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Ask Joan: Do online dating men only want sex?

Every month in Sex at Our Age, award-winning senior sexpert Joan Price answers your questions about everything from loss of desire to solo sex and partner issues. Nothing is out of bounds! If you’re over 60, submit your questions to this column by emailing Joan directly at sexpert@seniorplanet.org.

A reader asks:

I am 62, a widow for two years. I recently signed up on OkCupid, a dating site. After a month, I quit. I do not like men asking me sexual questions on a first phone call as if I am being interviewed for a role in a porn movie.

There is nothing sexual in my profile. I specified that I was looking for a relationship that would last several years, not casual sex. My photos showed me in modest clothing. And yet almost every man who contacted me talked about sex! Can you imagine a man in his 70s telling a stranger that she was “good enough for five or six romps in the hay”? Or asking me how I felt about “golden showers”? 

I never went on a single date in the month I used the site. A couple of men were gentlemen, but we didn’t click. The rest were creeps. In total, I talked with about a dozen men. Once on the phone, they did not want to talk about much except sex. Come on, buy the lady a cup of coffee.

Yes, I am interested in a sexual relationship eventually. If we had a date and we clicked, my guess is that six or so dates later, sex would happen. My husband would have told you that I was the most willing and enthusiastic lover he ever had. I just don’t like being treated like a hooker or a one-night-stand. I’m worth more than that. In the age of Viagra and cheap porn, are men reverting to behaving like teenagers?

Where are the men with character? I talked with a male friend and his response saddened and enlightened me. He said that my appearance makes me f**k-able but my age makes me undateable. I learn something all the time. I know if this is happening to me, it is happening to other women. I am looking forward to your insights.

Fed Up

Joan replies: 

I understand why you’re fed up after these blatantly sexual approaches. But don’t give up on dating sites. You picked a good one that many seniors (and younger folks) use and endorse. One month is a very short testing time. There are plenty of good men there. Next time, I recommend a few email exchanges before your first phone call to weed out the creeps and see if there’s potential for more.

Your dissatisfaction is based on some crass guys who probably respond to every profile they read, hoping for the best. Did you read through various men’s profiles and contact some of the interesting ones directly, or just wait for men to choose you? It’s a modern world, and to use the dating sites effectively, we need to approach people whose profiles we find appealing, not wait for them to find us. 

Dating sites can be intimidating, especially if we’re not used to “marketing” ourselves. It’s a challenge to present ourselves effectively. Some tips for attracting the right matches:

  • Write your profile carefully, making it stand out as unique and appealing. 
  • What qualities do you have that make you a good match? Omit anything that makes you sound like everyone else or that a potential date wouldn’t care about in the least.  
  • Figure out the qualities of the person you seek. Describe the kind of person you’re looking for in your profile. 
  • Don’t try to be general and attract everyone. You don’t want everyone. Imagine that you’re trying to attract the attention of your perfect match — what would you want this person to know about you? Put that in the first paragraph. 
  • Have a friend who knows you well give you an honest critique on your profile and help with wording.
  • It would be really beneficial for you to watch my webinar, “How the Heck do I Date at This Age?” which includes tons of advice on how to write a profile that will get the kinds of responses you want, first dates, and more.

Thank you for pointing out that we can be interested in a sexual relationship if it evolves over a series of dates, while being offended if we’re treated like a slab of meat in the first conversation. It might not surprise you that one of the most frequent questions I get from single guys is how to find someone for sex. Some are as tactless as the phone calls you describe. Others are well-meaning, respectful men who aren’t ready for an ongoing relationship — maybe they’re recently widowed or in the aftermath of a bad break-up. But they want to connect sexually and don’t know how to approach women to explore that. Hint: don’t tell her how many romps in the hay she’s good for and save your “golden showers” question until you get to know each other. 

As for your male friend who said that you’re “f**k-able” but not “datable” at your age — he’s just plain wrong. Please don’t take that destructive message to heart. Many of us find dates, matches, and more at your age, at my age (75), and older. You will, too.  

Readers:  If you’ve tried online dating, what are your tips for finding good matches? Let us know in the comments!

Send Joan your questions by emailing sexpert@seniorplanet.org. All information is confidential. Joan can only answer questions that are chosen for publication from readers age 60+.

Joan Price is the author of several self-help books about senior sex including the award-winning “Naked at Our Age” and her newest,Sex after Grief: Navigating Your Sexuality after Loss of Your Beloved,” coming August 2019. Visit Joan’s website, blog “Naked at Our Age,” and Facebook page. For senior sex news, tips, event and webinar announcements, and special offers, subscribe to Joan’s free newsletter

 

Readers:  If you’ve tried online dating, what are your tips for finding good matches? Let us know in the comments!

 

8 comments
  • Peter
    REPLY

    I have been a widower for twelve years, I concur with Joyce. As she has those experiences with men, I have this with women. I am conservative, value family life, morals, decency and manners. I have tried several dating sites to no avail, either the women are non existent or they disappear into thin air.

    I am educated and own my own house, are debt free and are in exceptionally good health, I don’t drink, smoke or do drugs. I have no tattoos or rings on my body. I have come to the conclusion that many dating agencies need to vigorously check or vet the people they let onto their site/s. Some profiles seem dubious to me.

    I too have given up on finding a decent female partner and are not holding my breath in ever finding someone decent, to have a coffee with, meal or a reasonable conversation.

    I wish you well Joyce in finding a decent partner who likes you for whom you are and not see you as a sex toy.

    Best wishes,

    Peter

  • Martin
    REPLY

    My comment. I don’t need sites. I go with a LADY and I’m just happy with her friendship. We met through another friend and we’ve gone together almost 3 years.

    Physical doesn’t enter the picture.

  • Joyce
    REPLY

    Over a four year period after the second marriage ended I opted for answering great descriptions of men wanting women in the newspaper.
    After four years of miserable experiences I quit that route. Though each prospect took me out to lunch, (I was pretty, dressed well),
    the male never once commented on my person, my looks, my anything! Talked all about themselves. One wanted sex with me 3x before taking me on a cruise for a month. Scratched that. Wanted to see if we were compatible, in 3 tries? Others were just not right. One I went for another date at night. When I asked to bring me to my car after dinner, he drove in opposite direction. He wanted me at his home for a drink. I had told him I needed time and other meetings to determine something serious. He called again. Could we take a walk in a park? Fine. Sat down to enjoy the view. Next thing I knew his tongue was in my ear!! That ended that! Sadly, all said wives died of cancer. Perhaps they just never decided to grow themselves and leave their selfish, self-centered men?

    Other dates sex was to be the end result after dinner. When I said I liked him, wanted to get to know him, wanted a little time before being intimate well, never heard from those 5 again. Gave up. Several years later tried online. Each time man apologized…looking for someone 30 years younger,,slim, etc. I described myself as intelligent, honest, very attractive, avid reader, great conversationalist, loved nature, a good listener. No, they want youth and sex. pretty sad.

    Gave up. Its been many years. No opportunities. Am told to color my hair. Fine, would he like to pay for it and constant upkeep?
    Figured since I believe in Destiny, if its meant to be I have warmth, friendship, communication with a man at my age then it will occur.
    Meanwhile, I don’t hold my breath.

    • Sylvia Biu
      REPLY

      The beauty of friendship between a man and woman is that it could lead anywhere, or it could just remain a beautiful friendship. Who doesn’t need friends? But if friends become lovers and it doesn’t destroy what they had, what could be better? That’s the best of both worlds!

  • sehj
    REPLY

    I find her male friend’s ideas a bit outdated and maybe a bit unaware of what is going on out there. There are men out there who still will give women of a mature age some attention but she might need to widen her pool of men. Younger men or men who wouldn’t normally be her type or whatever it takes to widen her pool. At 62 a younger man would most likely be a man in his 50s. Men want women who are still interested in sex too. It a plus.

    • Sylvia Biu
      REPLY

      Not everyone has to accept or be in step with current trends. We don’t all have the same values. Some people even still HAVE values, despite ‘what’s going on out there,’ much of which I want nothing to do with. As we don’t “live by bread alone,” neither do humans live by sex alone, which separates us from animals.

    • Sylvia Biu
      REPLY

      I hear you, Joyce. I also find, sadly, that men are more superficial and shallow than we are. We are more likely than they are as women to accept a belly that hangs over a belt, jowls, a receding hairline, weakness, a slow gait, you name it. But we must look forever 21.

      They really don’t care if we are intelligent; just that we’re open to sex. That sounds terrible and isn’t true of all men. But unfortunately, those who aren’t that way aren’t the ones out there looking, it seems. They aren’t the ones who won’t give a woman who has a mind and is a great conversationalist the time of day. The men who have depth, values, patience, and are willing to give friendship a try before intimacy, are taken.

      Many people are of the view that because we’re of a certain age that we don’t have the luxury of time, that we’re supposed to live our golden years for pleasure. Spiritually speaking, I believe that’s a mistake. There are principles I held to in my youth that I don’t believe now is the time to let go. Speaking personally, at my age (though one can die at any time regardless of age), I wouldn’t want to meet my Maker (depending on whether one believes, as I do, in a God that demand that we comport ourselves in certain ways) when I’ve been behaving like a 14-year-old in heat. I’d rather just age gracefully, alone if need be, than submit to the desires of men who are out for immediate pleasure, not something substantive and durable.

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