Spontaneity is Overrated — Especially at Our Age!

When I give my workshops, I always get startled looks from participants when I recommend that we schedule our sex time, even (especially!) when we’re in a long-term relationship. You tell me, “But sex should be spontaneous!”

At our age, we need more time for arousal, and that works best if our arousal time starts long before we’re fondling each other in bed. It starts with anticipation: looking forward to our time together, getting heated up on our own with our fantasy of what we’ll do together. It starts before we’re physically in the same room: leaving notes or text messages or voice mail or even just writing it on our calendar days in advance.

It starts with coming together non-sexually: talking together, bonding through laughter, and especially by doing something physical together: a walk, a bike ride, a yoga class, dancing in the living room. Doing something physical together makes us aware of our enjoyment of our own and each other’s bodies, and it gets the blood pumping, which makes for better sex later.

Besides, when have we ever really been spontaneous about sex? When we were young and just discovering sex, didn’t we anticipate it for days? Didn’t we prepare with fantasies and plans? Didn’t we (we girls, anyway) try on clothes, including underwear? Didn’t we shower and shave with care, even with relish, as we looked forward to being soft to the touch and sweet smelling with our lover? We’ve always prepared for sex!

Let’s celebrate the pleasures of our slower arousal by scheduling our special times!

Your thoughts?


  1. Unknown on October 25, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    Perhaps it's just me, but somehow planning just takes some of the fun out of the process. I do like the idea of attacking my lover at the stove, in the kitchen. And I do understand the medical needs that many men have.

    Just the same, I've pulled the car into many a deserted country lane at times…and I have a thick "moving pad" type blanket…ostensibly to use changing a flat (well..ok..NO jokes about THAT flat!) that has worked wonders for those absolute spontaneous moments. And yet, as I age…it gets further and further to the ground…and more and more difficult to stand. Still…the blanket will stay in the trunk…just in case! Give me spontaneous any day!

  2. Joan Price on October 19, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Oatmeal girl, Tom in VA, Aida: Thank you for your detailed comments about how spontaneity/planning work in your relationships. You're contributing to the conversation and I'm grateful — as are our readers, I'm sure!

    — Joan

  3. Aida on October 19, 2011 at 6:02 am

    Regarding spontaneity, the man I was with would often walk in the door, kiss me madly without saying a word, then proceed to undress me while still in the kitchen, leave a path of discarded clothes on the way to the bedroom… which was then followed by more passionate kissing, fondling, stroking, licking, sucking so that I could hardly breathe, let alone think, all as a preliminary to unbridled lovemaking resulting in multiple orgasms. YEH! At our age, I am 65, he is 611 Am I the only one that feels this way about spontaneity?

  4. Tom in VA on October 19, 2011 at 2:40 am

    I'm a 59 year old male (my wife is 58)and I had my prostate removed about 2 years ago. Because of that I take Levitra to be able to have erections. It works well for me and our sex life is good. I do miss being able to be spontaneous at times, but we have adapted and have "planned" sex, usually twice a week. I travel for business, so our time is usually Friday evenings when I get home from my travels, and Sunday mornings. We both look forward to our time together, and it is very rewarding. After my surgery we took care to have routine sex, partly as therapy to help me get my ability back – my doctor said "use it or lose it". There were times early on when I could not get a full erection, but we made sure we pleasured each other, and it brought us closer together. Now that I have recovered and can have reliable erections with the help of a pill, we make sure to continue to enjoy these times together. Planning does work.

  5. oatmeal girl on October 19, 2011 at 2:03 am

    Perhaps part of the problem people have with this – at any age – is that we shy away from thinking of sex as an activity that we enjoy doing. It feels good. It makes us feel good. It brings people closer together – in all sorts of relationships it is a delightful and delicious way to spend time together.

    I am in a non-standard relationship. We usually see each other once a week. We start talking about his visit a couple of days before. When will he come? How long will he stay? He starts forming images of me in his mind… my breasts… my hair… how soft I am… I pick up on it and my messages feed his desire and expand on his fantasies.

    The day of his visit, I send him inciting e-mails, which change to texts as he is on his way. Meanwhile, everything I am, my mind and my body, are focused on him. Reaching out towards him.

    When he arrives, we have already been together for hours. And we continue to take our time.


    I e-mail him about his visit. We continue to reminisce throughout the day. And his presence lingers in the room long after he has gone.

    I am 62.
    He is 55.
    We've been together for 3 years.

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