Q. I'm 58 and I've been married for twenty-seven years. It seems that as I age my sexual appetite increases, while my man’s decreases! Sometimes I feel like I'm a disgusting, grasping vulva who’s pestering this nice, disinterested gentleman to throw me a bone (no pun intended.) It's crappy.

Is this how men get with age?


A. No! It’s natural with age for men to have a lessened erectile ability and to lose some of the hormone that influences sex drive, but men who enjoy and value sex, intimacy, and passion usually stay sexually active all of their lives.

Before we address the physiological issues of sex and aging, let’s talk about the even more important one: the way this situation has you feeling about yourself.

Feeling disgusting because you want sex, feeling that he sees you distastefully as a body part and not a whole person, is incredible painful and harmful. It is normal, healthy and beautiful that you want sex, and he is a very fortunate man that you desire him as your partner. Get that clear in your head and heart right now. Nothing good can come of this situation unless you shake those negating feelings off and validate your inner sexual goddess.

Please read my pages on Aging, Body Image,and Communication: you may find insights there about what’s going on with him. He may be feeling less desire because of hormone diminishment and lessened erectile functioning, a youth-culture damaged body image, or other reasons. None of them need to prevent a happy sex life, but they do need compassionate addressing if they're an obstacle. His work is to understand this. Your work is to feel good about your own sexual desire and to open the door to communication with him.


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Shain Stodt is the founder of Informed About Sex and the founder/moderator of the Facebook page Radical Women Talk Sex. A Sex Educator (IASHS), author, and community activist,  Shain became involved in sex education with the New York Women's Center, where she worked with the pioneering Abortion and Birth Control Outreach project and lectured on sex education in the public school system. Shain also developed sexuality workshops for the Women's Center and other feminist organizations, and hosted a local cable program on sexual issues in New York City. She lives in North Carolina.

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