Expert solutions for your sex and relationship dilemmas
my husband’s holding back
Qafter cancer and a hysterectomy, I expected to go off sex. what I didn’t expect was that when I did get keen again, my husband would be the one holding back. He swears he still fancies me, but I can’t stop worrying. Jane, Dunstable
AIt’s likely that your husband hasn’t actually gone off sex. But you’ve both been through a shock, and
I feel so guilty
Qaway for a boozy weekend, my girlfriends and I confided every detail of our sex lives – including criticising our spouses’ performances. Back home, I feel so guilty about having ‘shopped’ my husband that I can hardly look at him, let alone sleep with him. Helen, Milton Keynes
AYou could withdraw from your husband, refuse to tell him what’s wrong, leave him imagining the worst, and inevitably lose him. Or, keep the secret, put it behind you, and get on with your marriage. But you could also just confide what’s happened and then revamp your sex life so it’s better than ever. I do think choice three is your best option!
It’s making me uncomfortable
Qmy 75-year-old mum’s been widowed for a while, and has a good male friend who I thought treated her like a princess. But the other day I walked in to find his hands seriously wandering over her. She seemed happy about his behaviour, but should I warn him off? Megan, Brighton
AI suspect the only person with a problem here is you! Are you perhaps embarrassed? Finding it difficult to think of your mum as a sexual person? Believe it or not, she is seeing you vulnerable may simply mean he’s more protective and delaying passion in case it’s too much too soon. Plus, realising he could have lost you may mean he’s feeling higher on affection and lower on lust. You need to take the lead here, making sure you keep the sensual connection alive with cuddling, deep kissing and massage. Then, when you realise he’s ready to go further, make it clear that you are, too. He’ll soon get the message.
Do I still need contraception?
QI’m just divorced and I’ve started seeing a new man. It never crossed my mind that I should be using contraception, as I haven’t had a period for a year. But how careful should I be? Lucy, Cornwall
ATo be totally safe from pregnancy, over-50s should use contraception for a year after a last period, while under-50s should use it for two years. But pregnancy isn’t your only worry. Sexually transmitted infections (STIS) in the 50-70 age group have increased by over a third in the last decade – often because this age group doesn’t realise they’re at risk. Condoms will offset that risk until you and your partner can get checked for a clean bill of health: womens-health.co.uk/menopauseand-stis.html is a useful link. still young enough to feel passionate – and old enough to say ‘no’ if she doesn’t want to action that passion. You’re not your mum’s parent or guardian, so I’d back off and let her have some fun.