“How are you managing/coping with sex in this seemingly endless pandemic as we close in on a full year?” I asked my newsletter subscribers in March 2021. Several of you sent me your comments. One person – we’ll call her “Cat” – sent a personal story that was so joyful and inspiring that I asked her permission to post it here. – Joan
I am Cat, age 60, a widow for one year. My best friend since elementary school passed away last fall, and I reached out to her husband, B., to check on how he was doing, We started video chatting three months ago. Much to my surprise, our connection has evolved into a deeper relationship.
We now spend most non-working hours together on a virtual app, and we literally go to sleep and wake up together. We go on virtual dates where we plan a menu and a movie or comedy show to watch together. We cook our meal together (they often do not look quite the same!), set our individual tables with lots of candles, and eat together virtually. We buy tickets to online concerts and watch at the same time, talking via messenger while watching.
We use end-to-end encrypted programs such as WhatsApp or Signal App. The Internet isn’t perfect – it has frozen or dropped at the most inopportune times! – but this relationship wouldn’t exist at this time without it.
We share virtual bath nights using Signal App. He gets to see all of me and vice versa! And yes, we have virtual sex. While it is not the same as in person, it can be explosive. It is almost like we are in the same room at the same time. He satisfies me sexually more than I ever experienced before.
We discussed the possibility of a visit, and as I knew what I hoped would happen, I requested and we agreed to have STI testing done as a prerequisite. We agreed to self-isolate to the best of our ability for two weeks, limiting contact to anyone else, wearing a mask and social distancing when errands could not be avoided.
He came for a two-week visit and oh, what an amazing time! He awoke something in me that I thought was dead. For the first time in years, I felt sexually satisfied. I loved waking up in his arms and was comfortable talking with him about anything. I wish it could have gone on forever, but he had to go back home to work.
We want to be together, but it is complicated as we are both five years away from retirement and live 16 driving hours from each other. His adult children are not happy that he is already seeing someone when their Mom just passed away last fall, and they are making it hard for him. Fortunately, my children just want me to be happy.
He is coming back for another visit, this time for a month. Who knows where this relationship will go, but I know where I would like it to go!
If you’re dating (or trying to date), I’d like your input:
Let’s say you met someone, either through online dating or some other way. It seemed to have potential as you started to spend time together and get to know each other, but soon you realized it wasn’t going to work out.
Which of these do you do?
- Say something like “I’m sorry, but I don’t see us as a match,” with a kind explanation.
- Say something like “I’m sorry, but I don’t see us as a match,”, but with no explanation.
- Give an explanation that you know will hurt, but will definitely end things.
- Give the true reason you want to end it.
- Make up an excuse, e.g. decided to get back with an ex, or not ready to date again, or …?
- “Ghost” or “fade away”: you say nothing but don’t get in touch or respond when the other person contacts you.
- Other? (Please explain.)
Now switch roles. If you’ve been on the receiving end of any of the above, which one(s) left you feeling okay? Awful? If rejection has to happen, how do you want to be rejected?
Do your answers change in any way if you and this new person have been sexual?
Please comment, and although you don’t need to give your real name (please choose something other than “Anonymous”), please include your real age. I’d like to contrast the views of our over-50 age group with those younger.
I look forward to your comments!
I’m talking about a relationship that is sexual but also a solid friendship — we like each other in and out of bed — yet it’s not a committed relationship and will not become one.
We’re not partners and we’re not dating exactly — we just get together when we both want to, and sex is usually part of the package. We stay in touch in between times together. We’re both free to pursue and explore other relationships. We don’t have goals of our FWB becoming more (or different) than the way we’re enjoying each other right now. It is what it is, and we like that.
It’s not the same as a “hookup” or “bootie call” because we share an emotional closeness — yet without any expectations or restrictions about what we do when we’re not together.
What do you think? Is “friends with benefits” a good enough term? Or does that sound too casual or non-caring? One person suggested “limited relationship” as opposed to “committed” or “primary” relationship, but that seems to emphasize what it isn’t rather than what it is. I suggested “lover-friends.” I hope you’ll add your point of view.
I hope you’ll post a comment using a first name of your choice (choose something other than “anonymous”), plus your age, please, so we can see how our generation thinks.
Notes about comments:
Thank you in advance for commenting!
Some people have reported problems commenting. If this happens to you, please email me your comment (with the name under which you want it posted and your real age) and I’ll post it for you. I delete comments that attempt to spam my blog or hijack my readers to a commercial site that I do not endorse.
- How do I meet someone? (This question is asked 90% of the time.)
- Do I have to tell the truth about my age?
- How do I write an online dating profile?
- Why do I get (a) no responses from online dating; or (b) lots of responses from the wrong people?
- How do I find out early on if a potential date will want to be sexual without coming across as creepy/ slutty/ scary?
- If I have a first date with someone I don’t want to see again, is it ok to just “disappear” and ignore future messages from this person?
- How do I handle rejection?
I discuss dating at length in my newest book, The Ultimate Guide to Sex after 50, including much of the information and tips from my workshop. I’ve also written more than 60 blog posts on dating — start here and keep selecting “older posts” when you scroll down to the bottom of the displayed posts. If you’d like me to write a more detailed post answering any of the questions above, or a new question, please write your request as a comment on this post.
DatingAdvice.com, which offers advice from dating experts, has a section especially for seniors. For example, DatingAdvice.com‘s “5 Senior Dating Rules You HAVE to Follow” suggests ways that you can get out and be active in the dating world. I would add to this brief article that even if you don’t “meet someone” doing these activities, you’ll have a fuller, richer, more enjoyable life. Then when you do meet someone in the future, you’ll come across as fulfilled and active, which is much more appealing than seeming depressed and desperate.
I was delighted when DatingAdvice.com wanted to review my new book and interview me in an article by Hayley Matthews titled
“The Ultimate Guide to Sex After 50″: Joan Price’s Groundbreaking Book. “Our sexuality isn’t just about what happens when our genitals connect, or try to,” I’m quoted as saying. “It weaves into how we feel about ourselves and our bodies, what we want from our next relationship, what we learned from our last one(s). So yes, the information about dating, solo sex and sex with a new person are all part of what we may go through as we age.”
(Several writers have sent me their books about senior dating, and I keep intending to do a roundup of these. Forgive me, writers — so many projects, so little time. I’ll let you know when I catch up.)