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Senior Men And The Testosterone Tangle

AARP has challenged the makers of testosterone replacement medicines, pointing out that a substance developed to treat testicular injury and the effects of some types of cancer has morphed into a recreational drug with sales in the billions of dollars. Healthy senior men, a Bulletin article warns, are being urged to take “a potentially risky drug for a condition they don’t have.”


If you’re dating a senior man, you know someone who has heard the hype. It’s hard to miss Low-T advertising. It’s all over the airways, insisting that senior men and even men in middle age are standing in the shadow of sexual oblivion.

No one pretends testosterone levels are the same for 65-year-olds and 18-year-olds. But spirited lovemaking is happening for healthy men well into their 80’s – at least for those without insecurities provoked by the relentless Low-T doomsday campaign. Low-T advertising, says one researcher, is “the mother of all disease mongering.”


The AARP writer tries valiantly to be even handed, but I’d say the Low-T industry’s credibility is undermined considerably by this quote from a prominent researcher:

“When you take testosterone, your body shuts down its own production. As a result, the testicles may shrink…”

…and by this report from the Journal of the American Medical Association:

“(a study) reported a 30% jump in risk of stroke, heart attack, and death among men undergoing testosterone therapy.”

If your senior man is taking the blue pill for a serious medical condition, that is a matter between him and his doctor. If he has merely been seduced by recreational T-replacement advertising, maybe it’s time for you to step in with some confidence-building, as well as some lifestyle recommendations.

Eating right, sleeping well, and exercising regularly are the pillars of healthy bodily function. Eat salads! Take walks! Turn of the cell phone! A physically healthy senior man whose mind is clear of Low-T hype is a man who can provide sexual delight without popping pills.


The most powerful sex organ is not the penis, but the brain. Good sex happens when these two organs work together. Your job is to help him trust his own body system to respond enthusiastically to yours. If your encouragement is delivered with empathy, patience, and (this is important) tact, it will be way more compelling than those ad messages mouthed by leather-clad actors driving rugged work trucks.

If you and your guy communicate openly, if you share genuine feelings of physical attraction, if brain power can overcome advertising power, you could be in for the non-pharmaceutical night of your dreams.

NOTE: Here’s a link to the AARP Bulletin article, worth reading in its entirety.


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'Senior Men And The Testosterone Tangle' have 16 comments

  1. December 8, 2015 @ 8:22 am Gloria

    Sorry, but without Viagra we wouldn’t have any sex. I’m a believer.

  2. December 8, 2015 @ 8:20 am Marie

    You really “get it” Sienna. My boyfriend is so worried about ED and he’s ready to ask the doctor to give him Viagra, but I am going to take your advice and try to talk him out of it. Thank you so much.

  3. December 8, 2015 @ 8:09 am HarveyB

    I agree with this somewhat but I do take Cialis and it helps me by giving me confidence. The natural way doesn’t always work for me, even when the partner is attractive and sexy. It would be great if confidence was always there to be the driver but not all older men (I am 64) have it.

  4. December 8, 2015 @ 8:05 am Angie

    There is a big difference between men who can do it without drugs and men who just can’t.

  5. April 16, 2015 @ 9:30 am Sienna

    If by “less strong” you mean “not made rigid by pharmaceudical means” I think lots of women our age would agree with you.

  6. April 16, 2015 @ 9:26 am E. Carolson

    There is too much dependency on pills. I would rather have less strong sex and more of the sponteneous kind.

  7. March 11, 2015 @ 10:22 am Patsy C.

    my man is 70 and on his birthday he decided it was all over. hes not interested in medicating himself although he did try porn movies for a while just to see. im going to show him this article because he thinks all men his age think like he does.

  8. January 19, 2015 @ 3:30 pm Sienna

    Thanks for your comment, Carla. It validates our belief that a man in good health can enjoy great sex with his partner at any age.

  9. January 18, 2015 @ 3:24 pm Carla

    I was with a man who was 76 and he had no problem at all and I think you are right to say that the brain is the most important sex organ. He was absolutely sure he could perform, and he never gave failure a chance. Of course he was healthy and a biker, but that wouldn’t have made any difference without that confidence.

  10. January 10, 2015 @ 8:58 am Penny

    i just read something about men losing it after 45. Holy cow – I have a son who’s 45, and I just can’t imagine he’d be having any problems. They just had a baby about 6 months ago, and they are all over each other when I see them. I can’t help but wonder though how this advertising affects men who should be many years away from having to worry about E.D.

  11. November 22, 2014 @ 5:11 pm Sienna

    These commercials make senior men curious, giddy, or downright frightened. Reassuring them that they are sexually potent is what they want, and giving them that reassurance is rarely a bad idea.

  12. November 20, 2014 @ 6:11 pm Trisha

    My lover always has something to say jokingly whenever a Cialis or Viagra ad comes on. I’m sure he’s testing me because when I say, oh honey you don’t need that stuff, he looks pleased.

  13. October 28, 2014 @ 11:04 am Lisa H

    This is a great post. I love your combination of humor and informative advice. So many men I’ve met are hung up on their performance problems. I wish they could relax and believe in themselves, but you’re right about how they are over-informed about the probabilities of bad performance. The funny thing is that some men in their late 60s are much more confident of not losing it than some guys who are in their 50s.

  14. July 22, 2014 @ 2:13 pm Cherise

    I was dating a very confident man for a while and there was no need for pills for him, but I had some trouble with vaginal dryness. He was 64 and I was 61 at the time. We worked it out. This is a good article, but maybe you should write about women’s problems,too.

  15. July 21, 2014 @ 9:09 pm Tracey

    I wish diet and exercise worked. You make it sound too easy. I’ve had trouble with two older men. Neither one wanted to take the pill, and I agreed at the time, but maybe it would have been better if they did.

  16. July 21, 2014 @ 4:19 pm Joan

    I don’t think this is fair. My lover is not able to sustain an erection and without Cialis we would not be able to have sex. It’s not because he is ill, he is just 75 years old and he says it doesn’t work anymore.

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