QUESTION: I turned 50 a month ago. My husband gave me jewellery and, later that day, a gift-wrapped sex toy. I was shocked by the inclusion of such an unlikely and unwanted gift. We’ve had a good sex life for 26 years, so why foist something like that on me?
ANSWER: I agree a sex aid isn’t the most sophisticated of presents. Furthermore, the intrusion of a toy into a marriage that isn’t accustomed to such gadgetry cannot fail to cause waves.
On the plus side, your husband isn’t a completely insensitive oaf, as he’s taken care to give you lovely jewellery. However, there’s clearly some sort of message encoded in the second gift.
You feel insulted because you imagine it implies some deficiency in your love life. But it’s quite possible your spouse imagines he’s saluting you as a desirable woman. Many women fear they’ll lose their mojo in mid-life and this could be your husband’s clumsy way of saying you’ve still got it.
But you must also examine the possibility that your husband’s message is a little more loaded. It’s not unusual for one person to think everything’s fine in bed, while the other feels a little novelty and renewed vigour would spice things up.
The only way you’re going to discern your husband’s motivation is by talking to him — and the more gentle and accepting you are during that conversation, the more likely you are to get to the truth.
Ask him how he’d feel if you gave him Viagra for his birthday, without prior discussion. Might it not suggest disappointment?
If your husband feels your sex life needs a little reinvention, why not suggest some alternatives. There may be fantasies you’ve never voiced, or a dearth of sensual touch.
There may even come a time when you see this unwanted present as a useful barometer of your marriage’s erotic climate. - Daily Mail