Sex in older age and how to cope with a partner not able to perform

Posted in Sexuality.

Gerry was sixty-eight and Sonia was sixty-one and they came for sex-therapy because Gerry was having trouble with sustaining an erection. He felt mortified because he was a high performer in his life and was not used to failing. Sonia had two marriages previously where she had been a victim of violence. She had never liked sex until she met Gerry. With his tender patience she had learned to relax and even to have her first orgasm. Now that Gerry was avoiding sex, Sonia felt rejected and hurt. If she could entice him to be sexual with her, he concentrated on making her feel good but wouldn’t receive any attention from her. This made Sonia feel guilty. What were they to do?

The Facts about Sexual Performance in Older Men

Some men feel so stressed from work demands and a unhealthy lifestyle that they lose their sexual desire. Sex is perceived as ‘just one more chore.’ Self-prescribed ‘stress reducers’ such as alcohol and marijuana, as well as tranquillisers and anti-hypertensive drugs may increase depression and decrease desire for men. For many men, ageing means difficulties with their “pipeworks” and the blood flow to their penis is simply not enough to achieve a good erection. Viagra is not a magic pill for many older men so they just stop trying!

Common Obstacles to Overcoming His Avoidance of Sex

He fears performance failure. It’s easier to avoid sex rather than have his penis let him down. She feels humiliated, rejected and hurt. She tries to analyze him, mind-read and be his therapist.

Positive Things To Do

The most common difficulty for the woman whose man has lost his sexual confidence is that the woman thinks that his turn-off in sex is her fault! She blames herself because she thinks she must be fat, the wrong shape, too old, too pushy, not pushy enough, not loveable, and he must be interested in another woman. 

Change this thought! It’s not your fault!

Stop blaming yourself!! Back off! Keep the relationship light and fun. Don’t verbally beat him up. Study books on male female differences like Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus, so that you know how to acknowledge your man and build up his ego. Don’t pressure him for sex.

Do touch him intensely and sensually in ways that he likes. Reassure him that intercourse isn’t everything in making love. Encourage him to see a sex therapist by himself. (If you go too, he’ll feel even more pressured and high anxiety will lead to even poorer sexual performance.)

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