In the conversations about sex and seniors, few people talk about a big problem in aging and that’s impotence. The causes of impotence are many, from prostate problems, circulatory difficulties, movement disabilities, and lack of confidence because sex takes more time and patience and isn’t like the good old days. Still, it isn’t talked about the way it needs to be.
Sex problems cross all generations but the hope of solving them is lessened with age. While a man still thinks about women with lust in his heart, as Spencer Tracy so eloquently said in the film Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner when talking about his continuing love for Katherine Hepburn who played his wife in the film. Older men have memories, but they would rather have the continuing sex experience and they may say kissing, talking, and holding hands is enough, not quite so eloquently as Tracy did in the movies, but they worry nonetheless and need to talk about it.
So here are several suggestions. Don’t wait for the problem to get so bad that it can’t be discussed, moreover, after consulting your doctor you can start with medications like hyper male force that can help you tackle this problem. If sex remains difficult for an extended period of a month, that’s ample time to figure out that the problem isn’t going away. The best time, however, to talk about sexual dysfunction is even before it begins. Talk about it soon and cover the “what ifs” One of the “what ifs” is the difficulty in performing. A couple needs to face what that might mean and talk about options once they reach late middle age. Visit a doctor and talk about the issue as a team. Talk about possible solutions with a trained specialist who has special education in sex problems and is able to provide counseling and deal with seniors temperamentally and through experience.
Finally, seek comfort and moments of physical sharing where both the man and woman can hold each other and feel that physical connection that may be resisted when the issue is sex and the problems of performance. Take the stress away as much as possible from physical performance and instead cultivate physical affection. Assure one another that love continues with physical contact even without the great highs of arousal because of the emotional satisfaction that comes from physical contact. Men have trouble talking about sex when they have difficulties, so grandma needs to initiate activity, when necessary, as a first step to see what other actions need to be taken.
Medications for impotence can make a difference with some men, and for others, they might not work after a while. So along the way the conversations need to continue with plenty of support to discuss feelings. If a man feels angry or frustrated, these are natural responses to the loss that is felt, so this is the test of patience in a relationship. After awhile the conversations will be enriched with physical contact that doesn’t threaten either the man or woman with having to prove anything.
The decline in sexual function is difficult for both the man and woman, however, the replacement of affection that takes place when each supports the other and talks through feelings, recognizes options, and maintains close physical contact can maintain a solid relationship for seniors. The loss needs to be managed with understanding and compassion through which great love is always enriched.