“Good for her for getting out of a marriage where she was treated like a ‘household appliance’ and getting back in the dating game,” said Joan Price, author of the books Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud About Senior Sex and The Ultimate Guide to Sex After 50. “But her new relationship, while it sounds comfortable and affectionate, doesn’t sound sexually fulfilling.”
This relationship doesn’t just sound unfulfilling sexually, SAP, it sounds infuriating generally. You entered into this relationship under false pretenses. You let your partner know that “an ongoing interest in maintaining sexual relations” was a priority for you, and he allowed you to believe it was a priority for him. In fairness to him, SAP, he may not have known himself to be incapable of sustaining a strong sexual connection, seeing as he’s been single for most of his life. But even if he wasn’t aware he couldn’t meet your needs then, that doesn’t change the fact that you aren’t valued/fucked the way you want to be valued/fucked now.
“I think her best option is to stay friends with this guy but start dating and having sex with others,” said Price. “She could continue to have occasional sex with this man if they both agree to a nonexclusive, friends-with-benefits arrangement. Or they could become platonic pals, if that’s better for them. But it’s imperative that she talk candidly with him.”
You write that you tried to “carefully broach the subject, but he was not forthcoming,” but Price wonders whether you were forthcoming yourself. “‘Carefully broach’ usually means ‘I was vague,’” said Price. “Suppose, instead, she said, ‘I really value you, but I don’t think we’re well-matched sexually. How can we adjust our relationship so we’re not putting sexual pressure on each other and we’re both free to find other sexual outlets?’”
Your partner has an outlet that works for him and pretty much meets all his needs – porn and his own hand – but you don’t have an outlet that provides you with the feeling of being desired and valued sexually. Watching porn and/or “taking care of yourself” isn’t going to meet your needs. So the question is this: Do you have to exit this loving relationship to get your needs met, or can you stay with your current partner, a man who meets your emotional and social needs, while getting your sexual needs met elsewhere?
“SAP deserves a partner who matches her sexually,” said Price. And I agree.
If you’re telling yourself that you’ll have to settle for someone who claims he can’t perform for you because you’re not unstable enough to turn him on – you do realize that compliment he paid you (you’re so good!) was actually a dishonest bit of blame-shifting/responsibility-dodging, right? – then you’re selling yourself short.
“I know from personal experience and from the swelling of my inbox that many of us find hot, fabulous sexual partners in our 60s, 70s, and beyond,” said Price. “It’s never too late. She shouldn’t settle for sex that’s less than satisfying, and neither should he. If that means she looks for new partners and he returns to his solo pleasure with the porn he prefers and the hand that knows him best, they might both be happier.”
Follow Joan Price on Twitter @JoanPrice. She blogs about sex and aging at NakedAtOurAge.com.