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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: Geezerdom

Posted by Dan Savage on Wed, Apr 2, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Your column is always fascinating. It’s interesting how you map the fine line between cheating/polyamory/self-fulfillment. I’m an old guy; fast approaching geezerdom. Multiple orgasms are a long gone dream and erectile dysfunction is the reality and I require the blue helper these days. After 45 years of marriage to the same woman the sex has fallen off to zero. We otherwise have a great and comfortable relationship. If I want any at all these days the only options are masturbation or professional service providers. I was very nervous the first time I paid for sex. Curiously and surprisingly, I didn’t feel at all guilty considering my Christian upbringing (thankfully fully purged). I now find the urge gets stronger as the body gets weaker. It seems as geezerdom takes a full hold, all I think about is pussy and paid sex has become a regular thing.

You often stress honesty and communication for a long-term relationship to work. In our case honesty would mean the end to what is now just a great friendship that provides us both with deeply satisfying companionship. I really don’t want to hurt her but revealing my outside activities would certainly do so as she thinks men using prostitutes is disgusting. I’m sure I am not unique among the old married guys.

Any comments from a young gay guy?

Sin Or Salvation

My response after the jump...

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There aren't any young gay guys around at the moment, SOS, so you'll have to settle for my lousy advice...

Honesty and communication are important, SOS, but there are limits. No long-term relationship would survive a strict regime of full disclosure enforced with depositions taken under oath, regularly administered lie detector tests, truth serums disguised as artificial coffee creamers, etc. Knowing what to omit and avoid—identifying here-there-be-monsters spots on the map and sailing around those topics/incidents/persons—is just as important as honesty and communication. And married people, even long-married people, get to have their own inner lives, a few secrets they take to their graves, and some zones of privacy and autonomy.

There are limits. If your inner life amounts to a double life, that's a problem. If your secrets place your spouse at risk of grave physical or emotional harm, that's a problem. If your zones of privacy and autonomy grow so large that your spouse doesn't know who you are anymore, that's a problem.

But I don't think what you're doing is a problem, SOS. If your wife is content—if she really and truly isn't interested in sex anymore, if you're not cheating her out of anything she values, if you're not taking risks with her health, if you're not depleting your retirement savings to finance your activities—then your visits to sex workers are covered by my standard advice to people in solid, loving, but sexless marriages: do what you gotta do to stay sane and stay married.

You sound like a decent and loving husband, SOS. To make sure you're also a polite and courteous client—for tips on communication, personal hygiene, tipping, and avoiding women who have been trafficked—check out the all-star Sex Worker Panel we convened for a recent episode of the "Savage Lovecast."

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