“DEAR DR EVE
I am close to 60 years old and for the first time, I am admitting to anyone
that I have never had a satisfactory sexual life. And I just can’t go into
my old age this way. I am lonely in my marriage, with a wife who is busy,
runs a good home and looks after our children well. But I feel neglected,
emotionally, and sexually. Sex has always been begging from me and
the kind of sex we have had has been the same for the last 30 years.
Can you find me a companion, a woman, who can be my friend and also
have good sex?
DR EVE REPLIES :
“Jeremiah, I appreciate you recognising the value and importance of
intimacy, connection and sexuality in one’s life. I admire your honesty in
acknowledging the overall impact that this loss has had on your life. And
finally, as you enter the Autumn of your life, you are grieving openly for
the loss of sexual pleasure and emotional intimacy.
I am not going to address the ethics of your request – this is not in any
way my place. I withhold judgment on how seeking for a new partner
feels like a way out of these feelings of loneliness, neglect, and even
betrayal. It shows me how you are hurting and suffering with the
loss of this part of your life.
I invite you to think about your acknowledgement of this loss as a part of
the grieving process. Grief is about the loss of expectations. And you like
many, many people, get into a relationship/marriage, with the
expectation of sexuality being part of that deal. It is an unsaid agreement
-unless otherwise agreed by a couple- that part of the
marriage/significant relationship commitment that is made, is that sexual
activity will happen. Certainly, monotheistic religions state that sexuality
is an essential part of marriage.
And yet the reality is very different. In two parts.
One is on the part of frequency, i.e. quantity of sexual activity, and the
other is on quality of sexuality.
Sexual activity can naturally be expected to diminish in frequency as two
people become more domesticated and familiar with each other. And at
various times there will be expected dips in frequency such as pre and
post-natal, small children at home, illness, medications, accidents,
traumas such as infidelity and family or financial matters. But the
expectations remain there .. and cause tension when one partner desires
sexual activity . or even when the discrepancy in desire is too wide.
Grief begins: anger, despair, denials, bargaining, depression and
acceptance happen .. and then happen repeatedly. This leads to
disconnection and disconnection leads to lower interest in sexual activity
with each other.
Then the quality of sexual activity: Consider Jeremiah, and what you expect
from sexual activity. Perhaps your expectations are driven by porn, locker
room chatter with other men, movies, and social media. Or your own previous
sexual experiences. I wonder if you have ever expressed your desires to
your wife – and she to you- or have both of you remained silent
and locked into sexual dissatisfaction?!
Please know that I do not undermine your loss and yearning for a full
experience of intimacy. Yearning is a desire to reach out and grab what
one has lost. I hope you find what resolves your grief and offers you a
fuller experience of life.”