For this couple, Viagra has taken the spontaneity from their lovemaking. Here, advice for making sex less mechanical and predictable.
Q. My husband and I are in our mid-60s. We’ve had a healthy and satisfying sex life for almost 40 years. About eight years ago my husband began to have a difficult time with his, ahem, performance. Let me just say that Viagra is a wonderful thing. The only catch is it’s taken the spontaneity out of our lovemaking. Now we have to discuss and plan ahead. Whenever we want to have sex since he has to take a pill and then we wait about an hour for it to become effective. I guess I’m wondering what, if anything, we can do to replace the spontaneity we always loved.
Patty, Burnaby, B.C.
A. First of all, spontaneity is a tricky concept and one that people often use in the wrong context. At least that’s what Vancouver-based sexologist Renee Lanctot believes.
“People who’ve been married for 40 years rarely have spontaneity in their sexual life. It’s not like in the movies where the husband comes home, throws his wife on the kitchen table and they start having sex,” she says. “The best spontaneous sex is the sex your partner is anticipating – the encounter you’ve been planning for one another. Anticipation is a big and important part of desire and arousal.”
Couples who have been together a very long time can sometimes find that sex has become mechanical and predictable. And too often it happens at the same time, in the same place and under the same circumstances – often at night, after the news and under the covers. “Sex has also become so focused on penetration,” says Renee. “It has taken away so many of the other aspects of sensual and erotic sex, which means people are completely lost when they lose the erection.”
So what does she advise? First of all, lots of affectionate touching – when you’re cooking, passing in the hall, and at various times throughout the day since “closeness begins not just in the bedroom.” She is also an advocate of ‘sexting’ (texting sexual messages) – which she acknowledges has a justifiably negative connotation in relation to teenagers, but is not only perfectly fine for consenting adults, but a great way to rekindle desire in long-term relationships. Renee also recommends massage, as well as oral and manual stimulation. And then there are the sex shows. She’s a big fan of these events, which are growing in popularity. Check out Sexapalooza or the Taboo Sex Shows – if you dare.
And remember, age is irrelevant where healthy, satisfying sex is concerned. While there may be lingering stereotypes or taboos that can make some older men, and more particularly women, a little uncomfortable when it comes to uninhibited sex, Renee believes it’s entirely possible “to surpass all that and give yourself permission to enjoy your body and your partner’s.”
“I have seen older people who have such a beautiful youth in their minds and I have seen young people that are so old and boring and closed-minded,” she says. “It’s up to you to keep your sex life alive. But you have to want to do something special for your love partner.”
Send Diane a brief description of your dilemma, along with your first name and where you live, to [email protected]
A professional journalist for more than 25 years, Diane Sewell has written for some of the top newspapers and magazines in Canada and is a baby boomer herself. Her new blog “Boomerangst: Turning Dilemmas into Discoveries” is interactive with readers and focuses on life issues – like aging, dating, second marriages, sex, death, family and fashion. Diane will use her expertise to find the right expert to help solve your predicament, unearthing kernels of truth and quickly getting to the heart of the issue.
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