Psychologist Robyn Salisbury helps a reader with a relationship dilemma.
QUESTION: My partner and I are both over 60, and we both enjoy sex. We live apart due to commitments and we have plans to live together. The issue has been that when we do meet up for a week (which we do regularly) as soon as we walk in the door he wants to jump into bed for quickie while I enjoy reconnecting, a quiet drink and cuddling up with kissing and light foreplay with lovely sex in the morning.
He becomes angry and the night is uncomfortable and full of tension. He also waits until he leaves at the end of the weekend and then texts that I'm withholding sex and then he's angry again. We have sex most days we are with each other. He uses Viagra.
Also when we are apart he likes to sex text, no pills needed and again he gets nasty if I don't send him sex texts and won't ring or answer the phone. He says I'm not romantic and I say he only thinks of sex. As it is causing disharmony, should I agree to a quickie, as that would keep the peace? I have told him it makes me feel uncomfortable as I feel he is not respecting me. I really enjoy sex but feel like a sex slave at times when he demands it.
ANSWER: Power is one of the relationship dimensions couples often argue about. Neither of you are right or wrong in your preferences, just different. No-one should get to dictate the timing and nature of the sex you two have. Good communication acknowledges that both of you have valid preferences, avoids pathologising or blaming each other and seeks a middle ground.
This might mean that you take turns to reconnect sexually in one partner's style, laughingly clarifying whose turn it will be when you're planning a catch-up time. Some people find they expand their sexual repertoire in ways previously unknown to them, so you may discover you can enjoy a quick "jump your bones" when it's your choice.
I wonder if your man has past baggage about sexual or love withholding. He seems quite sensitive and reactive about it, although this could be the wasted cost of a Viagra pill, but he has not shown he can tolerate any delay between wanting and getting. If talking and resolving the sexual availability issue doesn't settle this, then it will need his attention in order to maturely engage in close relationship.