50 Shades of Widow – Sex & Dating Post-Loss

It was 1991 when Salt-n-Pepa’s hit song, “Let’s Talk About Sex” blasted from radios across the country. Sex. It’s often a taboo subject in the widowed community. People think we shouldn’t be dating, let alone having sex. Heck, at times, even we feel guilty for getting our freak on.

Whether a widow is waiting to remarry or opts to engage in a “friends with benefits” situation, sex is often thought about, though seldom discussed.

I recently reached out to the widowed community and asked them to openly and honestly discuss this three letter word that’s been known to get widows in heated exchanges (no pun intended). Below, they share some of the unusual and eye-opening aspects of sex and intimacy post-loss:

Unleash the Libido

  •  I feel like my sex drive has become over the top. My partner and I have sex at least once a day to two times a day
  • My sex drive went up. With my husband, 2-3 times a week I was happy. Now, I want it like 7 times a week!
  • Before my husband died, my drive was almost gone. Now it’s over the top! I get cranky if I don’t get anything at least twice a week. I would like it more but with kids, that’s almost impossible.
  • I now have a crazy high libido that made me consider (but never follow through with thankfully) friends with benefits or even just a fling with a stranger. I dubbed myself a “celibate nympho.”
  • The days following my husband’s death I felt absolutely nothing…except for horny. I was walking around in a cloud of numbness and profound pain and ALL I wanted to do was to get screwed by a massive and muscular man. This sensation was odd and confusing to me, but it slowly passed. Three months out I still get hit with waves of high libido and an urge for physical connection, but I let them flow through me. I know I could find someone to help me meet my physical needs, but I am choosing, for now, to sit with it and let myself process these feelings.

 Watch Out! Older Women on the Prowl

  • My sex drive is in overdrive and I’ve experimented with different races. I’ve definitely become a cougar. I’ve only been with much younger men since my husband passed.
  • I’ve turned into a cougar. I tried not to, but I just can’t help it!
  • My inner cougar is on overdrive though I’ve calmed down considerably recently.
  • I’ve found that guys who are 10 years younger are showing interest and that is definitely a bump in the ego.


The Wait will be Great

  • I’m saving myself for that special someone. Offers are there, just not interested.
  • I know I will be ready for a relationship in the coming months, but for now, I’m okay learning from these desires and urges as I process this profound and unexpected loss.
  • I fell in love with a man who had been an acquaintance for years. I am incredibly drawn to him and it was like losing my virginity all over again. He was patient with me and the end result is a very active and much more satisfying sex life.
  • My drive skyrocketed almost immediately after my husband died, which is unfortunate since my morals require I wait until marriage. It’s been 16 months and it hasn’t let up. I’m dating again and let’s just say I’m half tempted to find one of those drive-thru wedding places so we don’t even have to get out of the car on the way to a hotel.

 Who Says You Can’t Learn New Tricks

  • Rough sex and BDSM (bondage, dominance, submission, and masochism) are definitely in the repertoire now in a way they weren’t before. My late hubby was not into hurting me physically. My Boyfriend and I have a mutual enjoyment out of playing the pleasure/pain games.
  • I feel more confident than ever before, which makes sex more exciting. It’s very freeing. Losing my spouse made me approach everything in life with sort of a “f–k it” attitude (no pun intended).
  • I’ve started trying new things (kinks, fetishes, whatever). I never realized before that I like pain…not like cervix punching pain though.
  • Being a woman of “mature” age I was surprised at my curiosity in trying new things (some pleasant and some not so pleasant). I was 46 when my spouse was killed and I’m 54 now.
  • I definitely enjoy rougher sex now. I can do it without too much emotional attachment but I could do that before my late husband too. It’s just back. I have great orgasms but this may be due to reaching sexual peak more than anything else.
  • I’ve become a connoisseur of vibrators.
  • There is more intensity for sure. The passion in sex has really heightened with my current partner and I am much more sensitive to touch than I used to be; not sure why.
  • I learned that I actually enjoyed sex! I became the aggressor and am now unafraid to say what I want. Death taught me life is too short to wait around for things to happen. If you want it YOU have to go for it!

Regrets, I Have a Few

  • I had a one night stand at nine months and it was horrible. I cried for days afterwards. I waited until the 14-month mark to have sex again, with the guy I was dating.
  • I waited a year and a half before sleeping with someone after my husband. It was like losing my virginity all over again. Then, I engaged in some reckless behavior for a few months (made it out unscathed thank God)…. felt guilty, took a few months to get myself together, jumped back into it with a clearer head and made better choices.
  • I used sex, abusive sex for a couple of years post-loss because I thought I deserved to be treated that way because my husband took his own life.
  • I started dating three months post-loss and had a fair amount of sex trying to fill the void. Luckily I ended up with a guy who helped me see love and acceptance in all of the relationship, not just sex.
  • Un-character like, I had a lot of sex with several partners to seek and satisfy validation of many things, which I am not proud of.
  • I definitely had a heightened libido and I affectionately called this as my “hoe phase”. Ultimately I realized I needed more of a connection than just the physical.


Doesn’t Everyone Have a “Special Friend”…Or Two…or Three

  • I’ve been surprised by my ability to have sex with no strings attached. As a woman, it’s frowned upon but… why? I’m always safe and take care of myself so why can’t I enjoy sex with someone I just met or sex that won’t mean anything tomorrow?
  • I come from a very conservative religious background where sex is ONLY between a husband and wife. Losing my husband so suddenly, I find I am a bit rebellious towards my upbringing/religion/values. I decided to make up my own mind about what I want. This has included becoming sexually active with someone other than my husband. Surprisingly, I don’t carry much guilt. Even more surprising, I have had the best sex of my life with someone who is NOT my husband. I bought into the whole “You have to love someone to connect with them” attitude towards sex but as it turns out, I have had mind-blowing sex with someone I don’t love.
  • My sex drive has always been high but after not having sex a year and a half post-loss, I made up for it. There was lots of meaningless sex with partners I would never have chosen previously.
  • I knew I was not ready to date or be in a relationship so I tried a more casual approach. I have never done this before. At first I was horrified at my behavior but came to realize if it’s mutually beneficial than I am good with casual. In my pre-widow life id never have considered this!
  • My inner hedonist is dancing gleefully around shaking her ta-tas. It has to be shining out of me, too. The Home Depot guy gave me the “veterans discount” on my new freezer (I’m not a veteran), and another man tripped into a door because he kept trying to look at me. I’ve got a booty call scheduled for tomorrow afternoon, and let’s just say that I made a very, very good friend last night. It’s a huge confidence booster to know I still got the ol’ mojo and as long as we keep it safe, what’s the harm in it?

Remind Me…What’s Sex Again

  • I’m like a virgin again after 5+ years…well, kind of. I wish I could let my guard down and be more free-spirited.
  • I couldn’t care less if I ever have sex again. I’m fine with that. I do miss the physical touch sometimes but massage therapy takes care of that.
  • I have no interest. I no longer feel pretty or attractive and have no desire at all to have sex.
  • I used to have sex three times a day sometimes but since my spouse’s death, I can’t even think it. I am 15 months out and I feel so repulsed that I don’t think I could even get off if I tried with someone else. It’s weird. My husband wasn’t the only guy I have been with either. I just feel dead on every level. I wish I could be the exact opposite of what I feel, cause this is crap too. I am literally angry about it.

Regardless of the route you choose, hopefully, you’ll learn that you’re not alone and only you can determine what you want your sex life to look like post-loss – or if you even want to have one. Perhaps this widow summed it up best when she said, “There is no right or wrong way. It’s just a journey and we all have to find our way”.

Mom to a feisty preschooler, Kerry Phillips became widowed at age 32. She runs an online support group for young widows and widowers venturing back into the world of dating and is a blogger for The Huffington Post.

How to Deal With a Girlfriend with A Higher Sex Drive Than Yours –

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Couples of all sorts frequently encounter hurdles in their relationship, be they physical, emotional, or mental. Few things can be more frustrating for a relationship, however, than dealing with a girlfriend who has a higher sex drive than you. So what exactly should a couple do when they run into this problem, and what common pitfalls should they avoid?

Sex is a natural and healthy part of any human relationship, but the differences in you and your partner’s preferences may drive you over the edge if they’re not properly managed. By following the advice below, you can overcome some of the challenges facing you and your girlfriend in and out of the bedroom.

Discussing your relationship openly.

The first step toward solving any problem in the bedroom is by approaching it openly and honestly, which means you and your girlfriend will need to set some time apart to be together and go over your differences in private. Establishing free time to talk in a place where you’re both comfortable is a must before you can hope to iron out the wrinkles in your relationship.

It’s perfectly normal to have different preferences, even large ones, with your couple when it comes to the bedroom. The natural solution to many of the problems encountered in most relationships is to establish what your differences are first, and then to finely delineate between both of your needs and your wants. For your relationship to thrive well into the future, one partner’s wants cannot impede on another’s needs.

It can be easy for couples to resort to the blame game, or to take issues like this, which revolve around sexuality, far too personally. Be sure that you and your partner both understand that a situation such as this can be uncomfortable, but that there’s no need for spiteful words or thoughts, as you’re only trying to genuinely clean up a dark spot in your relationship.

If you think your difference in the bedroom could be an indicator of broader problem or problems in your relationship, don’t be afraid to bring it up for fear of loss. Talking to one another honestly and freely when it comes to intimate issues like this is a must if you’re to build empathy, which is needed for any loving relationship to last.

Sync your sex drives.

Getting the stars to align in the bedroom is by no means easy, but by taking some steps to sync your sex drives, you and your partner can get on the same page as one another. This may mean taking some extra time to plan your schedules – if you’re both intensely busy with work or school, for instance, it’s vitally important that you block off both personal time and time spent with your partner so you can both recharge and connect.

Sex therapists have already harped heavily on the benefits of syncing your sex drives, which can increase libido if one partner isn’t feeling comfortable or help another, overly-eager partner temper their urges. An individual’s sexuality is almost always an intricately complicated thing, so don’t be afraid to unpack your preferences with your girlfriend in detail (provided you’re both comfortable with it) to strengthen the bond between the two of you.

A necessary part of this is taking what your partners says at face value – if they say they’re not in the mood, it should be understood that you shouldn’t be pushing the issue. Make this clear to both parties in the relationship so that no one is being unfairly forced into something they don’t want to do, or feel as if they have to meet their partner’s higher sex drive out of an obligation to them.

There’s much more to the female sex drive than mere hormones, something a surprisingly large amount of partners can forget. Take some time to educate yourself with reliable information outside of the bedroom to better bridge the gap between you inside of it.

Recognize that some divides can’t be bridged.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember when dealing with differing sex drives between partners is that some people are simply different than others, and your preferences may be irreconcilable with your partners. This doesn’t have to spell the end of a relationship, of course – by compromising based on the specifics of your situation, you can settle on a schedule where you get the best of both worlds, and both partners make a sacrifice for the benefit of the other.

Maintaining an open and honest partnership where one partner isn’t doing something unhappily out of obligation is critical for your relationship to thrive.

A girlfriend with a higher sex drive than you don’t spell the end of your time together – it just means you need to sit down and work out the differences to enjoy your time in the bedroom all the more.

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You Can Be A Devoted Lover To Your Partner AND A Great Parent –

Keeping your marriage alive is important for a strong foundation to any successful family.

By: Donna Begg

Raising kids as a couple takes a lot of time, dedication, and commitment. So does a marriage.

A study shows that 92 percent of married couples had an increase in conflict after the birth of their first child. The study also shows that the conflict only got worse as the child got older with 13 percent already separated or divorced before their children even got older.

Keeping your marriage alive is important for a strong foundation to any successful family. Children thrive on parents who stay together and work at their marriage and are happiest compared to children going through a separation or a divorce.

The following are 9 of some of the best tips on how to stay lovers when you’re parents and keeping your marriage in tip top shape while still raising your children:

1. Make time for each other without the kids. 

As a married couple, the best thing that you can do to continue to grow as lovers and not just as parents raising kids together is to make time for each other without your kids.

Find out about each other all over again and keep that magic alive. Sure, family and parenting are important but so is staying and growing as lovers. The important thing here is to be consistent with taking time to talk and see what is going on for the other person in life.

2. Have conversations that do not reflect family life or work. 

When you make time for each other without your kids, it is important to stay mindful of connecting one-on-one with each other and not falling into the trap of bringing up any topics related to your kids, home life or work. This is a heart-to-heart connection opportunity.

Some good questions to ask each other can be:

  • What movies are you interested in watching?
  • What are your favorite memories from your childhood?
  • What would be your most enjoyable date together, just the two of us?
  • What makes you feel more appreciated and loved?
  • What are your long-term goals? Short-term goals?

3. Compliment each other daily.

Giving each other compliments daily is a great opportunity to let your spouse know that you not only notice them but acknowledge all that they do for the family that you share together.

A compliment goes a long way and requires no effort at all.

4. Read together.

Reading together can be a very intimate experience to grow as lovers and feel more bonded. After the kids have gone to bed, cuddle up together in your own bed and take turns reading. Head to the library or your local book store and pick a book together that peaks both your interest.

If you want to try something exciting, try choosing an erotic book and take turns reading it in bed together. The possibilities are endless.

5. Have a consistent date night.


Date nights are very important in staying active lovers together. Make sure that you schedule your date nights well in advance each month and stay committed to them.

It can be very beneficial to have weekly date nights without the kids to stay focused on each other. You don’t even need money to schedule a night out together. Stay home and send the kids off to a babysitter. Make each other a priority.

Here are some creative and fun date night ideas:

  • Play together. Studies show that couples who play together are happier together. Find a large field and bring out your inner child and play tag! Or play hide and seek in a forest.
  • Go on a mini road trip to the local town and act like tourists.
  • Have a spa night together. Give each other facials, manicures/pedicures, sensual massages and really enjoy each other’s company. Don’t forget the candles and relaxing music.

6. Choose a hobby to do together. 

The best way to grow as a couple is to learn something together. Find a hobby that you both can enjoy and stay committed to it.

Here are some examples to choose from:

  • Take cooking classes.
  • Go rock climbing.
  • Learn a new language.
  • Go ballroom dancing or any other couples dancing.
  • Write a children’s book together.
  • Learn a musical instrument together.
  • Paint a large canvas together after taking a few painting classes.

7. Become each other’s pen pals. 

Start writing love letters to each other. Letter writing is becoming a thing of the past, a lost art with the current age of technology.

Why not bring it alive by starting a letter writing tradition and even using snail mail to send letters to each other?

8. Have a neutral third party. 

Fights do happen and they can help a couple grow together if worked out sooner than later. Sometimes, things will come up that the both of you can’t resolve. Instead of having it fester and grow, a good solution is to have a third party help you and your spouse resolve things efficiently.

Find a couples counselor who you feel is ideal for your budget and situation. If you are having financial challenges together, a good option can even be a financial advisor who can help you both sort out your finances so you’re both on the same page.

It is always a good idea to find a neutral third party to help you overcome challenges to move forward as a stress-free couple.

9. Forgive, let go, and move forward as a team. 

Learn to forgive each other, let go of past hurts, and move forward not only as a family but as a team. A team sticks together through the ups and downs of life.

When you work together with your spouse by creating ways to build a stronger bond, keeping focused on staying actively in love, and prioritizing time for each other, you will not only have a happy and strong marriage, but your children will experience a healthier upbringing with role models that will teach them how to have successful and nourishing relationships.

Donna Begg is an expert editor, a mentor, analyst and a researcher.

Watch YourTango Experts discuss the secret on how to make your marriage last.

This article originally appeared on YourTango. For more like this from YourTango, try:

The 50 Best Marriage Tips OF ALL TIME (From 50 Marriage Experts)

50 Absolutely PERFECT “I Love You” Quotes That NAIL True Love

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How to Know Whether Your Guy Likes You in Bed? –

In this modern era, where relationships come with an expiration date, it can be hard to ensure that what you have is special and everlasting.

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Dating and relationships are often considered complicated and it’s true as well. In this modern era, where relationships come with an expiration date, it can be hard to ensure that what you have is special and everlasting. How to know what’s going in your partner’s mind while getting intimate? How to know whether sex is just sex or its love for him as well? These are the questions that cross the mind of every partner who has slept with their guy or is in a live in relationship. Does he like it or not?

So here we bring some traits of a guy who likes you in bed and is ready to take the intimacy a step further:

He does not feel emasculated: Being in an intimate relationship is not just about satisfying your man’s needs — it is a two-way process. If you have your fantasies and want to enjoy them there is nothing wrong with that. Taking initiative and having an strong side is not considered emasculation but just a healthy and unique way of expressing your desires.

He is responsive and communicative: Being on silent mood during sex is not just boring but also makes it mechanical. If your guys are responsive to your moaning and make an effort to arouse you it is a sign he is head over heels for you. Talking dirty during sex, telling what he wants from you and understands your needs is a sign that he is comfortable with you and likes you.

He loves reciprocate: We all know most men love getting pleasure — but how about if he likes to give pleasure? That’s a sign he is really into you and likes to satisfy you.

Chemistry is not just in the room: If he is affectionate with you in front of his family and friends, likes to take you to restaurants, shopping and basically is not embarrassed by accepting you publically then he is really considering about you for the long haul. Gifts are also a common way of expressing his emotions and he does it judiciously.

He loves to flaunt and pampers you: He never misses a chance to flaunt his relationship with you and loves to pamper you with gifts and accessories. It is normal for guys who are really happy in their relationship to include their partners in social gathering and want to spend time with them.

Open to new things: He will love to experiment and try new things in the bedroom. Rather than being judgemental, he will accept your way of expressing love and will be flexible.

If you are still confused about your man, it is better to have, “The Talk” rather than presuming things and getting all confused about what is going in the relationship.


Do you want to talk about how to have richer, more mindful, and enduring relationships?

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Mr. Wrong, Ms. Right, and the Easy Love Cliche We All Fall For –

Many years ago, Ellen DeGeneres made a (bad but weirdly hilarious) movie called Mr. Wrong.

In it she played a successful single gal who finds herself under pressure to find a relationship once her younger sister gets married. When a handsome, sensitive, wealthy poet, played (at first) charmingly by Bill Pullman suddenly comes into her life, she can hardly believe her luck.

But you already know what happens next.

Mr. (or Ms.) Wrong is usually the one who sweeps you off of your feet with the seemingly perfect package; the early days of this whirlwind are so heady they are almost enough to sustain you when it inevitably goes over a cliff and crashes into a fire ball.

Courtship is an entirely different skill set than actual relationships, and what Mr. Wrong will teach you is that the guy who has all those grand romantic gestures upfront is not necessarily the guy who will get up in the middle of the night with the colicky baby when you have the flu.

Romance, as gorgeous and alluring as it is, is not love.

But Mr. (or Ms.) Wrong has “all the right moves”, as they say. While you are caught up in their passion play, so to speak, you don’t want to acknowledge to yourself or to them that this is not a sustainable reality. You want the magical dream of your perfect self and perfect partner to go on and on.

Except it doesn’t, because that’s not love.

Mr. Right, on the other hand, might not have time (at first) to orchestrate a mountaintop picnic with champagne under the stars because…um…he’s got a life.

Mr. Right might have deadlines or his cousin’s wedding or his best friend’s birthday party to attend, so you might not get his undivided attention.

He’s got a job and friends and family and he is not looking for a relationship to fill his time or relieve him of boredom or bolster his lagging self-esteem.

That probably doesn’t sit well with everybody, and this is why Mr. (or Ms.) Wrong is so damned successful in manipulating our hearts. Not only have we been sold the drop-everything-and-run-into-each-other’s-arms narrative by Hollywood and steamy novels, today’s instant access technology means it is easier than ever to be bewitchingly attentive and publicly demonstrative about our latest “love.” But the cliché that the more people post online about their relationships the shakier they are doesn’t just apply to established couples.

If someone is serious about you, they don’t want to put you or the relationship in a fishbowl or under a spotlight. It should be about getting to know each other with respectful parameters and the kind of privacy that will foster actual intimacy. As much of a rush as it can be when someone seems in a rush to claim you, Mr. (or Ms.) Right is willing to be patient every time.

Love is like that.

One of the hallmarks of a Mr. (or Ms.) Wrong is that they are blissfully compliant. They want to do what you want to do, and like what you like, and WOW! We must be SOULMATES or something!

Or maybe, just maybe, they are waving a great big red flag you are willfully ignoring.

I’m not saying you and your future partner should not or will not have a lot in common; I am saying that a person who does not appear to have separate interests or preferences is most likely lying, or possibly some kind of droid. Do you have ANYONE in your life you agree with all the time? Of course not, which is why it’s so amusing that we fall for this tactic when Mr. Wrong pulls it over on us.

Mr. Right will still want to go to the ball game with his buddies, even if you hate sports. He will also encourage you to attend the ballet, even if he doesn’t want to. Mr. Right is secure in himself and doesn’t need to be your “Yes Man”; also has zero interest in making you his “Yes Woman.”

Merging lives should never mean morphing into each other. That’s just creepy. Oh, and totally unhealthy.

The problem is, a lot of people have been sold this idea of what love should look like on the surface, and Mr. (or Ms.) Wrong knows it is a seller’s market; buyers don’t want the practical ranch they can afford, they want the clifftop mansion with the pool and the views. Which is totally understandable except at the end of the day you’ve got to be able to live with this thing, and while practical may not sound sexy, high-maintenance can be even less so.

Real love feels safe and grounded and sustainable.

That’s not to say Mr. Right doesn’t have a few tricks up his sleeve; on the contrary, his independence and willingness to let you be yourself are magnetic qualities. He encourages you in your healthy relationships, supports you in your work and trusts you to know what is best for you. He can handle constructive criticism and make adjustments and communicate honestly.

Again, it may not sound sexy but trust me, it is.

In fact, you can trust HIM. That’s the key and fundamental difference between a Mr. Wrong and a Mr. Right. Trust is actually the sexiest thing going, because in trust there is implicit respect. In respect there is implicit admiration.

In trust and respect and admiration lies true love, vulnerability and intimacy.

Mr. (or Ms.) Wrong may say all of the “right” things, but Mr. Right does right by you every time. Love is like that. It isn’t moody or capricious, it just is.

When love is right, it just is.


Photo by One Wedding on Unsplash