Saying Yes to Sex After an MS Diagnosis, Part II
This article is two in a series about the positives of saying 'yes' to sex after a devastating MS diagnosis.
In Part I of this series, I discussed some of my experiences having casual sex from April to July of 2021. I also mentioned having learned a lot about myself, about men, about the stigmas that come with this type of activity, and what is really out there.
Being open to exactly the way we are
The last insight I mentioned in that article was that despite what we have been told, there are a lot of people out there who are open to us exactly the way we are, in the bodies we have now. For sex, intimacy, love, and combinations of those. It takes time and effort, but they can be found. In this installment, I will discuss more experiences and insights in detail.
As I mentioned in Part I, I learned that there are lots of men whose preferences tend toward older women and the physical conditions we bring with us. I am 63, and while my lovers have ranged in age from 22 to 70, the median age has been around 52.
The stigma of the unconventional
Prior to the start of my journey in April 2021, I was never open to younger men. Now age has become less important. We might be in different stages of life, but we can usually find some common ground. I no longer think of younger men as generally less mature and not great or not experienced enough in the sack. It depends on the person. Through conversations with these younger men, I have also learned that their preference for older women is not just sexual.
Some desire a relationship but have never had one with an older woman because of the pressure to conform to societal standards - serious relationships only within the same age group have discouraged both older women and younger men from pursuing such an unconventional romance. These are just some insights about my attitude change towards younger men and the stigma of unconventional romantic encounters. Next are one or two insights about what is really out there.
Insight from a new friend
I have discovered that there are many good souls in the world, no matter their age or gender, who have relationships of every stripe with disabled loved ones, friends, and acquaintances. Those relationships blast many conventions we are taught to believe are the only right, clean, and moral ways to go about the business of personal contact. The variations are endless.
Other insights I have gathered are not just from direct experience. During those months I also befriended a man my age on a dating site who lived too far away from me to meet, so we discussed our experiences. While he is interested in women of all ages, he has a soft spot for elderly women. He told me about an 80-year-old couple whom he befriended, whose husband could no longer have an erection. They wanted his help in the bedroom.
The world needs both kinds of helpers
They didn’t get out much anymore because she had trouble walking. He took them out to a nice dinner. They enjoyed talking to somebody about their lives, and he enjoyed listening. Then he accompanied them to their home and made love to the wife while her husband watched. He described the experience as being kind of sad and sweet, that the husband sometimes just watched and other times, participated a little.
His unique combination of compassion, empathy, and desire drives him to help older people on various levels, from conventional volunteer work to sexual encounters. By contrast, a licensed professional sex therapist plays a very different role and could not do what he does without violating the ethics of their profession, rules that are justified. A client could discuss such sexual experiences with a therapist, who in turn would provide supportive and valuable feedback. It seems to me that the world needs both kinds of helpers.
You deserve to feel peace and pleasure
I hope at least some of you have worked out the reasons I shared these thoughts about age differences and second-hand accounts of unconventional intimate encounters with people who are older and have medical conditions. I will definitely pull all the common threads together in the next installment and talk about what positive significance it all has in Part III.
Until next time, I wish you all pleasant reveries free of pain, shame, and fear, in a place where you can go to feel peace, acceptance, and yes, pleasure.
How do you feel before getting an MRI done?