Billybob, 62, has written several times, always willing to share his thoughts and experiences to help both men and women talk more freely about the special challenges of sex after 60. In his case, these challenges include recovering from divorce, re-entering the dating scene, and living with prostate cancer. I just received this question from him:
Since my cancer treatments I still want sex but I have an erection problem that Viagra seems not to work to well. What would a lady think of me if I chose to use a strap on device? Or do you know of alternatives? And If I were to use a strap on how would I break or tell such an idea to a lady?
I wrote this to Billybob:
If you read the chapter of Better Than I Ever Expected titled "When You or Your Partner Can't," you'll see that women are very happy with fingers, tongue, vibrator, and cuddling when their partner can't have an erection. I don't think many women would appreciate a strap-on device, though I suggest you talk about it ahead and let her know you're willing if she'd like it. My suggestion: level with her about your situation as soon as the intimacy gets past kissing, and see what she'd like and -- please! -- also tell her what would make you feel satisfied. Let me know how this works for you.
What do the rest of you think?
I read two good books on this topic, which I mentioned in Better Than I Ever Expected and which you can order from Amazon by clicking on the links:
Intimacy with Impotence: the Couple's Guide to Better Sex after Prostate Disease by Ralph & Barbara Alterowitz (Da Capo/ Lifelong Books, 2004). A frank, practical guidebook to satisfying, sensual intimacy whether or not the male partner can have erections. An array of self-help strategies, from communication and creativity to medical therapies.
Making Love Again: Hope for Couples Facing Loss of Sexual Intimacy by Virginia and Keith Laken (Ant Hill Press, 2002). Candid personal narrative by Keith Laken, prostate cancer survivor facing impotence, and his wife, including fears, arguments, resolutions, setbacks, and a new definition of intimacy.