Ask the Doc
Dr. Olson welcomes your questions and comments about your sexual identity, coming out, sexual functioning, relationships, and how to face aging with optimism. Feel free to write him about any of these or related topics at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Olson will always respect your privacy. Although he may use the content of your message in a blog post, he will never disclose your identity, age, or specific location in his responses. Any information that might reveal your identity will be altered in such a way that it protects your identity. All questions have been edited and abbreviated for publication.
His responses are not to be considered medical advice.
I have been with my partner for 24 years and we still have a good relationship, but he has lost all interest in sex. He treats me well and really seems to care about me, but we haven’t had any sexual intimacy in almost three years. When I want to talk about it, he casually dismisses the subject. I miss having that physical intimacy and wonder if it’s okay to experience it outside my relationship with him.
For a variety of reasons, all couples, gay or straight, travel through sexual deserts, but a three-year trek through this desert is an unusually long period of time. First, let’s examine male sexual functioning in general terms. (You can get a copy of my handout on self-esteem on my website.) Continue reading
Hello, Dr. Olson.
I am a man in my early thirties, and I’ve only recently realized I’m gay after having unexpectedly fallen for a man who rocked me to my core. It was incredibly hot, sexy, and intense, but we connected in so many other ways too. I am not currently seeing him because I must work some things out. I’ve now come out to my wife whom I love. She believes that if I work hard enough on this, I can change, but deep down, I know I don’t want to change. How can I help her understand that being gay isn’t something I can change and because of it I can’t ever give her what she really needs?
Imagine being in a jail cell and standing at the door looking through the bars, wondering how you can escape. After struggling at the gate for a long time, you look to your left and then to your right. There are no walls there, only ones you imagined. You discover you can escape, but only by changing the directions through which you’re trying to escape. That is where you are now. Continue reading
Hello, Dr. Olson,
I am a thirty-year–old man who only recently realized that I am gay. I come from a very, very conservative Christian background, so every sense of being attracted to other boys was shut down until recently when I met a guy who rocked me deeply to my core. I have come out to a few family members who’ve told me that Satan has found a breach in my soul and entered, and he is now trying to destroy me and my family. I am reading the Bible and praying that God can change me, but I know deep down that I don’t want it to work. Do you think that I can be changed?
First let me say that I cannot counsel you about your religion, but what I can tell you is that dealing with the conflict between religion and sexual orientation is often the most difficult issue we must confront. Fortunately, one of the advantages of growing older is that we can think for ourselves. Continue reading
My best friend recently told me that she thinks my husband might be gay. My initial reaction was to tell her she’s crazy and to mind her own business. But now that I’ve had some time to think about it, I wonder if she could be right. I’ve seen the signs for some time but always made excuses for Daniel since he’s a good husband and great father to our kids. What’s the best way to bring up the subject with him? Should I be blunt and just ask him if he’s gay?
If you ask your husband directly if he’s gay, he might automatically deny it, just as you initially denied the possibility when your friend suggested it. Then you’d be left wondering if he’s being truthful—either with you or with himself.
A middle-aged man who has just come out to his wife wrote that she is very angry and depressed, and he asked how he can help his wife get through this. He wrote that he still loves his wife and is concerned for her. He asked not to be further identified.
Contrary to the picture that is often painted of us, many of us who have come out continue to love our wives and are concerned about them. We feel a sense of shame and guilt about having caused our families such pain, and many of us have avoided dealing with our sexual attractions for years because we wanted to protect the family from that pain. What we’ve caused our families to experience through no fault of theirs may feel more like a time of sadness and loss than a sense of freedom. The feeling of freedom about finally living an authentic life is compromised by the pain that we have caused to others we love. Continue reading
A middle-aged man, who’d just came out to his wife and requested that he not be identified in any way, asked how to come out to his children.
When I came out, I was in my early forties, and I had been married for eighteen years. My wife and I had two children under the age of thirteen. Having lost my father when I was three years old, my highest commitment was always to be the best father I could possibly be, and I felt so much sadness, shame, and guilt when even thinking about walking away from them. Continue reading
I’m sexually attracted to my wife, and she is a very sexual person, but sometimes we don’t have sex for a while because I have been watching porn, masturbated, and can’t be sexual with her. She thinks I’m addicted to porn and interprets my sexual contentment as not finding her attractive. I guess I’ve been neglecting her needs by giving myself an orgasm. There are so many different angles to sexuality, and it is challenging to match two people’s unique drives.
You are not alone in this. A recent report in the Washington Post suggests that adults in the United States are having less sex, and the number of people who reported having no sex at all in the past year reached an all-time high in 2018.
Full disclosure: While I’d like to say that my interest in porn has been purely scientific, the fact is sometimes I enjoy porn. Let’s set aside the issues of whether lust, masturbation, and porn are sinful and look only at the behavior.Continue reading
How do I start a conversation with my wife about the disappointment I feel that she cut off any kind of kink we used to engage in, which she knew was a passion of mine before we married. I told her early on that I had a cross-dressing desire, was bisexual, and needed to be submissive to a dominant partner of some kind at times. She became my dominatrix for a couple of years, and we occasionally would dress in lingerie together and even chat with men online, as well as talk openly about our desires, which made sex so fun and nonjudgmental and free to new things.
Then very suddenly she announced she wouldn’t do
anything “perverted” anymore with little explanation but I’m sure she had
enough of the gay side of me. But she would never discuss why officially.
We have continued to have an active sex life, but honestly it feels like she’s getting what she wants and I have no choice but to give up on my needs because they are perverted and bad and I’m forced to limit my sexual desires because of her rules.
How do I broach the subject after a few years that I need her to meet me somewhere near the middle? How do I ask her to help me satisfy my needs occasionally, with her participation? What do I do to get her to open up again to communication? She was so playful before and now she’s not imaginative at all.
What if she ignores or rejects my concerns?
According to Urban Dictionary, cross-dressing is “the act of one dressing up as the gender that they do not normally find themselves living as. This is done usually as a hobby, in order to live out fantasies, for drag shows/parties, or for sexual excitement. Oh, and just to make it clear; Transsexuals do not cross-dress, and cross-dressers aren’t necessarily LGBT.”Continue reading
Hello, Dr. Olson!
I am in my early thirties, and I came out about a year ago after years of casually dating women while having discreet sexual encounters with men much, much older than me. Since coming out, I have tried to date guys closer to my own age but have found that the sexual attraction just isn’t there for me.
I am grappling with the fact that my desires are what they are and trying to reconcile them with expectations for where I want to be in my own life, how I present myself to others, and my fear of judgment from friends and family.
Why don’t I feel the same attraction to guys closer to my own age than I do to guys 20–30+ years older than me? How could a 65-year-old man and I possibly live every day together? I feel that I should be seeking a more “practical” lifelong partner. We are so vastly different in terms of schedule and lifestyle. These are the questions I ask myself.
This is an important question and one I am asked about frequently. First, loving another person is never practical. Our attraction to another is not a rational process but happens due to forces outside of our consciousness and control.Continue reading
I am a sixty-two-year-old, retired, financially secure man, and I would like to start dating, but I don’t know where to turn. I am openly gay and a couple of years ago my husband who I’d been with for twenty-five years died suddenly of a heart attack. We had a wonderful relationship, and now I am very lonely and want someone in my life again. I dated one man for a while and later learned he had a wife. I’m considered handsome by my friends, physically fit, and drink only socially. I read and I like to travel. I don’t like gay bars and I’m not interested in meeting someone just to have sex. Do you think it is possible at my age to find someone? Is it too late for me?
I receive questions like this quite often, sometimes from men who are recently leaving heterosexual marriages after coming out but also from men who’ve been widowed after having been in long-term, loving relationships with a spouse. Men who’ve lost their partners seem to have a particularly difficult time of it. The latter group has built a social world based on being a part of a couple, and now that structure is gone. And just like their heterosexual peers, they sit at home eating dinner alone, staring at the chair where their former lover used to sit.Continue reading