Healthy Aging

Ask Joan: Really wants Intercourse

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

A reader asks:

My wife and I are 78 and have been married for 58 years. We have enjoyed a wonderful sex life. In order to orgasm, she needs a lot more stimulation than she used to, and I need a massive amount of friction. We use fingers, mouths, toys, mutual stimulation, and we both have orgasms all or most of the time.

My wife likes to have me ejaculate in her hand, which she uses to masturbate in front of me. She usually orgasms this way. She takes a very long time to get there. The only times that she does not reach orgasm is when she gets weary and stops because she’s out of energy. I suppose if she was 35 again, she would be able to take care of that easily.

The problem is that we would love to have intercourse and it has become almost impossible. I can’t always keep a firm erection. My wife had prolapse surgery two years ago, which tightened her up a lot, and my penis is of large girth. So with her prolapse surgery, tighter vagina, and my large girth and lack of ability to maintain an erection, actual intercourse seldom happens.

Very occasionally, when I have taken a Viagra and the moon and stars are aligned just right, we can accomplish insertion and maybe 5 or 10 minutes of intercourse. She has had maybe two orgasms this past year with my penis inserted and some accompanying finger stimulation. The Viagra gives me some side effects: stuffy nose, slight headaches, and not feeling well. Even though I cannot get enough stimulation to orgasm while inserted, I feel like a more complete person after I accomplish intercourse. It’s an emotional thing, I am sure.

If I had a skinnier, fully erect penis, I would be able to do a much better job for her than I can now. I really miss being able to have sexual intercourse to orgasm. It is like we can really get into each other when we have intercourse, with me getting her off with the help of my finger and penis at the same time. She misses it, too. Do you have any suggestions as to how we could improve our sex life?

—Really Wants Intercourse

Joan responds:

You two are so lucky! You’ve been together 58 years, and you’re still having wonderful sex and frequent orgasms with a variety of loving, intimate, sexual pleasure-giving activities. The best advice I can give you is to celebrate the kind of sex you’re having now instead of wishing you could recreate the sex of half a lifetime ago or wishing you had different genitals.

You’ve said you both have orgasms almost every time with the ways you’ve modified your sexual interaction. Yet you miss intercourse, which rarely happens and isn’t satisfying when it does. Do you really want a stuffy nose, headache, and feeling unwell along with the frustration of the goal of intercourse, when it doesn’t work for you anymore? I think you analyzed it correctly — “it’s an emotional thing.”

You both need more stimulation than you used to — that’s normal. Less firm and less dependable erections are also normal. In your case, intercourse is impossible unless you take a pill with unpleasant side effects, and it rarely works anyway because of her medical issues and yours. As you’ve discovered yourself, you can still have great sex and regular orgasms with the many other ways to enjoy sex and intimacy as a couple.

I encourage you to stop seeing intercourse as a goal and welcome it as an occasional option when the stars and moon are aligned, as you say. Please talk to your doctor about your Viagra side effects and whether you should stop using it.

Here are some new ways you can address the issues you raised:

1. Your wife sometimes gets fatigued before she reaches orgasm. A well-chosen vibrator will help her speed up her orgasms. I’ve reviewed more than a hundred on my blog; here’s the link.

2. You need more friction to orgasm. There are marvelous sex toys for penises that will make it easier for you or your wife to give you the friction you need, such as the Manta from Fun Factory. Or intense vibration could substitute for friction with the Jett or the Pulse, both from Hot Octopuss.

3. To recapture the connection of intercourse, try a harness with a slim dildo. There are many styles. The Deuce Harness from SpareParts, for example, has two holes, one for the dildo of your choice and one for your penis (which does not need to be erect). You wear the harness and use the dildo to penetrate your wife while your penis also touches her. Since you wear this hands-free, you can use your finger to stimulate her clitoris in the way she likes.

If you live close to a woman-friendly, progressive sex toy shop, plan a visit so you can see, touch, and ask about the kinds of products I’m recommending. They can enhance your sexual experience by giving you added sensation and a range of new possibilities.


Send Joan your questions by emailing 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 Losing 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.



6 responses to “Ask Joan: Really wants Intercourse

  1. I would like some advice on how to handle my next door neighbour,
    My husband and myself live in a residence for semi autonomous seniors due to my health (diabetes and spine problems)., As we were moving in a couple of ladies came to introduce themselves one woman did not speak English but the other did, The woman that spoke English came a few times for coffee and then it became daily sometime twice a day, She started complaining about her medication and health.
    One day my husband meet her in the hall and she complained about her problems, She then asked him for help which he replied that he would be back in a few minutes after dropping off his shopping. When he came into our apartment he told me to go she her as he was not comfortable and asked me to go to attend to her. When I went in she had changed into satin underwear only. She then asked where my husband was I replied “at home”, later I called my husband as I needed her, she wanted to wash her privates which I have a wash for, The ambulance arrived to take her to the hospital (nothing found wrong with her). As she was leaving she gave my husband her keys.
    When she returned she had to have him bring her keys as her son did not have his own. A few days later we met her in the hall as we were going out and I asked my husband to lock the door to which he relied he did, I said I don’t thinks so (it was not locked) to which she said to me “you know everything don’t you” my response YES” This happened about 3-4 weeks ago.
    I have meet her a few times and just said hello, Nothing more. Yesterday she knock on my door my husband answered and told her I was not available How do I handle this as I think what she tried was terrible, She degraded herself, thought nothing of going after a man she knew was married, she is affecting three lives.
    Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. I enjoyed your information on sex, it gave me some new ideas to try. I dislike playing with myself ,however enjoy having someone else fondel my penis and testcls, I find that Orel sex helps me have a little reaction, I love kissing her verginea and seeing the big smile on her face I know she must like it. and i love her so. I might add that i like the taste also, it simulates my penis and make it harder.
    I will keep reading your e-mails. that you for you knowledge in this area. It really helps when you get older.

  3. I’m going to pipe in here and say that sometimes fixation on: intercourse, orgasm, and other goals actually inhibit the amount of pleasure experienced. If you reframe the intention of sex.. since you’re not procreating… to be more like “how much pleasure can we create” versus how much stimulation does it require to release the sexual tension, the vital life force energy in your body.. you can enjoy creating the pleasure. I’d recommend the book cultivating male sexual energy, and it’s counterpart cultivating female sexual energy as well as the website Your body evolves, and sex should evolve and become more refined and mature as well. We no longer eat to get the toy at the bottom of the cereal box.

  4. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I am a 71 year old, active, in good health, former U.S. Marine. There is a difference as we humans grow older and I’ve learned to go with it. The desires to spend time with a beautiful woman doesn’t change only the way it’s done. Slower. I’m going to try some of the items you suggested. Once again, thank you
    Maybe we can meet one day. I live in Florida.
    May God bless. Lawrence .

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