I just received an email from Bill B., age 59, who brings up so many provocative topics and expressed so skillfully that I’m giving Bill his own post here:
Hi, Joan, I just became aware of your book about sex over 60 featuring the feminine perspective and look forward to reading it. In response to some of your questions, as a guy, I think we generally like things presented in a “Problem: Solution” format. For example; a chapter titled ‘Rise & Shine’ might present the various forms of ED, and then some of the available answers for each ‘challenge’.
While I’m currently most interested in keeping my long term relationship viable and fun, I would like to know how I might have to deal with forming new relationships after becoming a ‘sudden single’. I hope there’d be room and topic enough for both sides of relationship issues.
I would like to read men’s perspectives on the issues, both from a what didn’t work, to what did and, when possible, why. Possibly a survey of some sort, answered by both men and women might provide some supportive insight to the specific cases or examples you would cite. Maybe it would present something like:
“John’s gruff attempts at intimacy made him feel like something else had been lost to aging; he couldn’t remember the way to a woman’s heart, so he quit trying because he would just fail again. Marcy is married to a man like John, and feels … about it. Our Survey shows xx% of men say that they share these feelings and have found that … helps fix the problem. yy% of women responding to Marcy’s situation say … Clinical remedies suggest that … is usually effective in cases like this because …”
I would also like a woman’s perspective on the things I feel and experience. Sometimes a spouse can be too supportive, when a firm dose of reality might be better in the long run (maybe that’s another ‘guy’ thing).
I like all the topics you suggest. Most guys in my age group were pretty heavilly ‘John Wayne-ized’ as kids, i.e.: emotions are for women and non-men. I think a chapter or section titled something like “I wonder if other guys … ?” that dealt with subjects guys don’t usually discuss could be worthwhile. I grew up in a single mother household and didn’t get to see the daily life of a man. I’m far from alone in that. We’ve had to make it up, or copy it, from whereever we could.
Another thought occurs to me; If you want to lose a little title symmetry with your other book, you might call it “Sex after 60 for men: A user’s guide” — Muy Macho! I suspect that might cost you quite a few readers, because I think more women are still going to buy this book than men. After all; we’re men, and don’t need to stop for directions for anything (a feeling too true for too many guys).
Most of the sex manuals I’ve bought in the past were intended for my wife; I might browse some, pause at the art, and then put it somewhere she’d have to almost stumble over in hopes she’d read it and become my dreamt of ‘whore in the bedroom’ without my having to actually deal with anything. Of course it didn’t work, so my fix was to stop buying those silly manuals — they clearly weren’t worth much! I wonder if any of the publishing companies have buyer stats on their various sex manuals, and if they’d share them?
You have my permission to post any or all of this email with my signed name. I’m clearly no author; these are just some ramblings that occurred to me as/after I read your request for thoughts. I’m 59, Male, Married, Cauc, Some College, retired from USAF, retired from a computer consultancy, and have way too much time to annoy others.
Best of luck with your project,
What good timing, Bill, because I’m drafting my new book proposal this month. You’ve reinforced my ideas and given me some new ones. Readers like you, who get genuinely involved in speaking out about senior sexuality, let me know that I’m not on this mission alone!
Readers: Please comment. Men, do you agree that you’d be interested in the book Bill describes? Any additional ideas? Women, do you agree that you buy the books about sex, even (especially?) those for and about men?