09 Jan Q&A-How Much Sex Do You Want?
This isn’t my typical Q&A as this reader figured out her issues on her own, with the help of a great doctor. Her doctor was able to give her sound advice about her low libido which included tips on using vibrators.
I’m grateful for the service you perform in talking about sexuality in midlife and after. I have something to share that might have value for others, as it saved my sex life! And it’s pretty simple.
I’m 60 and healthy, although I had a complete hysterectomy, a few years ago. I’m not on any prescription meds, and I exercise, meditate, sleep properly, etc.
I recently talked with my doctor about not enjoying sex – I couldn’t climax and I didn’t feel ANYTHING, not even with a good strong vibrator. I began avoiding intimacy with my sweet husband. I mean, he was willing to do anything, where I wanted and as long as I wanted, but it was not worth it to me as orgasms seemed a thing of the past.
My doctor checked my hormone levels. They were normal. She told two things: one, that the clitoral nerve endings are kind of delicate, and if you use too intense of a vibrator (or endless rubbing or whatever) you can make them go numb for a while. She said “let it rest for a couple of weeks. The nerve endings will come back. You just have to give it time.” I did, and they did!
The second thing we do now is to “wait for my sap to rise.” Although my husband is randy a time or two a week, and I’ll help him with that, I only get horny about twice a month – and yes, it does happen! And when it does, I’ll tell him. If I start feeling sexual, I refrain from relieving myself in any way except with husband. That makes it kind of fun, knowing if I want an orgasm, I have to go to him for it. And wow, he’s always thrilled when I say, “You know, I think tomorrow I’d like to snuggle.” We have so much fun now!
After seeing the doctor, I told my husband, “I think I want sex about twice a month, and in between, I’ll help you. But I don’t want to feel any pressure or guilty that I’m not good to you, just because it’s not my deal any more often than that.” He so very earnestly agreed. Now, it’s like our secret formula for success. Coming back from a place where we thought I’d never orgasm again, we’re very happy! I had to stop myself from sending my doctor a dozen roses, and settled for a grateful email instead.
Thanks for listening,
Laura (not her real name)
Yea!! I love that you are proactive about your sex life. And, that you and your husband could communicate about this. You’ve got a great guy there. Having sex, when he’s in the mood but you’re not, can help build intimacy with the right mindset. The pleasure of giving is just as important as receiving. So, kudos.
I want to make a few comments—not to criticize but to offer more information. The doctor was absolutely right about the clitoris being sensitive. And, women can become aroused by stimulating areas around the clit–not just on the head. A vibrator, fingers or tongue can tease and arouse by applying varied pressure, grazing the clitoris directly at times, caressing the labia, the entrance to the vagina and exploring all areas in and around genitals. When thinking about arousal sex it is important to focus on all erogenous zones, which include non-genital parts of the body.
Achieving an orgasm is not like tackling a problem–we don’t just grab the power tool and rush to get that clitoris humming. We want to warm up, to feel arousal build, not just in that one spot, but throughout our bodies. I would suggest that Laura take some private time for a sexual exploration–not to have an orgasm but to pleasure her body in much the same way a massage therapist might do so. Get a good lube and lock the door- touch and explore to see what feels good. And if arousal comes and you have an orgasm great–but do not judge your sexual desire on whether you come or not. My experience has been that arousal leads to more arousal. When I create arousal I am more likely to want more. So, getting a little aroused in the hours before having sex is helpful, something echoed by the experts. As Betty Dodson says, “sex is adult play”.
And having offered those thoughts, you are the only one who can really determine what you want or need. Laura seems very clear on her patterns of desire and she’s communicating comfortably with her husband. She knows exactly how much sex she wants. This proactive stance is working for her!
If you a question you’d like to ask me, you can write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.