One of the nicest fringe benefits of having selected the sub-specialty of andrology as a career is that it makes for great party talk. Even the most inept and inarticulate social conversationalist can find an easy opening line with which to start talking to me. You see, sex is everybody's favorite subject. Nobody wants to talk about morbid conditions like sex after a heart attack, epileptic attacks, paralytic attacks and stuff with doctors, but sex.now, that's different thing! Besides, many guys are self-proclaimed authorities on the subject of sex too, and, since I'm always willing to learn fro the maestros, they find in me a willing victim. Also, it helps people if they say hello to me and are seen talking to me at parties. It serves as the perfect decoy. The conclusion drawn by others when they see someone in animated conversation with me is that this guy can't be my patient, because, if he was a patient, he'd have been too embarrassed to meet me and would have avoided me instead. Anyway, now word has got around about this phenomenon, and nowadays it is in fact my patients who make it a point who make it a point to come up to me early in the evening to say hello. They feel that this way they'll be above suspicion. I don't complain or passage to manhood judgment on all this. I am happy either way because, patient or no patient, I get to meet and talk to a lot of interesting people, both during and outside of working hours.
At a recent party, one such sex pundit strode up to me. Clutched in his right fist was what seemed like his fifth 'large'. Nestled between his left index and middle fingers was a vile smelling Havana. He swaggered up to me with gregariousness oozing from every pore of his being. I braced myself for the oncoming onslaught.
'Howdy, doc!' he began, his left hand slapping my right shoulder hard. He didn't notice the cigar ash that immediately fell on my right shoe. He didn't notice the whisky-soda that fell on my left shoe either. He was just too full of himself to care.
Our man Flint was in a pontific mood. 'I'm telling you doc, all marriages, sooner or later, end in a stalemate. It's like a mix of both. Win-win and lose-lose. More of the latter I suspect though. Finally, even the mate becomes stale .' He guffawed at his won humour and continued, 'By this time, the electricity between man and wife is long gone. The thrill of just a touch or a look that we used to experience in our younger years becomes history. the sex addict be]comes a perfunctory duty and a chore that both parties would rather not engage in. My wife and I have talked a lot about this, doc, and have agreed that we would like to work at obtaining a solution to this within the context of monogamy only. Surreptitious affairs, wife swapping, and open marriage are not for us. We'd rather work on our own marriage.'
Suddenly, I because aware that I was nodding metonymically in response to this soliloquy and was now standing with my back to a wall, approximately fifteen feet away from where this assault began. To my luck, the wall had a large open window. I made a mental note of this emergency exit. I had a feeling that I might need it soon.
'I've done a lot of reading on this subject doc,' Flint went on, with authority. We've tried everything, ell nearly. You seminal, I'm almost fifty-five now, and my wife isn't must younger. Surely, it's too much to expect us to recreate our wedding night and feed each other cherries, for God's sad in the sack! Yet, this is what one of your colleagues, a famous sexologist, has advised us to do.'
I let that pass, and waited for him to continue. He didn't disappoint.'I believe that even eighty-year-old Americans do this to keep their juices flowing. These guys are crazy, I tell you. As it is my simpler. She prefers instead to lock herself up in the puja room for several hours.'
I didn't blame her. I would have done the same thing too if I was a woman and being in the bedroom with Flint was the alternative. Flint turned briefly to signal for another drink and I quickly seized the opportunity to pull out the hanky from my pocket and wipe his salivary spray off my face with it. Shortly, his fuel arrived, and he was ready once again for propulsion.
'Aah, where was I? Yess-sss! And then here was this other freaked out therapist who told us to buy some perfumed oils and give each other sensuous massages. He went on to say that throughout the message we should both mutter naughty, erotic, sexy nothings to one another. When I told my wife all this, she thought I'd gone crazy, and advised me to see a shrink. Her pujas became longer after that.'
My only thought was that these guys would require a considerable amount of oil to cover each other's bodies. I wondered I the stuff was very expensive . fleetingly, I tried to visualize Mr and Mrs Flint, naked in bed, and slathering one another with oil. A shudder passed down my spine.
But Flint had other plans for me. 'Do you think there's something wrong with me, doc?' he asked rhetorically, 'Why does my wife want me to see a shrink? I assure you, I'm not impotent. I get damn good erections at all other times - especially when I'm alone in the bathroom with myself- EXCEPT when I am trying to have sex with my wife. I tell you doc, this is a serious problem and you must write about it in your columns. I'm certain that this happens in many marriages.'
Just then Flint gestured to the bartender hypnotically, like Mandrake the magician , and a full glass of whisky-soda appeared in his hand from nowhere. I was impressed. Flint's vice jolted me back to the reality of the present.
'What doc? You are not saying anything. I'm the only one doing the talking,' he accused, perspicaciously.
I was quick to seize this rare privilege to squeeze in a few words sideways. I was sure that this favour was not bestowed upon too many people. 'What you say is very poignant indeed,' I reassured him, 'why don't we discuss it over dinner?'
Mandrake seemed unhappy to relinquish his strangleholds on either me or his drink, but reluctantly agreed after fixing himself one more slugger for the table. By now, we also noticed that most people were leaving.
I told him that human sexuality, both in the male as well as in the female, changes with advancing age, or at least, it should. And that trying to recapture the sexuality of one's twenties in one's fifties is quite absurd. And that one should embrace a new sexuality that is age appropriate.
Just then, Narda (isn't that Mandrake's beloved?) made her appearance out of then air, just like his drink. Only, this time one who is still drinking and hasn't eaten,' she uttered ominously.
I understood instantaneously that my friend's term 'stalemate' was the greatest euphemism of all time. And that his term 'win-win' was pure delusion.
This was a one hundred per cent 'lose-lose', 'checkmate' situation. And poor Flint was talking about mating! Better get out of here fast, my antennae told me.
Take Home Message:
It is true that human sexuality in both sexes changes with age. It is now known that human beings are sexually active until very ripe old age, even in their eighties and nineties. This is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about. Geriatric sexuality is very real. Even the aged need makes love not war, and sex is but one avenue for its expression. Hence, one should try to embrace an age-appropriate sexuality. Many resources are available on this subject.