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 email@example.com.
Normally, my Sex at Our Age column presents one detailed reader question and my detailed answer. From time to time, I depart from my usual format in favor of a “lightning round” of a few short questions and answers: Quickies. These were popular with readers, so let’s do another round!
Ask Joan: Another Round of Quickies
Q #1: The man I’m dating has a bad back and wants me to be on top, cowgirl style. At 73, I cannot open my legs and hips wide enough for this position, plus I had a knee replacement. We try other positions, but he would love for me to be on top. How can I improve my ability to open my hips wider? It seems impossible.
A: Just as your lover can’t engage in certain positions because of his bad back, you should not be expected to do anything that hurts your hips or knees. We need to approach sex with an open mind (and a sense of humor!) when we can’t do what we used to. That’s not the end of sex — that’s an invitation to discover other ways to enjoy sexual pleasure. Explore positions that are comfortable for both of you, assist yourselves with vibrators, and enjoy the delights you can give each other — without pain.
Q #2: My wife gets to the brink but can’t orgasm. We’re in our 60s and had a wonderful sex life for 35 years. I always waited for her to orgasm first, and she never had a problem getting there until a couple of months ago. She says she still loves me and enjoys sex, but she’s frustrated. She does not like me to give her oral sex and acts like I am crazy when I suggest a vibrator.
A: See a doctor first. If this change was sudden, it may be a medical problem. Just as sudden loss of erections can signal an underlying medical condition, so can inability for the clitoris to get aroused enough for orgasm. If there’s no medical cause, it’s common as we age to need more intense stimulation or different kinds of stimulation to reach orgasm. Encourage your wife to reconsider vibrators. They’re called sex “toys,” but they’re really sex “tools” with the sole function of giving us orgasms. Show her A Senior’s Guide to Vibrators and watch my webinar “Sex Toys for Seniors” together.
Q #3: I love my husband very much, but I dread sex with all my heart. He had a radical prostatectomy 20 years ago. We’re 66, and hardly any sex has been okay for years. I don’t want it. My husband, on the contrary, even though he has no nerve endings, now wants sex practically every day. I do it just for him to finish.
A: Many men are capable of sexual pleasure and orgasm without erection or ejaculation, which most people don’t realize. The part of an orgasm that happens in the brain is still functioning, as this Harvard Health article explains. Please see a sex therapist or a sex-positive marriage counselor to get the two of you talking about what sex means to him and why you dislike it so much. Is there something he can do for you to help you enjoy sex more? Sex is obviously important to him, and if you’re dead set against it, would you consider giving him a “pass” to get pleasure elsewhere? Please get couple’s counseling to talk about this.
Q #4: I haven’t had sex since my husband died three years ago. I have tried to get myself off, but it’s not working. What do you suggest? I’m 65.
A: I’m so sorry for your loss. If you’re masturbating the way you used to, but it doesn’t work now, you may be numb from grief, or you may need extra stimulation, which a strong vibrator can give you. Concerns like yours are exactly why I wrote Sex after Grief: Navigating Your Sexuality After Losing Your Beloved. I hope you’ll read it.
Q #5: I am 62 and attractive. While walking the local boardwalk, I get wonderful smiles from women in their 70s and 80s. But when I approach them and ask them if they are married or tell them that I am single, they just smile and kind of freeze in place. Some even laugh out loud. Older women appeal to me a lot. How can I break the barrier or get them to have more courage?
A: A woman’s polite smile doesn’t mean she wants you to approach her for a date. Freezing the smile or laughing at you doesn’t mean these women lack courage — it means your approach is all wrong. As attractive as you are, asking strangers on the boardwalk if they’re single is a nonproductive way to meet potential dates and may be perceived as creepy. Join a dating site, attend singles events, and watch How the Heck Do I Date at This Age?, my 90-minute webinar that will teach you how to navigate meeting and mating at our age.
Readers: I invite your comments. Thank you, Senior Planet, for hosting “Joan Price Debunks the 7 Myths about Sex and Aging” Feb. 11!
A Message from Joan:
I receive many more questions than I can answer. To help yours get chosen, know this:
- I select questions solely from readers age 60+.
- If I already answered a similar question, yours is less likely to be chosen, so do a search for your topic first.
- When you submit a question, describe your problem, how it affects you, what you’d like to know. Your story will be edited.
- For medical advice, consult your doctor. Change doctors if you’re not satisfied or if you’re treated dismissively.
- I select questions for publication only. For a private answer, request a consultation. Most questions about sex and aging are answered in my books and webinars.
Send Joan your questions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.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 her newest, “Sex after Grief: Navigating Your Sexuality after Losing Your Beloved,” and the award-winning “Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex.” Visit Joan’s website and blog and her Facebook page. For senior sex news and tips, subscribe to Joan’s free newsletter.