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Advice Goddess



Fire done below

I'm a 46-year-old woman who just started seeing a 55-year-old man. He's always telling me how excited I get him, how he's your typical horny male, and how I'm asking for trouble if we make out at the door after lunch. Frankly, he seems all talk. For example, on our much-anticipated weekend away in San Francisco, we had two hours to kill at the hotel before dinner. He suggested window shopping. I suggested we "make out on the bed." (I wanted to say "have wild sex.") We kissed, and when things started heating up, he said we should head out. When we returned, he said, "So, should we get to it then?" It was so crass, I suggested a movie. He seemed relieved, and we watched Juno. Afterward, we started fooling around, but it was bland as was sex the next morning. I'm frustrated but hoping things will improve over time. Am I too focused on sex? I should say something, but it's so awkward, and I don't want to hurt his feelings. Lustbucket

Here you are on a weekend getaway with a guy you just started seeing, and all he can think to do is get away from the bed: "Shall we totter down to Neiman Marcus and stare at the displays?" Now, there is that chance he's freezing up out of performance anxiety or because he sees sleeping together as an IOU for commitment. But more than likely, his favorite sex positions are spooning, snoring, and doggie-style as in, rolling over and playing dead.

This sort of bedroom bait-and-switch the dud billing himself as a dynamo is pretty common with older guys who are embarrassed that they don't want sex like they used to. Perhaps this guy's had a drop in his testosterone level (as men do, usually after 40), or perhaps there never was much "T" to go around. What's especially worrisome is that this a brand-new relationship the time when you should be having trouble making it out of the elevator with clothes on.

In The Truth About Love, Dr. Patricia Love explains, "During infatuation, with the help of PEA (phenethylamine), dopamine, and norepinephrine, the person with the low sex drive (the low-T person) experiences a surge in sexual desire." Uh-oh. What's he experiencing, a surge in window shopping?

As for whether you're "too focused on sex," you are what you are probably too focused on it to be satisfied with a guy who'd rather watch Juno than ... you know ... but who finally blurts out, "So, should we get to it then?" What, clean the hog pen? Yeah, let's get this chore over with. You can hint a guy into expressing himself more appealingly, but what matters is whether that's how he really feels.

You hear people say stuff like, "Sex is best in the context of a loving relationship." No, sex is best when the two people having it are sexually compatible. You can ask a guy to do more of what you like, but you can't get him to be more of what you like.

Go ahead, hang around a little longer, maybe try initiating, and see whether he's just a bit slow to come out of hibernation. Ultimately, the person in need of your honesty is you: whether the man for you is one who's always got Mr. Happy at the ready, or whether you can make do with a guy who should probably pet-name his entire sex drive Nuclear Winter.

Some like it dot-com

After my boyfriend moved in with me, he basically started "playing dead" when I made advances. I discovered he's engaging in online sex chats. I'm thinking this is why he never had anything left for me. I asked him to leave, and he did. Now, he's apologizing and begging me to take him back. Do you think he was just being greedy and feeling trapped by commitment? Or, do you think this is a serious addiction? Reconsidering

The guy can miss you to pieces, but that won't do either of you much good if his favorite places to have sex all start with www. It's tempting to zero in on how much he cares, but "I want you back" isn't the same as "I'm sick and tired of meeting women through banner ads."

Before you even consider giving this guy another chance, you need to put considerable time and effort into figuring out who he is and whether anything's changed. What's his need for novelty and risk and adventure? Why was he on when he had real boobs in the living room? And is he even partner material, or is the only relationship he's suited for the kind you log out of when you hear keys in the front door?

Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or e-mail (

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