Sex without “Sex”

Written by Liv Wright, Founder of the Wise Boudoir

Last week, I chatted with a naturopath and a sex therapist. A naturopath is a doctor who uses “alternative” healing modalities, and a sex therapist is — well, you know what a sex therapist is.

The conversation focused on mature women and our bodies. The naturopath said that many of the menopausal women she treats won’t discuss the extent to which sexual penetration is painful, and the sex therapist said that she has patients who won’t even have gynecological examinations because the medical procedure hurts them.

Both women know about this blog and how strongly I feel about the wonders of nurturing the erotic sensibilities within us.

“Don’t your patients know,” I asked, “that they can have pleasure without penetration? Don’t they know that someone can make love to them and not hurt them?”

The health care professionals demurred.

“You don’t understand,” they said, “no one wants to talk about it.”

Really? Well, it’s time to break the silence.


Mature women don’t want to talk about how menopause affects their sex lives, mature men don’t want to talk about their erectile issues, the disabled don’t want to talk about the adjustments they make, people who wear medical devices don’t want to talk about the precautions they take, and those on prescription meds don’t want to talk about how the drugs they take impact their sex lives.

But can we talk? Please.

I am reminded of an 80-year-old friend whose new, long-distance boyfriend came to her house to spend the weekend. He thought that she’d expect him to “perform,” and when he didn’t get a full erection, he shook his head in disbelief and told her that he didn’t understand what was happening. It had never happened before, he said. Yadda yadda yadda.

What was uncomfortable for both of them might have been made easier – and more intimate – by talking first.

Okay. So, when do we tell our partner what’s going on with us? It may be that early disclosure will lay the groundwork for an intimacy that opens our hearts in ways we had not foreseen.

I’m thinking now of a friend whose new boyfriend wore a pacemaker. She liked the guy, and told me that she was afraid to have sex with him because he might have a heart attack in the middle of lovemaking. She was scared, but never told him.

Somehow, I can’t help thinking that my friend’s vulnerability might have drawn her boyfriend closer, and whether they ever made love or not, her humanity and his humanity would have been enriched by it.

Slowly, but surely, the Boomer generation is overcoming the misconception that intimacy means sex, and that “proper sex” means intercourse. Increasingly, as the physical challenges of mature adulthood visit us, we are discovering that the simple and easy intercourse of our youth is not so simple, and not so easy. We are discovering that the sensual stimulation we enjoy takes time and imagination.

or the menopausal women, mature men, disabled persons, medical device wearers, and those who suffer the side effects of their meds, I have good news. There are tons and tons of online resources about “how to blow a woman’s mind.” (Google it for yourself.) Guys and gals want to know this stuff, and at least one resource particularizes the mind blowing power of erotic activities that exclude intercourse.

Some of these intercourse-free activities are also touch-free and intended to stimulate the most important sex organ of all — the brain.

Tell a dirty story

Give your partner a sensual massage

Get a sensual massage from your partner

Play phone sex


Wear “costumes”

Masturbate together

It’s time to break the silence and discover a whole range of activities that are just as much fun as intercourse.

Follow Liv Wright at @LivWright1

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