Sex & Relationships

As AARP's sex and relationship expert, Pepper Schwartz aims to improve the lives of the age-50-plus audience by enhancing their relationships and offering counsel on everything from sex and health issues to communication and dating.

Can the Right Foods Increase Sperm Count?

Q: My urologist told me that my sperm are malfunctioning because they are shaped differently than normal sperm and are not moving as quickly as they should, and that I have a low quantity. He said this could result from a low hormone count. What can I do to increase my sperm count? I know that I should eat properly, but I don’t know which foods supply the vitamins that will increase my levels of testosterone, sperm, semen and testosterone? …

I’m Just Not Interested

Q: I just read your article about having a celibate marriage, and my marriage has turned into that. Although it’s not due to any type of punishment – it’s just that I have lost all interest in sex. I love my spouse; he loves me. There are no problems, no stresses. We get along great, but I just can’t find the interest. My doctor said it was probably stress but I am retired and don’t have any. I’ve talked to …

Men Don’t Only Want Sex. They Want Friendship, Too

Q: I have been divorced for almost three years and am having difficulty meeting men. Most of the guys I encounter just want sex. I want more: respect, friendship, kindness, mutual enjoyment. Any suggestions? After 29 1/2 years of an abusive marriage, I would like to think there are some nice men out there. Dr. Pepper Schwartz: There are definitely some nice men out there. Of course, your life has been colored by an abusive marriage and you have to …

Two Words: Sex Therapist

Q: The woman I married two years ago doesn’t really know how to make love to me. I am 68, and my wife is 57. I still have the drive to have sex, but she is not used to initiating the first move. She doesn’t like to kiss and isn’t romantic at all. When I listen to soft music to try and get things started, she asks me why I play sad music. I have been patient with her as …

Online Dating Isn’t Working. Now What?

Q: I have been a widow for about three years.  (I live with my son, a highly functional autistic man who is independent in most areas but needs my help financially.) I’d love to find a new romantic relationship again, but fear I am destined to be alone. I’ve tried dating sites and have met many men, but we only go out on a date or two and that’s it. Either I don’t feel any connection, which is not very often, or they …

Sex and Dementia: What Are Our Rights When We’re Not Ourselves Any More?

A recent Bloomberg article recapped an incident in a nursing home in which an employee walked in on two elderly residents, both diagnosed with dementia, having intercourse. The man was in his late 70s, the woman in her late 80s. The employee, a nurse, called for help and separated the two, but not without the woman clawing and screaming at them. It’s a delicate subject and the zone is completely gray. The incident led to the male patient being removed …