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 protected].
I’m a 70-year-old single gent. I’ve dated a lot and have had many wonderful ladies as lovers over the years. My “equipment” doesn’t rise to the occasion like it used to. Penetration often isn’t an option, and I can’t take the pills because of side effects. But I’m still able to masturbate, even with a soft penis.
I’ve had relationships where we shared masturbation together. Watching and being watched as we pleasured ourselves, or holding one another while one of us masturbated, has been very sensual and erotic and a wonderful part of lovemaking.
My question is how to bring up the subject with a date. Sometimes the mere mention of shared masturbation sends women into a defensive pout and they act insulted that I’d dare bring it up with them. Other women are fine with it. Is it better to “just do it” rather than talk about it first? It seems I’m taking my chances either way.
Usually, I bring it up when we’re talking about being sexual and exploring what works and what doesn’t. I ask if she’s ever shared masturbation and if she enjoys it. If she says yes, I ask in what ways, or does she want to hear some ideas. Sometimes I get graphic describing what we might do if I sense that it’s turning her on, focusing my description on what would pleasure her. Or I’ll ask her to imagine watching and being watched while pleasuring.
It seems obvious that a woman’s reaction depends on her own history. Was she taught that masturbation is bad? Has she never had a lover who suggested it? Was she sexually abused in this way? Talking about it up front in a safe environment allows a woman to make it clear whether she thinks this is a delightful idea or a sick, perverted suggestion.
I also offer other alternatives to intercourse: oral or using fingers. (I used to play the banjo and from the feedback I’ve gotten, my digital skills seem very good.) I am amazed how quickly many women orgasm from digital attention – particularly to the often overlooked G Spot. But to me, shared masturbation feels liberating and trusting, and I’ve found many women love to watch a man pleasure himself, and many enjoy masturbation while being watched or held.
I guess it’s sort of the luck of the draw during the period of sexual discovery? —Sharing Masturbation
One of my soapboxes is the importance of redefining sex at our age. We don’t need to keep penis-in-vagina (PIV) sex as the goal, and whether or not penetration is possible, we can pleasure ourselves and each other in hot, satisfying ways. As you convey so well, we need to discover and acknowledge what works best for us now and communicate that in a warm, sexy way to a partner or potential partner.
I think you’ve answered your own question about when to raise the subject. You bring it up in advance, when you’re first discussing becoming sexual. You describe how shared masturbation will pleasure your partner. You are sensitive to her reactions.
I do not believe you should change your style to “just do it and talk afterwards.” That could feel invasive and creepy. If some potential partners are offended by your up-front suggestion, then they aren’t good partners for you. You’re clearly very open and communicative about sex, and someone who is insulted by your sexy scenario isn’t the right match for you.
How might a potential partner respond who doesn’t want to masturbate in front of you, but who respects your openness and doesn’t want to shame or blame you? She could say, “That wouldn’t feel right to me, but I’d enjoy this instead,” and propose something that would be a real turn-on to her and still within your range of enjoyment and capacity.
I’ve heard from scores of men who are embarrassed about their erectile difficulties, and some avoid sex altogether rather than disappoint themselves and – they’re certain – their partners. But sex can mean any activity that arouses and brings you both sexual pleasure. I applaud you for shifting your attention to what does work well for you rather than what doesn’t, and making it work for your partner.
I think what you’ve written will be liberating to many people. —Joan
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Joan Price is the author of the new “Ultimate Guide to Sex After 50: How to Maintain – or Regain! – a Spicy, Satisfying Sex Life”; the award-winning self-help book “Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex”; and the sexy memoir, “Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty.” Visit Joan’s blog, “Naked at Our Age,” and her Facebook page.