Will age ruin our sex life?

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zeta douglas AP Actors Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas have been happily married for years, regardless of the huge age gap between them.

 

QUESTION: I’m 36, and my partner is 25 years older than me. We met on a train a year ago, started talking and never stopped. I’m happier than I’ve ever been and the sex is pretty good, too - even though he’s not really into long bedroom sessions and “repeat performances”, unlike my previous, younger boyfriends. Now we’re talking of marriage, but my closest friends think I’m mad. They say I’ll be sex-starved and looking for a toyboy in ten years’ time, and should find someone closer to my own age.

 

ANSWER: Who’s thinking of marrying this man? You or your friends? Their opinion might be valuable if he was unkind or unreliable, but they shouldn’t express a prejudice based solely on his age.

There are few absolutes in matters of the heart and I know plenty of successful age-gap marriages. You could leave for a younger man, only to find this youthful male leaves you for a younger woman, or loses his mojo, or (and this is the more likely scenario) doesn’t fully reciprocate your emotions.

What strikes me about your letter is the reciprocity: the fact you and your partner started a conversation on that train, which has never stopped. In other words, you have found a delight and ease in each other’s company that you have never known previously. For many, this kind of communion is the holy grail of relationships, absolutely not to be discarded lightly.

However, I can’t help noting you describe the sexual side of your relationship as “pretty good”, which could be construed as damning with faint praise. You say your partner doesn’t want to spend hours making love, and that he’s not up for repeat performances.

Quite frankly, I’m not surprised. Precious few men of 61 have the stamina they did in their youth, and many find their libido significantly diminished.

In ten years’ time, the difference in your sexual appetites will almost certainly be more marked - and that is something to bear in mind.

Have you talked to your boyfriend about your fears? It’s important to know now if he’s open-minded on the topic and would happily consult a doctor if he felt himself to have a problem.

Another key factor is whether you plan to have children or not. If babies are on the cards, you might feel just as depleted of energy in a decade’s time as your spouse. And many women find themselves less focused on sex as the menopause approaches (although other women find the reverse).

It seems to me that the answer to your query depends on your personal priorities. Is regular, lengthy, vigorous sex a top priority for you, to the point it’s more important than companionability?

I do not seek to downgrade the role of energetic sex in a good relationship, but most couples I know come to a compromise about the amount of time they spend making love. There’s nearly always one partner who wants more sex, and it seldom has much to do with differences in age.

The most important thing is that you make a decision based on your own gut instinct, not your friends’ caveats. And remember, love is not only blind, it’s indifferent to age gaps, too. - Daily Mail

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