Our Time: Sex after 50: Myth or machines? - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Our Time: Sex after 50: Myth or machines?

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Posted: Sunday, December 21, 2008 9:00 pm | Updated: 10:53 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

I love writing about sex.

So many of you get your knickers in knots over the topic.

For example, last week, I reminded you that the Rev. Ed Young wants husbands and wives among his flock of 20,000 to strengthen their unions through seven days of sex.

The pastor says it’s time to put God back in the bed — unless, of course, you are single, in which case he suggests, “try eating chocolate cake.”

The pastor talked about being an example for children, about restoring intimacy.

And then I discussed “senior sex,” if you will, which is rarely mentioned in homilies. We don’t expect older people to think much about sex, I opined, despite all those TV commercials for Viagra, Cialis and other ED solutions.

I got the expected e-mail from Tanya, who told me I am a typical liberal elitist journalist trying to undermine the “call to the faithful to turn this country toward righteousness.”

Sex is a serious topic, she said, and “there’s nothing funny about the pastor’s plea for his congregation to find joy in themselves.”

OK. So I expected that. Especially the “liberal elitist media,” whatever that is.

But I didn’t expect the e-mail from Mr. Anon, who wrote about having several decades of happy married life but “we have not had sex in about six years.” Not his fault, of course. His wife’s health problem.

Mr. Anon points out the pastor isn’t going far enough in encouraging sex.

Americans have conflicted, guilt-ridden attitudes toward sex stemming largely from the Judeo-Christian tradition that sex is either sacred in marriage or profane outside marriage, he says.

The Chinese, on the other hand, regard sex as indispensable to human health. That’s why this fella — in his seventh decade — has a “Chinese girlfriend” he meets three times a month. She tells him he’s the only man in her life and he believes her.

Sometimes he takes a Chinese herbal pill, but otherwise he’s a stud-muffin.

And he loves his wife, of course. They once had a great sex life. If something happened to her, he will date women younger than 50 because older women carry too much baggage and have current family ties.

Ah, Mr. Anon! What an open-minded, avante garde adulterer you are.

Then there’s the wife who wrote to bemoan “older men who have lost interest in sex and their wives. It’s been almost seven years since I have had it and it is destroying my morale. That coupled with other family problems and losses and I find myself wondering why I go on.”

She asks me if I have advice. Well, in her book, “Sex and the Seasoned Woman,” author Gail Sheehy suggests women in such circumstances acquire a “BOB” (battery operated boyfriend). Self-gratification is OK after 50, Sheehy says. Also cheaper and easier than gussying up for a guy.

But my favorite is the senior woman who huzzahs the pastor and says she dates regularly.

She also has a longtime lover on the side. He likes to “do it,” but he’s not much for friends and family social affairs. So she brings dates to those affairs and keeps her honey closeted, so to speak.

Here’s my question about these — and other — e-mails: No one wrote to say their married love life is terrific in seniorhood. The only seniors I heard from are singles or flingles.

“I tell you, the married couples aren’t doing it,” says my senior friend who’s an authority on dating. “It’s all talk.”

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