Were we remiss in the way we presented our sex podcast?

We’re asking you if you were happy with the way we handled ‘Episode Sex’.

Were we remiss in the way we presented our sex podcast?

Last week, we released our sixth Mind Your own Retirement podcast. Episode Sex was mostly received in the spirit in which it was intended – a relaxed look at sex and ageing that aimed to explore what is really happening.

As many of you know, YourLifeChoices regularly writes about sex and we firmly believe that it is an important – nay, integral – subject for older Australians.

While we have received many positive comments about the way we cover this topic, member  Denis Whelan has objected to the podcast, arguing that we were too garrulous. As our long-time members would know, we take your opinions very seriously and, in this instance, we’re publishing Mr Whelan’s opinion, with his consent, and asking you to listen to the podcast and share your feedback with us.

Here’s what Mr Whelan had to say.

I would suggest that if you’re serious about such a sensitive matter you get people with a sensible and responsible attitude and approach to the matter and of an age to understand the subject and importantly have experience of being older. You’ve entrusted it to a couple of embarrassing and totally incompetent people who seem to think it’s all some sort of joke and have to resort to school boy and girl humour with stupid comments like “Sux” and such. We older people deserve so much better and shouldn’t be patronised and made fun of. Treat the bloody subject seriously in the way I am about to write and for the benefit of my cohort.

I and my female partner are widow and widower and she’s approaching 80 and I’m 83 and we both love our sexual relationship; it’s warm, full of humour, fun, loving and sexy. Our married lives had been long and both for over 54 years married . We loved our former husband and wife but knew that we had to live out our remaining life. We met through a widow and widower group that originally was formed by Eastern Palliative.

Sure sex is a bit different in that there is a lot of foreplay with kissing and caressing, but she is fortunate that she has powerful orgasms which can be produced with digital stimulation and I in a similar way. It is hard for men to maintain erections during intercourse in the conventional sense and something your stupid reporters never touched on and should have that with age it can be quite difficult to get into the positions without losing an erection, and old bones are not as flexible and possibly, even though your reporters would find it excruciatingly funny, with real possibility of breakage or tendon tears. I am fortunate my partner even at close to 80 has a lovely body that many a 50 year old would envy. So we live in our different homes due to distance, meet every week, travel overseas and in Australia and probably average a sexual union once a week and are completely fulfilled and thankful that we met and are together.

I’d like to think you had the guts and courage to take this matter seriously and print this entire email in your next issue with an apology to your readership for your cavalier and insensitive approach to this delicate subject.

As explained to Mr Whelan, we feel that we handled the issue in a respectful manner and, while we certainly had fun in parts of the episode, we are proud of our presenters and especially our guest, Susan, who shared further details of her wonderful story.

We'd also like to clarify that when John said "sux" during the podcast, he was saying 'sex' in a New Zealand accent, and while erectile difficulties were mentioned during the broadcast, given the short time we had to explore this topic, we couldn’t cover every reason for erectile challenges.

We understand that sex is an important part of life and living, no matter what age. We offer specialists’ tips and advice that might help to improve your sex lives and intimacy. The lucky ones may not need such guidance.

"Whilst we don’t agree with Mr Whelan's comments about our approach to this topic, we thank him for sharing his own particular story and congratulate him and his partner on what we were trying to highlight – the importance of intimacy at any age," said YourLifeChoices publisher, Kaye Fallick.

However, we are open to your opinions and feedback. Do you agree with Mr Whelan? Could we have handled this subject in a more sensitive manner?

If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.



    To make a comment, please register or login
    2nd Aug 2019
    Nevermind. Even when there's an attempt to shine humour on a touchy subject, there will always be the objection from the perpetually offended.
    2nd Aug 2019
    I think people forget that once a Woman has past menopause or the relationship has matured there is no reason to "bonk" for breeding purposes - there is now the opportunity to actually "make-love" taking much longer to enjoy each others bodies and minds - the potential to reach a much higher state of "Orgasmic Bliss" - using the Man's energy to lift them both to a much higher state of mutual pleasure and union - I call this the "stairway to heaven" which does not need an erection, just the Woman's willingness to be open to the possibilities and to surrender to her pleasure, which is his as well. Women are gifted with the ability for multiple orgasms, these gifts can be explored, for mutual benefit
    2nd Aug 2019
    And occasionally becomes the stairway to pregnancy, because even after menopause sometimes an egg is still intermittently released for a significant period of time.
    2nd Aug 2019
    I disagree with Mr Whelan. I think this podcast is very well presented and gives sensible and sensitive advice on our potential problems. I have experienced some of the issues spoken of and am very encouraged to find that many others have similar issues. As a male who was never highly sexually charged, I find it very difficult vocalise my problems. I love my wife very much and would like to be more often there for her. Well done YLC.
    2nd Aug 2019
    Don't worry about it, Denis. If you're 83 then you're certainly my senior but I am old enough to realize how little I really knew when I was in my thirties and forties. The problem with these youngsters is that they don't know what they don't know. But, providing they don't die young, they too well get old and they will be just as embarrassed at their former ignorance as we are. In the meantime, it's just one of those burdens of age to realize that younger people, despite being supremely confident that they know everything worth knowing by the time they're 30, really don't know much at all. You should accept that in the same way that adults just accept the fact that two-year-olds throw tantrums. It's just the way things are.

    Cut them some slack, mate. They'll learn in time. They were probably being flippant because they too were a little embarrassed discussing this subject. As you say, it's a delicate topic, especially if you don't really know what you're talking about. I mean, how could they? There still young. They haven't got old yet.
    2nd Aug 2019
    Agree DavoWA. Quite a reasonable response.
    2nd Aug 2019
    If Mr Whelan felt patronised and made fun of, you can rest assured there would be many others who feel the same (but who do not feel inclined to comment for a variety of reasons)
    I do feel, that such a sensitive subject should be handled by people who have already passed middle aged and have first hand experience of some of the problems associated with sexuality and aging. I also have an excellent sense of humour but like it cleverly and respectfully executed. And furthermore some subjects simply don't need it.
    2nd Aug 2019
    I thought the preamble was long and annoying including the stupid "sux" bit. Sounded like 3 smutty immature schoolkids having a giggle over something forbidden. Should and could have been handled in a far more professional, informative and straight forward way .
    3rd Aug 2019
    "sux" is just the way Australians hear it. "Seex" the way NZer's hear Australians. Means the same thing so you could argue that there is nothing funny in pointing to it. Or, you could revel in the quite clear fact that we cannot help making friendly fun of each nations differences. I think it fine. Next, NZ'ers will try to tell Ozzies that they take their gumboots off before the act.
    2nd Aug 2019
    I don't think this something to get hung up on. Everybody's experience differs in some way and the range is probably fairly wide. We can benefit by insights from the written article and the response. Denis' experience and observations are valuable (though not necessarily the mainstream.) Well done for publishing both.
    Kaye Fallick
    2nd Aug 2019
    I am loving being called a youngster - as Deeksie will as well. For the record, I am 64 and John is 68 - so we do believe we are qualified to discuss this topic - and also believe that sex can be considered fun and amusing as well as necessary and loving and all other adjectives - so pleased we have encouraged this discussion, warmest Kaye
    2nd Aug 2019
    I admire Mr Whelan's openness and honesty. He and his wife are obviously very comfortable sharing these intimate details with the world.
    Why was it necessary to use the Aussie impression of our Kiwi way of speaking, in a podcast aimed at Australians?
    And no - we no more say "sux" for "sex" any more than Aussies say "seex" for "sex!" It's all a myth but hey, if it turns him on to sling off at Kiwis, let him go for it - we can handle it :-).
    2nd Aug 2019
    The haters will hate. As my GP said, the older you get the less stress you need in a relationship. Doing what you couldn't wait to happen in your younger years needs to continue. OK, when your younger you eat more and as you get older want small portions, do the same with sex as it is not a sin in your mature years, it's stress relief which is good for both bodies. Go on, GO FOR IT.

    2nd Aug 2019
    I agree with Mr Whelan. Even the inept attempt at humour ("sux") falls flat and exemplifies the very thing Whelan is complaining about.
    2nd Aug 2019
    Podcasts? Never listen to them.
    2nd Aug 2019
    I didn't listen to the podcast because I think the whole sex thing is totally over-rated.
    7th Aug 2019
    I just listened to the podcast and in my view there is nothing patronising about the way it is delivered, and the humour flows with a natural ease. I enjoyed it, thank you, and now I’m off to tear my hubby away from whatever he is doing (wink wink) :)
    Kaye Fallick
    7th Aug 2019
    Thank you Ny19 - our intentions were honourable, i promise - and your hubby can send his thanks in the form of chocolates or red wine, ha ha!

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