SL Letter of the Day: Geezerdom

Comments

1
This guy is awesome.
2
Get off the Viagra. Your little blue friend is helping you destroy your relationship.
3
@2. So you would rather he be horny in the extreme all the time?
4
@3 And he would also bareback trees, obviously.
5
So after 45 years sex has fallen off to zero and the geezer now bangs prostitutes on a regular basis. I don't see what's awesome or loving about this guy. No mention of trying to break out of the dwindling-to-zero sex pattern, no mention of discussing thie need for intimacy with his wife, no mention of concern for his wife other than the selfish concern that she will find his actions disgusting, and no guilt (catholic or otherwise). This guy is a CPOS. We get it Dan, you're pro monogamish. Yay for people who love sex, yay for people who love sex with different partners--seriously, it's good to put this stuff out there. But people who are committed, who took vows to be faithful, have an obligation to be honest with their partners. Doing otherwise deprives said partners of *their* right to be in the type of relationship they want. Being horny doesn't give you a pass to take away your partner's freedom of choice.
6
Unreal. I don't know how many of you have been in long term relationships, but I doubt any of us will be banging regularly after 45 years.
7
jujube80 @ 5, I am hoping your moniker indicates you were born in 1980 or something, because youth is the only thing that could explain your PC, anti sex, man hating comments. Or maybe the "80" is about you being in a "Women's Studies" department during that decade? If the LW is at 45 years of pretty monogamous marriage today that is quite an achievement. Not only the 45 years, but think about those years? The 70s? Do what you want and dump / divorce your spouse the minute something better comes up? Sex scared 80s. 2nd wave sex liberation in the 2000s? I'm 47 male, have had 25 years of good, sometimes great sex, but my 57 year male partner is, naturally, having less interest and capacity to satisfy. Lucky for me, I have not had to ask for permission to "do what I need to do." Makes me love him even more. And keeps us together. Going forward, its probably not a loveless relationship, but increasingly a sexless one. Honestly, I wish it were not so, but I also wish I didn't get older every year, was not going bald, and getting old myself. Grow up.
8
@5--Oh the conviction! The moral self-righteousness!

So what, the longing for intimacy that has sent Dan thousands of letters, wrecked millions of unfulfilling marriages, caused untold billions of infidelities--letter writer can just shrug that off because jujubee80 has decided loneliness can be vanquished by a single vow given before a person even understands what it means to get older? Or before learning how cruel and irrevocable some of life's changes can be? Have you learned nothing of human frailty by reading these letters? Fuck sakes. What a tidy little world you live in.
9
For all we know, his wife has something on the side as well. Go for it, geezer, but do it safely. And if you find out your wife has been doing it as well, you just need to accept it!
10
jujubee80: No mention of trying to break out of the dwindling-to-zero sex pattern, no mention of discussing thie need for intimacy with his wife, no mention of concern for his wife other than the selfish concern that she will find his actions disgusting, and no guilt (catholic or otherwise).
We don't know what kind of conversations SOS has had with with his wife. In fact, we don't know the wife; he does. And I take him at his word that after 45 years together, he doesn't think she'd be okay with opening up their marriage or him seeing sex workers.
Maybe he didn't mention these things because he didn't have to--he had a specific question he was asking. Maybe he has no concern for his wife, and maybe he has a lot of concern. The fact that he didn't tell us he does doesn't mean he doesn't. And what about this: I really don’t want to hurt her but revealing my outside activities would certainly do so as she thinks men using prostitutes is disgusting--that sounds like someone who is concerned about hurting his wife.

You seem to want him to suffer from guilt, Catholic or otherwise. Why?

But did you read the part where he said: "I now find the urge gets stronger as the body gets weaker"? This is a man who isn't having any sex, who misses it terribly. The geezer/Viagra angle is pretty much a red herring. He is in a sexless marriage that he doesn't want to chuck just for sex. But he thinks about sex all the time and wants to have it. You tell him to just do without because he took a vow? Would you tell the wife to "do her wifely duty" too?

If it makes a difference, I think Dan is far too quick generally to suggest couples open up a marriage--not everyone wants to or can do that. He's standing pretty firmly on the anti-monogamy soapbox these days, and perhaps can't see as clearly down on the ground as he should be able to. He is also very quick to suggest that couples "outsource" specific sex acts one person doesn't want to perform but the other person wants, and again, I don't think that's a very realistic solution for many people. Many people want their partner to be the one fulfilling their needs; many people in long-term, committed relationships conflate or equate sex with intimacy, and don't want that intimacy spread around.
But in this case . . . well, I know that couple. Or at least I know that woman. I know a lot of her. She is done with sex. And she'd never agree to an open marriage or her husband's "outsourcing" his sexual needs. But she loves her husband, and she loves their life together, and she loves the life she has as a married woman. And he loves her, and loves most of their life together, and presumably loves the life he has as a married man.
So he settles for this less-than-perfect-but-better-than-the-alternatives-solution, and you come along and ream him. And really, what's it to you how these two do or don't conduct their marriage.
11
It's pretty spectacular that I'm considered the morally indignant one on this thread when the majority of comments are making far more assumptions about the LW and his relationship than I am. We don't know the LW's wife or their relationship. We do know he has made the choice to seek intimacy outside his marriage and is looking for his choice to be validated. I don't live in a black and white world, but I do believe that some things are sacred and I count vows of fidelity to your life partner among them. Loneliness and a sexless existence are soul crushing, I've experienced both and wouldn't wish those things on anyone. That said, I really, truly think that it's wrong to deceive your partner because they aren't giving you what you want and/or need sexually. I think it is balls out wrong to change the rules of a relationship without telling your partner and I think Dan should be more cautious about giving people a pass to cheat. This man's wife is not incapacitated or mentally impaired; she's a woman who's husband pays for sex and I think that's information she's entitled to. Maybe I'm alone but I think it's the height of narcissism to presume that someone would be better off not knowing something like this-people are entitled to make their own choices. If he's free to sleep with sex workers, she' should have the opportunity to accept or reject that caveat in their relationship. How this makes me immature, rigid, or a man-hater is beyond me.
12
I don't get it We don't have to assign blame here, but if the LW's wife does not want to be in a relationship with a man who sees sex workers, I don't see why on earth it is ethical to trick her into being in a relationship with a man who sees sex workers by lying about it. Why does she not have a right to know?
There are cases, say with children involved, where non-honest non-monogamy may be ethical, but I don't see what the excuse for non-honesty is here.
13
Ms Cute - Do you never feel a fleeting impulse to suggest that such a wife deserves to have reality smack her squarely in the derriere? Such a wearer of the smug and spiteful face of social monogamy makes me long for a system in which it were presumed that every married person had at least one outside lover and the astonishing guests on the talk shows would be the monogamous couples, which is much more enthusiasm for such a setup than Mr Savage's sermons ever produce in me.

That said, I can entirely respect someone capable of weighing up pluses and minuses and making the decision that the odds of finding a still-sexual partner who rates sufficiently highly in a large enough number of important aspects are far too low to make severing a union that still gets quite high marks at all a good idea. Even so, can one really doubt that LW is depleting the retirement account, especially if he's being Mr Savage's Ideal Client with all the attendant overtipping. If Mr Savage were a little more honest about caring only for his friends the sex workers whom he wants all to be joining him in luxury skyboxes laughing at proles and helots with Messrs Savage and Jennings and barely at all about the spouses of their clients, I'd probably have no significant quarrel with him. As it is, though, I seriously doubt the fees are all that substantially drawn from the client's entirely discretionary income.
14
@11, 12--Because the odds are good the LW's wife unilaterally removed the option of having a fulfilling sexual partnership from him. Is this not a fairly common occurrence on your planet? Here on earth it is extremely common. And the common response is, "Suck it up, Buttercup, you made a vow that only applies to you and not to your sexless partner." Which is bullshit. So when I see a letter from a guy who is sensitive, compassionate, grateful, articulate, amusing, discreet, in no doubt of his needs, and who takes matters into his own hands at an advanced age, without apology and without bitterness, I approve.
15
I agree with @12. This guy sounds like, wah, no sex, and talking to my wife about getting my needs met elsewhere is too hard, so i'll just do what I want. Tell her. She should get to decide whether she's okay with it, whether she wants to work on it with him, or whether she wants to leave.
16
@14 - that's why I say we don't have to judge who is at fault. If he feels his wife has unilaterally violated the terms of their relationship in a way he can't accept, and isn't willing to negotiate compromises, I won't blame him if he leaves.
What I won't accept is that it is ethical for him to take that type of choice (i.e. an informed(!) choice of staying in or leaving a relationship) away from her.
17
Well gee late bloomer, if you approve then it surely justifies the LW deceiving his wife. Because, ya know, here on earth things always flow according to stereotypes so we shouldn't bother considering other possibilities.
18
@16--Sure, leave. Just leave. So you'd rather he jettison "a great friendship that provides us both with deeply satisfying companionship"? Do you know what the stats on depression are among seniors, and how much of that is due directly to loneliness and isolation? No, me neither. But I bet they're pretty high. And how many friends do you think one makes in geezerdom equal to a spouse of forty-five years? And why force that choice on her, now, at this point? How very puritan of you. And cruel.

Don't forget, she has already taken a choice away from him (in all likelihood), violated their sacred vows (probably) by withdrawing from sex and "changed the rules of the relationship without telling her partner," as jujubee would have it. And he has accepted that with reasonable good humor, as far as we can tell, for the sake of the great friendship they have. Why are you insisting they ruin this warm and sustaining friendship just so your morals can prove a point? Ethics be damned. What's the point of being ethical when you can't grasp that they'll do more harm than good?
19
@11, 12: There is never a one-size-fits-all response. In the case of yesterday's SLLOTD (Leaving Monogamy Behind) the late-20s lw wanted to know if she should try to get her reluctant husband to convert to non-monogamy, renounce her desires to have sex with other men, despite not complaining that she and her husband aren't having a satisfying enough sex life, or cheat and keep her husband in the dark.

I thought it was wrong of her to consider cheating. I don't think a marriage based on that kind of dishonesty is a good idea. I think that the husband deserves to know what his wife wants so that he can decide what he wants to do, based on that information.

But that is a couple in their 20s; this is one whose members are in their 60s, at least. They may have children and grandchildren; the wife may not have much of a social identity except as a wife; neither of them is going to have an easy time, at their ages, of finding a new mate. In short, the situations, the circumstances, are different.

I think one needs to take a whole lot into consideration and in this case, I think it could be a case of what the wife doesn't know won't hurt her.
20
because, LateBloomer, it is not about _my_ morals, but about _her_ morals. You keep judging her (and, I'll add, you sound rather bitter while you do). I'm neither judging her decreased libido nor his increased libido. FWIW, if they indeed have a great partnership, I think she'd be smart to accept some outside activity on his part. But it's not my relationship. The only thing I believe in is that no one should be tricked into staying in a relationship that they would leave in possession of all relevant facts.
Also - you're assuming zero chance of discovery. What about the hurt&betrayal if she does find out?
21
Mr. Ven: No, I don't. I read these letters and for the most part I feel compassion for these people.
23
@nocutename - my problem is the degree to which that removes agency from her. She know what her social identity is. She knows how old she is, how many friends she has, how her children would feel if their relationship ended etc. etc. So if, given all that, she would rather end her marriage than accept her husband seeing sex workers, I strongly believe that should be her right and withholding that information from her is deeply unethical.
Also, as I wrote @20 - all of this assume zero chance of discovery. Hard to tell how discreet he is, but the chance is almost definitely not zero.
24
@adam.smith: You're right: this lw is removing agency from his wife. But she unilaterally removed sexual pleasure in the context of a loving relationship from him.
I think that while it would be her right to end the marriage rather than accept that her husband sees sex workers, it would be a real shame, with significant negative outcomes for both of them. Or chances are that the marriage wouldn't end, because the wife might be aware that the financial repercussions would be too severe to make it practical, but she would be angry and bitter, which wouldn't make her happy and would destroy the loving, affectionate companionship they have now.

No, it's not ideal that he not be 100% honest with her; it's not ideal that she not have information and the opportunity to make fully informed decisions. But most things in life aren't ideal.

As for his ability to hide this from her, you never know. It's quite possible. And he is taking a risk, to be sure. But he seems quite certain that telling her would absolutely lead to the inevitable end of the marriage, so in this case, there's at least a chance that it can continue as is, which seems to be what both of them want.

Sometimes moral absolutes are not the best or most realistic solutions.
25
Ok, scenario. He tells her. She doesn't want a divorce. She doesn't want to have sex, although she may try to for a while until the horribleness of that attempt turns them both off again. It hurts her terribly that he's the kind of guy who would see prostitutes and she feels her marriage is a sham, but she doesn't leave (no other options, no independent financial security, she loves him still, whatever). He stops seeing prostitutes, for a while or forever. Either way, both still miserable, because now there is this miasma of pain over everything and a permanent loss of trust. How is this good?
26
@jujube80 you know nothing of life, as evidenced by your comments. i am 50. it all looks very different to me now than when i was say, 25 or 30, in that i can see the specter of what awaits me, not that far in the distance. dan gave this man the right advice. just take the old folks' word for it.
27
Really Ella? Being 50 or 60 or 80 magically makes you wise and relegates me and my holdings irrelevant? Good to know there are more perks to aging than I imagined! Adam is saying it better and more dispassionately than I. This man, (who, again-people *assume* has no part or responsibility in the sexlessness of his marriage) is robbing his wife of information that is relevant to her decision to stay married to him. Consenting adults are entitled to informed consent; this is not a small or harmless deception, he is robbing her of the right to choose. That is *not* how you treat a friend and life partner, I don't care how old you are or how much pussy you crave.
28
There is an assumption in this thread that the wife has cut the dude off from sex, but all I see in the letter on this point is "After 45 years of marriage to the same woman the sex has fallen off to zero."

That *could* mean nothing more than he's lost all attraction to her; can't get it up for her. I.e. he may have some or all of the culpability for the sexlessness of his marriage. There is nothing in the letter to indicate one way or the other.

Personally, I trust my partner's judgement in lying to me. That if he chooses to lie or omit certain things, he is still fundamentally trustworthy and a true partner; that it's coming from a place of love and respect. There is a place for this in healthy relationships.

But I do think DS over-indexed a wee bit on the "it's all good" message here.
29
Most comments don't take on board that penetrative sex for older women can be no fun. You have no lubrication, excruciating pain and tissue fragility, and little libido to entice you to go through with it. Lube often doesn't help. I know how it is, and I wouldn't judge anyone for giving up, particularly if they've been told age = no sex.

Plus, has anyone noticed that the longer some women go without sex, the harder it is to get started again? Even being touched is horrible for me when I've been away for a few weeks, but awesome when we're having sex often.

So, let's assume that penetrative sex is off the agenda - she doesn't miss it, he does. She has also stopped all other sex. One option would be for him to discuss with her how much this hurts him, and to try to get non-penetrative sex back on the table. And for her to do some reading and expect it to feel unpleasant at first. That might lead to the LW being able to reduce his use of sex workers to little or even none.

None of us can know whether even broaching this scenario is possible in this marriage. Either way, if the LW is getting obsessive about sex and sex workers, it does suggest he needs to find a broader range of interests.
30
@22 Her refusing sex and doing nothing to anticipate or accommodate his needs by giving him the freedom to utilize other equivalent options isn't how you treat a life partner either. I know I, and I'm sure you, if we were in a similar sexless state ourselves, would encourage our partners to go outside the marriage/relationship. It would never get to the point that someone would have to sneak around, but the fault for that lies more heavily on the wife than on the husband for that one. She is the one cutting off sex. Expecting him to masturbate for the rest of his life is remiss on her part.
31
Hmm, @28 makes a very good point. What does the commentariat think if the LW is simply no longer attracted to his wife? Does he get Dan's seal of approval, or is he a CPOS?
32
@30 I suspect there is more than a little "thank god I get to have sex again after years of nothing" along with a bit of mid-life crisis/getting to touch something young and nubile kinda stuff going on as well. Anyone who's been deprived of sex for years or decades can probably sympathize. I imagine most of us would get a little overfocused on it too.
33
I think 22 makes a good point. I'm wondering how much of this has more to do with the Viagra than his sex drive? Is he really lusting for sex or is he using it as a way of escape? IF he cut back on it how it affect his relationship with is wife?
34
As I'd see it: Celibacy is different from Monogamy.

There was a time when they'd agreed to monogamy. Each of them was only having sex with 1 person. Now they're not-monogamous. Even in the 'most moral' case, 0 is not 1.

Since they didn't negotiate some new non-monogamous relationship when their monogamy ended, I'm having a hard time seeing how the guy could "cheat".
35
There seems to be this notion among some commenters that that not only does the wife have a right to know but that she would WANT to know. Right now she has a husband, a home, a comfortable existence. If he tells her she then has two choices: give up her life-as-she-knows-it now as a sixty or seventy something divorcee, or stay married to a man she doesn't respect and put on a good show for the neighbors. Just the choice every woman-of-a-certain-age wants to make just when she was settling into a comfortable retirement. I think in this case ignorance is bliss and the husband should just make damn sure she doesn't find out.
36
Right or wrong, the guy's letter is depressing. I don't want to be sitting around in my 60's or 70's, popping pills so my failing body can sport wood so I can go bang a prostitute.

Is it too much to ask to grow old gracefully, participating in some sort of vibrant community instead of being locked in a sexless standoff, as if the world consisted of nothing but just the two of you and your selfish desires?

Probably is too much to ask. We are all on our own, at least as things stand today. I don't think this guy's story is unique. Wish it were.

If you need me, I'll be busy slitting my wrists.
37
@31: In that case, I'd go with CPOS. I don't have a lot of sympathy for cheaters, but I also don't have a lot of sympathy for people who cut off their spouse. Either one should be an extinction level event for the relationship; there's a certain level of fear involved in telling your spouse that you're going to have sex outside the relationship, but there should be the same level of fear involved in cutting off the sexual aspect of the relationship in the first place.
38
Read Pet Sematary. LW's wife has let all his friends put it up her butt.
39
Ms Cute - I can make a case for compassion as well. This time, the image that sprang to mind was Smug and Spiteful, although I'm less inclined to that view now, reading the letter again and being more struck by LW's vulgarity, which is bad enough in a young man but insufferable in an old one (although here I remind myself of Miss Woodhouse trying to steer Harriet Smith into viewing Mr Elton as vastly superiour to Mr Martin). This particular wife may well deserve better than the norm, which of course one could only establish after lengthy cross-examination, preferable with a satisfactory quantity of daily refreshers. But in general, though, the Socially Monogamous - of the sort who cannot rise to the level of FTWL - make me rather ill. The unaware ones are a tricky case. Some of them have been sold the Fairy Tale and just never saw through it, but many made it clear that they would only see the Fairy Tale and so that had better be all that was ever presented to their eyes, and they're often worse than the conscious hypocrites.

I really wish Mr Savage would stop telling people how to work the Social Monogamy system. It's reminding me more and more of public school fagging in the way those who suffer the most from the system's evils become its biggest proponents when they are positioned to reap the benefits. I could perhaps live with a kinder, gentler SM system, but the people Mr Savage helps to game the system just make things worse by stiffening the penalties.

Oh, dear, I am depressing myself today.
40
If they are still emotionally close, I think this calls for an adult conversation -- honey, you seem happier since I stopped pestering you. I do still have sexual needs, though, so I thought you should know I might act on that. I'll keep it very discreet, in any case.

If they are more like roommates with shared finances, that puts a different spin on it. If he has sole oversight of their bank balance he has a fiduciary duty not to secretly spend them into the poorhouse through escorts, gambling, bad investments (whatever).

Maybe he can work out an affordable relationship with an understanding girlfriend/sugarbaby -- he pays a reliable share of her monthly nut, but a lot less than seeing different sex workers each month.
41
Edit @40:
In either case, if he has sole oversight of their bank accounts ...
42
@22 & 33 - Viagra doesn't turn you into a raging sex-monster. All it does it make your penis hard. If you're not interested in sex at all and you take Viagra, you're going to be someone who's not interested in sex and has an erection.

From his letter, it sounds like he has a libido, but to satisfy that libido, he has to take viagra. If he stopped taking viagra, he'd still have that raging libido, but no way to satisfy it, masturbatory or otherwise.
43
If you don't want to end up in this dilemma, then both sides of the marriage have to take responsibility, and you have to set up the patterns when you're young. Husbands: she really does come first. You have to listen, and learn how to keep her happy. Wives: guys are mostly idiots when it comes to learning about sex. Don't fake, don't settle - learn what makes you happy, and speak up until you get what you want. My marriage is of the same vintage as the letter writer's, and every year hubby and I have better sex than the year before. It didn't just happen that way, we both worked at it, and now we reap the rewards.
44
This man has been married for longer than I've been alive, and he thinks it's a good idea to spend retirement funds behind his wife's back. Good luck with that, old fucker!

Most the liberal douchbags here will give you the go-ahead because they have sympathy for your advanced age and the sad penis that comes with it. But, you're still doomed, financially, romantically if you don't have a grown-up conversation or stop seeing sex workers.
There's this thing called internet porn that the youngins are into these days. Have at it.
45
"She thinks men using prostitutes is disgusting"

Not him specifically, but men in general. That's him paraphrasing her, but assuming that's accurate, what kind of conversation could he open up at this point that ends with anyone getting anything they want? I don't see anything wrong with what he's doing, so long as he's not bleeding them dry financially. Then again, I tend to side with the libido haver in these types of letters. All the horny-shaming in here is really weirding me out. The day comes when I'm a dried up old lady and no longer give a shit, my husband gets the pass, if he so desires.

And you young people? If sex is a priority to you, then prioritize accordingly. I sure as hell hope there is more of that happening now than in the LW's generation.
46
@20, I'm not judging her loss of libido, I'm judging what I assume is her inaction in doing anything to compensate her husband for his reduced quality of life, which stems from her and is her responsibility. I freely grant I am painting the husband in the best possible light, simply because I liked the tone of his letter. Consider it a thought experiment, otherwise things will devolve into how much we don't know, based on the letter.

My vehemence is due to a) the whisky I drank last night, and b) the fact that, although in my opinion the wife is in the wrong, she has the full backing of respectable society, as represented by asshats like jujubee80, because fidelity! (although he/she sounds young so there is hope yet). The LW's only two "honorable" options, that he had unwillingly thrust upon him, are to end his marriage or end his sex life. Good on him for refusing and taking a third way.

And no, I don't believe that after 45 years and in their seventies (?), this couple is going to suddenly change their dynamic and open up, or that she's going to change her mind about prostitutes. And I don't think that ending the marriage is doing them or society any favors. The wife is being unreasonable, society is unreasonable, and most unreasonable of all is the absurdity of a aging male body still wanting sex like he's a twenty-five-year-old. I think he's found an acceptable way to balance all the outrages life will eventually place on all of us in one way or another.

I would like all moral absolutists in this thread to read Graham Greene's ten best novels and then report back to me.
47
I'd have more sympathy for this guy if he had explicitly said that his wife had cut him off, and that he went to her with the issue and her reaction was, "Tough shit kiddo. We're celibate now. Get used to it." (Or even, "I really and truly am sorry, but there's nothing I can do about it." [See misspiggy's point @29.])

A lot of comments are assuming that's exactly what happened, but my instincts are telling me the opposite. Why? Because something that important to the story would have been in a letter where he's trying to justify and defend his actions. But it wasn't. It's possible he left that part out because his expositional skills just aren't up to snuff, but it sure sounds like his Plan A was prostitutes, not something radical like talking things over with his wife. For me, that puts him in CPOS territory.

And echoing what some others have brought up, I sure hope this guy is swimming in moolah. If he's been married for 45 years, we can guess he's 65 to 75 and his wife is of a similar age. Either or both of them could easily live another 20 to 30 years. If he's spending his money on pros now, what happens when they need assisted living or a nursing home and their savings are gone?
48
@47, re: Why? Because something that important to the story would have been in a letter where he's trying to justify and defend his actions. But it wasn't.

"If I want any at all these days the only options are masturbation or professional service providers."

Glad I could help you with your problem. Or are you saying that her word choice when cutting him off is what matters?
49
LateBloomer@46
" I don't believe that after 45 years and in their seventies (?), this couple is going to suddenly change their dynamic and open up"

They're not likely to call it "opening up," agreed. But a lot of people in long marriages have "arrangements" or "understandings." Do you disagree with that? If she's literally not having any kind of sex with him anymore, she probably doesn't care that much what he does with his penis. What he does with their bank account is another matter.
50
@44 and others who assume he's draining their retirement account with his visits to prostitutes:
Well, he certainly could be. He says, "paid sex has become a regular thing."
But what is "a regular thing?" Is it a daily occurrence? A twice-weekly one? Every other week? Monthly?

"A regular thing" could even refer not to the frequency so much as to the ordinariness of paying for sex. Remember he said: "I was very nervous the first time I paid for sex. Curiously and surprisingly, I didn’t feel at all guilty" afterward.

It's safe to assume that he's paying for sex routinely, but how often is far from clear.

We also don't know the couple's financial situation. Perhaps they can easily afford his habit.
If they can't, if he's dropping $250 weekly on prostitutes and they can't absorb that expense either indefinitely or even once or twice a year with no significant impact, then honesty or dishonesty/opening up the marriage or cheating issues/frank conversation or lying aside, he needs to cut off the paid sex immediately.
51
@42 Viagra does not give you an erection if you are not interested in sex. You have to be aroused for it to have any effect on your penis. If you are not aroused, all you get is a clogged-up nose and tingly cheeks.

Also, it's perfectly possible to masturbate and orgasm without a (full) erection.

Sincerely,
An old geezer
52
Unless she divulged that she found prostitution disgusting as apropos of nothing, then they have at least talked about in general terms. If she didn't care what he did with his penis, then there is no reason for this letter to exist.
53
EricaP@49--"Understandings" are the sort of genteel corruptions of marriage I enthusiastically endorse. But I get the feeling that the LW's wife, whatever her other charms--which must be considerable, because the LW sounds quite devoted to her--cares very much where he puts his penis, despite having abdicated her responsibility for it. I hate to say it, but my understanding is this is the kind of morally driven double bind people without libidos (read: primarily older women) frequently put partners with fully functioning libidos (older men) into.
54
253, you'll forgive me for not trusting your "feeling" as to what the LW's wife cares about. I think the LW should find a way to bring his marriage to an "understanding" of some kind. I think a lot of marriages get there; I don't know if most do. I had no idea how common extra-marital sex was until I hit my 40s. So I assume there's a lot I don't know about marriage when one is 70 or 80.
55
@ Jujube80 - I couldn't tell by your comments. Do you think that he should divorce her, give her an ultimatum (accept this or we get divorced), or just be unsatisfied for the rest of his life?
56
47 has a good point. I do wonder if the 'we never have sex ever' folks are really being honest about what they're getting. I mean are they really not getting any, or they just not getting as much as they want. And are they sure they're parents would shoot down any attempts to open the relationship? Or are they just trying to find justification for they're behavior?
57
Disclaimer: haven't read the comments. This is a bunch of self-deceiving, self-justifying baloney. This guy never talks at all about his wife's side of the equation - for all we know from the letter, she's starving for sex. He gives no hint if the lack of sex is due to a lack of desire on his wife's part, or his own boredom after 45 years of marraige to the same woman. What I DON"T hear is any indication that he's talked to his wife about his needs. Yes, there are some (few) situations where quiet cheating is justifiable, but I don't see any evidence that this is one of them. Here we have a man who is stepping out with prostitutes (and no mention of safe sex, either) and just asking for the most permissive sex-advice therapist around to give him a pass. Which Dan does, as he almost always does, no questions asked. So, I guess, mission accomplished - you now have Dan's blessing to be a cheating piece of shit for the rest of your life. Congratulations.
58
@54--The "feeling" was based primarily on her strong disgust regarding prostitutes, which we do have on good authority, and the LW's statement that she would be hurt if she knew he was availing himself of their services. Smells like moral rectitude to me!

Personally, I think your advice about reaching an understanding, although the preferred route, is unrealistic because it ignores what we know about the wife. But what the hell, stranger things have happened.
59
@58, you are projecting. We know nothing about this man's wife. Stop assuming we do and consider the possibility that she is not a harpy rejoicing at having relegated her husband to a sexless existence. Sex fades in relationships for many reasons and it a)is not always the woman's fault and b) not always *anyone's* fault. Sometimes shit happens-through carelessness, inattention, fear, laziness, etc. Sex is extremely important to me, I get that it's important to the LW. He needs to have a scary and difficult conversation.; sack up and let his wife know that things are going to change. This can be done lovingly and with patience but he doesn't want to take the plunge. He wants to fuck prostitutes. He's free to do that but it's a betrayal and he's fooling himself to think otherwise.

Ps. Thanks for calling me an asshat-that really upped the level of discourse.
60
@48 - I don't doubt that the wife cut him off. I was talking about how there was no reference in the letter to the LW going to his wife and having a conversation with her about how her cutting him off was affecting him.
61
Where does this notion come from that older women stop lubricating?
At 62, it's not a problem for me. And I would guess, the wife in this story, knows what her husband is doing.. After 45 yrs of marriage, my guess is- she knows him inside out.
As regard to this man, having pussy on his mind/ well it's his mind, isn't it?
The money/ could be a problem..
62
I'm disappointed with Dan on this one.

Usually, Dan is very consistent that non-monogamy between consenting adults is okay AS LONG AS THERE IS THE MUTUAL CONSENT OF ALL INVOLVED.

In this case, clearly there is no mutual consent. SOS has not discussed finding other sexual outlets with his wife, and she has not consented. Therefore, SOS is cheating on his wife, plain and simple.

If SOS' wife had written a letter saying she had just found out that her husband of 45 years was cheating on her, Dan would probably counsel her that she would be well within her rights to leave him if she wanted to.

That the letter writer has been married for 45 years doesn't mean he gets an automatic "old guy pass". Heck, the guy could be a mere 65 years old. Re-marriage at 65 is still possible, and maybe SOS' wife deserves to live the rest of her life (she might well live another 25-30 years) without being lied to on regular basis.

So here is what I would say - and what Dan SHOULD have said - to SOS:

Its not ethical to see sex workers without some form of agreement with your wife. If you are really upset about the lack of sex in your marriage - and it seems that you are - you need to talk to her honestly about it. And don't make the mistake of assuming that it's all her fault or that she is incapable of enjoying sex late in life. Many senior women actually do. And consider that its possible she's no longer as interested because you've not put in the effort to turn her on. See if there are things you are both willing to do to rekindle your sex life together.

And finally, if she's really just not interested anymore, and there is nothing to be done, be honest with her about your need to get fulfillment somewhere else. Maybe you will be pleasantly surprised that she actually doesn't care if you go for the occasional trick as long as you are safe and sane about it. Or maybe she is absolutely against it, in which case you should evaluate whether you want to stay in the relationship.

I know that's tough medicine to swallow, but living honestly and ethically isn't always easy. And it means taking risks, even after 45 years of marriage. Unless your wife is gravely ill and incapacitated (and even then), there is no substitute for honest communication. And she will probably find out sooner or later, so its better to talk about this now, when you can still do so respectfully, rather than later, when she's throwing things at you.

And heck, if you're still in your mid to late sixties, you have a lot to gain by getting honest now. You still have some time to either rekindle the sex in your marriage, get her informed consent for your outside activities, or leave and find someone who's still interested in sex with you. Better to act now before it's REALLY too late.
63
Ps; do I detect some ageism operating here?
These blue pills are a worry/ I'd cut back on those.
When/if you decide to share this with your wife( and I do feel it is your choice to share or not/ she closed herself down).
Perhaps say it like it was just something you want her to know..
She may not like prostitues, but her behaviour is implicated
You never know, she might just find she has a fanny,
( Australian slang for Vagina) after all-
64
@ellarose was right on target. You young folks don't have a clue about what life is about for someone 60+ years of age. You don't know how it feels to want to do something (not only sex) but realize that you are physically unable to do so. Why do you think SOS is using Viagra?
At a certain point in life, as another responder has written, your attitude "matures". What was a deal breaker in your younger years is no longer intolerable.
For all @jujube80 knows, the wife could be perfectly happy being blissfully ignorant. I know many older folks who would resent being told their mate is cheating because they just don't want to know.
Dans advice was perfect considering their age and circumstances. After all, with age, you realize that there is a lot more to a relationship than just sex.