Close-up of senior couple focusing on worried woman

We have been together 3+ years, living together 2+. He’s 70, I’m 68. Our sex life was good, but has dropped off to almost nothing. He has rejected me so many times it hurts. I thought it was due to his medical issues (diabetes, HBP) and recovery from his heart problems (stents put it) but now he is back to golf, etc.& his doctor has cleared him. We have had sex twice in the last 6 months. When I asked about his porn use & if he was doing that vs having sex with me, he denied it. I offered to watch it w/him. I was heartbroken & dismayed when I (sadly) snooped & found he has been online with multiple (young) women, spending $$ and messaging them. The messages read as if he cares about them. He goes online to watch live cam sex models when I go to bed. I love him dearly but feel like a fool. He has been doing this for the entire time we have been together. I’m ready to call it quits. I don’t expect him to stop watching porn but how do I get him to talk about improving our sex life? Help!!!


  • Michael Castleman says:

    The short answer is: I don’t know why he’s going online so frequently for sex. I don’t know him (or you), so from your brief question, it’s difficult to come to any conclusions.

    That said, here’s the longer answer: Many older men deeply mourn their loss of erection ability and the easy arousal they used to enjoy as young men. I’m 71 so I know what I’m talking about. Older men yearn for some reassurance that they can still become sexually aroused and raise something akin to erections. The way they do this is masturbating to online porn and sex sites.

    Masturbation is much easier than partner lovemaking. With a partner, older men must negotiate a sexual frequency and repertoire with their partners. They have to be coached about what the partner likes and coach the partner about what they like. And they have to deal with the million issues great and small that are part of any ongoing relationship. But during solo sex, older men (and women) have only themselves to please and they get immediate feedback from their own bodies so they can make quick little adjustments that allow them to stay aroused and hopefully at least semi-erect. In other words, many older men consider partner sex too much work and take refuge in masturbation and online sex.

    What to do? The first thing is to try to persuade your old guy that there’s much more to sex than just penis-centered play. In my book, Sizzling Sex for Life, Part 1 is a 10-chapter package, the 10 ingredients of sizzling sex. One of the most important is mutual whole-body massage that includes every square inch from head to toe before focusing on the genitals. But many men feel skeptical of whole-body massage, viewing it as just “foreplay” that postpones the real action. Actually, in later life, foreplay is the main thing that gets men aroused. You might obtain a copy of Sizzling Sex for Life and explore it with your man. There’s also an extensive chapter specifically about sex in later adulthood that’s filled with suggestions for how elder lovers can keep enjoying sex together. And there are several chapters about pornography that both of you may find illuminating.

    If the book doesn’t improve things sufficiently, then I suggest sex therapy. If you’re unfamiliar with sex therapy, the therapist does NOT have sex with you and does NOT watch you have sex. Sex therapy is a form of talk-based psychotherapy with “homework.” It usually takes four to six months of weekly one-hour sessions. It costs $150-250/hour, though some therapists charge more and many discount fees for those who can’t afford standard rates. For more, read my the chapter on sex therapy in Sizzling Sex for Life, and/or see the film, “Hope Springs” with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones. To find a sex therapist near you, visit the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, the Society for Sex Therapy and Research, or the American Board of Sexology.

    If your partner won’t accompany you to sex therapy, I urge you to go by yourself. That’s suboptimal, of course, but the therapist may still be able to offer helpful suggestions.

    I wish you sizzling sex for life.

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