Post-menopausal libido changes and sexual discomfort are now commonly treated with hormone replacement, hormonal creams or lubricants. Age-related erectile dysfunction has Viagra, Cialis, Levitra and hundreds of cribs. Knife-happy surgeons are marketing penile enhancements and vaginal restorations. Wherever we go, we are being told that we can and should be performing better at midlife.
These are especially powerful messages for recent singles who are creating new relationships after years or decades in a safe, nonthreatening monogamous set-up. They approach dating with a misapprehension that everyone else out there is performing well and they need to compete.
The focus on sexual prowess and being “good-as-new” not only sends large numbers of people to unnecessary procedures and medications, but it places sex at the centre of a young relationship, at the expense of all the other aspects, which given the opportunity, can enrich the sex.
If the Boomers could learn to overcome their 1950′s style coyness and ask for meds to make their sex life better, they can learn to ask the same doctor to test them for STDs and they can certainly manage asking the pharmacy attendant “where do I find the super-sensitive ribbed condoms in bulk packages?”