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It's his best sex ever — but not hers

By Ruth Westheimer, King Features Syndicate

12:26 PM PDT, October 2, 2012

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Q: I'm 42 and in a new relationship after being married for 20 years. The woman I am with is 36. She's had two short marriages. We met online at a site that asks a series of questions to match you to a person. For fun, we went back to answer some of the questions to see just how compatible we are. One question that sparked some concern on my part was "Is it important to you that your next long-term relationship be the best sex you have ever had?" I said yes, and she said no.

Because we are in a committed relationship (we have discussed marriage), we both were answering with each other in mind, which meant that she does not think that I am her best sex ever. I have been with only one other woman — my ex-wife. And our sex is the best ever for me. She is more experienced, and she went on to tell me about a relationship she had with a man many years ago that was only about sex. I was a bit shocked and angry that somehow she did not feel the same as I do. She asked if I wanted her to lie to me about it, and in the back of my mind, I was like, "Heck, yes."

Should I be concerned? Should you lie to save your partner's feelings? Do you think it is important for a lasting relationship to be the best sex ever?

A: I'm for white lies; however, I also think you're overreacting. There are situations where two people have incredible sex but don't really like each other. For whatever reason, they are sexually compatible but not in other ways.

Sex is important to a relationship, but if the relationship is good in other ways, and as long as both partners are sexually satisfied, the relationship should be able to blossom. And considering that as people age, their sexual functioning diminishes, at your ages other qualities should matter more. If the sex were awful, then that would be another story, but I don't think it has to score a perfect 10 for you two to have a wonderful relationship.

Q: I have been dating a man for about four months. We have a wonderful relationship, but have only had sex five times. I am trying to be patient. He says he needs to have all his ducks in a row to be able to perform. He had a stroke in 2010, but is fully recovered. He is affectionate in other ways and tells me he loves me. He is 52, I am 51.

A: As an older man, he may be having erectile difficulties. Has he talked about this with his doctor? Not every man is a candidate for Viagra or other drugs, but perhaps there is a medical solution. If he is on heart medication, that also may be a problem, both with having erections and taking Viagra. My advice is to get him to see a doctor to ask what can be done. He also may have to learn how to please you even if he doesn't want to have sex. But first get him to speak to his doctor, because maybe there is a solution and all he needs is the courage to ask his doctor about it.

Q: I have a strange issue. I am an orgasmic woman, but during sex I generally don't feel sensation prior to orgasm. If I feel any sensation, it is fleeting and/or very minimal. I've never had much of a sex drive. I don't get anything from kissing. I don't fantasize. Porn bores me. I rarely masturbate, because I don't have any sexual urges.

I know I'm going to have an orgasm because it's the only time I feel sensation! I've been aroused only once where I felt a throbbing sensation.

I was sexually abused once when I was a child, and I think that probably has something to do with it. But I'm still struggling to figure out why I can't feel pleasure and yet I can orgasm! It doesn't seem to make sense.

A: What probably is happening is that because of the abuse, your brain is making you feel guilty and so is not allowing you to enjoy the sensations. So you are getting stimulated but just not feeling it. However, having an orgasm is not entirely under your control, so there is a part of your brain that is receiving the stimulation to the point of causing an orgasm, even though you're not actively feeling it. It's as if there were a break in the wire between the sensations and your feeling of them, but the part of your brain that causes orgasms is receiving them. Basically, you need to give yourself permission to feel those sensations, and so you should see a therapist who specializes in helping people who've been sexually abused. I'm pretty sure you can be helped to overcome this, but I do think you'll need professional help to achieve the results you seek.

"Sex for Dummies" (IDG Books) is among Dr. Ruth Westheimer's most popular books. Have a question for Dr. Ruth? Write to her at drruth.com.