Sex ad­vice

Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - ADVICE -

I am a 72-year-old man and I find that I don’t re­ally en­joy sex­ual in­ter­course any more, to the point that I think it would be eas­ier and more worth­while to be celi­bate. I en­joy close­ness and in­ti­macy but that tends to land me in bed, and af­ter­wards I be­come de­pressed for days. The “cli­max” is a downer, as is my girl­friend’s re­ac­tion. She is also 72 and has no com­pre­hen­sion or tol­er­ance of how it is for me. She is con­vinced that it is “her fault”, and ac­cuses me of squan­der­ing my sex­ual en­ergy on mas­tur­ba­tion, watch­ing pornog­ra­phy, or hav­ing an­other woman on the side – none of which are any­where near the truth. These ac­cu­sa­tions are so re­lent­less and so de­grad­ing that I have given up try­ing to de­fend my­self or change her think­ing.

I liken it to eat­ing fish’n’chips. Ev­ery now and then I get a crav­ing for them but af­ter­wards re­gret it. Is there some­thing wrong with me? Is this a re­sult of the va­sec­tomy that I had all those years ago? Please tell me what you think. Sorry to say I recog­nise your fish’n’chips anal­ogy. It does use­fully re­mind us that the need to al­ter sex­ual prac­tices to suit age­ing bod­ies is as im­por­tant as al­ter­ing diet. But yuck, what a hor­ri­ble sit­u­a­tion you two have got your­selves in emo­tion­ally. Few penises would func­tion un­der that kind of ten­sion! I’m not clear: what re­sults in you feel­ing de­pressed? Is it phys­i­cal pain from the ac­tions of in­ter­course or is it your emo­tional dis­ap­point­ment and distress? And if the lat­ter, is that be­cause your or­gasm is only a mild sen­sa­tion with a wee drib­ble of ejac­u­late or do you lose your erec­tion or not come… or are you re­fer­ring to your re­ac­tion to your part­ner’s at­tack?

Bod­ily pain dur­ing or af­ter in­ter­course sug­gests the need for a change of po­si­tion, well-placed pil­lows for sup­port, timely painkillers or the recog­ni­tion that in­ter­course is out but there are many ways to still give each other in­tense plea­sure.

It’s hard to avoid part­ners blam­ing them­selves if there’s a func­tion­ing prob­lem, be­cause in­ti­macy takes us into our vul­ner­a­bil­ity – but that’s nei­ther help­ful nor ac­cu­rate, nor will this be a post-va­sec­tomy is­sue. Read this to­gether, agree to stop the at­tacks and re­treats into mis­ery and be­gin a project of bring­ing back kind­ness and love.

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