|Mission||Site Publisher Michael Castleman||Michael in his Own Words|
“Real quick, just wanted to thank you for your article on penis size. Being your typical man, average size, I have spent years beating myself up for being average. Then I read your article. You put me at ease about the size issue. So thank you, for an informative article based on truth, and not on what we see on TV, the Internet, or in porn. Much appreciated. Thanks.”
“For authoritative advice about sex after 40, 50, 60 and beyond, look no further than GreatSexAfter40.com. It can answer all your questions.” —Lybi Ma, editor, PsychologyToday.com.
“Thank you for answering me so quickly and in such great detail. I really value your opinion and will keep in mind what you said. I shared your reply with my boyfriend and we decided we are going to work on things together. We shall see what happens….”
“This is what adult sex education should look like. GreatSexAfter40.com is a wonderful resource for people of all ages. The information is accurate, up-to-date, and written in an engaging style that should help lovers at every stage of life.” —Sex therapist Marty Klein, Ph.D., publisher of Sexual Intelligence newsletter (SexualIntelligence.org).
“Have just discovered your website. I’m a 67-year-old nurse and social worker. So much great information here. Thank you! Such a gift!”
“Useful for both young and old, the emphasis on adults over 40 is what makes GreatSexAfter40.com special. The second half of life brings both sexual challenges and opportunities, and GreatSexAfter40.com proves that older sex can be the best sex of your life.” —Sex therapist Sandor Gardos, Ph.D., founder, MyPleasure.com sex toy company.
“GreatSexAfter40.com provides reliable, practical information for making the most of sex during midlife and beyond. I’ve always respected Castleman’s knowledgeable, compassionate sexuality books, and he’s brought the same sensibility to his site.” —Joan Price, author, Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk About Sex After Sixty.
“GreatSexAfter40.com is by far the best site of its kind. Clients come to me for sex therapy, but in addition to therapy, many of them need sex education on everything from penis size to the G-spot. I send them to GreatSexAfter40.c0m, and many clients have been very impressed and grateful.” Diana Wiley, Ph.D., Seattle, WA, sex therapist and host of the radio program “Love Lust, and Laughter.”
GreatSexAfter40.com is committed to enhancing the joy in your life by improving your health and the satisfaction you derive from lovemaking. The fact is, with a little information and some erotic adjustments, sex after 40 or 50 or 60 or 70 can be quite enjoyable, possibly the best sex of your life.
GreatSexAfter40.com offers free information and counseling to people of all ages, but focuses on the concerns of mature adults.
Why “after 40″? Because it’s difficult to find scientifically accurate information about sex in the second half of life. And because for most people, sex begins to change after 40:
- Contraception and other reproductive issues wane.
- Women start to experience menopausal changes: declining vaginal lubrication, discomfort with intercourse, frequently a decrease in libido, and changes in body image and self-esteem.
- Men start to notice that arousal takes more time. No more instant erections at the sight of an attractive woman.
- Men also begin to experience erection dissatisfaction. Erections that were once firm and reliable start to become balky: slower to rise, less firm, and prone to subsiding with minor distractions.
- And both men and women become more likely to take medications, many of which may contribute to sex problems.
After 50—and especially after 60—age-related changes become more challenging:
- For women, the physical changes and self-esteem issues mentioned above increase. In addition, the vaginal lining thins (vaginal atrophy), which may add to discomfort during genital play, even with a lubricant. Finally, because women live longer than men, partner loss often limits sexual possibilities.
- Men also experience more of the changes mentioned above. In addition, erection dissatisfaction may progress to erectile dysfunction (ED), a hallmark of which is difficulty raising erections with sustained masturbation.
- Medication use becomes more prevalent. Many common drugs have potentially sex-impairing side effects. In addition, the interactions among multiple medications may exacerbate sexual side effects.
Age-related sexual changes are disconcerting even for those who are prepared for them. But most people are not:
- Our culture assumes that sex is the province of young people, that at some point, mature adults become “too old for sex.” As a result, many older people are unprepared for the sexual changes age brings, and when they happen, withdraw from sensual play.
- The news media generally ignore sexuality after 40. When they cover it, their tone often mixes surprise and consternation: “What do you know? The old folks still do it.” Media reports about sex after 40 are usually poorly informed, and fail to address the issues of most concern to older adults who would like to remain sexual.
- Very few doctors and mental health professionals have training in the sexual concerns of older adults, and cannot offer authoritative advice.
As a result, many older adults feel confused and pessimistic about sex after 40, 50, 60, and beyond. If you decide that age-related sexual challenges outweigh the benefits of remaining erotically active, that’s your decision. But if you’re determined to remain sexual despite advancing age, where there’s a will, there’s always a way—and GreatSexAfter40.com is committed to helping you find the ways that bring you the most erotic pleasure and relationship satisfaction.
Site Publisher Michael Castleman
Founder and site publisher Michael Castleman, M.A., age 60, is “one of the nation’s top health writers” (Library Journal). He is a journalist, sex educator, and sex counselor who has reported on health, medicine, sex research, and sex therapy since 1973. He is the author of 12 consumer health books—including two sexuality guides (below)—that have sold a combined total of more than 2 million copies worldwide.
- Author of the best-seller Sexual Solutions: For Men and the Women Who Love Them (Simon & Schuster, 1980, 1989). When it was released, the Playboy Advisor said, “If Sexual Solutions were required reading in high schools, this column would be out of business.” Sexual Solutions remained in print for 24 years and sold more than 500,000 copies.
- Author of Great Sex: A Man’s Guide to the Secrets of Whole-Body Sensuality (Rodale, 2004). It was nominated as “Sex Book of the Year” by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT). Sex therapist Dennis Sugrue, Ph.D., former president of the AASECT, says, “Great Sex is filled with state-of-the-art sex information. Two thumbs up.”
- Writer of more than 200 sexuality articles published by many magazines and Web sites, including: Reader’s Digest, Psychology Today, AARP Magazine, Family Circle, Redbook, Self, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Ladies’ Home Journal, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Men’s Journal, Natural Health, PsychologyToday.com, Playboy.com, Salon.com, Xandria.com, and MyPleasure.com.
- Writer of the blog “All About Sex” on PsychologyToday.com.
- Counselor who has answered more than 10,000 sexuality questions during hundreds of radio interviews, and for many magazines and Web sites, including: the Playboy Advisor, Mademoiselle, Medical Self-Care, WebMD.com, Xandria.com, and PassionParties.com.
- A member of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists and the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality.
Michael in His Own Words
I never intended to become a sex expert. In 1973, just out of the University of Michigan, I worked at a free clinic where I counseled patients about contaception and sexually transmitted infections. I also wrote health articles for the local alternative weekly, the Ann Arbor Sun. The editor asked me to write a Valentine’s Day feature, “How to Make Love.” I refused. I was 23. What did I know?
But the editor knew my girlfriend, now wife, Anne, and appealed to her. Anne urged me to write the article. Flashing a sly smile, she said, “You might learn something.”
As fate would have it, the book that launched sex therapy, Human Sexual Inadequacy by William Masters, M.D. and Virginia Johnson (1970) had just been released in paperback. I read it. It outlined their simple treatment program for rapid (“premature”) ejaculation. Like many young men, I had that problem. With help from Anne, the Masters and Johnson program cured me in just a few weeks. I was delighted, and became fascinated by sexology. I read several more books and wrote the article for the Sun. I’ve been writing about sexuality ever since.
In 1975, having moved to San Francisco, I became a founder of the nation’s first birth control clinic for men. At the time, six years before AIDS was identified, contraception was a woman’s concern. Condoms were not displayed openly in pharmacies. They were available only by request. Our clinic distributed condoms for free to thousands of men, and offered counseling in all birth control methods.
But we had a problem—how to persuade men to visit the clinic. We decided to provide free sex counseling. With the help of the Sexuality Program at the University of California’s San Francisco Medical Center, we offered free, brief counseling focused on such concerns as penis size and premature ejaculation—with referrals to sex therapists when necessary. In no time, we were attracting large crowds of men.
Local news reports led to wire service coverage, and guess who called for an appointment—Geraldo Rivera. I touted condoms on “Good Morning, America” years before AIDS popularized them.
While I enjoyed face-to-face sex counseling, I preferred writing. In 1977, I earned a Master’s in Journalism from UC Berkeley, specializing in public health and sexuality.
In 1980, I published, Sexual Solutions. The book encouraged men to make love the way women generally prefer—leisurely, playful, whole-body sensuality that includes the genitals but is not limited to them.
The editor of the Playboy Advisor was impressed with Sexual Solutions. Eventually, he asked me to answer the magazine’s sex questions, which I did for five years (1991-1995). I felt gratified when a 1997 analysis by University of Louisville researchers called the Playboy Advisor’s answers “authoritative,” and noted that “the Advisor discourages bravado and sexist, locker room comments, while encouraging men to express their emotions and abandon gender-based double standards.”
In 2004, after 24 years in print, Sexual Solutions was replaced by my current sexuality guide, Great Sex.
Of course, like everyone else, I still have much to learn about sexuality and lovemaking, especially as I grow older. But the learning is fun, and the email jokes are hilarious.
My wife, Anne, is a family physician. She’s always been fine with having a husband who writes about s-e-x. She can’t complain. She talked me into that first piece years ago.
My parents have also been supportive—our son, the sex expert.
But when my kids were young, my sexuality work embarrassed them. Sexologists often say: “There’s only one thing worse than having a parent who won’t talk about sex. It’s having a parent who won’t shut up about it.” That began to change a few months after my son entered high school. An older student showed him an old, tattered copy of Sexual Solutions that had floated around the campus for years. “Are you related to this guy?” “He’s my father.” The students were impressed. Now that my children are young adults, they’re fine with my career.