Assisted Loving: New Beginnings

By Ginger Manley | Posted: Wednesday January 4, 2012

Dear Ginger,

I am in my 80s, and I've just celebrated my first year wedding anniversary. We were both happily married for many decades before our spouses died, and neither of us ever thought we would marry again - but miracles do happen. I just want to tell your readers that while sex is different in this stage of life, it is really good. Happy New Year!

Patricia


Dear Patricia,

You are a dear to help me find the words to begin 2012. January is always a time of new beginnings, and what better time to address renewing or updating our sexual health and wellness? As a part of that, let me invite all readers to join me for the first-ever-in-this-area series of classes – “The Journey through Aging and Sexuality” – which I will be offering through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Vanderbilt. Classes begin in Nashville on Jan. 10 and continue for six consecutive Tuesdays. We will share a great adventure exploring the meanings of sexuality in our lives, how it was shaped and shorn, the majesty and the heartbreak of relationships, how to communicate with our children and grandchildren in this area and ways to remain sexually fit throughout life – plus much more. For more information, call 615-322-5569 or visit http://news.vanderbilt.edu/2011/11/osher-winter-classes-2011/.

Patricia, it doesn’t sound like you and your hubby need any help, but for the rest of the folks out there, here are some things to reflect on as 2012 begins:

1. Each day, are you doing your part to nurture and grow the relationships you have or want to have?

This means relationships with family and friends, and with whomever you hold dear. If you have a special someone with whom you are intimate, remember that relationships take work – not just showing up. I’m a gardener, so gardening images come to my mind as I consider this question for myself. If I want my garden to prosper and thrive in droughts, floods and everything in between, I need to start taking inventory now, while things are dormant. I also need to reference any notes or diaries I’ve kept about successes and failures, and I need to make sure all my tools are in good working order for when the opportunity comes to use them.

In a personal relationship, this means taking stock of what is adding to the relationship and what is detracting from it and taking responsibility for the weeds and pests on your side of the street, like checking in regularly and offering praise and gratitude more often than griping and nagging. When my now-six-year-old granddaughter was visiting my garden last summer, she asked me if I patted the tomatoes every night – “they grow so much better if you love on them,” she said. The same is true for relationships – pat them whenever you can.

2. Is your physical health at optimum for your stage in life?

Maybe you need to lose some weight – don’t most of us after the holidays? Maybe you have been putting off getting a mammogram or prostate or testicular exam – who wants to rush right in for those, but they may save your life and are really not a big inconvenience. If you are recently new to menopause, maybe you need to address the ways those hormonal surges (or lack thereof) are creating havoc in your sexual relationship, like with drying vaginal tissue or decreased desire or just plain exhaustion from night sweats keeping you awake all night. Maybe you need to be on hormone replacement therapy (under the guidance of your health care provider) or you need to begin using some lubricating oils during lovemaking. If you have been following my column, you know I am a huge advocate of lots of good quality oil in the bedside table – sesame, grapeseed, sweet almond or coconut oils are all good choices and available right on the grocery shelf next to the canola or olive oil. Most folks can use any of these safely, but it’s a good idea to check with your primary care provider if you are unsure. These are not just beneficial for women – men find that incorporating oils into a lovemaking experience can be very sensual and sexy. Just make sure you have a very large absorbent towel underneath you, or you could have a mess to clean up.

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2016

March

Proud Flesh--coming soon

2015

September

Assisted Loving revised, expanded

Parting is such sweet sorrw

Wise words on long relationships

January

Assisted Loving: Words of Inspiration for the New Year

2014

December

Some harsh truths about radical prostate surgery

October

Seeking out new relationship

Causes of ED can vary with age, individual

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Do politics really make strange bedfellows?

Long-term loving not without challenges

Purported 'epidemic' of senior STD's misleading

March

The science behind aphrodisiacs

Combating prostate enlargement

2013

October

Later life weddings are breaking the mold

ED medications 101

Taking time to learn to love yourself

July

Kissing never goes out of style

Assisted Loving available at Nashville area booksellers--and more

June

Protecting your grandchildren online

Assisted Loving now available in print and electronic forms

May

First copies of Assisted Loving roll off the presses today

April

Assisted Loving: It's never too late to learn something new

March

Assisted Loving--the book. Coming soon!

Penile rehabilitation

February

Accurate diagnoses important in alleviating pain

January

Hysterectomy fears are normal

2012

December

Alternative Approaches to ED

November

Hope Springs eternal but not without concerns

October

With honest conversation, "Hope Springs" for all

September

What is Assisted Loving?

The anatomy of an affair

August

Assisted Loving: Dealing with mismatched desire

July

Assisted Loving: Alcohol and libido

May

Assisted Loving: Shaking things up

Assisted Loving: Communication key to better love life

March

Assisted Loving: Current research on long-term hormone use

February

Assisted Loving: Tackling depression is a matter of the heart

January

Assisted Loving: New Beginnings

2011

December

Assisted Loving: Guess who's coming to Christmas dinner?

November

Assisted Loving: How to Approach Sexual Matters with Spouse with Early Stage Dementia

October

Assisted Loving: Lack of Attention Causing Lack of Attraction

September

Assisted Loving: Personalized Treatment for ED & PE

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