I’ve lost track of the number of times senior men and women have told me they felt it was okay to lie about age in their online dating profiles. If I had to give a percentage to seniors who believe...
When Is It Okay To Ask About Sex?
By Ken Solin
Since I date coach single seniors, I frequently get asked this question and particularly from women. I dated online for many years, and I’ve also heard from thousands of readers about their experiences in this arena, so my advice is both personal and impersonal in terms of its origins. Senior sex can be a real tightrope topic because there’s nothing more personal than sexual relations, and strangers asking each other about such a personal issue can feel counterintuitive. It’s not just a question of timing, but also of technique and emotional intelligence.
When I was online dating just a few years ago, the biggest surprise for me was the number of women who asked me on coffee dates, “Are you still sexual?” It always sent a small shock wave through my body and put me on the defensive, momentarily. At first I wanted to know why a senior woman would ask such a personal question that could be easily be misinterpreted. But after a few dates and getting the exact same answer I understood why they wanted to know.
“Because many men your age aren’t.” It was that simple. They just wanted to know before too many dates and time, whether or not I was still a sexual guy, as they were clearly still sexual women. So if a woman can ask a man on a first date if he’s still sexual, then isn’t it okay for a man to ask a woman the same question on a first date?
The answer is yes, with a caveat. If a man asks a woman about sex on a first date, he has to be crystal clear that his agenda isn’t first date sex, but rather just an inquiry into his date’s continuing sexuality. If it’s critical for a senior guy to know, he should definitely use his common sense to determine when the right timing is to ask, and also, direct the question in a non-threatening manner and for a specific, stated reason.
Not Gender Specific
I think the manner in which women asked me this question would also work for men. It’s a fair and legitimate concern for senior single daters after all, and avoiding the potential for hurt feelings after several dates is well-worth the risk of alienating someone. And that brings up another aspect regarding asking the sex question early on: Will it offend?
There are two camps of thought on senior sexual dialogue. One suggests that sex isn’t a topic to be broached early because it might offend the person being asked.
The other suggests asking as soon as possible to avoid disappointment later on. I’m a firm believer that the earlier the better, and if someone is offended by the question, particularly if the reason for asking it is included, then it’s not likely a good math anyway.
No Time To Waste
Seniors are way too old to be worried about sex other than whether or not they’re going to become involved in a relationship that includes it. I was sixty-seven when I last dated and sex was still a major aspect of a relationship. It still is, and I hope it always will be because it’s a level of intimacy difficult to duplicate in other ways. Granted, not every senior man or woman is still sexual, but this alone makes it a valid question to ask on a coffee date.
I can’t imagine a more disappointing discovery than finding out that a man or woman you’re falling in love with, and can’t wait to make love to, is no longer sexual. It could be crushing, especially if you found out after taking the time to get to know that person and fall in love. It would just make me feel cynical about dating. It would guaranty I’d be upfront about my sexual interests in the future.
An Alternative Approach
An Option I suggest to my women clients is that they write in their online profiles they’re still sexual, but only within the context of an emotionally committed relationship. This sends the right message, which is, yes, I still like sex, but no I’m not interested in casual sex. And if sex is no longer of interest to you then it’s only fair to mention this early on to avoid any bad feelings later. Silence about sex might be construed as misleading.
Sex can be a powerful quality in a relationship. It can enhance the emotional, spiritual, and physical connections in meaningful ways. Clarity about sex is essential even on a first date, but only within the context of whether or not it’s still important to you. That a senior still enjoys sex is a special quality that should definitely be mentioned in a profile and/or soon after meeting.
Are you still looking for a great match? If so, don’t waste your time any longer and check out OurTime, an online dating site dedicated to bringing senior singles together.
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