Monday, July 24, 2006

Does Her Past Sex Life Matter?

Don, age 73, who read my book, wrote this email:

A question for Robert Rice.... I need your help. Like you I have re-entered the world of two people in the same house after 5 years of no one, and like your Lady, my Lady has had a very active sex life in the period before our meeting. The question is this…how do you deal with that? Do you think about the other men that were before you? I under stand that at our age it shouldn’t be an issue but I find myself wondering how I “stack up” to the others. I don’t want to ask, I feel that would be crossing the line. Should I just accept the fact that we are together and that’s the end of it? Tell me how you deal with it... and thank you !

Robert replies to Don:

Don, in response to the question that you asked me, I understand where you're coming from. I used to worrry about this myself. I am fortunate to have someone who assures me that I am the one she loves. This assurance comes in many ways, and sometimes it's up to me to see and recognize it. This gives me great freedom to let go of worrying about what has happened before.

Since we learn from all our previous sexual experiences what we want and like, and what we don't, this sexual learning necessarily includes all past lovers. A couple of Joan's past lovers are now our mutual friends, and both of us get along well with the other's ex-spouse.

The question whether we measure up to other guys who have had sex with our partner and question whether we are good enough, or big enough, etc., I am told -- and believe -- it's much more a male concern than female. In any case, I have come to believe that authentic expression of love and the ability to be playful and experimental seem to be the most reliable ingredients for successful sex, rather than focusing on measuring up (which can only be unknown anyway).

It seems to me that you answered your own question in your last statement about accepting the fact that you are together. That says a lot! It sounds like you're on the right track!

I hope this helps with your concern.

Joan replies to Don:

When I fell in love with Robert, it didn't matter to me whom I had bedded before and what I had experienced with anyone else. All that surfaced in my mind was how powerful my bond was with this man I loved. Remember our primary sex organ is our brain. For me, my previous experience was a good thing, because I was done with needing to experiment, and I knew whom/what I wanted, sexually and emotionally. I'll bet your special lady would tell you the same.

Have other readers dealt with this situation? What do you think about Don's question? I invite you to comment.

-- Joan

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Older Women and Sex Shops?

What do you imagine a sex shop to be, if you've never been in one? A sleazy, dark space with sticky spots on the floor and walls? Photos of gaping orifices? You're in for a surprise when you walk into the brightly lighted, playfully arranged, and downright inviting woman-friendly sex shops (as I call them). I discover that most women of my age and older have no idea that there are such stores!

I've been giving some workshops in woman-friendly sex shops such as Good Vibrations in the San Francisco Bay Area, A Woman's Touch in Madison & Milwaukee, Venus Envy in Ottawa, Babeland in New York City, and Early to Bed in Chicago. What fun it is when a first-timer enters one of these welcoming stores and discovers a wealth of information, entertaining "touch me" displays of everything you can (and can't!) imagine to enhance sex, and helpful staff.

I enjoy presenting my workshops in these venues because I can be absolutely candid there, talking about different types of vibrators for enhanced arousal, lubricants for comfort and sensation, props that are helpful for bad backs, and more.

Yet I am frustrated that many women who seek this information and would benefit most from my workshop don't think they'd feel comfortable setting foot in a so-called sex shop!

What do you think? What have your experiences been?

-- Joan