Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Senior Sex: More than Erections

Here's something you don't know from the inner workings of this blog: Advertisers and promoters of erectile drugs and alternatives are always trying to promote their products via comments (usually totally off-topic) on my posts. I reject them so you never have to wonder if they're the answer to your prayers -- they're not. They want your business, pure and simple, and if they really wanted to help a man with ED, they'd talk him into going to his doctor and dianosing the cause of his erectile problems, rather than trying to sell him a product over the Internet.

I love your comments -- they're immensely valuable for my readers -- and I encourage you to post them (if you're not sure how that works, click here for easy, step-by-step directions. Just don't advertise THE solution for ED -- that's between you (or your partner) and your doctor.

Here's an excerpt from the chapter "When You or Your Partner Can't" from Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty on this subject:

According to the spam I receive in my e-mailbox daily, ED is the major concern of men, and an advertiser's dream. I am reminded of this guy joke that a male friend used to tell me:

Q: "What's the difference between fear and panic?"
A: "Fear is the first time you can't get it up twice. Panic is the second time you can't get it up once."

According to a 1994 study, sixty-seven percent of the men surveyed at age seventy experienced mild-to-severe ED. A partner's ED is an important challenge for some of women I interviewed, and I am grateful for their candor about sharing this intimate part of their lives. Many have found that sex can be satisfying when both partners communicate and seek creative and loving solutions, whatever the penis is or is not able to do...

Erectile dysfunction, not to minimize its importance, is only part of the picture. The sexual challenges of aging bodies go beyond penis problems.

The fact is that both partners may have health problems to deal with that affect sex. Arthritis, osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer--all of these impact our sex lives as well as our daily living. These and many other health problems require relationship adjustments including an extra dose of understanding from our partners. While health problems are certainly not the exclusive domain of genarians in the upper ranges, they occur with more frequency in older adults.

It's ironic, isn't it? We're at the prime time of life to enjoy sex. We know ourselves and our partners, the kids are long gone, we have more leisure time, we're less driven, our partners have learned how to satisfy us. What a cruel twist of fate that this is the time our bodies start acting up -- or down....

In the new book I'm working on -- I'm still welcoming your stories -- I'll have specific tips from medical experts and sex therapists about enjoying a satisfying sex life while living with ED (and other health challenges).*

*As you know if you've been following this blog, I put this book (and everything else) on hold while dealing with Robert's illness and death. I'll return to it soon -- it's my work and it was important to Robert as well.

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-- Joan