DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My wife and I are in our early 60s, younger looking and in good shape. We have a strong marriage and a beautiful family. So what’s the problem? Post-menopause sex became painful for her, and our bedroom is pretty much for sleeping only. She’s aware I’m sexually frustrated, but has commented that age will deal with my desires eventually. I’ve made several bedroom suggestions, but she seems turned off by other possibilities, and refuses to participate. We’re now three years without sex, and I feel my commitment to monogamy has long since been fulfilled.
I’m not seeking an affair, but could purchase a solution to my problem every once in a while, in secret. Then maybe everyone is happy and unhurt. Should I discuss this with my wife to get permission first, or just go for it? Any suggestions?
— Frustrated Loving Husband, Winnipeg
Dear Frustrated: A dry, easily hurt vagina is common with menopause, but can usually be remedied. We’re not talking about buying a lubricant from the store to administer to a dry and possibly atrophied area pre-sex. What’s needed is a real remedy to make that area moist and supple again, and then you might use a little lubricant on top of that for extra ease.
It seems your wife has not seen a doctor for help, or a referral to a gynecologist. It’s not necessary to see a male if that’s embarrassing to your wife — with lots of female gynecologists now. If she’s shy about seeing her own doctor, she can always phone Women’s Health Clinic, 419 Graham St. (204-947-1517), where they deal with these problems frequently. She doesn’t need anyone’s permission — she just phones and asks for "a consult" with a doctor there.
As for your seeing a sex worker, the danger is not usually disease if they are upscale and taking care, but the risk is always there. Asking your wife if you could use a substitute for her — a sex worker — is asking for trouble more horrendous than you can imagine.
By the way, do you think your wife got tired of the style or lack of style during sex with you, and is using painful menopausal sex as an excuse to stop having sex for life? Awful thought, isn’t it? Fixing that problem might require counselling, or just talking together honestly, with possible embarrassment, hurt and tears — but hopefully a resolution to try different styles of sex in bed, plus getting help from a doctor or gynecologist for the menopausal problems.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I very recently had a two-night stand with an old boyfriend. We were both at a conference for our work. We knew each other in university and ended up together at the first dinner. A few drinks later at a little place a few blocks away, we ended up talking about old times and laughing; we both felt young again. We drifted up to my room, and then it just happened.
We had always related to each other very sexually, but I thought this guy was never going to get anywhere career-wise as he was such a party boy then — not real husband material. History proved me wrong. He wised up and ended up head of a very big company. That kind of blew my mind — and my new admiration for him got carried away, a thousand miles from home.
This afternoon, he called me from his city. His voice thrilled me, as did his words, and my heart went pitter-pat. Miss L., we’re both married, yet I can’t deny I want to see him again. What should I do?
— Guilty Heart, Winnipeg Area.
Dear Guilty Heart: Each contact — since your heart is already going pitter-pat — is a roll of the dice with your marriage. Fast-forward in your mind to a breakup scene with your husband. Do you really want that to happen? If not, you’d better stop this beginning of an affair right now, even if you’re tempted. Email this old ex to say bye-bye — don’t phone. That’s too personal and he could be persuasive. Just tell him electronically not to contact you again. Good luck with this!
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