great sex life. But lately, my wife is embarrassed about me giving her oral sex. If she allows me to do it, she enjoys it immensely. Most of the time, however, she will not let me because she’s embarrassed.  What suggestions do you have?”

Joan responds:

Do you know what she’s embarrassed about, exactly? That’s the missing part of the puzzle. If you have sex spontaneously rather than planning ahead, she may worry that she doesn’t taste great if she’s been gardening or working out, for example. If you plan for sex and both of you arrive at the bed showered and eager, this might alleviate the problem. I’m guessing, because until you know the reason, we can’t figure out the solution. Ask her!

Quickie #4: How Can I Please My Wife?

“At 60, my wife and I have sex about once a week, but it is not what I would call good. I love and desire her even more than I did 35 years ago when we wed. I get the impression she is not enjoying sex. She has to use lubricant. I offer oral sex, which I enjoy performing greatly, however she declines every time. How can I make sex more enjoyable for her?”

Important: lack of lubrication is not a sign that she’s not enjoying sex.

Joan responds:

You say you “get the impression,” meaning you haven’t talked candidly about this. Only she knows how you can make sex more enjoyable for her. Maybe the kind of sex you’re used to doesn’t bring her the most pleasure now. Maybe oral doesn’t feel as good as it used to. You’ve got to talk about it, listen to what feels good to her now, and what doesn’t. Important: lack of lubrication is not a sign that she’s not enjoying sex. As women age, they lubricate less. It’s hormonal, not related to arousal at all. Get a good quality lubricant and automatically apply it for any kind of genital contact.

Talking about Sex

All my answers here encourage the question writers to talk openly with their partners. Some tips from The Ultimate Guide to Sex After 50: How to Maintain — or Regain — a Spicy, Satisfying Sex Life:

  1. Plan ahead. Schedule a time to talk about how sex has changed for both of you.
  2. Choose a neutral, nonsexual place for the discussion — not in bed.
  3. Express yourself lovingly, without anger.
  4. Clearly and specifically state the problem in “I” statements: “I experience,” “I perceive,” “I want to understand.”
  5. Really listen to what your partner has to say.
  6. End your talk with an action plan for trying a new solution.

Have a question for Joan? 

  • Check case Joan has already addressed your topic.
  • Joan can only answer questions from people age 60 and above.
  • Selected questions will be answered in this public column, not privately. If you want a private answer, you can book Joan for a personal consultation.
  • If your question is under consideration for Joan’s column, she will email you directly and will only select your question if you respond to her email. If you submit your question, please check your spam/junk folder in case your overzealous spam filter captures her email.
  • Ready to submit your question? Email


Joan Price has been Senior Planet’s “Sex at Our Age” columnist since 2014. She is the author of four self-help books about senior sex, including her award winners: “Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex” and “Sex after Grief: Navigating Your Sexuality after Losing Your Beloved.” Visit Joan’s website and blog for senior sex news, views, tips, and sex toy reviews from a senior perspective. Subscribe to Joan’s free, monthly newsletter.


10 responses to “Ask Joan: Quickies!

  1. You are on the right track Dave84, better to be at her place for the 1st toy encounter. Talk about it, she may have few in her stash. Or she may need you awaking some curiosity. Start with brand new toys that you both approve from online sellers. Ask her to read the reviews and if she likes to try one. I would throw away all old toys and start a new collection with her and hide all the pictures when she is over. Once she 1000% percent onboard, your in. If she already has a suitcase full, Smile

  2. These questions were all about communication. It’s tough, I know. I can’t get my husband to talk with me about sex. I tried to give him oral, and he pulled me away, and just wanted to hug and cuddle for a bit, but he wouldn’t talk about it.

  3. Joan, all 4 of these Q&As have to do with communication between partners. All the questioners should ask the questions of their partners! You facilitate this by responding in ways that suggest they do just that! I think this all goes back to when those of us in our elder years who never really learned about how to communicate our preferences in expressions of our sexuality. It was all sex, drugs and rock n roll, but not always about honest and forthright communication.

    1. I agree, Jeanne. Advocating for our own sexual pleasure, asking partners how to best give them pleasure, talking about our sexual needs and desires in general — we were never taught to do this. Younger folks don’t get this crucial component of sex education either.

      1. Feminism helped me find my voice in many ways during my twenties.I educated myself about women’s health and sexuality through Our Bodies,Ourselves and other feminist books. However, it took awhile before I found a partner with whom I felt sufficiently comfortable to communicate openly about preferences & who’d commit. He showed compassion and support when I disclosed prior SA. We met on an International Women’s Day Steering Committee,and later married. 25 years together until his tragic death.

  4. Hi Again Joan
    Regarding the ‘ my wife is embarrassed about me giving her oral sex ‘ made me wonder how many long term wives or
    partners really enjoy receiving oral sex. Might make for an interesting question from you to your followers. Why and why not , could give us guys in this similar situation, an insight .

    1. There’s no one answer, and statistics wouldn’t give you the information you’re seeking. What you really want to know is whether *your* partner enjoys receiving oral sex, and if so, what does and doesn’t work. Realize our vulvar skin is more delicate than in our youth. It might just be a matter of needing you to shave right before sex so there are no bristles, or maybe a different technique, or maybe it just doesn’t bring as much pleasure as other ways to arouse her. Ask!

  5. Hi Joan,
    The gent who wondered about introducing ‘ gentle but lovingly used toys ‘ ( my italics ) should ask if it’s OK to leave the picture of his widow on the bedroom bureau. If the answer is affirmative…..go with the toys. Your response…as usual…was spot on. Ask her to bring her favourite next time, then say ” look what I bought ” and bring out one of the old toys. Repeat with other toys in future love making sessions.
    I know that my partner would cringe at the idea .

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