I Cannot Imagine Life Without Orgasms


I am 58. For six years after my husband died, I did not have sex with anyone. I masturbated and reached orgasm with no problem. I felt like I was too overweight to be with a new man. Then I lost weight and felt really good about myself. I began having sexual relationships with men. It was wonderful. I could not get enough, like someone opened the flood gates, multiple orgasms as well!

Now I have put on weight again and I no longer reach orgasm with a partner or alone. I cannot imagine life without orgasms. I am frustrated but find it too hard to get the weight back off. My two grown sons do not want me to go out at all—they tell me to act my age. My frustration is leaving me short-tempered and agitated. I do not have a doctor here nor can I afford one. Any symptoms maybe I should be looking for if it is a medical reason?


“I can’t imagine life without orgasms, what can I do?”

Joan answers:

Sudden inability to reach orgasm can be a warning sign of a major medical problem, such as heart disease. Nothing I say can substitute for a medical evaluation, which could be lifesaving.

That said, your emphasis on your weight leads me to wonder whether your feelings about yourself as undeserving of sexual pleasure might be affecting your sexual response. The brain is powerful, and if you condemn yourself for your weight gain, this might be dampening your ability to connect sexually with your own body. We can be desirable and sexually responsive whether slim or curvy—I hope you’ll work on accepting this. Eating healthy foods and staying physically active helps our sex lives because our bodies function better, but that’s independent of whether we’re at some “ideal” weight or not.

Note to your grown sons: Your mom is acting her age. We are sexual beings lifelong. Stop being embarrassed by her and support her.

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