Could we have handled this better?

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.

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