A Man Facing 60

Sex and Sexuality, From an Older Man’s Perspective

When a man is approaching twenty, his hormones govern just about every thought in his head(s). When he is approaching sixty, not much is different, except perhaps intensity. And control. Where it used to feel like a moral imperative to have sexual relations, it now feels like an opportunity, and mostly a joy. The mind still ponders it frequently, but the urgency is far more manageable.

Social Norms

I’m honestly not sure who to address this post towards. Men know what we’re feeling. Women might even as well. Or perhaps my experience isn’t what either gender feels has been theirs. And the fact that I started on this journey when I was in puberty in the seventies, well … I’m sure it taught me some things that are simply no longer valid now. But this is what I’ve got to work with.

I watch older TV shows and movies today and cringe at the way women were portrayed. Because if memory serves, that was the way they were forced to live. Subservient. As eye candy. Pleasures for men. I don’t know if 20-year-old guys today look at women just as sexual conquests anymore, but that’s the way we were then. The version of Rick that had only two decades of life in him wouldn’t think twice about looking at a girl and thinking “Yea, I’d do her”. I honestly don’t know if that was taught, or a result of the fire hydrant spewing hormones inside of me.

So when I look back at my then sexual self from my current point of view, it has to be skewed by how the times have evolved, right? Or perhaps it’s just age. I don’t know. But I do know that it feels different and just the same. In a weirdly wrapped together way.

I was 19 years old when I lost my virginity. To a girl I was madly in love with. It wasn’t my first choice, losing “it” as such a “late age”, but that’s the way it happened. I didn’t get to have the proverbial screw-everything-in-sight high school experience that the movies held in such high regard, but looking back, this was probably the best possible outcome. Because while I did/do love sex, my immersion into the pool saw the physical coupled with the emotional. It set the tone for every other sexual encounter I’ve ever had.

Physical Desire, Mental Desire

It’s funny to remember back in the day, because every thought then seemed to have been painted with a sex brush. Everything had a sexual innuendo about it. And back in my teens, it was 100% physical. Like those dogs you see dry-humping air. It’s not something you have a lot of control over.

Skip to now. I still have physical cravings. Sometimes extremely intense, even at 59 years of age. But they’re different. I get physically excited because I’m physically attracted. Not because my pants brushed up against my penis. And I like this version so much better. It feels more like a solid thing, rather than a passing urge that must be calmed.

And the emotional and mental aspect couldn’t be more different either. It really didn’t exist back then. Getting off was getting off. Now a large part of my pleasure comes from seeing my partner have pleasure. Of feeling connected. Sixteen-year-old Rick wouldn’t have fully understood that. He probably couldn’t have, even if he tried.

But with age comes not just a better world view of sex, it comes with issues as well.

Ability, Flashes, Self-View

Age is cruel. The body that looks back naked at me in the mirror isn’t what I would call hot. It’s not young and sexy. It has hair, lumps, and scars where they should not be. And inside, I don’t feel as desirable as I once did.

Part of this is mental. Part physical. Some things I can deal with, others beyond my control. Here’s an admission I’ve never said in public, I have ED. Erectile Disfunction. It started when I was in my thirties. By my mid-forties, I could barely perform. Stress was a big culprit, but there was something physical as well. And now I have Cialis once a day, to keep my body performing as the owner’s manual says it should. But that also plays with your mind. When ED starts, it’s humiliating. That “I’m Sorry” speech is traumatic. Really traumatic. And even once you get treatment that works, it’s always in the back of your mind … will I have to give the speech again?

Hormones are also changing. Only this is an ebb tide. And yes, men get hot flashes too. Mine were also in my 40s. And they were quite different from what I saw from my female counterparts. Mine were slow and simmering. Not so much a flash as an hour-long bake. I’d wake up at night drenched. Absolutely soaked. I could go for hours, sometimes days, with what felt like a fever. Only it was my hormone levels readjusting. They stopped after a couple of years, and a couple thousand sheet changes.

So sex in your older years? It comes with issues that the younger versions of us could not fathom.

The Long Haul

Here’s the bottom line. I like sex. Masturbation, partner, whatever. It’s fun. It’s better now, in a way. I know what I want. What pleases me. How I can please others. I’m more comfortable with the act, the lead up, the emotions, and everything else associated with it. I have no desire to slow down or to watch my desire fade away, because it isn’t.

I do have some self-perception issues, still clinging to the belief that beauty is associated with being younger. Right or wrong, it’s what was installed in me at the factory. And while I have little desire to “hook up” with someone well below my age, I feel some sadness that they wouldn’t look at me sexually anyway. There is a passing that comes with age that is more than physical. There is an emotional change that Cialis can’t fix. I think this is a mental menopause that I’m going through, and at the end of it I will feel finally comfortable in the body in which I’m living. In the physical being which I give to my partner. But right now, it’s in transition. It’s confused. It doesn’t understand this number which is affixed to its next birthday. It feels like things are changing without control. But all things do change, and I know that I will come out of this latest evolution with a solid mindset. With my sexuality still firmly in place, just more solidified. More real. It’s just that this metamorphosis is not such a pleasurable thing. I both want to finally be older and wiser, while also dreading the hell out of it.

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Captain Rick
Our dear Cap’n has been sailing the seas of life for 50-some years. Somewhere between impulsive and a stick-in-the-mud, he finds himself embarking on journeys that will either solidify his wandering ways, or give him a nervous breakdown. Come join him on his new adventures in moving pictures on YouTube at https://youtube.com/ThePirateWanderer.

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