Category Archives: Sex

Delight-full

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I’m in a wonderful new….that’s the problem, what to call it. To one
another we say boyfriend/girlfriend or lover. But neither of us is
looking for a new love of my life, weak in the knees, get married and
live together forever happily ever after person. We are happy for the
companionship and delirious with the smooching. Both of us had been
single for a long time, and ironically we are better in the bedroom than
we are, say, chatting over dinner. We are both Jewish, both in our
sixties, and both intelligent, educated, charming, witty people with
similar political values. Neither wants to give up our home or
independence. So what do I say when various people come up to me
all wide-eyed and gushing, saying “I’m so happy you’re in love.”
Apparently “I’m not, but I’m having lots of great sex.” Is considered
over-sharing.

Delight-full

 
Dear Delight-full:

Mazel tov! Everyone deserves to have her fancies tickled and to be as
happy, and as simultaneously grounded and mature, as you sound.
The truth is that it’s nobody’s business but yours what the depth of
your emotional connection is. People make inaccurate assumptions all
the time, of far more damaging types, about other people’s lives and
happiness. At least if they are gossiping about you now, they are
saying good wrong things, not bad ones.

 
People enjoy their own sensuality but often recoil at hearing about
others’. Among some generations, the idea of seniors being sexually
active is incomprehensible. And in others it might evoke shame or
envy. So rather than your explicitly cheeky comeback, how about
putting on a Mona Lisa smile and saying, perhaps in a faux sultry
voice, It’s not love, but it’s making me very happy! I’ll let you know if
it gets more serious, but until then just look for my happy face! If it
stays good you can see if it gets deeper or more serious, and decide
what you want to tell people when you are ready for them to know
more. If it falls apart or settles down, at least you’ll have had a healthy
lot of fun. But no one except you and your honey should have a vote
in that.

Takes It Slower

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I met a guy online who has asked me to go away for the weekend, all
expenses paid. We have had only three dates. I think he’s attractive
but he has been married three times before. I am not sure I want to
be intimate with him, and worry that he assumes that my acceptance
implies that I will be. How can I answer so he doesn’t think I can be
bought and paid for?

Takes It Slower

 
Dear Takes It Slower:

You can be forthright and honest. Tell him very clearly that you aren’t
ready for intimacy until you know him a lot better. Say you might be
interested in the weekend and the time together, and are happy to
accept his generous offer, but not if there are physical strings
attached. If there are, you would prefer to (a) not go, (b) defer the
trip, (c) pay your own way, (d) not continue to date.
Start by asking, Are you assuming we will be intimate? Depending on
his answer you’ll know what to say next.

Wants More

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I have a dating question. I recently (five months ago) started doing
online dating. I know that many people my age (late 50s) have been
doing this for ages but I have been cautious, given all the horror
stories you hear about people misrepresenting themselves. But three
months ago I met someone I genuinely like. We have many interests
in common (though also many that are wildly different), and have a
super good time each time we connect. She lives about an hour away
so there’s a lot of driving, which as been fine in summer (but may be
less so in winter). It’s like a mini vacation to go and explore a different
community (a happening college town). She has a beautiful home, and
likes my insights and advice about decorating. It feels both
companionable and energizing, which is a great combination. But even
though I am very attracted to her, there is nothing physical going on.
We finally talked about it the other night (we text or talk most days).
She claims she is “post-sexual” and doesn’t expect to be intimate
again. This from a woman whom I know has a history of intimacy.
Plus, I met her on a dating site ?!? Am I barking at the wrong gal?

Wants More

 
Dear Wants More:

There are two options to your problem. The first is that she is just
saying that because she has been burned by lightening-fast romances
in the past and genuinely wants to get to know a whole lot better
before she gets physical. The “post sexual” may be a veil that she is
wearing for a period of time. There are, btw, genuine joys of letting
fires and anticipation build before a conflagration of consummation. I’d
counsel a wide range of friendly companionability, cheeky flirtation,
romantic little gestures, and true sincerity. Patience, at least for
another month or two. Then revisit your relationship conversation. At
worst you’ve made a great new friend.

 
Option B: Take her at her word and enjoy her as a friend without the
flirty and romantic gestures. Continue your search with online dating.
Start to seed your conversations with Ms. Post with little bits of info
about people whose profiles you have scanned or who have contacted
you. If she turns towards you, revert to option A. If nothing changes,
keep looking.

Scared for Her

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

My single friend turned fifty last December and started
acting like she’s got one year to live, though as far as I
know her health is fine. She cut her hair and wears it brassy
blonde and spiky. She walks around in clothes a teenager
with new breasts might be proud of. The very scary part:
She’s started visiting sex clubs for “fun and recreation.”
Having never been to one, I have to assume what she’s told
me is true. I’m not a prude; I understand consensual adults
can do as they please. But in the context of her other
changes I’m worried about her. She’s currently “dating”
three separate guys, one of whom is 15 years younger,
another married, and a third part of a swinging couple she
“play with.” Do I say something or keep my mouth shut?

Scared for Her

 
Dear Scared for Her:

This falls into the ask don’t tell category of advice. If you
just come out and say You’re acting like a sex-starved
teenaged and I am scared for you, she’ll feel judged and
likely ignore everything you say. Even a question, couched
as, What the hell is going on? will get the same response. So
tread lightly and with an abundance of caring, knowing that
if you don’t like her answers you’re likely to back away from
the friendship a little  or a lot.

 
Meet her in a place you’d feel comfortable talking about
personal matters. Say you’ve known her for __ years and
have noticed a sharp change in her behavior and looks since
her birthday. You can observe that from where you sit it
looks like a mid-life crisis but you don’t know what’s going
on for her. Start and end with I care but I’m concerned, not
about the change in her looks (which you should compliment
even if it is insincere) but in her dating behaviors. In
addition to issues of safety, you want to make sure she’s
given it all appropriate thought. Can she enlighten you?
Then listen and prepare to end with, That’s interesting. I’ll
try and look from your perspective. It sounds like there’s
very little she can say that’ll change your mind. But if you
back off at least she’ll understand why.

Harassed

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I made a stupid mistake. I slept with someone in my bridge club and
book group. That’s one person, not two, but most importantly, he’s
someone in both of the places that I use for recreation and escape
from my busy professional life. I’ve been single for three years since
my husband died. I’ve dated but hadn’t gotten serious with anyone
before this. This time I allowed myself to simply fall into bed after a
brief courtship, in part because he seemed like a very stable, nice guy.
A doctor btw. It turns out he is needy beyond belief, relentlessly
pursuing a relationship I’ve decided I do not want, primarily because
of his personality and neediness. This takes the form of persistent
calling, emailing, texting, and generally being a pain in the butt who
won’t take “No thanks” as a message. Is there some kind of silver
stake I can use to make him go away without having to drop out of all
my hobby groups?

Harassed

 
Dear Harassed:

You need to move from No, thanks to No! My advice, be very
consistent about treating him like a friend only. Simply don&'t buy in to
anything else by responding to any or every overture or message. His
attention-seeking behavior will pass. It will take time. That will feel like
much too long but it will pass, eventually, if you refuse to engage in
anything other than what you would with a regular friend. That means
being cordial and friendly in group interactions, asking all the right
How are you? type questions but not volunteering anything personal
and avoiding anything remotely resembling a one-on- one interaction.
If he persists, he may take sending one simple, very short email that
says roughly: Your efforts to continue our intimacy have crossed the
line from persistent to inappropriate. I liked you enough to date you
but that part of who we have been to one another is over. O.v.e.r.
We&'re friends. That&'s all for now and future. I do not want to rehash
any of the why’s or why not’s. Please respect this boundary. If you
hold your ground he will back away, if only out of wounded pride. Just
be friendly to everyone else and don’t discuss—ever– what happened
between you and him with any of the other folks in either group. Look
forward, not back. And try not to let this sour you on dating.

Yes I know It Always Ends This Way

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I’m in mourning and I have no one to talk to. I recently ended a 15-
month affair. Correction: the 15-month affair I was happily enjoying
was ended for me. My playmate was in what columnist Dan Savage
refers to as a “monogamish” couple: happy and devoted on the
outside, and the husband had “privileges” that he enjoyed with me.
We thoroughly enjoyed together. Because this is a very very small
world I told no one. No one. I just hoped it would go on forever. But
he’s had a serious medical condition and his wife is insisting that he
not “spend any energy” on things other than healing. Having just
recovered from a brief medical stint myself I am sure his libido is low
anyhow. I can wait. And perhaps she’ll change her mind. Or he will,
when he recovers and is faced with the same world of non-physical
intimacy they’ve shared for a decade. But for now, I am hurting. Do
you have any balming words, because I have no one to talk to here?

Yes I know It Always Ends This Way

 
Dear YIKIAETW:

You said it best. Very few affairs have the staying power of a marriage.
Though many of them transform the older marriage into a divorce and
the affair onto become the next sequential marriage. Though as the
old adage goes, If he’ll cheat on her, why would you think it would be
different with you? The “monagamish” part of the equation suggests a
very solid base for him, which might have led to a longer affair,
medical issues not withstanding. And you must be made of stern stuff
yourself, to have confided in absolutely no one. That’s almost rarer
than an open relationship that’s satisfying to all three parties.

 
My general observation is that people who can sob and wail do better
in this situation. If you’re not by nature a person who cries, peel a lot
of onions. Or stand in the shower and screech along to hard rock or
sentimental ballads. Do whatever it takes to get the feelings out into
the open, rather than encapsulated in your gut. Speaking of which,
this would be a good time to choose to go off things like chocolate,
chips, and processed foods. The ten pounds you could gain in
mourning will not make you feel any better, though they will help with
a solid base for added self-pity over time. Join a gym. Take a class.
Put yourself in situations where you might meet someone who’s more
available to you, and who doesn’t have a wife at home who’ll get the
last vote on your happiness.

Not Snooping

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
The other day I was visiting a friend’s house. She was very insistent
on showing me new piece of art in her bedroom. It was impressive and
expensive, from an artist I also admire but cannot afford. While she
was adjusting the lighting, I saw something poking out from under the
bed that I don’t think she’d be very happy I saw. Her husband’s
probably aware of this “marital aide,” but unless she’s contemplating a
major switch in our friendship (not really my thing), it’s really none of
my business what she does for recreation. That said, simply seeing it
has set off curiosity, and a little envy of her sensual creativity. Is this
something I can ask about or should I just erase my memory?
Not Snooping

 

Dear Not Snooping
Social science researchers have a notoriously difficult time getting
good data on nutrition and sexuality. People tend to underestimate
what they put in their mouths and overestimate what they do in their
bedrooms. Sex is simply a subject where having a good and honest
conversation is far less likely than others.

 
You can bring up sex, repeat sex not what you saw, in a conversation
and see if she takes the bait. She can tell you what she chooses to,
but if you want to stay friends, don’t be tempted to tell her what you
saw. You can express curiosity about exploration. You can lead the
witness as TV lawyers try to do. But if you start telling her you saw her
marital secrets she’s more likely to clam up than be honest. In the
unlikely event she wants to get much more personal, this also is a
chance for her to ask and you to decline.

 
When she went back to her room she may have seen what you did and
wondered if you saw anything. So once you’re talking about expanding
sensual horizons, assuming she feels safe, she may ask you. Then you
can say you saw there was something there but not what.

 

Remember YourJFG’s Commandment 7: Say what needs to be said. In this case,
not more, and maybe even a little less.

Not Hot

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
I’ve been married for fifteen years. I didn’t marry my husband out of
passion, though we’ve had an okay sex life on and off. He is a
wonderful gentle man who loves me and takes very good care of me.
Unlike my ex, he has a stable job, bought us a house for a wedding
gift. He is caring, helpful, handy, and we share a rich emotional and
spiritual life. My best friend is in the throes of a torrid new
relationship. She occasionally talks about things other than her new
flame, but it’s certainly foremost in her mind. Hubby overheard us
talking (apparently the vents carry conversation form the living room
to the basement) and now is eager to try resuscitating our flagging
intimacy. It’s lukewarm at best, tepid in truth. Do I do my wifely duties
or offer him a cold shower?
Not Hot

 
Dear Not Hot:
You don’t give your age but if you are fifteen years into a second
marriage I am going to assume you have crested 40. So the first place
to go is not the adult store but to your doctor. Get a full blood workup:
get your hormone levels checked, and see if s/he has other
suggestions. Many adults experience a decline in their sexual appetite
for lots of reasons. And it’s certainly easier to be all hot and bothered i
a torrid new affair than in a companionable marriage. Don’t acquiesce
to living tepid too soon. Intimacy enhances communication as well as
physical well being.

 
Assuming your medical work checks out, start with an intimate
conversation with your husband. Ask him what he likes, what he
doesn’t, and what he wants more or less of in your intimate life.
“More!” is not enough of an answer, though it might be the average
guy’s quick response. It may take time (or even possibly a counselor),
for you both to become disclosing and honest. You might even be
embarrassed, but it’s an important conversation. I’ll pass on the
specifics of the bedroom, but I’d recommend date nights, romantic
evenings, kissing and making out on the sofa (no sex allowed), and
generally letting romance and some sexual tension to build up. I’ll bet                            your temperature gets much hotter than you expect.

 

PS: Keep talking because the mind is the most erogenous zone.

On the Edge

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
I’m this close to starting an affair. That’s what other people would call
it, because the man in question is married. Every cliché in the book
applies to what he says about his marital sex life. But he’s not
deluding me with any hope it will become anything other than sex. He
and his wife (whom I’ve met socially) have three boys, and a very
strongly committed relationship. But she has never enjoyed sex, due
to a mangled surgery in her childhood. According to him she has
encouraged him to “find an outlet” and even suggested me as a
possible sexual partner (Mondays only) “to help their marriage.”
According to him she fears celibacy will eventually erode their
marriage, and a controlled relationship with me is a better option. I
know what I would tell any friend or client (don’t laugh but I’m a
therapist). But I’ve been attracted to him since we met three years
ago, and right now I’ll settle for anything I can have.
On the Edge

 
Dear On the Edge:
I’m assuming what you’d tell a client might differ from what you’d say
to a friend. To either I hope you’d predict the certainty of short-run joy
followed by inevitable heartbreak. Throw in the likelihood that you’ll
lose access to your paramour as a friend after the affair ends. Every
pair of lovers begins believing that they are different and that they’ll
beat the odds. But the costs of short-run pleasure are heavily
outweighed by the long-run sorrows. If you’re determined to leap off
this cliff, nothing anyone can say will dissuade you. You’ll wrap
yourself tightly in Better to have loved and lost than never to have
loved at all. And that may be enough for you now.

 
Adultery notwithstanding, if the three of you do manage to create a
functional polyamorous relationship, you’ll still have to face the
problems of secrecy and/or disclosure. You may not be able to share
the source of your newfound happiness with anyone except your
closest friends. Most people will have strong judgments, as well as
fears that their own spouse might be infected with desire. Also, all
three of you need to think about your reputations in the community. I
predict more trouble than joy, though the joy will come first.

Ready to Wait

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
I had a horrible Thanksgiving. I was depressed and lonely. Generally
my life is good, and lately it’s been even better, because, gulp. I am
“the other woman” in an affair. He says he loves me and of course I
have hopes that someday he will leave his wife, though it is very early
and I know the odds are not in my favor. We have a very special
connection as well as great “chemistry” so I know he’ll want to keep
seeing me. But a few hours a week are not enough for me to show him
how I feel. Do you have any good advice for helping this end the way I
want? I love him and know he loves me, but is trapped in a loveless
and sexless marriage, just like I used to be.
Ready to Wait

 
Dear Ready:
It’s gonna be a long wait, and probably won’t happen. So if you are
willingly play the role of the mistress, knowing your heart will
eventually be broken and that he will move on to greener pastures,
you should at least recalibrate your expectations. Expect a lot more
loneliness than together time. Get used to feeling like you want to dial
him, but cannot. Assume that you are someone he wants to spend
time with (at least for “the chemistry”) but that your together time will
happen on his schedule not yours. Assume broken plans and lots of
uncertainty. Know you will spend a lot of time waiting hear from him,
and that you may not always like what you hear.

 
Last but not least, remember than any man who will cheat on his wife
with you, is at least as likely to cheat on you with someone else. That’s
not just bad odds. It’s the road to pain and sorrow. But it is your right
to choose it. On those dark and lonely nights, ask yourself what you
truly deserve, and then look for that.

Grinchy Groom

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
My fiancee and I are getting married in three weeks. We’ve been
together for two years and are devoted to one another. We’re adults
(29 and 30) and professionals (chiropractor and speech therapist). We
have a nice home, are both very active in our synagogue, and have a
committed yoga/meditation practice. We have very satisfying sex
weekly, and neither of us seems to want more, less, or different in
that regard. The wedding details and all the hullaballoo around it
(much of the fussing instigated by the opinions of close and even more
distant relatives), is taking its toll. We’re getting snappy with one
another, which has literally only happened once before in two years. I
know we’ll recover but do you have any sage advice to get us through
the next month. BTW we’re deferring our honeymoon to a cold winter
month, so all the non-work respite we’ll get is two hectic days before
the ceremony and three after in a beach cabin.
Grinchy Groom

 
Dear Grinchy:
Don’t take out on one another the frustrations you feel towards the
mespochah. You need a united front, and some ground rules for
solving areas of contention. You’ll probably like phase one of my
advice more than you’ll think you’ll like phase two, but trust me: it
works.

 
Phase One: Take a 24-hour respite from all things wedding. Go out to
a nice dinner, some home and put on romantic music, then cuddle,
smooch, and snuggle.

 

Phase Two: Make a list of each category where
a final decision will be needed: flowers, seating, food, etc. Talk
through each one and say whatever matters to you. Then divvy up the
list, either by who cares more about the issue, or by drawing from a
hat and horse-trading until you’re each equally happy or sad. Then
agree to sleep in separate rooms from then until the wedding. No sex,
though occasional cuddling is permitted. Allow the longing and
romance to come back. You’ll also remember that you rely on the                                        other person, and don’t want to solve problems on your own. It’ll also
cut out arguments.

 

Note: Usually people compromise towards the
other’s priorities rather than being selfish, but yes there’s risks of
decisions you (or your uncle) won’t like. On your wedding night, say
and show the “I love you” as you’ll really mean it. Mazel tov!

Third Wheel

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
Please don’t get too moralistic on me until I explain. My longtime ex
just moved here from cross-country. He is in the traditional “loveless”
marriage with two kids, except in this case there is lots of love and
affection, but no sex. His wife has agreed it is fine for him to have an
affair, or more properly, a long-term mistress, as long as there are
some “rules,” the biggest one being that no one outside the three of us
know, because he’s prominent in the community. I am single and 55,
no spring chicken, and have stopped looking for Mr. Right. I’m happy
alone, but miss physical intimacy. Even his therapist says its okay. Do
you?
Third Wheel

 
Dear Third Wheel:
How often have you seen this movie? How often have you seen this
movie end happily for the third wheel character? Generally, the
mistress ends up sobbing and lonely, if not worse, say killed off by the
wife, the husband, or by her own hand. That’s not to say she doesn’t
have some good times in the short run, and a vivid, if often hollow,
romance to zing up her otherwise drab life. But is this really what you
want and deserve? Sure it’s hard to find someone that you’re attracted
to. But maybe the secrecy and danger are part of the attraction, and
they keep you from honestly investing in a relationship with a real and
available partner. I’m not even invoking the commandment about
adultery, because usually people in your condition don’t listen to
morality. But tuck that away in the why-not column too.

 
So here’s my advice, none of which do I expect you to heed now,
though I do suggest you save this answer for later, when you might.
First: Just say no. Transmute the energy into something, anything
else. Get physical, but in a different way: join a gym or a team; start
doing yoga. When you reject that idea, have a direct conversation with
the wife, and get her to follow it up with a note that can be waved in
her face later, when she inevitably changes her mind. Not that I doubt                     hubby’s account, but that’ll kill some of the magic and take some of
the heat out of things. If she really does agree, it also makes it less
likely that she’ll show up at your door with a shotgun and or wake the
neighbors branding you a _______. Whatever word you just filled in
that blank, imagine it in the local paper. Still interested? Consider an
appointment together with the therapist, as a twosome or a
threesome. If you still want to hug and kiss after all of that reality
therapy, my guess is there’s now way to save you from your mid-life
hormones.

P.S. I’ll expect to talk to you later, on the downslide.

Not Really That Edgy

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
I almost had an affair. The ex-lover of one of my good friends, who
moved here to take a new job, is incredibly intelligent, charming, and
fun. He’s also self-centered, and used to getting what he wants from
almost everyone, women or men. We flirted for weeks, made out
passionately, but at the last minute I chickened out of more.
Something scared me, at a movie of the week level. There was an
intensity about his sexuality that scared me, in a lurid way, made me
want to run for garlic and a holy book. I gave him goodwill-bound
furniture and when he didn’t say thanks I wrote him to say goodbye,
that he was just too self- centered. He just left me a voicemail saying,
It’s been three months, I miss you, I was wrong; meet me for dinner and
a good talk, my treat. Part of me misses him, because most of the
people in my life pale by comparison. The rest of me says run to say
no. How do I decide?
Not Really That Edgy

 
Dear Not Edgy:
I’m not a fan of violent movies, but like the rest of the audience I
know the pretty coed should not – repeat Not Not Not – enter the
spooky abandoned house alone, no matter how curious she is or
important it seems. So I’m telling you: listen to your gut. I don’t know
from vampires, ghosts, or dybbuks. But I do know that the risk of
being assaulted by a mortal weirdo is much higher than it should be. If
your body and soul are giving you strong warning signals, you should
listen and obey.

 
If you feel an obligation for closure, meet for coffee in a public place,
talk about your full life, and put any lingering feelings to rest. But be
prepared for a full-on assault of charm. Have plans to meet a friend
right after, and don’t make plans to see this guy again. If you live
alone, and you get the feeling that the guy may be a stalker, consider
investing in an alarm system. I’m not trying to make you scared. But I
am trying to tell you to listen to your own inner alarm system, and not                                to put yourself at risk for someone who sounds like an arrogant
narcissist.

Summer’s Coming

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
I know you must get letters like this all the time but I am confused
about getting back together with my ex. To be completely truthful, I
don’t want to go back to the “relationship” part of what we had. But I
would like to go back to the sense of closeness, and the physical
intimacy we shared. We were great lovers, good friends, but lousy
partners. We just disagreed on too much about the real world, from
peace in the middle east to childrearing. So we either argued or made
love. We’re both single (broke up 1.5 years ago), and after the first six
months of being polite around each other have finally relaxed and are
now even better friends than we used to be. I can feel the sexual
tension fluttering around both of us. I know it’s not just me because of
things she’s said. Is it crazy to want another dip in the pool?
Summer’s Coming

 
Dear Summer:
You sound too immature to be in a real adult relationship. While I have
no opinions about your sex life in general, it sounds selfish to suck this
woman into your vortex of need. Even though you feel the vibe might
be mutual, it takes each of you down a road to nowhere. It does sound
like you’ve moved to getting clear of the bad aspects of how you relate
to one another. So why set up a situation that’s only going to stir up
all the frustrations about the non-intimate aspects of how you related.
I recommend that you move on and allow her to move on too. The
more you cling to the easy-access memories you have of one another,
the harder it will be to be open for a real relationship, one where you
actually have to treat the other person as an equal and invest some
hard work, time, and energy, at least as much out of the sack as you
want to get into it. Grow up and learn what it means to treat others
well.