Ask Joan: Quickies!!!

Have a question about senior relationships, sex and intimacy?  Every month Senior Planet’s award-winning senior sexpert Joan Price answers questions about everything from loss of desire to solo sex and partner issues. Subscribe now (do it here) and don’t miss a single column. Senior Planet subscribers also get The Weekly Orbit, our newsletter with features about personal finance, health and fitness, tech tips, celebrity interviews and more. 

Normally, my monthly Sex at Our Age column presents one detailed reader question and my detailed answer. Occasionally you send me shorter questions, so a few times a year, I compile these into “Quickies”: short questions and answers. Here’s another round.

How Can I Convince My Girlfriend?

Q #1: I have been teasing my 61-year-old girlfriend about the importance of her having regular orgasms to keep her body in balance and heathy. She says it’s a ploy for me to get laid more often. I’m sticking to my guns that it’s good for her and necessary for women her age.

Can you back up my side? Or is this a pipe dream on my part to get laid more often? Once I get her revved up, she has great orgasms, it just that she’s less interested than I am. I’m 72 and enjoying sex more than she is at this point in our lives.

A: It’s true that regular orgasms are good for our physical and emotional health. In my book “The Ultimate Guide to Sex after 50,” I list 33 reasons that regular sex is good for us. But if your girlfriend doesn’t want to have sex with you, knowing the health benefits isn’t going to change her mind. It’s interesting that your question boils down to “How can I convince my girlfriend that regular sex is good for her?” instead of “How can I ask my girlfriend why she doesn’t want to have sex with me more often?” That’s the essential question. I suggest an honest, nonjudgmental conversation where you hear her reasons. If it’s just that she isn’t often in the mood, learn about responsive desire vs. spontaneous desire. If the answer is more complicated than that, or your conversation gets stuck, you’d both benefit from seeing a therapist or counselor who can guide your dialogue and help you resolve your conflict.

I Love My Wife but I’m Frustrated

Q #2: I have been married for 42 years to the love of my life. Sex was always good. I am healthy and vigorous. About a year ago, she got sick with cancer. Sex dwindled, then stopped. I still love her and I’m doing my best to take care of her and her needs. The issue is sex. There is none. I have tried solo and find it unfulfilling, almost boring. What do I do?

A: I am so sorry. I understand that you love your wife and you are dedicated to her care, but your sexual needs can’t be met within your relationship anymore. You should not feel guilty about acknowledging your need for sex. It’s human, and it doesn’t mean you love or respect your wife any less. This is a very difficult situation to be in. I see these options:

  1. Spice up your masturbation practice with erotica, porn, sex toys, whatever gets your fantasies going and sparks that powerful sex organ: your brain.
  2. If it feels right to you, explore getting your needs met with another person who will be satisfied with a friends-with-benefits arrangement. This may be someone in a similar caregiving situation. Is there a support group for spouses through your medical provider or the local chapter of a cancer organization?
  3. An understanding and discrete sex worker or “full service” massage practitioner could give you release when you need it with no expectation of a relationship beyond the transactional.

How Can I Please Him When Thrusting Makes Me Sore?

Q #3: I am 77 and my fiancé is 83. He has trouble maintaining an erection and reaching orgasm. He takes Cialis and orgasms about half the time. He wants to make love almost daily when we are together. My vaginal walls are thin, and prolonged thrusting makes me sore. However, I have no problem with clitoral orgasms. This man is perfect for me in all other ways. I hate to see him unsatisfied. What can I do to help him?

A: You say you enjoy clitoral orgasms, yet vaginal thrusting causes you pain. Simple solution: shift the emphasis away from intercourse. Let your sexual activity focus on your clitoris for your orgasms. For his, there are many ways to pleasure a penis that don’t require penetrative thrusting and or even an erection. You and your fiancé would benefit from viewing my recorded webinar, “Great Sex Without Penetration.” By expanding sex to include all the ways to give and receive pleasure, you’ll make sex easier for him and more joyful for you. If you still feel overwhelmed by the amount of sexual activity he wants, encourage him to masturbate, either in your presence or on his own. Accelerate his orgasm with a vibrator. He can use it on his own, or you can use it on him along with your mouth or your hand. For penis vibrator choices, see “Shamus Macduff’s Four Favorite Sex Toys for Penis Owners” in “Favorite Sex Toys for Seniors: Gift Guide for Our Lovers and Ourselves.”

The Quickest Quickie of All

Q #4: Can 73-year-old woman get an orgasm?

A: Yes.

Send Joan your questions by emailing All information is confidential. Joan can only answer questions that are chosen for publication from readers age 60+.

Joan Price has been Senior Planet’s “Sex at Our Age” columnist since 2014. She is the author of four self-help books about senior sex, including her award winners: “Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex” and “Sex after Grief: Navigating Your Sexuality after Losing Your Beloved.” Visit Joan’s website and blog for senior sex news, views, tips, and sex toy reviews from a senior perspective. Subscribe to Joan’s free, monthly newsletter.