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Sex and relationships - expert Q&A with Trudy Hannington

(43 Posts)
CariGransnet (GNHQ) Wed 13-Feb-19 10:30:02

It's over four years since Trudy last joined us to answer your questions, so we are delighted to welcome her back to do more of the same.

Whatever your question - be it about how sex/long-term relationships have evolved as we get older, the effect of menopause on both, starting new relationships, sexual difficulties or anything else in this field - do add it to this thread before midday on Weds 27 February.


We understand that you may not want to post under your regular username. There's an option to change to a temporary username in My Gransnet. If there are any issues on this front get in touch with us at [email protected]

More about Trudy Hannington

She is a Senior Psychosexual Therapist who leads a team of 4 psychosexual therapists at the Leger clinic in Doncaster. She has worked in sexual health for over 25 years and her specialist interest is combining medical treatments with sex therapy to optimise outcomes for patients. She is an accredited member, supervisor and former chair of COSRT (College for Sex & Relationship Therapists) and registered with UKCP (UK Council for Psychotherapy) She won Yorkshire Woman of the Year award in 2004 and is a Committee Member for the British Society of Sexual Medicine. She also appeared as the specialist psychosexual therapist in the Channel 4 documentary “The Week The Women Came”.

Lily65 Wed 13-Feb-19 21:07:13

Why did you call your documentary by that title ?

Granny23 Thu 14-Feb-19 09:37:34

I'll break the ice with a question that comes up often in carers support groups:

a) What to do if the spouse/carer wants to have sex with their longterm partner, but the partner now lacks the capacity to consent?

b) What to do if the partner with Dementia is continually trying to instigate sex but the carer/partner cannot bring themselves to co-operate?

HildaW Thu 14-Feb-19 11:58:06

Interesting that more people have responded to the questionnaire on sleep problems!!

Lily65 Thu 14-Feb-19 23:29:00

or cauliflower cheese, always popular. Old people shouldn't be messing about with sex anyway.

Granny23 Fri 15-Feb-19 15:43:09

Speaking to my closest old friends, all in their 70's, it seems that the general consensus is that they are glad that this aspect of their life/relationship has dwindled away. The only dissenters are a youngish widow, and one whose DH is no longer capable.

HildaW Fri 15-Feb-19 17:36:10

Yup, a good night's sleep is far more important! grin

Silentwitness Sat 16-Feb-19 10:40:41

Partner and I have been together 25 years. Both early 60s. He had prostate cancer treated with hormones and radiotherapy so sex was not then possible. Since treatment ended we have managed intercourse twice though not very satisfactorily for either of us. For the last few months neither of us has raised the subject or apparently had the urge - I definitely haven't. He's retired early and the combination of us being together a lot more and little intimacy is causing us to drift apart. I suffer from vaginal dryness and he was using Viagra even before the cancer. How do we restore things? Clearly we need to talk but I'm quite happy without sex though I do miss the closeness we once had. A trip to GP? (Have name changed in case anyone wonders who this new person is)

RedHotPolkaDot Mon 18-Feb-19 02:04:07

If intercourse not possible, there are other ways. Oral sex, hands, toys etc. You can still be intimate and have a satisfying sex life too.

blondenana Mon 18-Feb-19 11:16:58

Lily65 are you serious, if so why should older people not be messing about? with sex

HildaW Mon 18-Feb-19 11:55:23

Oh dear am beginning to fear even obvious humour does not work on here anymore. Am sure There are plenty of 'older/mature etc' folks having a full and enjoyable was just very noticeable that more people on GN seemed to be interested in Sleep problems...or Cauliflower cheese.

MissAdventure Mon 18-Feb-19 19:09:04


tracker99 Tue 19-Feb-19 11:04:57

I have had bladder and prostate cancer had radiotherapy for prostate 5years ago and am all clear but sex not good nhs have been fantastic with different treatments without success have one more to try and if no success we have decided to not have any more when I tell nhs I am 80 yrs old they say no problem .plus I had heart valve replacement 6months after radiotherapy my wife is fantastic about it all she says we have had a good sex life had 2 daughters,4grandchildren 3great grandchildren plu 1 more later this year .

nosexplease Tue 19-Feb-19 20:39:48

Deleted at the request of OP

mcem Tue 19-Feb-19 21:30:47

Lots of material here for FB and the Daily Mail!

MissAdventure Tue 19-Feb-19 22:25:17

I bloody hope not!

RachellaGransnet (GNHQ) Wed 20-Feb-19 13:17:43

Just a quick reminder that if anyone is worried about anonymity, you have the option to change to a temporary username in My Gransnet.

If you have any problems changing your name, get in touch with us at [email protected] and we will be happy to assist.

Starlady Wed 20-Feb-19 14:21:42

Tracker, I'm sorry to hear of your health problems, but glad to hear your dw (dear wife) is so loving and reasonable about the lack of sex,

Imo, there are other ways to be "intimate," people, if sex is off the table. Shared experiences, shared viewpoints, the joys of our dd and gc, etc. - so much more makes me feel intimate with dh than just the physical

Oldwoman70 Wed 20-Feb-19 15:15:23

Does anyone really want to discuss their sex life on a forum which is open to the public - even under a new username? Can you imagine the field day the DM would have about grannies sex lives!

HildaW Wed 20-Feb-19 15:32:06

sex, is that not what coal used to come in?
But seriously I am very happy if 'older' folks have full and frank physical intimacy but as we age there are more ways that we can get out of step with each other due to changes in health and other bodily limitations.
I think there is just as much real closeness to be had from a mutual understanding of each others feelings and wishes. When I know that OH really 'gets' me and how I feel about something I really feel close to him and vice versa.

notreallyme Wed 20-Feb-19 16:54:51

My question is this. We are both in our mid 60s and happy in our relationship but our sex life is dwindling greatly. When it happens we both enjoy it. I think we would both like it to happen a bit more. But life, tiredness, family stress gets in the way. Do you have any suggestions? We are not ready to give up

Lazigirl Sun 24-Feb-19 18:14:15

I agree with Oldwoman70.

newnameforthis Tue 26-Feb-19 13:49:26

Hello Trudy. I am in my mid 50s and my husband is ten years older. I really enjoy sex but increasingly he is becoming less interested. Our relationship is good aside from this and I don't want this to damage it. But what can we do when one wants it and one doesn't? One of us is going to end up frustrated or pressurised which is not good.

southernnn Tue 26-Feb-19 14:34:03

Since my husband had surgery on his back last year he has found it difficult to have sex. Wea re both keen but it just doesn't seem to be happening for him and maybe the more we are worrying about this, the less likely it is to improve. The doctor says there is no reason why we can't resume our sex life so there is no medical problem. We have thought about Viagra but were nervous about it. Can you put our minds at rest? Thank you

Benji3742 Wed 27-Feb-19 12:03:50

We been married for 17 yrs all in our late 60s. DH was diagnosed with heart problems 13 years ago and told by the doctor he will die if he have sex, we have not had sex since. I am very unhappy. Any advice?