Being single again doesn't mean the end of your sex life, says agony aunt and therapist Christine Webber.
'I hope you don’t mind me saying this,’ said the elderly gent. ‘but my wife died three months ago – and the worst thing is that I really miss the sex.’ This 80-year-old widower found he could talk to relatives and the vicar about his loneliness, but he hadn’t been able to tell anyone he was sexually frustrated. Not until he wrote to me, that is.
Then, only last week, a young woman of 17 told me she had ended her current romance. ‘I had to do it, Christine,’ she said. ‘We weren’t right for each other and I didn’t want to be tied down. But, I REALLY miss the sex, which was terrific.’
So, as you can see, lack of a sex life can be a problem when you’re single again, no matter what your age is! And it’s difficult to talk about. Of course, looking back, we can often see that the sex in our last relationship wasn’t perfect – even if we never faced that unpalatable fact while the romance was in progress. But whatever your past experiences, I want to reassure you that YOU CAN HAVE GREAT SEX IN THE FUTURE. I see people of all ages who had believed that their love lives were over after the demise of their relationships and who are now genuinely having the best rumpy pumpy of their lives!
So – how can you achieve this? How can you use this time positively? My advice is to read some of the excellent books on sex techniques that can be found in most high street bookshops. Or watch some sex-educational videos – again, these are sold quite openly nowadays. Opening your mind to new ways of doing things can be a revelation and will help you discover what you really really want.
This is also a great time to dispel some myths. For example, if you’re a man you may have some anxieties about your wedding tackle. You’re not alone. If I had a fiver for every man who has written to me, or phoned me on a radio or TV programme, complaining that his manhood isn’t long enough, I’d be wintering in the Bahamas!
The truth is, however, that most guys have perfectly adequate equipment. It’s just that the average man spends half his life looking down at his own penis, but glancing sideways at other blokes – in showers, changing rooms, etc. - so his view of his own pride and joy is always foreshortened, which makes him think everyone else is better endowed.
In any event, what most men fail to grasp is that vast numbers of real women – unlike those in porno films – aren’t bothered about how big a guy is, because they’re far more interested in love play than in intercourse. What really turns on most of the fairer sex is plenty of oral sex and lots of stimulation.
And what about women? Well, we have our misconceptions too. Often we secretly feel that every other woman can climax more easily than us. And sometimes previous partners have unkindly reinforced our feelings of inadequacy on the subject. But the truth is that having orgasms for us women isn’t nearly as predictable as it seems to be for most men. Frankly, our pink bits are a design disaster! While men get their satisfaction through penetrating the vagina, for loads of women intercourse on its own simply doesn’t do the business.
So, if you’ve always felt inferior because you can’t climax without you or your lover touching your clitoris, then please take it from me that you’re absolutely NORMAL. But while you’re going through your current single phase, you can actually do a lot to improve your ability to ‘come’. Most experts now agree that women can learn to be orgasmic – or more orgasmic – by working out what they like on their own. Masturbation used to be thought of as rather sad. But no longer. And it’s much safer and healthier than risking one-night stands. Besides, you meet a better class of lover that way! In the safety of your own mind, and in your own bed, you can conjure up fantasies of anyone you want. And this can be especially gratifying if you’ve just got out of relationship that didn’t do much for you sexually.
So don’t feel furtive when you indulge in a spot of DIY. Instead, give yourself adequate time and really find out what your body is capable of. You might want to try out some sex toys – after all, if your sex life is to be a solo one for a while, you should make it as varied and entertaining as possible.
If you're a female and you live within reach of London, I suggest you pop along to Sh! – a great sex shop in London which is for women only (men are only allowed in if accompanied by a sensible adult female!). Sh! is at 43 Coronet Street, London N1 6HD.