This post is an introduction to a series of posts that deals with the delicate interplay of factors affecting one’s ability to experience sexual pleasure as we age. This topic is relevant to both of my websites: IntimacyAndAging.com and VirginiaLaken.com, a blog about living with MCI.
Many people who have aged into their 60s, 70s and even 80s admit they have given up on sex entirely, primarily due to physical health concerns and/or what they describe as “lack of desire.” On the other hand, Keith and I have talked to many people in the same age categories who continue to engage in sex on a regular basis—and with great pleasure.
While Keith and I are currently sexually active (and loving it), we have had our challenges in maintaining our intimacy through the years. In this series of posts, I’ll write about these challenges and the lessons we’ve learned on how we’ve maintained and deepen our intimacy, despite the odds.
Both of us have experienced medical conditions that have impacted our ability to remain sexually active such as medications, treatments, injuries, and surgeries. For Keith, this has included erectile dysfunction, decreased libido, prostate cancer (treatment and surgery), medications and penile implant. And for me, hysterectomy, menopause, pain associated with intercourse, and decreased libido. For both of us: shared grief and sorrow.
In addition, I’ll address the vital role communication plays in the sexual arena—with our partners as well as with doctors and medical staff—and how sexuality’s status as a “taboo” topic can act like a roadblock. I’ll share instances when timid communication kept us in silence and avoidance in our partnership, such as when I hesitated to tell Keith “what worked when I was 30, doesn’t work anymore…” I’ll also share our hesitation to disclose our sexual concerns to our doctors; such as having pain or discomfort during sex, experiencing a weak erection, or assuming we are “too old” to be engaging in sex.
Throughout this series I’ll share my own experience with physical and psychological reasons that inhibit physical intimacy, and how we learned to overcome them. I’ll also write about how learning to make love through touch alone helped us restore our pleasure and passion, even as we age.
I realize this can be a delicate topic for some, still I would appreciate hearing from you and welcome your comments, suggestions, critiques, experiences and ideas. We learn so much from each other.
And as always, I thank you for reading my posts.