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sexuality at middle age

 
 
peterST
 
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2021 08:06 am
Ik hope to get some responses and thoughts on this, esp. from those who have like experiences. The last 20 years our love life was okay, but at a lower frequency as before we had children. Our children are growing up now and will be leaving the house the next years. So we seem to have more time for our love life. I would very much like to give it a boost.
The thing is that my wife has lost interest in sex. The last time I tried, we had 2 hours of foreplay, and I felt dissatisfied afterwards as I felt she only did it for me. She is trying, but doesn't get aroused. The last 3 or 4 times, we had periods of multiple months in between and she doesn't get very aroused.
My wife has promised to ask her doctor (a female doctor) about it. Of course her menopause has something to do with it. I read on the Internet that taking time for foreplay might help, but not in my wife's case.
My wife would be okay with no sex for the rest of her life. I would not be okay with that at all. Does anyone have experience with this, and have solutions/views? I don't want to leave her, but I also don't want to stay sexless for the rest of my life. (My wife and I are around 50 yrs old.)
 
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2021 10:05 am
@peterST,
I am a divorced middle-aged man, over 50, and have a great sex life with a long term relationship. As you said, sexuality is very important.

I believe that you have a right to a great sex life. If your wife isn't on board with this, you have three options....

1) Divorce (my experience with divorce is great, but I understand it isn't for everyone).
2) An open marriage (where you agree that you can have sex with other people).
3) Cheating.

If your partner is not willing to be sexual, than monogamy can't possible work (monogamy isn't celibacy).

If it were me, I would talk openly to my partner. I would tell her sexuality is not optional... and if it isn't with her, then I will have sex with other people. If the marriage can continue that way, then problem solved.

I prefer openness and honesty to an affair. But if you had a secret affair in this circumstance, I wouldn't judge you.

chai2
 
  3  
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2021 11:48 am
@peterST,
peterST wrote:

Ik hope to get some responses and thoughts on this, esp. from those who have like experiences. The last 20 years our love life was okay, but at a lower frequency as before we had children. Our children are growing up now and will be leaving the house the next years. So we seem to have more time for our love life. I would very much like to give it a boost.
The thing is that my wife has lost interest in sex. The last time I tried, we had 2 hours of foreplay, and I felt dissatisfied afterwards as I felt she only did it for me. She is trying, but doesn't get aroused. The last 3 or 4 times, we had periods of multiple months in between and she doesn't get very aroused.
My wife has promised to ask her doctor (a female doctor) about it. Of course her menopause has something to do with it. I read on the Internet that taking time for foreplay might help, but not in my wife's case.
My wife would be okay with no sex for the rest of her life. I would not be okay with that at all. Does anyone have experience with this, and have solutions/views? I don't want to leave her, but I also don't want to stay sexless for the rest of my life. (My wife and I are around 50 yrs old.)


From a womans perspective, I have a few thoughts. They're in no particular order, and there is no judgement for either of you.

When you say sex was "okay" for the last 20 years, for whom? For me, "okay" doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement.

I'd ask her if she were here, but she's not, so I'll ask you. How are your skills as a lover? How were her skills? Did she orgasm in the past? Are you aware if she did? No blame, but many men really don't know how to determine if a woman has.

Leading into my next thoughts, I think it would be very helpful if you both read the book "Vagina" by Naomi Wolf. It was an absolute epiphany for me as a woman, and for my husband.

There is so much physically going on with a woman at a certain time of her life, and it's a shame that a myriad of physical, mental & emotional changes that all interact with each other are dismissed with the word "menopause"

It is an excellent idea for your wife to seek out the advice of her doctor. Physcially, it's so much more than grabbing a packet of Astro Glide and saying "well that's taken care of"

You don't give any indication of how open your communcations are with your wife. Is she experiencing pain when trying to have intercourse? Is the pain from dryness that lube can handle, or is it from thinned out fragile vaginal tissue being abraided and torn?

Is it and/or her pelvic floor is too tight? Just one of the reasons for that may be the dread of the vaginal pain that will come when intercourse in attempted, the entire pelvic floor can tighten/seize up in anticipation of the pain.
The facia over time can literally lock up there, making intercourse, painful and even impossible.

If the tissues in your wifes vagina is fragile, dry, thin, she can be perscribed estrogen cream for that area. Since it's a cream it is topical and local to the area it's administrered to, and the estrogen doesn't enter the bodies system.

If the pelvic floor is tight, there are methods to address that, to release the bound of facia and muscle. That is an entireley different subject.

I think in many cases we've done many women a huge disservice promoting kegels and other exercises for pelvic floor strength when in the longer term it can really mess up your anatomy not just in the immediate area, but in others as well. We need to be intergrated.

Moving on to this idea of foreplay.
Connected to above, could part of the reason she doesn't get aroused over 2 hours be:

1) The anticipation that this is going to end in painful intercourse?
2) "Trying" to become aroused
3) 2 hours of doing anything is a job. How relaxing/fun can anything be after 2 hours?
4) Be honest, are you doing things she likes? Or are you doing whatever you've always done, and maybe assumed she liked? Tastes change. Aren't their things you liked sexually 10 or 20 years ago, but they aren't all that now? Are you getting positive verbal and non verbal feedback from her that she's enjoying something? If not, are you experimenting with something else? Maybe she doesn't like having her breasts touched anymore because they're too sensitive. Maybe she's not as interested in penetration, or something else.
5) How is your hygiene? Are you no longer as physically appealing to her?
6) Anxiety because here she is putting you out for this extended time and she just want to "get it over with" because of the combination of all the above and more.

Personally I never liked the word foreplay. Like there's this expection something has to come afterwards.

Why not just play?

Play with no expectations it's going to lead to anything, and maybe even the agreement that it's not going to lead to sex, and is just a time for massage, touch, both sexual and non sexual, relaxing in each others company, conversations about whatever comes to mind, spooning, napping a little, maybe having some cheese and crackers and an episode of The Crown while snuggling in bed.

How much of that do the 2 of you do?

Just sayin'

Being close and friendly is very relaxing. Relaxed people trust each other that one isn't going to make some end goal. When sex stops being the end goal, it becomes something that happens along the way.
PUNKEY
 
  3  
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2021 03:45 pm
Oh geez I’d kill to be in my 50s. But really the best sex was when I was in my 60s. The kids were gone, the dog was dead and it was time for re-romance.

You say the kids are almost grown. That means they are still there and being teens they’re probably high maintenance. Are you taking notice of what’s happening in the home?

When is the last time you took her away for a romantic weekend? She needs to get out of the house.

Yes, I’d say something was wrong when a 50-year-old woman doesn’t enjoy sex. But there are so many factors and possibilities going on that it’s hard to tell the reason why.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2021 07:04 pm
It is important to me to see men and women as equals; having equal responsibilities and the equal right to be fulfilled. Our modern society seems to make men responsible for the needs of women without any balance.

In a healthy relationship the needs of both people are met. I would say the same thing for a man or a women... if you partner isn't meeting your needs, it is a problem that needs to be resolved.

If my partner isn't meeting my sexual needs, I am going to talk to them. If my personal failings are the problem... then maybe it is time for them to move on. I don't like the idea that sex is a reward for good behavior. Obviously if my partner is willing to work on the relationship, I am all in.. I don't think there are many problems that can't be fixed if both partners are open and willing.

Likewise if my partner needs more from me sexually (and I care about them) I am going work to give them what they need.

0 Replies
 
peterST
 
  0  
Reply Tue 5 Jan, 2021 01:54 pm
@chai2,
Thanks Chai,

Obviously I cannot speak for my wife, but I do think I can answer some of the questions. And I know how things have developed.

At first (after we'd met, over 27 years ago) sex was great. She was really into it. (When we talked about this recently, she mentioned this herself.) Of course sex declined in frequency when we got children (now 19, 16 and 13 yrs old, the oldest is in university), but that didnt bother me that much. It was good enough.
At some point, maybe 15 or 20 yrs ago, she decided 'no more oral sex' (for both of us). That didn't bother me, as long as I got regular sex. Then, maybe 10 to 15 yrs ago (?) she decided 'no more tongue kissing'. That did bother me and still does, but what could I do? Nowadays, when we have sex and I move my lips to her lips she turns her head. If I ever get a tongue kiss the last few years, it is short (half a second at the most) and she makes it clear that there's where it stops.
Maybe I should explain she also has a problem with some kinds of food and materials, like tomatoes. She simply does not like the texture of tomatoes and some other fruits and doesn't want them in her mouth. It's not the taste of the tomatoes, but their texture, she says. With a tongue, it seems to be somewhat the same problem. This is what she tells me. In my mind there's a connection with the fact that she does not want to touch some kinds of food (eg chicken meat) with her hands. She has things like this, I don't know why. (Her father also refuses to eat things without cutlery, maybe it's hereditary?)
So how do we start sex? We lie on our sides (spooning), and I start stroking her back and her legs, and after some time also her breasts. Then I move to her vagina. Usually that is still quite dry. Then I stroke her legs, het behind, her back, go to her vagina for some time. And I repeat that, and repeat that, and so on. All with my hands (esp. my right hand, as we lie on our left sides).
The whole play lasts two hours by now (2020), a few years ago that was shorter, but even 5 years ago it already cost an hour. Then, eventually she is wet enough. Well, the last time that moment did not really come after the 2 hours. So yes, it is going downhill and takes longer and longer each time.
We spoke recently. I told her that I found it quite an effort to get her started and a bit boring (and the no-kissing doesn't make it easier). She said she understands this, but she just lost interest in sex altogether now. Not just with me, but she would have no interest in other men either. She mentioned she doesn't like a sweaty man on top of her.. But she also understands that I feel quite different. This week or next week she needs to see her doctor anyway (to renew her prescription of femoston she uses because of menopausal complaints), so she will raise the issue with her doctor. My wife says she has had no pains during sex. Pain does not seem the issue in her case.
We have never tried Astro Glide or the like. Maybe we could try. I just wish we could do without and she would simply enjoy the sex with me. I do not like the idea that she only lets me 'do my thing' without enjoying it herself.
I did raise the question what I could do differently (two hours of rubbing her back, legs and vagina isn't my cup of tea either) but she couldn't answer. Simply no more interest, she says. The good thing is we can at least talk about it, but to be honest, that's not good enough for me.

So, thanks Chai for your answers from a female perspective. I really appreciate that. The last few weeks we spoon more when we go to bed, mostly at my initiative. And we do cuddle once in a while, maybe not enough, I don't know. I don't want to lose her nor the lives we live. We have three wonderful sons. I just don't see a solution to all this. If you have a view on the things I wrote above, don't hesitate to let me know. But in any case, thanks for listening to me.
Themightyquinn
 
  2  
Reply Tue 5 Jan, 2021 02:03 pm
@peterST,
I would ask myself what's more important. Crazy Monkey sex several times a week, or a marriage with years of equity and a woman who will, when your time comes, clean up your vomit after your chemo and change you when you've crapped the bed. Someone who gets you, gets your humor and trigger points. knows your moods and is a long time partner. If she went along with two hours of foreplay I wouldn't feel dissatisfied, I'd feel grateful. Just my opinion.
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 5 Jan, 2021 02:06 pm
@Themightyquinn,
Quote:
I would ask myself what's more important. Crazy Monkey sex several times a week, or a marriage with years of equity and a woman who will, when your time comes, clean up your vomit after your chemo and change you when you've crapped the bed.


Why can't we have both? This is like asking would you rather eat 3 meals a day or would you rather have hot water in your shower.


0 Replies
 
peterST
 
  0  
Reply Tue 5 Jan, 2021 02:06 pm
@maxdancona,
Thanks for the view, Max. I don't want to leave her. I think that the message that I'll take my love to town if she does not fulfil my needs, feels too much like blackmailing her for sex. I think she knows and understands that the current situation is not acceptable for me. So for now, I wait what her doctor comes up with.
I know about the three options. I will certainly not choose option 3, which will make me the bad guy when she finds out.
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 5 Jan, 2021 02:15 pm
@peterST,
In my opinion, you are putting yourself in an unreasonable corner. I actually think waiting to see if there is a medical answer is the right thing. Maybe this problem will resolve itself. But in the case that your wife will never be sexual with you again... it puts you in an unreasonable corner. Sexuality is a valid human need.

Think of it this way; what would you do if the situation were reversed? What if you had lost interest in sex, but your wife wanted sex 1 or 2 times a week. Would you deny her any sexuality?

I understand the feeling about "blackmail"... but I don't really see it that way. Sexuality is a basic human need for many of us. It is not fair for someone to force celibacy on their partner (unless they are a deity).





0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 5 Jan, 2021 05:45 pm
Many middle aged men (myself included) have found that sex in your 50's is great. At this point, you feel confident, you have more experience and you have more control.

There is a reason that middle-aged men tend to want to date younger women. And there is a similar reason that many younger women want to be with middle aged men.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Tue 5 Jan, 2021 09:06 pm
@peterST,

Well, um.
I'm of just over half a mind now that this is all a story from someone who just wants the opportunity to say sex stuff.

But, I could be wrong, so I'm going to address what you said, one time.

First off, it doesn't appear you read and or took in most of what I said.

Secondly , I absolutely expressed no interest in the procedures you go through with you wife to arouse her. None of my business, and I truly don't care.

However, I did actually glean some helpful info from it.

What I did directly say is that you need to stop making this end goal of intercourse with her (for now, until the problems are at least in the process of getting resolved)

In your description of what you do during these two hour sessions, I actually physically cringed whenever you mentioned her vagina.

You talk about her as if she's an old car where you're adjusting the timing, checking the brakes, filling up the tires, then go in there with a dip stick to check her oil level.
Then you change the air filter, recheck the tire pressure, and again check to see if this somehow circulated some oil into the crankcase.

Maybe it's not like that, but that's how it came across to me. It actually made me want to cry a little

I can't speak for her, but I will tell you what my feelings and reactions would be.

So for whatever reason I'm not really interested in sex.

Somehow, I end up in bed with my husband spooning. From past episodes I'm already thinking "Here we go" I may at that point actually be hoping I'll get aroused. But then starts the routine of this that and the other. I'm well aware through it all that soon enough you'll be reaching down there to see if I've been successful in lubricating (for me personally thinking "can't you just rub my back and shoulders a bit and not put this pressure on me?')

There you go, you check me out. I'm dry. Ok, I've failed. Now you're starting the circut over again, and I'm thinking "Oh Christ. How many more times? I don't even want to get aroused at this point. He disappointed, I'm a failure, Jesus stop poking me already!" The whole thing sound like a job to me.

Beyond you stating she says she has a texture problem, it doesn't sound like you've asked or she's told you what's going through her mind about her lack of interest.

You don't say a word as if she's being responsive in any way, saying anything, or seems to just be lying there enduring it. If she's just putting up with it, why do you think more of it would be successful?

How about if you go and masturbate, so you aren't physically unfulfilled, and simply take a nap with her, rub her back telling her you're not going to do anything more, asking her for a back rub, have soft conversation and leave it at that?

Again, putting myself in her place. Every time this happens she can't just relax and enjoy the present because her mind is saying it's just going to end up with you always ending up trying to go in for the kill.

Go buy some lube. Put in in your bedstand and forget about it.
Make love to your wife in all ways except putting your penis in her. Masturbate beforehand so that it's love you're making, not just having sex. Let her know this is about the two of you just being close. Ask her what she'd like to do. If it's just lying there. Then just lie there with her.

When she really trusts that you're not going to be doing things that enevitably end up proving to her that her body has yet again failed her and you, the chances of her relaxing enough to actually become aroused will/may increase. Then you can reach in the drawer for the lube.

I've become terribly turned on by someone when having a conversation while totally dressed about something as banal as laundry detergent. That's because the person himself was interesting me on, I was relaxed, trusted him, felt no pressure to perform and didn't feel like there was this step 1, 2, 3 etc that had to be followed.

She needs to be able to confide in you what is going on with her, you need to give her a safe platform to do so. Stop making it about the old in and out and make it about love and respect.



chai2
 
  2  
Reply Tue 5 Jan, 2021 09:13 pm
@Themightyquinn,
Themightyquinn wrote:

I would ask myself what's more important. Crazy Monkey sex several times a week, or a marriage with years of equity and a woman who will, when your time comes, clean up your vomit after your chemo and change you when you've crapped the bed. Someone who gets you, gets your humor and trigger points. knows your moods and is a long time partner. If she went along with two hours of foreplay I wouldn't feel dissatisfied, I'd feel grateful. Just my opinion.


This ^^^

This hit home big time as my late husband went through both chemo and extremely painful radiation.
The last thing on my mind was anything sexual. But there was so much love.

It was far from a perfect marriage, but in that time I spent hours rubbing his head and ears, which he loved and just sitting in the same room while he slept, in case he woke up and wanted something. He 100% knew I wasn't going anywhere, and was there to attend him, not the other way around.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  -3  
Reply Tue 5 Jan, 2021 09:29 pm
Notice the imbalance in what Chai is saying. In what she writes, it is a man's responsibility to take care of his female partners wishes and desires. The woman in a heterosexual relationship apparently has no such responsibility. It is all about what she needs.

In a healthy relationship partners take care of each other's needs. I would not want to live in such an unbalanced relationship. A relationship should be based on equality.

It seems like the message is that men need to suck it up and serve their women (and then maybe if they are lucky they will get their own needs met). I don't buy that.
maxdancona
 
  -2  
Reply Tue 5 Jan, 2021 09:32 pm
@maxdancona,
Each person (man or woman) has the right to get their needs met and the responsibility to ask for they need. In a relationship if each personals needs aren't getting met there is a problem.

I don't accept the idea that men have the responsibility to meet the needs of their woman and not vice versa. That is not an equal relatonship.
0 Replies
 
peterST
 
  0  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2021 06:30 am
@chai2,
Sorry if I was too detailed in my description. I understand how you read my story, when for you sex is painful and when you've been through your husband's and/or your own serious illness. Please understand that my wife and I are at a totally different place.

Maybe I should explain that a few times when I thought "I'll stop now, this isn't working". But then my wife insisted on going on. It seems that, once I've started it, she wants me to finish. So she doesn't feel like you think she does. It just comes from very very far away for her.

And I did ask her what she'd be interested in, other than penetration. Well, nothing much. Just a hug once in a while is enough. When we go to bed, spooning is okay, but she doesn't miss it when I don't. Because when she goes to bed she wants to sleep. She's not missing much.

At least my wife and I talk about things now. See where it brings us. I'll wait for what the doctor has to say end of the week. And I'm thinking about consulting a sexologist (I haven't talked to my wife about that yet).
0 Replies
 
 

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