George and Harriet
Recap: George and Harriet are a happily married couple. They have not had sex in 5 years and George one day brings home the little blue pill. He expected sex to just happen. Harriet is apprehensive and scared. They try to have sex and it was miserable. Now there is tension and they haven’t brought it up again. That was six months ago.
At George’s follow-up appointment, he explains the situation.
I explain to George that sex at 60 is very different from what it was in their younger years. It may seem obvious, but many men think that they can pick up where they left off when it comes to sexual activity. And some couples may have not have had sex for many years because of different reasons. To assume that sex will be as it was in their 20s or even in their 40s is an unfair and unrealistic expectation.
I explain to George how women are different from men when it comes to sex. Again, it sounds intuitive, but understanding the differences can bring to light an already complicated and confusing process.
I asked George to bring Harriet to his next appointment. More importantly, I schedule an appointment with the sex therapist alone and then together as a couple. Sex therapy is good for everyone. It is not necessarily marriage counseling (although obviously, topics regarding the marriage are touched on), but more on sex therapy. Sexual communication is also explained and techniques are taught. Sexual communication is distinct and different from other communication, and it is a skill that most people need to learn. It is also a skill that is easily ignored. Marriage counseling also does not necessarily touch on sex. So there is benefit in seeing a sex therapist.
Next I see Harriet alone and discuss with her her needs and issues. Then we all come together and come up with a sexual plan. There is no pill to make this all better. It requires communication and work from the couple, and it may take weeks to months to get them to their goal. But it is doable.
After the appointment, George and Harriet are getting on the same page. They are not there, yet. They require continued work with the sex therapist and follow-up visits with me to teach them techniques, and progress is made slowly.
At the end, it is their goal as a couple and a revival of their sexual relationship that is accomplished.
Posted 12:53 PM
My friends and I gather at Alterra at the Lake on a cold Sunday morning. We try to get together at least once a month, to catch up —what everyone has been up to since the last coffee klatch, who had a bad date, who is on the road to date number two, who lost weight, who gained weight, what’s going on at work, who hates their job, what is going on with our significant others and our pets.
We are arguably the most animated table in the coffee shop, hands are flying, the laughter is infectious, three conversations going on at once, coffee cups with varying degrees of consumption decorate the table. The energy is palpable.
We are quite a sight I’m sure; a veritable Benetton commercial. We have a red-head, two blonds, several brunettes, a straight Catholic guy, a gay Jewish guy, a married Asian girl (that’s me), two Lutherans (Missouri and Wisconsin synods both represented), an Episcopalian by marriage, a born-again Christian.
Republicans and Democrats break bread together. Four of us are married, four singles, several of us have children (one human, seven canines, three felines, and there may be a hawk thrown in there somewhere), one actively dating, one pining, one in a new relationship, and one recently broken up.
There are two doctors, a nurse, several computer-somethings or other, several in sales and marketing, an ex-real estate mogul, and a straight opera singer from New Jersey.
The conversations flow continuously, and we hit one person at a time covering the recent event in our lives.
At any given point during this soiree, the one constant that is always a topic of conversation is sex. It may be a casual, short, to-the-point question: Did you get any? It can be deep and borderline philosophical: When does the line between friendship and love blur, and does it necessarily involve a sexual relationship?
It also never ceases to amaze me that it doesn’t matter whether we are single, married, gay, straight, in or out of a relationship, there is always a sexual question, a titillating controversy or intrigue, a carnal pearl to share.
And so to my coffee klatch friends, this is my ode to you.
What I have learned about sex, I learned from my friends:
I am blessed to have them.
They come in different shapes and sizes.
Religion and politics can mix.
You need to keep the connection constant.
You sometimes have to schedule them.
It takes work to make them happen.
You make them a priority.
Sometimes you need to be encouraged and sometimes you do the encouraging.
Sometimes chemicals are involved (coffee, chocolate, alcohol, Viagra …)
Sometimes they get sassy, sometimes they are sweet and gentle.
Sometimes you are the active participant, sometimes more passive.
Although it can happen, it is rarely a dull moment.
When life gets busy and you don’t make it to a meeting one time, you try and try to make it to the next.
You need to be flexible, both in the true and literal sense of the word.
There may be tears or laughter involved.
There may be some apologizing.
There may be some screaming.
There may be praises and clapping and pivoting.
And, finally, even though you don’t feel like it and you have a million things to do after, the benefits achieved from participating are priceless.
Posted 8:30 AM
The holidays have come and gone. I should hope that we have spent some time with our significant others and nourished the relationships with the people we care about.
Intimacy can mean so many things. And with the craziness of the holidays, there may be more yelling and bickering than kissing and hugging. But intimacy can be as simple as holding hands, a “thanks” for the efforts made to make the holidays special, giving your partner the last piece of pie.
A new year has started, and it's time to turn a new leaf for many people. Resolutions are made. Among the common ones (I, too, am guilty) are to lose weight, eat healthier, exercise more, be more productive at work. Please include:
- smile at your partner more
- kiss just because
- argue less
- talk more
- praise your partner more in front of him/her and to other people
They are free, have no calories, can actually burn calories, and the results are priceless.
||The following is feedback received for this blog:|
Love the upbeat encouragment to be found on this blog. Thanks a bunch!!
- VICKI RADDANT
Posted 1:19 PM