By Ruth Westheimer, King Features Syndicate
10:58 AM PDT, October 16, 2012
Q: I have been married for seven years, and I have an on-again, off-again sex life with my husband. I am 25 years old and was promiscuous in my teen years, but I have never had any real desire for sex.
I can orgasm when I do have sex, but I never desire it or crave it beforehand. Is there something wrong with me? How can I increase my desire?
A: Promiscuous sex usually is sex without any emotional attachment, so it seems that you taught yourself that sex and love are separate.
Assuming that you love your husband, you need to connect your emotions, your love for him, to your sexual response. Of course, if you don't love your husband, regardless of whether you once did, then that will make matters harder.
I'm not able to give you much advice, because I don't have a full understanding of the situation. You should see a therapist, perhaps a sex therapist if you do love your husband. But if you don't, or not as much as you once did, then maybe a relationship counselor would be better suited to the situation.
Q: My girlfriend and I are both 51 years old, and we each have late-teen and early-20s daughters. My friend has large breasts and very often flashes cleavage, even at work, where she is an executive. She often tells her daughters to "put them away," but then she shows hers. It also bothers me because I think it is flirting and she seems to enjoy the male attention. I also think that by your 50s, it is time to put them away. I would welcome your thoughts on this subject.
A: While young women naturally get male attention, an older woman, whose body has changed, may miss the attention she used to get and so uses whatever assets she has to get that attention. But I agree with you that during working hours, they should be "put away."
It doesn't sound like you two have had a conversation about this. I understand that this is a touchy situation and you don't want to upset her, but I'm sure you can find a way to work it into a conversation. For example, if you're out and you see some woman who is really showing a lot of cleavage, you could say something and then gently steer the conversation toward her work attire. Make sure to tell your girlfriend how much you love her breasts. (I do hope you pay them the proper attention, because it is possible that a lack of attention on your part could be partially to blame.)
Don't make a big deal out of the situation, and see what happens. You also could go with her the next time she goes shopping for clothes and offer your opinion about certain tops and their appropriateness for work.
Q: Three years ago, I felt like my sex life had finally begun, at age 35. My husband of 10 years was finally giving me great orgasms, and I thought our marriage was blossoming. And then he left me. I guess, looking back, there were warning signs, but it really blindsided me. He ended up with a much-younger girlfriend for two years, and then they broke up and he came back to me — sort of.
We are still living separately and seeing a marriage counselor, but the problem is, we are not growing close intimately at all. He doesn't try to woo me, and when I seek any kind of physical gratification at all — even holding hands! — he says he's not ready yet. We've been "working on it" for about nine months now, and I am so tired of waiting for sex to resume! What can I do to renew our closeness and get my husband into the sack?
A: You should be asking your counselor that question. I'm assuming this person speaks to both of you separately as well as together. But if you want this marriage to blossom again, and your husband is not ready for sex, I'd tell you to masturbate for a while longer so that you're not sexually frustrated but you don't pressure him too much.
My guess is that he performed better in bed because he was learning how to from this younger woman. But now he feels very guilty, so any physical contact adds to his guilt.
If this marriage is to succeed, he has to learn how to overcome this, but since you're going to a counselor, let the counselor do his or her job and provide guidance. If it ever seems like Humpty Dumpty can't be put back together again, then you'll have to move on. But for now I'd say that adding sexual pressure wouldn't be productive.
Dr. Ruth's Sex After 50" (Quill Driver Books) is Dr. Ruth Westheimer's latest book. Have a question for Dr. Ruth? Write to her at drruth.com.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate