I have been clicking around on the internet again, looking for sites that offer quality relationship and sex advice. What I’m seeing is this: a lot of bullshit. Articles about how to make your marriage hot–keep it, make it, renew it. Have the best sex of your life. Rekindle your passion.  Add some spice. Illustrated with pictures of unrealistically sexy couples in their 20s. 

The message that I’m reading is a super HOT relationship with a steamy sex life is not only possible, but it’s probable, for YOU with your current partner. Granted, you may have to spend some money–buy a book, coaching, a course. But it will work, money back guarantee!

Meanwhile, here you and I are, over 50, and with some real life problems in our relationships and sex lives. Learning how to make anal sex more comfortable is not really what we are looking for. (Well…maybe that’s Chapter 2 of the story.)

Some of us have great relationships and fulfilling sex in our 50s and beyond. But some of us are struggling with our relationship and with sex, even if the years of love are largely in tact. It would be nice to have a HOT marriage but here’s our reality: our partner is the opposite of hot right now. In fact, they are busy, depressed, ill, addicted, in pain, distracted and just plain not interested. And it does take two. It takes two to go to counseling. It takes two to want a better relationship. It takes two to heal the past. It takes two to increase emotional intimacy. It takes two to heal from illness and even think about exploring a better sex life.

I need sex advice that meets me where I am at right now–hot flashes and all. Sure, I remember HOT sex. I’ve had some hot encounters and adventures. But that’s not my reality today. 

I tried to explain this to my 20-something hairdresser. He and I talk about sex quite a bit. I said, sex is different now, it changes as you get older. He asked me, how is it different? I told him, I’m having sex less often, and that’s okay (most of the time), because when we do have sex, it’s more intense. Any emotional barriers are completely gone. It’s just he and I, doing a dance that we know and love. It can be quieter, it can be rowdier. We don’t talk about details, because we just are. The quantity has decreased and the quality has increased.

DH and I have also had periods in our relationship where sex was not happening at all. I felt panicky at first, and then incredibly lonely. My self-esteem dipped because I thought his lack of interest must have something to do with me and my body. I felt hollow, confused, frustrated. The lack of physical intimacy was like nothing I’d encountered before in our marriage, and it wasn’t something I could have predicted.

It’s not just 50-somethings that have sexless periods or chronic sexless marriages. It happens to couples of any age. Again, it takes two to relight a pilot light, and if you as a couple have fought your way out of that place together, I commend both of you. If your partner is not interested in relighting any kind of light, not even a tiny tealight candle, I feel for you and wish it were easier to cure this malady. 

My point: There is not a one-size-fits-all advice column
for those of us over 50.

My advice: Find a book or blog or whatever that resonates
with you. Ignore the rest of the bullshit.

I would love it if my husband read a technique-heavy “20 ways to delight her with oral sex” article, but frankly, he has never been a fan of oral, to my dismay. And Lord, he has tried. That ship sailed long ago, and it’s not good for my relationship to be pining away that I am not on board that boat. I have my own boat and my own ocean. I work with what I have–the amount and type of sex, the daily grind of a long-term relationship with its joys and worries, and the wonderful partner that I have today. 

I’m not seeking HOT anymore. I am seeking a warm and loving, emotionally intimate relationship where I have a warm embrace for this season of my life and white-hot coals in the bedroom that give off occasional sparks. This is what I write about, and advice-givers who understand this have my whole-hearted support and appreciation.

Kay’s Shopping List while looking for Sex Advice After 50:

  1. Images of people my age
  2. More than sex techniques
  3. Acknowledgement of the emotional aspect to sex
  4. Research or scientific facts 
  5. Acknowledgement of my daily life and challenges I face
  6. Acknowledgement of physical changes as I age
  7. Acknowledgement that sex is about your mind and your relationship as much as–or more than!–the physical act itself

I will start composing a Top Ten list of sites that you and I can actually get quality sex advice from. Stay tuned! If you have favorite sites, or favorite book authors, leave me a note in the comments. I’d love to hear what you have found as well.