James is the oldest patient I have attended to in the Sexology clinic. He is 80 years old. The retired teacher has been married to Sarah for 56 years. Sarah is aged 72. She is a retired civil servant having served as a secretary in various government offices. The couple’s youngest child is 40 years old.

“I am here because I am having trouble with a girlfriend I got recently,” James explained when he came to the Sexology clinic, “she gets pain during penetration and she is starting to avoid intimacy.”

“Did you mean your wife has pain during sex?” I asked not sure that at his age James would have a new girlfriend. He frowned and shook his head vigorously.

“My wife is moribund, deadwood, and she does not allow me to touch her. I have not had sex with her for the last 10 years.”

I nodded as I encouraged James to explain further. Incidentally, James had remained sexually active into his old age. Sarah, on the other hand, had thrown in the towel. According to James, Sarah did not have a medical condition that warranted avoiding sex. She simply did not want it and did not allow any discussion in that line. This annoyed James and he resorted to extra-marital sex. In the past 10 years, he has had five different sex mates. His new catch is 50 years old. She is a widow having lost her husband in a road accident.

“So would you have sex with your wife and be faithful to her if she was agreeable to it?” I asked, well aware of the dangers James was exposing himself to by having one sex partner after another. He nodded thoughtfully, reclined on his seat and stared at the horizon. He removed his thick-lensed spectacles and wiped his eyes, which were already welling up with tears. “I still do not understand why my wife of so many years would reject me in bed and subject me to this kind of life!” He exclaimed. It dawned on me that James was feeling rejected. I immediately took to explaining popular but false beliefs about sex in old age.


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