Ask Joan: How can I Please My Wife?

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A reader writes:

My wife and I, both 60, have been married for 22 years. We each had other relationships before our marriage. My wife’s sexual peak – the time she calls “the window” – happened before we met. Our relationship is good, but I ache over missing out on my wife’s peak “window.” I can’t compete with the experiences she had before we met.

“There’s not much worse than knowing other men sexually satisfied your loved one, when you can’t consistently do so.”

Orgasm is rare for her now. She says she doesn’t mind, but I don’t fully trust that’s true. I’m a guy. There’s not much worse than knowing other men sexually satisfied your loved one, when you can’t consistently do so.

While in “the window,” she was able to climax quickly. She’s one of the small percentage of women who climaxes from intercourse alone. At her peak, it only took a minute or so. The man didn’t need to last long to get her to the happy place. I, however, have never been able to last very long. Now that she takes longer to climax, I feel I’m letting her down.

We have plenty of foreplay and I’m happy and willing to do whatever, however long, to please her. But intercourse is the thing that does it for her. She likes using a clitoral vibrator during intercourse, and she gains more pleasure after I’ve ejaculated. She says that her potential to climax begins after the penis becomes more flaccid. The movement and feel of the penis are more pleasurable to her when it’s less rigid. Unfortunately, at this age, mine becomes too flaccid to continue soon after ejaculation. For men in their younger years, continuing intercourse after ejaculation is hardly a challenge, but that miracle of youth isn’t in the cards for me.

Do you have any suggestions to help a man last longer, and/or reduce a woman’s time to climax? Or some way for a man to continue even after he has climaxed? Or am I asking the wrong questions?

Joan responds:

You’re asking two important questions:

  1. How do you cope with the feelings that you missed out on your wife’s sexual peak and can’t give her the satisfaction she experienced with others?
  2. How can you satisfy your wife whose primary pleasure is continuing intercourse after you ejaculate and become soft?

#1: Your wife’s sexual sensations and responses have changed – this happens to all of us. No, she can’t return to her “window,” but she’s not the one fighting that – you are! Success in and out of the bedroom depends on our accepting that aging changes us, and that’s okay. Fighting the inevitable changes just produces anxiety and whittles away at the pleasure that is ours lifelong if we accept, adapt, and go on.

It’s great that you can talk openly about your past sex lives. Your wife says she accepts her changes. Questioning her truthfulness because you’re a “guy” just drives a wedge in your relationship. You’re not in competition with the lovers of her youth! She chose you as her husband, her lover, her partner in life. Your distress is understandable, but it doesn’t serve you or your relationship. Work on letting go of your insecurity and envy of her past. If you can’t do this on your own, a therapist can help.

#2: I like that you end your email with “Or am I asking the wrong questions?” Yes, I think you are. The issue, as I see it, is not finding a technique to keep your penis going after it tells you, “That’s it, I’m done.” It’s not finding tricks to speed up your wife’s orgasm, as she seems to enjoy the journey. Let’s look at alternatives to intercourse, other ways to continue.

Alternatives to Intercourse

  • Once you’re too flaccid to continue intercourse, try switching from penis to fingers, keeping the clitoral vibrator going as well. Ask for feedback about what kind of motion gives her most pleasure.
  • If she prefers a penis shape instead of fingers in her vagina, enlist her help in choosing a dildo that will keep the motion going. A smallish dildo or a soft packer* might work best to replicate a penis that has lost its firmness.

[*A “soft packer” looks and feels like a flaccid penis. It’s worn as a prosthetic by trans and gender non-binary folks to create a realistic bulge in the pants. I use one to demonstrate how to put a condom on a flaccid penis in my “Safer Sex for Seniors with Joan Price” video.]

For help choosing a flaccid penis substitute, I consulted Andy Duran, Education Director at Good Vibrations, a high quality, education-focused sex toy retailer that is welcoming to seniors. Educator Andy, as he is known, suggested these solutions:

“Penetration can be done pretty easily with a soft packer, especially the dual density silicone packers. A dual density silicone dildo is another option, but it may feel more like a fully erect penis. Consider also a “stand to pee” (STP) packer with a hollow core, into which you can insert fingers for firmer penetration.”

I hope this helps. Take delight in the joy of your marriage and let go of competing with the past!

Joan Price has been Senior Planet’s “Sex at Our Age” columnist since 2014. She is the author of four self-help books about senior sex, including her award winners: “Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex” and “Sex after Grief: Navigating Your Sexuality after Losing Your Beloved.” Visit Joan’s website and blog for senior sex news, views, tips, and sex toy reviews from a senior perspective. Subscribe to Joan’s free, monthly newsletter.

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