What to do with sex after the death of a partner?

The death of a loved one is always a great grief, despite the fact that each of us is aware of the inevitability of loss. Green’s formula “lived and died on the same day”, implying the happiness of a long life together, is highly controversial in that it is far from the best option. 

For example, one of the spouses was terminally ill. So what do you order the second to do? Do not burn yourself at the stake with the body of the deceased, as has been practiced for centuries in India. No wonder the British categorically opposed this barbaric custom. By the way, they won. They left India, but they put an end to self-immolation. 

Grief passes, and step by step, the normal state of the soul and body returns. This happens in most normal people. And with the return to life, sexual desire appears . After the death of the spouse, the friends of the person along with condolences offer all sorts of help depending on the situation. It can be financial assistance, do something around the house, help unwind, and so on …  

But none of them, even the closest, dare to discuss with the widow or widower a topic that is perhaps the most pressing. This is the topic of sex. But the heavy loss of a loved one is the loss of a sexual partner. Sometimes this is the biggest loss, although even close ones prefer to remain silent about it. Sexual loss can be called “disempowered grief” because it is not openly recognized and not publicly discussed.  

Here you need to understand a simple thing: if a person was not able to overcome precisely this loss, then this will negatively affect his physical and emotional health. He simply will not be ready for the next sexual relationship when the opportunity presents itself. 

And let’s say frankly that sexual relations are vital for every adult. Of course, this is not water, not food, not air, without which it is simply impossible to live, but without sex it is only part of life, and the poor part. They don’t die from the absence of sex, but they don’t really live. Vegetate.  

Historical examples can be given when men dispensed with women. They say that Gogol didn’t have them, Kant … Let’s recruit a dozen or two other celebrities … In the films we are shown how widows for years or even decades have remained faithful to other spouses who have gone into the world. Here it is, fidelity! There she is, love! This is pathology, and now we are not talking about pathologies, but about normal people with their needs. They apply to people of all ages. Once again, we can emphasize – all! 50, 60, 70, 80 years and even higher – people enjoy sex and feel the need for it.   

Mark Twain wrote in his satirical essay Letters from the Earth that

“Even the thought of intercourse excites a person. When he is given the opportunity to carry it out, he goes into a frenzy and is ready to stake life, reputation, everything … even his ridiculous paradise – everything, just to use this opportunity and reach a wonderful climax. From youth to old age, all men and all women put intercourse above all other pleasures combined ”…  

There is a share of exaggeration, as in any satire, in this, but the essence is precisely noticed.

A survey of more than three thousand elderly people showed that between the ages of 57 and 63, 73% have sex. And from 75 and above, 26% are sexually active. Aged people consider sex to be a very important part of their lives. But when the partner dies, it all ends.  

Unfortunately, a prejudiced attitude towards the sex of the elderly prevails in society: this is disgusting, it is simply ridiculous … And therefore, even doctors avoid this topic in conversation with the elderly. Doctors, psychotherapists, feel embarrassed when a widower or widow raises this issue.

But the old people, as a rule, do not raise him, they also do not crave conversations on this subject. Interestingly, these elderly widowers and widows admit with shame that the needs have remained. And consider it an anomaly. They admit this, but not in conversations with doctors, but with anonymous polls. 

Researchers cite as an example the sarcastic remark of one widow. She stated that

“… good widows do not crave sex. They don’t talk about it at all. But it smells bad of me when I become a good widow. ”

This woman is not hypocrite. She wants to have sex, she does, and she likes it. Surveys suggest that three out of four women who live normal sex lives think they will yearn for sex if their partner dies. And in this case, they are ready to discuss this problem with friends, but most of them (76%) would prefer their friends to raise this topic in conversation. 

And how do “friends” relate to this topic? Most stated that they would not discuss this in the event of the death of a friend of a partner. The older a friend who has lost a partner, the less likely she is to start a conversation about sex, about a new partner, that a lonely man is in sight …

If a woman is not 50, then half of her friends can still think about this conversation, and only a quarter will think about the same, if the widow is about 70. And after 80 of these “bold” will be typed less than 14%. What do we see? Vicious circle. 

Today, a woman widowed at 40 is considered a young widow. The writer Brody Fleet was widowed at that age. She was pretty, but not one of her friends raised a question about her sexuality. The woman organized a seminar for widows, where she directly posed questions to them on this topic. And she saw that many consider themselves terrible women, even when they start talking about it. One emotion prevails – fault! Women do not discuss sex because they feel like traitors. (How can she even think about sex!) They don’t even realize that there can be no betrayal. Sex partner is dead. 

And the writer tells them:

“You can respect your past, value it. But you should not live only this past. This is not a situation either. You need to incorporate your past life into the present in which you live today. People have an infinite capacity for love. ”

She remarried after nine years. By the way, she warns against hasty decisions in this matter, when the pain from the loss of her husband and the loss of intimate relations connected with this loss has not yet subsided. Sexual desires may be prevailing, and therefore the wrong decision can be made. Sex can cloud your mind. Take your time, says the writer. Maybe you just need him. It is useful in such cases to throw out thoughts about sex with a new partner, evaluate your relationship before entering into an intimate relationship with him. 

In conclusion, you can quote the advice of the widows of one of the experts:

“Start talking about sex. Let it be awkward at first, with hesitation. But say, make this topic a part of your conversation. Let your friends know that this is what you want to discuss with them. ”

She’s right. Society must normalize this issue.

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