Q: What do you think of an age difference of 25 years? I am 68 and female, and he is 43. Great sex, great intimacy, almost everything I was hoping for all my life. But I can't help thinking it is wrong.
A: Obviously you're not going to have children, and whether or not he's had any in the past, I don't think at his age it's uppermost in his mind. You're both adults, so if you're both enjoying the relationship, I would say go right ahead.
However, I would caution you with regard to financial matters. Just as some young women date older men — so-called sugar daddies — the same thing could be happening here. You certainly can be generous with presents if you like. That shouldn't concern you. I'd just make sure that you aren't too generous with the inheritance of your children (assuming you have any). You shouldn't allow lust for this man to cloud your judgment.
I understand your feelings of it being wrong, but since he's not a youngster, either, I'd tell you to push them aside and enjoy yourself.
Q: My boyfriend and I have been together for nine months, and we have always had excellent sex — the best I've ever had! The problem is, he is very well endowed. When he's hard, he gets to about 9 inches plus, and I tend to be pretty tight, as I'm a very small person.
While the sex is fantastic, we often find that if he can't orgasm pretty soon, it becomes very painful for me, and we usually end up having to stop. Help!
What are some ways we can have more enjoyable sex for both of us, without me feeling raw and dry after 20 minutes of the best sex ever?
A: I'm sure if you are aroused when you start to have intercourse that your vagina is very well lubricated. But your natural lubrication either may not offer enough protection from the beginning, or you may not be able to produce a continuous supply, so that after a time there is not enough lubrication and you wind up in pain.
So, my advice is to use artificial lubrication to support your natural lubrication. Don't be afraid to use a lot of it. And think of the process of applying it as part of your lovemaking rather than an interruption. If you do it lovingly, it definitely can add to your pleasure rather than detract from it. Let me know what happens.
Q: Does menopause cause changes in the sensations of orgasms?
A: I can't give you a simple yes or no answer, for several reasons. First of all, women react differently to menopause. And there are psychological components that have an effect that, while triggered by menopause, aren't controlled by it.
Certainly if a woman expects to lose sensation, she probably will. But many women report that sex after menopause is much better, so you see there is no hard and fast rule.
And you should be aware that the female hormones that you lose from menopause are actually considered to hinder a woman's sex drive, and many young women report feeling most aroused at a time of the month when their body is producing the fewest amount of female hormones.
Q: I'm a 19-year-old girl and have never been in a relationship with a guy. I am attracted to them, and I'll flirt with them, but as soon as they ask me out, I immediately pull back and am never the same around them.
I like the idea of a guy being attracted to me — it makes me more confident — but when I am around them and I know they like me, I'm uncomfortable. I live at home with my parents. I'm not sure whether this is a factor. My older brother has had a girlfriend nonstop since he was 14. He moved out to live with her a couple of years ago. He has been kind of a "troublemaker" his whole life. I am worried that the reason I am afraid to date is because if I do, I'll be more like my brother and will disappoint my parents. I have spent a lot of time trying to figure myself out.
A: Psychologists try to analyze what is going on inside a person's head, as you are trying to do. However, I am not a psychologist; I am a behavioral therapist. My goal is to help people by getting them to act.
So, my suggestion to you would be the next time you get asked out, organize a group date so that you wouldn't be going out one-on-one with this young man, and would be going with other friends. See if that makes it easier, and then see if you can later progress from a group date to a one-on-one date.
Dr. Ruth Westheimer is author of "Dr. Ruth's Sex After 50" (Quill Driver Books) and "Sex for Dummies" (IDG Books). Write to Dr. Ruth at drruth.com.
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