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! To send your questions directly to Joan, email email@example.com.
Lightning Round: Quickies
Normally, my Sex at Our Age column presents one reader question with background and my detailed answer. I often get questions that are too short for my column. Usually I need to ignore those, because I get far too many emails to answer the ones I can’t use in the column. This month, however, I’m doing something different: a “lightning round” of five short questions and my short answers: Quickies.
Q1: I’m 61 and my wife is 64. She has had no interest in sex for 20 years. She’s barely even willing to talk about it. I read about a lubricant that enhances sensation for a female. Can you tell me what lubricant that is?
A: Stimulating lubricants exist, but they can’t solve the problem of a partner who has no interest in sex and won’t talk about it. Until she opens up about her feelings about sex and about your relationship, arousal advice won’t be helpful. I strongly suggest a sex therapist. If she’s unwilling, go on your own to try to understand what’s happening in your marriage and get strategies for improving it.
Discomfort during sex
Q2: Nothing and no one can help me with the discomfort I feel during intercourse. I’m a 66-year-old woman in good health. I’ve used copious lubrication of all brands. I’ve tried Vagifem and Intrarosa. I’ve been to a urologist and two gynecologists. I’ve had examinations, lab tests and procedures. Meanwhile, my penetration-related sex life is ruined by this pain. Is there a specialist who would go the extra mile to find a solution? Please don’t suggest other modes of sexual expression. I’m asking about intercourse exclusively.
A: You’ve done the right things so far to try to solve your problem. Fortunately, there are specialists who can help you. A pelvic floor therapist is trained to diagnose and treat sexual pain — find a provider here.
Suddenly unable or orgasm
Q3: I am 75. My partner and I love to make love, but just three weeks ago, I stopped being able to orgasm. It hit out of the blue. He is very caring and considerate and doesn’t mind the time it takes. But now, while I get lots of pleasure, I am so anxious that I can’t even get to the edge anymore. I’m on blood pressure meds, but that’s not new. I’ve cut down on alcohol. It’s weird because when I was young, I was a sexual volcano.
A: If inability to reach orgasm happens suddenly, it’s essential to see your doctor as soon as possible. This can be a first sign of a medical condition such as heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s, or a neurological disorder, to name a few. Blood pressure drugs can affect sexual function, as can alcohol. It’s important to find out what’s going on. Please get checked out medically.
Friend with benefits
Q4: I am 77 and lost my wife 9 long years ago. A relationship is unfortunately out of the question, because I’m a full-time caregiver to my son. I don’t want to give false hope to a lady. I am looking for a “friend with benefits,” with the emphasis on friend, and hopefully benefits. I am too much of a gentleman to risk offending a lady, so I don’t know how to go about it. It won’t be the end of the world if I continue to be on my own, but it would be nice to have someone to cuddle up to occasionally.
A: A “friend with benefits” is a relationship — you agree to be friends who are sexual together, without commitment or expectations that you’ll become a couple. I suggest using one of the dating sites that lets you describe yourself and what you seek in your profile. Explain your situation clearly, as you did here. Most people on a dating site may be looking for more and will scroll past your profile. But some — maybe a recent widow or a spousal caregiver — may feel the same way you do. It might take a while, so don’t give up.
Role play okay?
Q5: I’m wondering if it is okay for role play to occur in a senior relationship. If so, how do I go about finding a sexual relationship with another senior? I am a 69-year-old man looking for a woman in her 70s. Are there older women who are intellectually sophisticated enough to be receptive to this type of relationship?
A: Sure, role playing is fine, and many people, including seniors, enjoy it. You didn’t say what you want to role play, but whatever your fantasy, you can find another consenting adult who shares it. If your role play scenario is tame, you can suggest it to any partner you date. If it’s kinky, Fetlife is an online community for kinksters and a good starting place for finding like-minded partners.
Finally, to the 16 men who wrote to ask me to hook them up with casual sex partners, sorry, guys. That’s not what I do. Use the dating and hookup apps.
That’s all I have space for now. Comment below if you’d to see a collection of “quickies” again soon.
Send Joan your questions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. All information is confidential. Joan can only answer questions that are chosen for publication.
Joan Price is the author of several books including “The Ultimate Guide to Sex After 50” and the award-winning self-help book “Naked at Our Age.” Visit Joan’s blog, “Naked at Our Age” and her Facebook page. For senior sex news, tips, event and webinar announcements, and special offers, join Joan’s mailing list. View Joan’s new free webinar, “Safer Sex for Seniors.”