Q My husband and I would love to introduce some sex toys into our sex life, but we're not sure where to begin. We've looked at toys online, but we don't even know how to use some of them! We're both in our early 40s, but new to sex toys. What do you suggest we start with?
A What if you came from some far off land where there wasn’t any ice cream and you asked me which flavor to try? My answer would be to try as many as possible and see which ones became your favorites. My answer to your question is the same. And don’t worry about knowing how to use a sex toy. Learning is part of the fun. My only serious advice here is that if one partner decides at some point that he or she doesn’t like a particular sex toy, it gets tossed out of the bedroom. Sex toys are for mutual pleasure so if there are some that don’t fit that description, they don’t belong in your toy chest. But other than that, use them as directed or make up your own uses for them. As long as they bring you extra pleasure, then great. There are no sex toy police so the only thing that matters is that you both find their use pleasurable
Editors Note: Read PTA Mom's very funny story about those very popular Sex Toy Parties!
Is my vagina blocked?
Q I've been a widow for the past 3 years and just began a relationship with a wonderful man. I'm 57 and he's 60. The first time we had sex it hurt. I was very much aroused and wet. He was only able to go so far in me but it seemed like there was a barrier that couldn't be broken! The second time was a little better but the barrier was still there. Is this normal? Does the saying "practice makes perfect" mean just that in my case? Do you have any solutions?
A First of all, you might have thought you were as lubricated as in the past, but weren’t, at least not sufficiently so to allow for penetration. So the first thing you should do is get some lubricant and see if that does the trick.
If it doesn’t, then the problem may be that you are a bit nervous about having sex, or maybe guilty because you still feel loyal to your deceased husband, and so are unconsciously tightening your vaginal muscles. But since the lubricant might help with that also, try using a lubricant and see what happens. If you’re still having difficulties after a week or so of trying with the lubricant, then you should make an appointment to see a sex therapist.
Why Doesn’t He Want to Have Intercourse?
Q. I am dating a wonderful man who is 20+ years my senior. I am a 49-year-old woman. We have been dating for 3 years. In the beginning, there was a great interest in the physical relationship. Now he does not have intercourse with me. There are no physical problems on his end. I have mentioned it to him, but he said he has a lot of stress. He sold his business and made a great deal of money so i would think the stress has diminished. What could it be?
A. Stress takes many forms. Maybe the fact that he doesn’t have a business could be making him feel like he’s not useful any more, that his life is pretty much over and that could be very stressful. Or maybe he’s worried about his former employees. Or maybe the stress has nothing to do with his business and he’s noticed that he has developed some erectile difficulty and is trying to hide it by not having sex with you.
And if he has any sort of heart condition that makes a drug like Viagra not an option, that could be very stressful. You should talk to him some more about this. If you care enough about him that you’re able to say that you don’t want to put pressure on him to have sex, but just don’t want to feel that it’s your fault, then maybe he’ll open up to you. On the other hand, if you feel the need for sex, maybe you’re going to have to move on.
About Dr. Ruth
Dr. Ruth Westheimer is a psychosexual therapist who helped to pioneer the field of media psychology with her radio program, Sexually Speaking. It began in September of 1980 as a fifteen minute, taped show that aired Sundays after midnight on WYNY-FM (NBC) in New York. One year later it became a live, one-hour show airing at 10 PM on which Dr. Ruth, as she became known, answered call-in questions from listeners. Soon it became part of a communications network to distribute Dr. Westheimer's expertise which has included television, books, newspapers, games, home video, computer software and her own website, www.drruth.com.
Born in Germany in 1928, Dr. Westheimer was sent to a children's home in Switzerland at the age of ten which became an orphanage for most of the German Jewish students who had been sent there to escape the Holocaust. At 17 she went to Israel where she fought for that country's independence as a member of the Haganah, the Jewish freedom fighters. She then moved to Paris where she studied at the Sorbonne and taught kindergarten. She immigrated to the U.S. in 1956 where she obtained her Masters Degree in Sociology from the Graduate Faculty of the New School of Social Research. In 1970, she received a Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) in the Interdisciplinary Study of the Family from Columbia University Teacher's College.
She worked for Planned Parenthood for a time and it was that experience that prompted her to further her education in human sexuality by studying under Dr. Helen Singer Kaplan at New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center. She later participated in the program for five years as an Adjunct Associate Professor. She has also taught at Lehman College, Brooklyn College, Adelphi University, Columbia University and West Point.
Currently Dr. Westheimer is an Adjunct Professor at N.Y.U. and an Associate Fellow of Calhoun College at Yale University, where she teaches a course on the Jewish family, and a Fellow of Butler College at Princeton University, where she teaches a similar course. She is a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine and in addition to having her own private practice, she frequently lectures at universities across the country and has twice been named "College Lecturer of the Year."
Q. Why do a large percentage of women over 50 lose their sex drive? It is not just my wife, but many others that I know about who have husbands of their own. As hard as we try to satisfy them either with oral sex or straight, the results are the same. If it was just happening to me, I would blame myself.
A. There are also many women over 50 who start having the best sex of their lives. Their children are grown up and out of the house so that they have complete privacy. They don’t have to worry about getting pregnant. And they know their bodies better so are better equipped to have orgasms. I know that as a woman ages she undergoes hormonal changes, but there seems to be no scientific proof that menopause causes a woman to lose her sex drive. So if your wife is having problems, along with these other wives, the likelihood is that the problem is psychological. Perhaps your relationship isn’t as good as it used to be. Maybe you don’t spend enough time being romantic when you’re not having sex. If her body has undergone physical changes, then she might be feeling vulnerable and need extra attention from you. There could be lots of reasons why a woman over 50 isn’t as responsive to sex as she used to be, but it’s as likely, or more than likely, that her partner is a bigger part of the problem than her age.