Boyfriend looking at upset girlfriend sitting on end of bed

I am in a committed relationship. My boyfriend, age 54, and I, 43, have been together almost two years. Our sex life was amazing for the first 6 months. We shared different kinds of bedroom play: kissing, cuddling, lots of romance and erotic touching, even consensual fantasy play. I love this man very, very much. He is everything I’ve ever wanted. He can turn me on with just a glance or a passing touch. I love feeling close to him. I crave that. I want to give myself to him.

But recently our sex life has gone way downhill. He has only “tongue kissed” me once in the last 6 months. He doesn’t want to touch me intimately. We used to have sex anytime, anywhere, but now he’ll only do it at night in bed. We had intercourse last night. He lost his erection so I performed oral on him and he went wild.

Some facts:
• He earns okay money.
• He doesn’t use tobacco, but dabbles with marijuana.
• He drinks but not much, a half-dozen beers a month.
• He is 30 pounds overweight (me too).
• He is pre-diabetic, and suffers from hypertension and high cholesterol, but his BP and LDL are now within normal ranges on prescribed medications.
• He complains of osteoarthritis—knee, legs foot, and back pain.
• He complains of fatigue.
• He no longer wants the lights on during sex.
• He loses his erection within two or three minutes.
• He can achieve and maintain an erection through oral sex, and he enjoys this very much.
• He watches porn occasionally, but that’s okay with me—I just wish he would include me so we can share it together.

I feel as if he is not attracted to me anymore. I also feel cheated out of sex with him. I end up having to masturbate to achieve orgasm, but it’s not the same—and after, I feel emptier. Maybe it’s me, and not him.


  • Michael Castleman says:

    I’m sorry you’re suffering emotional pain. I don’t know if I can provide a magic formula to make you feel that everything’s all right again, but here are my thoughts:

    I would NOT jump to the conclusion that he feels no desire for you. You’re still together. He hasn’t broken up with you. And when you gave him fellatio recently, you say he “went wild.” If he had no desire for you, I doubt that would be the case.

    So what’s going on with him? I’m not sure … but please consider:

    • When lovers first get together, they can’t keep their hands off each other. But the “hot and heavy” period rarely lasts longer than six months to a year or so. Then one partner, or both, dial back their desire and “young lovers” become “old married couples,” who still have sex, but less. Unfortunately, couples are rarely in sych about the change from lots of sex to less. Typically, one (you) still wants sex more than the other (him). The result is a desire difference, and desire differences are one of the leading reasons that couples consult sex therapists. You’ve been together two years so it’s no surprise that one of you is feeling less sexual urgency. Fortunately, sex therapists have developed an effective program to overcome desire differences like yours. My article describing this program is one of the best-sellers on this site. If you’re unfamiliar with sex therapy, there’s an article on that, too. Or you might purchase the GreatSexGuidance e-book, which contains those article and 100 more—several of while address the sexual changes of aging men.

    • He’s 54. After around age 50, two things happen to men. Their erections become less reliable. And it becomes more difficult for men to feel aroused. This is very disconcerting to many (most?) men. The typical guy spends his first 50 years easily aroused and able to raise erections with no problem. But after 50, things change, and few men are prepared for this. Even in the best case, this change requires a big emotional adjustment, and many men don’t have the best case. Some men think: I’m not feeling it any more and I have trouble getting it up, so I guess sex is over for me…. It’s not, but many men feel that it is. What to do? Explore these issue in conversation and reassure him that the changes he’s experiencing are normal and natural and part of male aging. The GreatSexGuidance e-book contains more on this.

    • You say he’s overweight and pre-diabetic, and has hypertension and high cholesterol, and complains of fatigue and osteoarthritis. All of these can reduce sexual energy, arousal, and desire. Being overweight promotes fatigue. It’s more work carrying extra weight, and fatigue can reduce sexual energy and interfere with arousal. Extra weight also stresses the major joints and causes osteoarthritis. Joint pain distracts from sexual interest. And the drugs prescribed for hypertension may contribute to erection problems. You say you’re both overweight. I’d suggest working together to lose weight. Eat more fruits and vegetables (at least 6 servings a day) and less meat, cheese, whole-milk dairy, ice cream, and rich desserts. Take daily walks together or do other physical things you both enjoy: bicycling, dancing, gardening. Don’t go on a crash diet. Change your lifestyle slowly with a goal of losing one pound a month. To lose one pound you have to consume 3500 fewer calories or burn that much in exercise, or combine eating less and exercising more. Weight loss usually increases sexual interest, and it should also reduce his cholesterol, blood pressure, and pre-diabetes. And if he can get off blood pressure medication, that should help his erections. My book, Sizzling Sex for Life, includes articles on all these issues.

    • You said he went wild over oral. There’s a message in that—offer him more. As men age and erections become iffy, most men continue to enjoy fellatio. You might also suggest that he provide you with the gift of cunnilingus so you don’t feel you have to masturbate to have orgasms. Sizzling Sex also contains articles on oral sex and women’s sexuality.

    I hope these suggestions help!

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