Oldie but goodie. I just hope the LW isn't just making unfounded assumptions about how his wife would feel about this. There are so many instances of people thinking "my spouse would never..." only to later found out that in fact, their spouse would, and they could have saved a whole lot of hand wringing through some frank conversations. When was the last time the wife commented about sex work? Was it last week, or 20 years ago? Does he think it's her honest opinion, or what she thinks she's supposed to say?
This topic seems to come up a lot lately. I see this one is a repeat, but we've had some variation on it often enough.
The Boomers get a lot of shit lately (and often individuals deserve it) but they were the generation of the sexual revolution and now that they are in their golden years, it makes sense that they could normalize a discussion of what to expect as couples age.
Sort of like how pregnancy or childrearing can affect a sex life, so does aging- if we are going to continue to have long term, potentially lifelong, partnerships, it's good to have as many conversations about this as possible to manage expectations.
My stance on seeking sex outside a marriage when the marriage sex life is over is that it's not cheating if the other partner is no longer in a sexual relationship with you anymore, but it can still be harmful for the relationship (both the intimacy/trust and also real world problems if the partner gets "found out"). Discreet visits with a sex worker to me seems like a great way to handle this- you aren't going to fall for someone else, it won't become an affair, you are unlikely to be discovered. My only question would be if how the LW might handle it if the wife notices the expense. Shame they can't just honestly discuss it, but never having sex again is not an option and nagging the wife for sex is not an option either and having an affair would be a much more terrible option, etc. So carry on, geezer. Wonder if he's still hiring a sex worker all these years later?
Yes. Be discreet about it, be a good client for your sex workers, and take this secret with you to the grave.
I feel sad for all the aging wives out there who just want to receive oral sex 4 times per year, and other than that have very little libido. They don’t initiate sex because they don’t feel sexy anymore. They don’t feel like they deserve to take up any space in the conversation. Their husbands no longer see them as sexually attractive/available and it never occurs to him to give without receiving once in awhile. Hr defined the situation as “wife and I don’t have sex anymore, guess I’ll go somewhere else”. When in reality the wife would likely have sex for the husbands sake when she feels sexy. Why does she feel sexy, because her husband gives once in awhile. She is happy to give as well, because she feels so loved by him. Most women who say they are against sex work or non-monogamy are actually mourning the loss of their husbands attention
Hope if LW is still visiting the whores he tips his hat to Madonna at the front desk.
Also, whatever money Geezer spends on the prostitutes, money taken from the marriage's joint assets as a whole, Mrs. Geezer should get an equal amount she gets to spend on whatever she wants, something special just for her.
I hope that he's sure that his wife doesn't want sex and that he isn't the one who's declining sex with her in favour of younger models. If she wants sex and he's ignoring her so he can go be with sex workers, that's not cool.
LW, your wife has got it wrong. Men don’t use sex workers, they pay sex workers and with old geezers like yourself, the money is well earnt, lets be real here.
@5, the aging wives can visit sex workers too, if they hunger for a bit of oral. It is an equal opportunity business, though prices may vary.
Can people stop using the words prostitute/ whores etc, please. Sex worker is the preferred name by those in the industry.
Yes, don't tell her.
That's what Dan says, what Dr. Laura says, and even what Ann Landers said.
Always ask what value the information has for who receives it before dropping a bomb.
The normative values that @Dan posited years ago is that a monogamous commitment is a commitment to provide your partner with good sex regularly. Relatedly, @Dan argued if you reach a point where you no longer want sex, you cannot unilaterally shutdown your partner's sex life based on a monogamous commitment that you are no longer fulfilling. Furthermore, you cannot be cheated upon because you cannot cheat someone out of something they do not want. I find these ideas logically coherent and reasonable.
I start with this because there is a suggestion that for people in LW's position sex workers are the answer. But while we here generally support sex workers as an option for some people, there will be others for whom buying sex is not of interest. While their spouses may be unhappy with their dating and having sex with other partners, if they are not interested in providing physical intimacy, then there needs to be some understanding that their partner will seek out that sex in a manner that suits their needs that may be sex workers, but it may be a friend with benefits. Of course with the caveat that this should be done discretely and should not take away from their focus on their relationship.
@5/OmarSanchezCat: Are you speaking from experience here? Separately, you create a whole scenario of husband-wife dynamic that you put forth as a norm, which I do not see as accurate. But even to the extent it covers some relationships, you seem to suggest that marriage partners be entirely accepting of quarterly sex, and there are going to be people for whom that does not work.
Normally my advice in these situations would be to tell the spouse who has withdrawn the sex that the marriage is now open for both of them, but as these people must be (must have been) at least 65, I can't see how that would help matters. There seems far less chance of being found out than if he were having affairs, though Fichu @7 is right that he's spending their joint assets so I hope he's taking her out for meals and buying her presents too!
Sublime @12, yeah, I found Omar's comment oddly specific. I interpreted it as, the couple has sex year round and once every three months the husband should do her the favour of going down on her, and that will keep her "feeling sexy" and interested in PIV/blowjobs the rest of the time. While I can't fault the logic that if you stop going down on your wife, she'll be uninclined to do the things that get YOU off, I'm wondering where the four times a year came in. I'd suggest more like four times a month if one wants to keep her from feeling like you've lost all interest in making her happy.
EmmaLiz @2, I'm wondering whether sometime in the past five years he had a heart attack on top of a sex worker. ;)
Yeah, sorry, bullshit. Cheating on your spouse isn't ok - even if you convince yourself it's totally harmless and you'll 100% be able to keep a secret.
My starting-point would be to ask whether SOS's wife would like sex herself.
Good answer from Dan, imv. SOS asks for a blanket absolution for seeing sex workers but he makes a point of offering something more nuanced.
Where do you read that the sex workers are paid from "their joint assets"? Perhaps they both have their own assets (in addition to the joint assets).
@8. stonesoup. Yes--and if she wants sex in very specific circumstances, like after a long walk on the beach on holiday after reminiscing about their past and expressing support for their children, he should seek to provide these. Especially since he's getting his own needs met elsewhere.
@12. Sublime. To a degree I see dwindling-to-nothing sex as a function as the whole state of a relationship. The onus, for me, on the person who wants sex is to seek to improve a LTR first.
RE @17: These people are (now) 70 and got married in the 1960s. If they did maintain separate accounts for that long they'd be very unusual indeed. And at any rate, Wife probably expects to inherit all of her husband's assets should she outlive him, which she statistically will, so what he spends his money on at this stage of his life is very much her concern.
Harriet @18, if he's having sex with her AT ALL the answer changes. If there's no sex, there's no cheating; if there is sex between them, then he is cheating, and at minimum owes her a conversation about meeting his (additional) needs elsewhere.
I think we can take as read for the purposes of the letter that the ship has long sailed on their improving their sex life.
Ms Fan @14 - Shades of Another Country, and Bennett telling Harcourt on their first date about how his father died during the act and his mother couldn't get him off her. (Ms Cute - that film may be why I find the general response to Mr Firth's portrayal of Mr Darcy to be overrated.)
Mizz Liz - My mind went immediately to the expence as well. This is the sort of thing for which I could bestow a Holmes Award (for proposing a Seven Percent Solution; given Mr Savage's possibly lavish estimation of what should be paid for the encounter [I don't necessarily disagree as to the worth of the encounter but wonder about markets and accessibility; there is also a temptation to suggest that Mr Savage wants everyone to pay what he does, but I'll avoid it], it only seems a slight exaggeration to suggest that's close to the portion of the population for whom Regular Sex Worker Visits is a workable solution).
Ms Fichu - Do you really think that, if this is in the form of LW's withdrawing from a general fund, Mrs LW ought to be able to withdraw an equal amount if shutting down their joint sex life was her unilateral decision? I recall a letter of perhaps three years ago from a wife who agreed to her husband's seeing sex workers on occasion, and only wrote to Mr Savage because she found the expenditure excessive. Mr Savage, if memory serves, thought essentially that she should prioritize the happy marriage that expenditure provided. This could be another case of where to draw the line between the expence coming entirely from his discretionary funds and its being equally funded.
Of course, if his SW visits are secret, he may have no good alternative.
General question - Would it be bad form for a sex worker to request No Tipping or for a client to accede to such a request without offering to tip anyway?
I began my post before Ms Fan's latest; I did also consider the question of inheritance, and whether Mrs LW is one of those who lets Spouse handle all the finances.
Lava @10 not if what they want/need is to be desired. Responsive desire is why I think there's next to no gigolos out there for women. You can find a gay for pay guy but sex workers have limits too - I would think it would be much harder to find a guy willing to venture into the say octogenarian age range than it would a woman. Although such a guy would certainly have clients galore.
Also if you're feeling unattractive and that impairs your sex drive, which, yes for most right? Going to see a likely younger and much more attractive sex worker seems... unlikely to help.
Picking up a boyfriend also more difficult as the guys start kicking the bucket, quite the coup to cut one out of the herd past a certain age. The competition is cut throat.
Ha, I see I made the same point about his spending their money the first time this letter was run.
I’m 99.9% always in agreement with Dan.
But, this is one of those times I disagree. We do not know enough context or information yet from OP. Except for the vague “sex has fallen off to zero”, we don’t know any of the reasons for this, nor the wife’s perspective. Furthermore, “geezer” could be in his early 60’s for all we know. So the wife could be rightly injured by this as much as a 25-year-old.
Furthermore, and I know this has been mentioned by others, the possible financial injustice to a partner is enormous. He could be spending thousands of dollars, and her entire savings and healthcare, on his secret hook-ups. It could end up a DTMFA situation for the wife.
I wish we had more info. While "the sex has fallen to zero", SOS doesn't say they have zero physical intimacy, so he could still kiss his wife on the lips and give her an STI without her knowledge. That would be bad. Because "no sex" does not equal "no risk to his wife"; so his dishonesty might cause harm, and that is the measure of whether dishonesty is wrong.
(I pretty much wrote the same thing when this came up weeks ago; I don't understand continuing avoidance of this nuance in all responses. The odds are that both this and the previous LW did still kiss their sexless spouses and expose them to some saliva even frenchless.)
Let's say he's right that his wife's prejudices would indeed mean that two old people would end up alone if he were to be honest. That would be bad too. But maybe he shoulda thought of that before marrying a prejudiced woman?
So I lean towards not countenancing his dishonesty which might cause harm. But I admit it's not a slam-dunk because I'm assuming a form of kissing that limits risk to her.
I do agree with SA’s comment to a point. Once it becomes sex/ relationship, then it has to be disclosed.
Logically, yes, she’s closed shop so he can go elsewhere. In terms of an honest marriage, well. That’s not there. And tough it disgusts his wife. She’s pulled out of the deal.
Another clause to wind into the marriage vows.
If sex stops from either side, then the non stopping partner will commence discussions about opening the marriage.
Let’s hope she was also sneaking off to a young male sex worker. Cause that’s what this is about.. all he can think about is pussy. Let’s qualify that, young pussy.
@15/Traffic Spiral: You cannot cheat someone out of something they do not want.
@18/Harriet: "The onus, for me, on the person who wants sex is to seek to improve a LTR first."
Why is it the burden of the person who wants sex? That seems like a sex negative perspective which treats sex like it is something extra to a relationship, and not something central to a relationship. Why is there no onus on the spouse who decides they are no longer interested in sex to explain why and offer an open relationship?
With respect for this particular case, we don't know that there wasn't communication didn't happen, and as a practical matter I do not suggest that anyone run off to a FWB or sex workers without trying to improve their own connection to their spouse.
Among other reasons, sex workers cost money, which may make them undesirable for many people. But I see the bigger point is that a spouse cannot decide they no longer want sex, do not want to allow their spouse to have sex with a friend, and not engage sex workers. Something has to give, otherwise you are back in a scenario in which the spouse can unilaterally end their spouse's sex life, which is to take their sexual autonomy way, and not within their right.
There was some comment about the feelings of a spouse under these circumstances, and while I don't think anyone should rub their partners face in extra-relationship sex, they still cannot say they don't want any sex and use their feelings as an argument for denying their partner sex outside the relationship. Again, that gives them too much power.
I agree with Sublime here, Harriet, but also because if the long term partner has no interest in sex anymore (as does happen sometimes with age) then it's really not a fair position to put either of them in for the sexual partner to need to always be cajoling, working, etc just to get the uninterested partner to do it for them. Most of us don't want to feel like sex is a hassle or a favor, we want to feel the other person is into it. I think this would be the draw back of hiring a sex worker as well for many people, but the LW seems not to mind this aspect. I'd think it would be a relief to the partner not to be hassled for sex and not to have to put out that sexual labor -as it would seem if they are uninterested.
The only way I think the burden should be on the person who still wants sex would be if that person has been selfish or neglectful or in a bad habit or doing something else that might've contributed to the limited or nonexistent sex life. Then yes I could see the sexually-withdrawn partner choosing no sex over sex under those circumstances and therefore it would make sense for the still-sexual partner to work on changing those circumstances in order to change the choice. But people do lose interest in sex altogether, it doesn't always have anything to do with the partner, and I really think we need to normalize expectations around this- how you can have tenderness and affection and companionship without sex and how that doesn't mean there's something wrong with your relationship that needs to be worked on. But of course, to do that, there can't be one partner full of resentment told to just suppress all their desires. That's an unreasonable expectation, and the sexually withdrawn partner is the one with work to do if they believe it is reasonable (which we do not know if the LW's wife does).
@19. Bi. Yes, that ship has sailed--but I'm still not entirely happy with a 'no-sex? Then no cheating' boilerplate. Someone in the lw's situation can engineer a situation where no sex arises, so he can go to sex workers with a clean conscience.
I'd think that in longstanding relationships, especially for people in an age group where there's been less outspoken discussion of sex, most of the sex happens in accordance with grooved routines. One party may solicit it and the other grant it, often wordlessly. We might hold to Savagista norms of advocating for ourselves in terms of varied or kinky sexual needs, or of discussing any innovation we might like to explore--but I'm not sure all people's sex lives are like that. With the understanding between so many partners being tacit, and with women, further, being socialised into attitudes of quiescence and receptivity, there's even more of a need for the guy in this course to ask, genuinely, what she wants.
(Of course not all het wives in their late 60s and 70s are sexually quiescent or responsive; and the lady here might not be).
@31. Emma. I see your point. I don't really mean 'cajoling' ie asking for sex. I mean more trying to determine whether a longstanding partner actually wants a sex-life at a time when you're not seeking to bang them. This is a conversation that I might appreciate myself somewhere down the line.
@30. Sublime. I'd think sex a 'core component' of a relationship in the same way as eg honesty and openness in discussing major life issues, like where to work, or what one thinks of a child's new partner, is core, or participation in a shared interest like rock-climbing or travel. If a spouse injured themselves so they couldn't rock-climb, we would expect the pair to find a work-around and stay together. Lots of relationshops survive a reconfiguration of what's core to them. Maybe I see sex here a bit like how I do rock-climbing.
@34: I mean, sex is a core component of a SEXUAL relationship, by definition. If marriages were generally viewed and generally functioned as rock-climbing-ual relationships rather than sexual relationships, and climbing rocks were something that nearly all people had a strong drive to do, then a rock-climbing-ending injury would necessitate either ending the marriage or climbing rocks with another partner, and it would be screwed up for the can't-climb-rocks partner to insist on no rock climbing for the other partner (indeed, were that exact scenario to happen in our existing culture, I'd label the controlling partner who won't let zir partner go rock climbing with a friend or paid professional abusive; if anything, even Dan's perspective gives people FAR more leeway to be controlling about sexual behavior than we find acceptible with respect to any other kind of behavior). Climb all the rocks you like with whomever you like, be honest about it, and let your spouse divorce you if trying to force you to never climb rocks again is more important than keeping a 45-year-long marriage going (I say that with no implied judgment that one option is preferable - indeed, ending things after that many years, or even fewer, may well be best for everyone; we should seriously consider a norm of marriage, by default, only lasting 30 years or so, enough time for the breeders among us to hump out a few kids and raise them to self-sufficiency, and then people can re-evaluate at that point without legally coercive attachment or shame).
I feel so terrible for the letter writer's wife, who on the rare occasion she receives sexual attention from her husband is being exposed to STIs without her knowledge. I hope that since this letter aired the letter writer was found out and the wife got everything in the divorce and now spends those joint account funds getting spoiled by hot male sex workers.
Something I wish Dan would understand (and convey to his readers who constantly ask for his cheating permission slip) is that there's so much more to a dwindling sex life than reduced physical libido. If these men would treat their wives as people with their own desires and needs, rather than frigid mother-figures doling out rewards and punishments, they might be able to reconnect with their wives instead of putting them on the back burner for the rest of their lives.
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