Until I married, sex and food were the chiefest joys of my life. Now, after 30 years of sleeping with the same man, and becoming diabetic, I can only dream of both. Oh, my husband is happy, even eager, to have sex with me every night (which, at 62 and fat, I should suppose is a compliment of sorts), and I know he is bewildered that I decline his advances. "I can't sleep" is his idea of a sexy come-on. Bloody hell, I usually think, am I a sleeping pill? Or, trying for subtlety, "Is the K-Y Jelly on your side of the bed?"
Let me stress that my husband is in many ways a truly lovely human being. But one of the world's greatest lovers he is not, nor has he ever been. And he is completely unaware that there is any problem : he achieves erection and climax quickly. It's my problem that I can't keep pace with him, or that I think making love involves more than the friction of tissues. And since he has no problem, he's not about to get any counselling. Never underestimate the male ego.
The first years of our marriage are very foggy in my memory, I was that exhausted with having three children in the space of three and a half years (all by C/S), getting over the death of my mother and acclimating to life in a different country and in a different language. I know the lack of sexual compatibility deeply distressed me for years, until I managed to stop becoming aroused. At first it was a conscious thing, to imagine I was numb from the waist down, and then it became automatic, so that, by the time Dr. Ruth's TV show came to Israel, and hubby began to be intrigued about improving his technique ("Do you know where your clitoris is?" he asked me once. "Yes", I replied, "we learned about it in anatomy class in nursing school") I REALLY did have a problem.
"Pink Viagra" is completely the wrong approach. But I guess popping a pill is a lot easier than teaching a man some sensitivity (flowers, champagne, a nice meal someone else has cooked, "I'll do the dishes tonight", or not saying "It's half-time --we've got 10 minutes; you get ready while I take a leak") and some technique. Fortunately, by the time something is FDA approved, maybe we'll both be past it and a good cuddle can be just that. But then I think of Mme. Maitenon who complained to her confessor that Louis XIV was still going at it twice a week when he was more than 70, and could she please tell him "no" because she found sex painful? The priest told her that she could not refuse the king, that it was her "conjugal duty" as a wife (morganatic in this case).
A woman's work is never done...coming, dear...