Ask Isadora: The Ups and Downs of Attraction

The Ups and Downs of Attraction

* My new man friend has occasional erection difficulties.  He assures me that they have nothing to do with his attraction to me but I have a hard time believing that.  Don’t men get erections automatically when they have partner they find attractive?

Not as a man ages, no.  A penis is not a barometer.  Very young men seem to get erections with the slightest provocation, but as a man ages he may need more active stimulation than merely a sight or a thought.  Rather than worry about whether he really finds you attractive, decide to believe him when he says he does.  The next time an erection is wanted and none appears, caress him and see if that doesn’t get things going.

* In all the years of my marriage my wife has never initiated sex.  She seems to enjoy it when we  do have it and I start things, but she has never been the one to do that.  How can I get her to be more assertive?

Speak up and say what you want. “Sweetie, it would really excite me/please me/ delight me if you were to let me know you want me/want sex/want to make love .  All I’d like you to do is….”  and then spell it out.  Do you want her to touch you in a certain way or at a certain time?  Would you rather she say plainly that she’s interested?  Some women don’t initiate sex because they don’t know how or they are afraid they will seem too bold or they are afraid of rejection. (Aren’t we all?) Also, some women are just not self-starters. They only become aroused in response to another doing or saying something. Just spontaneously feeling desire is just not a part of their make-up.  Talk to your wife.  I always say “Communication is the best lubrication.”

*  I have to disagree with the woman who thought sleeping in separate beds would solve her sleep problems.   My wife definitely wouldn’t like this! and I have seen and heard of too many marriages going downhill when this is implemented.   I had many nasty years of sleep problems and took all kinds of over the counter medicines that did not help. Plus, my two stays recommended at a sleep center

were complete disasters!. Finally I found a doctor who knew all about this stuff. He put me on a low dose sleeping pill that is safe and  non- addictive (The pills recommended on TV are dangerous!) I have had a wonderful sleep life for three years! and am not groggy in the morning. He said some people like me have brain neurons that do not shut off and cannot fall asleep. I take 1MG of CLONAZEPAM and I have normal sleep and dreams. Only about $11 for 90 day supply. My wife loves it and I wish I knew about it when I was working(retired 7 years).

I’m glad the recommended pills worked for you, but you have to know that sleep centers are very helpful in diagnosing problems in many people.  The pills advertised on TV do work for some people .  And, most important, separate beds, even separate bedrooms, solve the sleep problems of many couples.  Sleeping apart does not necessarily mean the  beginning of the end.  As I said, whatever arrangement  the couple agrees upon is the right one for them. One size does not fit all in problem solving or in pajamas.