Ask Your Doctor If You’re Healthy Enough For Sex

Cialis and Viagra are selling youth-sex to old people. Well, actually not old people, just older people, or any male for that matter who wants harder and longer.

doc with guyWhat surprises me the most about TV ads showing mommy and daddy couples a minute from getting laid, is that those beautifully matured love birds look no older than forty! Okay, maybe forty-five, but why do dudes under fifty need help getting ready? I know. It’s about being MORE ready. Are we men so sexually intimidated by women (who sexually PEEK at fifty, so we’ve been told) that we all have to thump like we’re thirty? Or is it about older men DATING thirty-year-olds…or trying to…after the divorce.

Look, some bitter truth here: Everybody wants to stay young. Actually, everyone wants to LOOK young with a young body. Nobody older really wants to BE young…except for young sex, which is all about discovery.

And here’s more truth about sexual discovery: for those of you who feel free enough to enjoy it like play period in the sandbox, no matter how great it is out of the gate, super sex gets lazy pretty soon. And when it slows down so much it’s boring, we want a new race horse to bounce us around the track.

Yes, we all want racy sex again and again. (Well not ALL, but all my friends and maybe you too.) So some of us jump into new saddles regularly and some of us don’t. I can’t tell how many committed It’s-only-you couples decide to expand the only-you part, but I suspect most people don’t keep their exclusivity promise when the thrill is gone. Let’s admit it, people cheat because “exploratory” sex with all its discovery is way more interesting than, “So do ya feel like it or not?”

Exploring in sex is about novelty and the risk of total exposure with newbies we have to trust. If we’re brave enough to ask for those special strokes, we drop our daily identity and get really vulnerable, holding the assumption that our new partner (or partners) won’t physically hurt us. They rarely do in those first bed romps, if nothing is forced. I’m not talking about rape here, only consenting adults.couple in tub

Still, first-time sex can hurt, like meeting someone who’s super fun, great in bed and then getting no call backs. Feelings do get bruised but that’s part of the risk of being vulnerable and real. Shedding defenses is exciting. It’s exciting because unknown risk demands heightened awareness, the more-alive stuff, as opposed to: been-there, done-that. Instead there’s happy investigations like, “How does this feel? How does that feel? Oh yeah… More.”

And as long as it all guilt-free and you’re both into it, the endorphins kick in, the day’s worries fade away and you become naked kids again playing “Show-Me” and “Do-Me”. It’s all about being human in a nice way and letting your bodies love the touching for as long as it lasts.

Reality check: It doesn’t last. New is only new when it’s new. Once you’ve used up all your “Show-Me’s” and “Do-Me’s”, once you know where all the secret feel-good places live, once trust isn’t a gamble anymore and you both know the drill, sex becomes like a book you’ve both read thirty times. You know the plot and how it ends. The discovery is exhausted, at least physically. So sex becomes more about just getting off and you don’t need another mouth or tongue for that.

Depressed yet? Not to worry. There’s a happy ending. But first, more stuff we need to remember.

couple in bedThe Basic Truth

The most exciting thing about sex is not physical sensations. It’s the discovery of the person you’re with, who is much more than a pulsing torso.

Without a mind, flesh and bones are just molecules, a substance without mental zest. But sometimes that’s all we want – your basic body bang, which is good. Still, I think most of us desire more. We want a deeper connection so we’re not so lonely. We want to touch another soul and learn more about ourselves as we do that. I may be a romantic but I firmly believe sex is just one pleasing way of reaching another mind. And it’s not the only way.

Okay, much of this you know. But you’re probably older. You’re past the sexual learning phase. You may even be past your first marriage, or second. You know that it’s hard to keep the sex exciting for more than a year. Some of you knew killer coitus cools soon and had a Plan B as you strolled down the aisle with spouse #2. Or some of you thought, “This time I’ll to make it work. I’ll keep the promises. She/he will too.”

It helps to keep the promises. Loyalty holds trust in place and trust allows freedom. Freedom allows change and change sparks interest.

More on this later.

couple ON bedThere’s this story going around that if people could have sex all the time with anyone they wanted, everyone would be happier. Swing clubs and open marriages aim for that. I’m not convinced multiple sex partners deliver happiness. I had that. I wanted more.

In the seventies, right after college, I lived in Free-Love Land. I had many one-nighter’s, and plenty of three and four weeker’s. I even had two three-monther’s. Lots of sex all the time. And after all those soft arms, legs and breasts close to me in bed, I still felt alone in the mornings. Those hook ups were experiments with no devotion. Living in the moment, day by day had it advantages, but even at twenty-four I wanted to build a future. I wanted certainty. I wanted an anchor of trust. But what I wanted most, was a mind-meld beyond body treats because sport sex got old fast. So I shifted priorities where finding mental and spiritual beauty became top priority. How did that turn out? You probably know.


When it comes to people with people, we all fly towards New & Exciting. Knowing everything about your partner can be comforting but too many times it’s just plain boring. Accurately predicting how someone will answer is like talking to yourself. So if you know your spouse or partner or roommate or best friend really, really well, there aren’t too many surprises left…unless he or she keeps changing.

He or she keeps changing… THAT’S what you want! That’s what you need. And that’s what YOU should be doing too to keep any partnership stimulating. In my 39 years of husbandhood I’ve been married to five different women, all in the same shell. Every few years my wife reinvents herself with changing interests and new pursuits. I thought I married an operating room nurse. Turned out she’s an artist too. And like most artists, they don’t get hung up on any one thing. They do this-and-that, and then they try this-and-that, and they get really good at this-and-that, but they drop it all to start another this-and-that.

Me too. I’m into this-and-that. Writing is part of this but my music is part of that, and so is photography and my community work. But here’s the key: if my wife and I insisted that we do everything together, we wouldn’t be doing any of the stuff that keeps us alive and evolving. We need time to ourselves. We need the space to change.

And now you know where I’m headed. People need the freedom to grow and try new things. When they do that, when they expand into something more than they were before, we can rediscover them as a new friend or a new beloved.

black huggingThe Final Bitter Truth

If you clutch, stifle and control the one you love, you will douse the fire that attracts you. If you leash your lover, you will strangle New & Exciting in a matter of months. If you force behavior and obedience, you kill the spirit you’re trying to train. I know. I’ve tried to force change. And so has my wife.

And now the happy ending: We stopped and let go. Well almost. There’s still growing up to do, but we’d rather do it together…as long as life keeps growing.



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  1. Open Marriage – Is it Right for You? | Irving’s Journey -- The Psychology of Writing says:

    […] to “open marriages.” My wife and I have been living in one of those from the get-go, but it has nothing to do with sex. It’s about having separate creative pursuits, hobbies, friends and time by ourselves. It’s […]

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