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Comic Sound EffectsWho knew that sex in mid-life was fraught with so many perils? I learned the hard way a few years ago when I mistook my husband’s howl from a hamstring cramp for a mind-blowing orgasm. God, I’m good, I remember thinking. Haven’t lost it. I felt smug until he rolled off the bed and assumed the fetal position, writhing on the floor. Can I be that good, I wondered? When the moans continued long after any orgasm I’d ever witnessed, I was forced to concede that injury had trumped pleasure. Welcome to the hazards of mid-life sex.

I was divorced in my thirties and single for about eighteen years, so I was used to single sex – you know, lots of spontaneity, a variety of partners, lust that distracted me from routine daily chores. When I remarried in my fifties, it coincided with the onslaught of the aches, pains and other indignities of mid-life. Sexual positions were no longer dictated by what was most exciting. Instead foreplay was punctuated with questions like “Is that ok on your knees?” or “Are you sure you can you still do that with your thighs?”

And remember the excitement of sex in exotic settings – like the fitting room in Bloomingdales? The back seat of the Cherokee? Or the rest stop on the way to the beach? (Don’t worry, I don’t really remember it either.)

Well, sex in mid-life means you’d better pack the Cialis and a trough of Astroglide. Say adieu to primitive, impetuous couplings and hello to “How about Wednesday night after yoga class, say 7:30?”

Then there’s the staggering cost of erections and lubrication. When Viagra first hit the market at $10 a pill I thought that the price alone would cause erectile dysfunction. It’s now quadrupled in cost. Add the bill for women’s estrogen-based prescription lubricants now creeping up to $300 for a measly 42.5-gram tube and I figure each time a mid-life couple has sex it costs about $70. You have to think long and hard about that, no pun intended. Whose retirement budget can absorb the runaway expense of firm, moist grappling? Will sex after mid-life become unaffordable to the masses? What will we substitute for it – bingo? Pickleball? Say it isn’t so!

Not long ago I heard about a 60-something couple that was frolicking in the hot tub on a vacation. Dangerously (it turns out) overweight, he keeled over from a massive heart attack mid-thrust and fell on top of his wife, pinning her to the bottom of the tub. Wham, bam, just like that, both deceased. True story. Some would say not a bad way to go but I would prefer death with a dash more dignity. Preferably in a fashionable tennis outfit with my hair newly highlighted.

But surely there are ways to still have sweaty, panting, satisfying relations with minimal cost and low risk of injury, even at the delicate age of fifty-plus. I’m afraid pickle ball is looking better and better.

 

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Was That An Orgasm Or An Aneurysm? A Guide to Sex After 50 was last modified: by