Dr. Rita Benasutti: Maintaining Romance in Relationships After 60
Aging Gratefully
Dr. Peter Brill

Episode 10 - Dr. Rita Benasutti: Maintaining Romance in Relationships After 60

We’ve got a really hot show for you today.  We’re going to talk about maintaining romance in your relationship after 60.  You say, how can romance over 60 be really hot?  Well our guest, Dr. Rita Benasutti, a marital and sex therapist in Boca Raton, Florida, has appeared on TV and radio, been published in the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, and has been quoted in Cosmopolitan Magazine, The New York Times, and Women's Health Magazine among others.  Dr. Benasutti has some definite ideas about what you can do to keep the fire of love burning in the Third Age.  How is Third Age romance different from romance earlier in life?  Let’s say a husband and wife are both 70 years old.  She’s through with sex, he’s not.  He’s ready to leave.  What can they do?  Or, a couple is 60.  They both still work so their time and energy for sexuality is limited.  How can they save their romance?  Dr. Benasutti takes us through her 8 Levels of Intimacy – Affection, Social Togetherness, Physical Activity, Aesthetics, Intellectuality, Emotionality, Sexuality and Spirituality.  She describes how feelings of hurt, misunderstanding and love and be resolved through intimacy.  Listen to this show and learn the secrets of pillow talk and enduring romance.



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[intro music]

David Debin: Hello and welcome to The Third Age with the doctor and the man from Hollywood. I’m David Debin, the man from Hollywood! And on this show we turn the myths of aging upside down, I hope! That’s what we’ve been trying to do, turning myths of aging upside down. We sort out the scientific and the trendy, the medical and the cultural and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about living in the third age, with panache and a nice little pinch of khutzpa. It’s a word Peter can say.

Bernie Sandler: Khutzpa. I just wanted to say it. Khutzpa, OK.

David Debin: Remember we guarantee if you listen to us, you will never, ever grow old. The third age usually starts somewhere around 45 or 50. As you well know by now, it’s a time when you start to feel a strong desire for a deeper meaning and fulfillment in your life.

Your first age is childhood, your second age is building your career and raising your family. And the third age is a major change or transition to a whole new set of problems: values, opportunities and gratifications.

So, join us as fellow explorers in this journey to discover what brings passion, purpose and joy into this unchartered time of life.

David Debin: And you are who?

Woman 1: Marissa Sgobassi.

David Debin: Unfortunately for us, the doctor, Peter Brill, MD is on vacation but not to worry. I have prevailed upon our good friend, the esteemed Bernie Sandler to co-host today’s show with me and with Marissa and with Geren Piltz. If it weren’t for Bernie, there would be no Third Age show and you’ll find out what I mean by that as we go along but first, Hi Bernie Sandler! Welcome to The Third Age.

Bernie Sandler: Well, thank you David and Marissa. I haven’t been back recently because I’ve been working on the fourth age.

David Debin: Ahh. What’s it like?

Bernie Sandler: Because as we’re getting older, we’re going to need that too, I think, down the line.

David Debin: What’s it like out there somewhere?

Bernie Sandler: The fourth age is… I don’t want to share it yet. It’s a personal experience I’m having and it’s fabulous.

David Debin: Are you having it with yourself?

Bernie Sandler: I almost couldn’t show up today--almost all the time--I couldn’t show up to day almost because I was so busy in the fourth age. But I’m happy to be here today with you. It’s always fun to hang out with you guys.

David Debin: It’s great to have you here, Bernie, because you’ve helped us along so many times on the phone and with our show. I just want to tell everybody out there about today’s show. We’ve got a hot show for you today. We’re going to talk about romance after 60.You say, “How can romance over 60 be hot?” Well our guest, Dr. Rita Benasutti, a marital and sex therapist in Boca Raton, Florida--I guess that’s a good place to be a sex therapist, right? Wouldn’t you think?

Bernie Sandler: Yeah, when global warming hits, she’ll just swim away.

David Debin: OK well we’ll see what she thinks about that. She’s got some definite ideas about what you can do to keep the fire of love burning in the third age. It should be an exciting show, exciting being the key word there.

Marissa Sgobassi: Exactly.

Bernie Sandler: Is this just theoretical or is this a factual show?

David Debin: This is a theoretical/factual show.

Bernie Sandler: OK, I was just wondering.

David Debin: And our guest today is Dr. Rita Benasutti. She is a marital and sex therapist and private practiced in Boca Raton, Florida. Those of you listening on podcasting and also live, if you’re in Florida, if you’re in Boca Raton, you can look her up and call her. Her website is www.drrita.net.  She’s appeared on TV and radio, she’s been published in the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy. And she has been quoted in Cosmopolitan magazine, in the New York Times, I believe and in Women’s Health Magazine, among others.

Welcome to The Third Age, Dr. Rita.

Rita Benasutti: Hello! Very nice to be on your show.

David Debin: So as you can tell, we’re here to find out about third age and find out how to deal with it. And we’re also here to have a good time and entertain each other and our audience. How does that work for you?

Rita Benasutti: That works for me. I’m listening to the humor and the information and it sounds good.

David Debin: Have you ever had any clients who did what that man did in Vienna?

Rita Benasutti: No, I’ve heard about it though. That was the Bobbitt story, wasn’t it, years ago?

David Debin: Yeah, it was.

Rita Benasutti: But he’s quite older than him.

David Debin: No, that’s why it was interesting to me because he was a 76-year-old man.

Bernie Sandler: That sounds like a cutting story.

David Debin: It is, it’s on the cutting edge, right?

Bernie Sandler: On somebody!

Rita Benasutti: On the cutting edge! A lot of passion and rage.

Bernie Sandler: That’s right.

David Debin: Do you find that tirades get jealous--romantic jealousy? Or are they too old? Are we too old?

Rita Benasutti: No, I find that that can be at any age. It depends on the person, the way they’re hard wired; it depends on the situation. So I don’t think it goes away.

David Debin: OK, did you ever have anybody--no names mentioned--that got really jealous--somebody who was in their seventies and got really jealous and upset? Did it ruin his life or was he or she able to get over it?

Rita Benasutti: He or she was able to get over it but it was the recognition of what that was. Usually it’s something missing in their own lives, some level of a low self-esteem, lack of confidence. Usually, it’s something about themselves and not their partner.

David Debin: That would make sense. Maybe that’s one of the reasons that their partner did whatever they did.

Rita Benasutti: That’s possible and I think too that jealousy is that people sometimes get jealous older when they haven’t lived their dream because it’s something they wanted to do that was thwarted that they didn’t get to do and the feeling that maybe it will never happen for them. So that’s why I like the focus of your show because it can happen at any age--living your dream.

Bernie Sandler: Is it possible, though, that the intent or the interest in sex in later life, isn’t equal which would lead to maybe making one person feel rejected and therefore suspicious of jealous issues because when you’re 20, you’re rabbits. But when your 70 or 80 or 60, it becomes a supreme effort, a trip to Viagra at the drug store.

David Debin: You’re turtles.

Bernie Sandler: You’re turtles, right. You’re barely rubbing shells but I wonder if that happens because it seems to me that it’s not likely that all partners would stay at the same intensity of sexual interest as they get older. How do you deal with that kind of thing?

David Debin: Well you’re right about that because not all partners feel the same way at the same time. I’m thinking of a case I have right now. They’re both 70 but he still has a very much avid interest in sex and wants to have sex and she was through with it 20 years ago. And he was ready to leave the marriage, leave the relationship. I encouraged him to bring her in to talk and now he’s saying he should have done this 40 years ago because he now has an active sex life…

Bernie Sandler: With her?

Rita Benasutti: At 70…Yes with her and she’s cooperating and understanding that she’s getting other things. This is a need he has. He’s more active and just genetically, he’s just put together in a way that this is important to him.

David Debin: But how do you take someone who at 70--I’m assuming she’s around the same age, 70…

Rita Benasutti: Mm-hmm, yes.

David Debin: …that feels finished with sex, in a sense. What was it? He just explained that he wanted more sex in their sessions with you? How do you change the woman, in this case, the woman’s point of view?

Rita Benasutti: Well yes and then I have some cases it could be… it’s not gender specific. Some women say the same thing about men. I have couples in their fifties, forties, talking about the same thing. So it’s not always just a certain age.

I think it started in this case where he started talking about what was important to him, his needs. She got to understand it on a more intellectual level because when they talked at home, it got emotional and heated and me being there as a third party, I would be able to translate and explain from another gender what that possibly could mean. She got the sense that she might have a happier man in the house and she may get to have more of the things that she wanted to do in life and it was a mutual exchange.

I also focused a lot on intimacy and the different kinds of love and intimacy.

David Debin: You said a magic word, there that I believe that a marriage therapist or counselor is and--you used the word translate. Because at that point when we’re coming to a therapist to help a couple, you need a way to understand each other because it’s gotten so convoluted, you can’t and the translation is so important, isn’t it?

Rita Benasutti: Yes, I think the translation is very important because of what you said. It gets convoluted and the hurts just show up and it’s hard to talk and they usually get to a certain point and it stops. And then the translation might be from male to female, female to male found from different perspectives.

I think all of us--we have a male and a female side whether we’re men or women--should try to really be in touch with both sides to try to understand the opposite sex or the other gender.

David Debin: You know, if you have a couple that comes to you--like this hypothetical couple who you just discussed--and she is finished with sex and he wants more sex in their life, could they have done as well going to a male counselor? Or was it more easy for her to accept that you were a female counselor.

Rita Benasutti: Lots of people ask me that question. I’ve never had any trouble with being female. Most of the time, I think that both men and women tend to ask for female therapists but then I guess if you talk to a male therapist, there are people talking to them so they ask for them. It may have been better, me translating, because I was a female, but even if it’s a female with the problem and a man not as interested, I haven’t seemed to have that because of what I was just saying.

Carl Jung had done a lot of work with that where we have both the male and female side. I think if one is comfortable with both their masculine and feminine energies, then it is easy to talk to anyone as long as there was a balance in that person and an understanding of both perspectives and a way to communicate back that you heard the person and validated what they were saying, not necessarily agreeing with it, but the recognition that they were at least heard.

Bernie Sandler: This leads me to a question I have that it could seem a bit flip or light but it’s serious because a friend brought this up to me. In many relationships, as you know as a therapist, people use a thing called, “pillow talk”. While they’re making love they talk about other situations…

David Debin: Now what we’re going to do…

Bernie Sandler: Are we running out of time?

David Debin: No, we’re going to pick up that question. We’re going to let everybody think about pillow talk. We’re going to pick up that question when we come back. Dr. Rita, don’t go away. Nobody go away. It’s The Third Age; we’ll be right back.

[radio break]

Welcome back to The Third Age the doctor and the man from Hollywood, the doctor is currently unavailable but we have another man from Hollywood, Bernie Sandler, our good friend and former major talent agent in Los Angeles.

Bernie Sandler: From the good old days, the good old days.

David Debin: No these are the good old days.

Bernie Sandler: No, these are the good old days.

David Debin: And Marisa and Jared are with us. Bernie you were right in the middle of asking a question to Dr. Rita and I’d like you to start again because it was really good.

Bernie Sandler: Well since this is the third age, was I asking a question?

Rita Benasutti: Yes.

David Debin: Yes, you were Bernie! [laughter]

Bernie Sandler: The question was regarding pillow talk. I had a friend of mine--this is a true story--he said to me, “You know, for years my wife and I, when we would be in bed, there was a period of time that we would do pillow talk sexual kind of things that would turn them on. And one night I was talking about this Victoria secret model and she said, “You know, that’s pretty rude.” So my question is, if you’re going to have pillow talk, do you have to be gender/sex/age sensitive?

David Debin: PC?

Bernie Sandler: What am I going to talk about Shelley Winters? Not me of course it wasn’t me but I mean somebody else would they talk about Shelley Winters? Or Brigitte Bordeaux? It’s kind of pushing the envelope. It kind of defeats the purpose, I think.

Rita Benasutti: So you’re saying it didn’t work for him.

Bernie Sandler: Well it worked for him but it didn’t work for her; she felt intimidated.

Rita Benasutti: Well then it didn’t work for him if it didn’t work for her.

Bernie Sandler: Well that’s probably true.

David Debin: Yeah.

Rita Benasutti: What I’m thinking is those kind of talks probably should not be on the pillow. Maybe that should be across the table or in a living room. That’s not a place to be, I think, talking about these fantasies unless you’ve already discussed them and said you’re going to go in to the bedroom and explore fantasy or visualization or role play or whatever. But I don’t think for many people they want to start talking there.

Bernie Sandler: So much for spontaneity.

Rita Benasutti: Well it can be --well yeah that’s a good question spontaneity. A lot of people say that, well it won’t be spontaneous. But if we think about it, when we’re younger and single and we’re preparing for a date, we’ve made the date, we’ve made the plan, we put on the pretty outfit, the perfume, the cologne and we usually if we go out to dinner and a movie and we think we’re going to go home and have sex, it might feel like it’s spontaneous but it’s pretty well planned in people’s heads I think ahead of time.

Moving with the spontaneity in a joyful way.

David Debin: It’s sort of like these commercials that we’re bombarded with for the successors to Viagra, Cialis and all that where they show a third age couple, usually…

Bernie Sandler: Ninety-two hour window.

David Debin: Yeah, 92 hour window because they’re looking at each other, they want to make love and then the bell rings. Their friends come over with champagne; they’re going to have a party. And all of a sudden, if you were on Viagra, you would lose the moment.

Bernie Sandler: Or you could have it for three hours and then you call your doctor after you call your friends first. [laughter]

Rita Benasutti: Preopism, they call that, prolonged erection.

Bernie Sandler: I see.

David Debin: You call your doctor after you call your friends first! [laughing]

Rita Benasutti: Right tell everybody “Look what just happened to me!”

Bernie Sandler: I don’t know, I was alone!

David Debin: But I think that most people aren’t so spontaneous in the third age. Do you find that to be different, Dr. Rita?

Rita Benasutti: That they’re not spontaneous?

David Debin: That they’re not spontaneous, that they need to have more of a program for getting together and getting ready and having a night of sex or a day of sex or whatever.

Rita Benasutti: Yes and that’s good. That’s one of my things. How do you keep the romance alive, is planning these date nights or these romantic nights like you would when you were either young, single or dating or whatever. It’s the same kind of a plan. It seems like it’s spontaneous but there was a plan even before with the spontaneity and also with getting to know each other and understanding what each other likes and try to bring it for each person whether it’s wine, candlelight, different outfits, whatever.

David Debin: OK, god I wish my wife was here; we could try to get a plan out of you.

Bernie Sandler: By the way, I need a disclaimer. Regarding that whole conversation about pillow talk…

David Debin: That wasn’t you!

Bernie Sandler: Honey, if you’re listening it wasn’t us, that time anyway. [laughter]

David Debin: She knows if it was you Bernie.

Bernie Sandler: But I’d like to know what you feel on the subject of fake orgasms. Do you feel that fake orgasms are a lie? Or, are they an effort to make the other person happy, even though maybe you’re not.

David Debin: Do you mean male fake orgasms? Or female fake orgasms?

Bernie Sandler: Well, I don’t know about those. [laughter]

Rita Benasutti: I’ve had both, people, whether it’s male or female, can be faked. I find with anything with faking, there’s a lack of authenticity about it and usually it isn’t coming from lying. Like I’ll hear, “Oh I didn’t want to make him feel bad. I wanted him to feel good.” But any partner that’s tuned in, especially if you’ve known them for a long time, will over time know that there’s something missing. As I said, it’s not authentic. Something gets lost in the relationship. People will tend maybe not to get together as often because the sense that there’s something missing and there’s a loss.

So I advise people to talk about that why you’d even have to fake it and find ways to either please him or her in a way that’s not happening. That’s the importance of talking and I think the number one key for couples is communication. And as you were saying, Bernie, pillow talk, I think it helps being on the pillows if you’re communicating in another room about what’s important to each partner.

David Debin: You know, I think you’re absolutely right about the date night and everything because it not only allows you to--I’ll speak for myself in my relationship--it not only allows us to set up a time when we know we’re going to make love or whatever but that whole evening is about intimacy not only sexual intimacy. But when we get into that magic place in our room in that night with the lighting low and the music and everything, and we’re talking to each other about the real stuff, it seems to me that we both become--I don’t know, I shouldn’t even say this--we both become 25 again! Do you ever hear that?

Rita Benasutti: That’s wonderful! You used a key word: intimacy. Lots of people will come in and say to me, “Dr. Rita, what’s love?” It’s so hard to answer that question because it is defined by each person’s experience of what they’re looking for. It can come in various descriptions. It can depend on age, gender, family of origin, prior relationships but I think there are some key components to loving relationships and they are: commitment, intimacy and passion. Intimacy is feeling mutually close with your partner; passion is the drive creating physical attraction, romance and sexual intercourse, which we’ve been talking about; and commitment furthers the exclusivity of the relationship.

And there are many levels of intimacy. I’d say I like to work with couples on the eight levels--I call them--of intimacy. One is affection: feeling affectionate, holding hands, looking at each other. Another component is social, going out, sharing activities liking to do the same things or if your partner likes something else, being willing to be part of the process. Physical activities whether it’s exercise in gardening, doing something physical together. Aesthetic is another one, shared taste in values and that could be how you like to decorate the living room, what kind of food you like to eat. Intellectual stimulation, what we’re doing now, is a form of intimacy. We’re sharing different thoughts and ideas about a subject and it’s stimulating in an intellectual way. Then there is the emotional component of feeling hurt and understood and valued and loved. Sexual, that’s what we’re talking about, having sex with your partner, what your needs are, what your likes are, being able to communicate that and have mutual satisfaction and fulfillment. And I’d say the last is spiritual.

Bernie S., David D: Ohh.

BS: Very important--spiritual.

Rita Benasutti: Having spiritual intimacy whether that is prayer, meditation or looking at a sunset, special music where you just go to that place where you feel that you’re at one with each other.

Bernie Sandler: That’s beautiful doctor. There’s one question that wasn’t offered before which was that dating idea. I like the idea of dating. My wife likes the idea of dating too but I have a hard time getting her to come home before midnight.

Rita Benasutti: Oh! What is she doing?

Bernie Sandler: I don’t know I’m home waiting for her. [laughter]

Rita Benasutti: Oh, OK, well you need to go where she is! Maybe that would help.

Bernie Sandler: Damn! That’s a good idea!

Rita Benasutti: You could say, “Where are you? I want to meet you for a date.”

David Debin: She meant dating each other not others!

Bernie Sandler: I got it.

David Debin: OK, we’re going to take a break. Dr. Rita, don’t go away. Nobody go away. This is getting better and we’ll be right back with The Third Age.

[radio break]

We’re back with The Third Age. Thanks for staying with us. We have a great show today. We’re talking to Dr. Rita Benasutti who is telling us how we can enjoy our sexual lives in the third age. But before we go back to the good doctor, I’m going to give our people here in the studio, Marissa Sgobassi, Dr. Bernie Sandler…

Bernie Sandler: BS.

David Debin: Bernie Sandler, BS, right and Dr. Geren Piltz--we’re all doctors--an opportunity to win a free book. We hardly ever do this because nobody here wants a free book.

Bernie Sandler: If I win twice can I not get the book? [laughter]

David Debin: That’s it! The winner will not get the book. OK, here’s the first question, are you ready? After and then we’ll bring back Dr. Rita. After the lone ranger saved the day and rode off into the sunset, the grateful citizens would ask, “Who was that masked man?” Invariably someone would answer I don’t know but he left behind…

Bernie Sandler: A silver bullet!

David Debin: Yes! Bernie Sandler!

Geren Piltz: Wow, that’s very nice!

Bernie Sandler: I used to watch those radio shows.


David Debin: OK Bernie you get one more right, you won’t have to get the book. There are only four questions here. OK. Finish the song lyrics: Get your kicks…

Bernie Sandler: Come on kids.

Geren: On Route 66?

David Debin: OK, Geren!

Bernie Sandler: It’s my gift to you, Geren.

Geren Piltz: Thank you, Bernie:

David Debin: Bernie doesn’t like to lose. He wants to make sure you know.

Bernie Sandler: And now who are the two actors in the series? Martin Milner and…

David Debin: George Maharis!

Jared: I could picture them but I couldn’t have named them though. Nicely done.

David Debin: See he’s too young for that. OK here we go. When the Beatles first came to the US in early 1964, we all watched them on …

Bernie Sandler: Ed Sullivan!

David Debin: Bernie!

Bernie Sandler: I actually saw them on Ed Sullivan while I was in a working career.

Geren: Like they said, they wanna hold your hand!

David Debin: They wanna hold your hand and you know what? Bernie you’re not going to have to get the book. You got two questions right!

Bernie Sandler: One more question, one more.

David Debin: The last question is… finish this tag on it. No that’s not the one. Finish the song lyric: In the jungle, the mighty jungle…

Geren: Want to take that one Marissa?

Marissa: The lion sleeps tonight?

David Debin: Yes!

Bernie Sandler: [singing] Wemoweh, wemoweh, wemoweh, wemoweh…ooh…

[canned applause]

David Debin: Bernie didn’t answer but he knows the answer because his good friend is the man who sang that, right? Wasn’t that the Tokens?

Bernie Sandler: The Diamonds oh yeah I think that that is true along with Little Darling and a few other antique songs.

David Debin: OK now that we have done that and Bernie does not get the book. We’re going to give the book to Marissa.

Marissa: Woohoo!

Bernie Sandler: I’ll autograph it, as the winner.

David Debin: Did you know the answers to that, Dr. Rita, any of those?

Rita Benasutti: Yes especially, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” I sang while you were saying it.

David Debin: You did? You sang the song?

Rita Benasutti: Yes!

David Debin: You know the whole thing?

Rita Benasutti: No just a few phrases.

David Debin: Just sing the first phrase for us. Sing the beginning.

Rita Benasutti: “In the jungle the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight…”

Bernie, David, Geren: “Wemoweh, wemoweh, wemoweh, wemoweh”

Rita Benasutti: That’s it!! I love that song, that’s so great.

Bernie Sandler: Maybe we should cut records and give up this radio show!

Rita Benasutti: There’s a lion in all of us that’s sleeping--the theme of our show.

David Debin: You are one of the few people that can sing a capella on key. That was pretty good.

Rita Benasutti: Ah, thank you!

David Debin: Would your husband agree to that, or no?

Rita Benasutti: Yes. He will.

David Debin: He better.

Rita Benasutti: He’s great. He’s absolutely actually great.

David Debin: I have a question. How does retirement planning fit into romance in the third age?

Rita Benasutti: You know that is such a good question. I’m getting many couples saying why didn’t my financial advisor discuss with me this other issue. We talked about money but not about what we were going to do, what we were going to do together, the emotional profile, the psychological profile. Because I have gotten couples that have retired and then he’s off and he bought a Harley and he went to tour the country. She thought they were going to take quiet walks and have intimate dinners together. He traveled a lot and she always let things go thinking, “Well he’s so busy, when we retire…” and they never talked about what retirement can mean besides dollars and cents, which is very important, but there are so many other aspects to it.

David Debin: Wow and also it has to do with romance. I mean if you know what you’re going to do and you know how each person is looking at the retirement, at least you can see how you’re going to fit some kind of romantic thing in. You can have a trip to the… I don’t know. How do you do that?

Rita Benasutti: Absolutely. Well that’s back to the communication which is couples need to talk about what it is that’s important for them and as you say, the first age, second age and third age. A lot of times this is not talked about. It’s kind of assumed from our parents and grandparents what people do in retirement and as the focus of your show is--we don’t know what this is.

We’re creating what it’s like in the third age of how to live and have joy and to have passion and it’s not just sitting together unless somebody chooses to do that. But I think that we’re creating what retirement means today. I think it requires talking.

David Debin: Well we’re looking at 30 years extra life expectancy that nobody ever had before.

Rita Benasutti: Exactly.

David Debin: It’s the first time we’ve had to create these models. So Bernie, let’s say you get another 30 years, how are you going to be--are you going to be your same sexually active self when you’re almost a hundred?

Bernie Sandler: Mentally.

Rita Benasutti: Mentally, well that’s another good point that you’re saying…

Bernie Sandler: It works!

Rita Benasutti: …because menopause for women, andropause for men. And lots of men and women need…

Bernie Sandler: And Santa Claus for kids!! [laughter]

Rita Benasutti: Right! …need hormones or need to either naturally find ways to have their hormones work properly or see an age management doctor. Testosterone is very important for the sex drive in both men and women.

David Debin: Testosterone is an interesting thing. I’ve started taking it.

Rita Benasutti: Good. Androgel, are you using the gel?

David Debin: Androgel.

Rita Benasutti: Good. Many men are doing that.

David Debin: I’m starting to think that maybe my wife has to take it too or whatever.

Bernie Sandler: You lick it off her earlobe. It works better that way.

Rita Benasutti: Women have testosterone levels but a lot less than men but there are other ways through keeping the adrenal glands healthy, you can activate different hormones. And of course, her doctor can talk to her about that because lots of couples then have trouble when somebody starts with hormones and the other one doesn’t because your interest in sex will be greater. That’s part of the process.

David Debin: Yes.

Rita Benasutti: Increased libido and sexual performance and increased strength and athletic performance. Better sleep.

Bernie Sandler: Sleep, I like sleep.

Rita Benasutti:  And so of course, you’re going to want your partner to be there for you.

David Debin: So what’s the equivalent. I’m taking testosterone--which I am--what’s the equivalent that she should take?

Rita Benasutti: Well, actually both men and women have estrogen and progesterone and testosterone in different levels. It doesn’t mean that she needs testosterone. According to her own hormonal profiles, she might need estrogen. It’s a balance: progesterone and testosterone. She would need to talk to her doctor about that and especially say, “My husband now started androgel. Is there something I need to do?"

Bernie Sandler: Hide under …

David Debin: Hide under the bed at night!

Bernie Sandler: I was going to say hide it! I have a question that’s a little different. It really goes much deeper to the root of it. We’re having a conversation here on how to enhance something in later life that never used to exist because we didn’t have later life.

Isn’t it true that the sex urge really is a very deep primal urge that we have with only one purpose, which is to reproduce ourselves? Once we’re not reproducing ourselves, has this just sort of become a form of entertainment or an art form that we’re trying to build the lily here? Couldn’t we be good sports in our thirties and say oh it’s done.

Rita Benasutti: When you say primal urge, though, I think the urge is maybe when we’re younger, sex and to have more sexual activity without the help of health and better sleep and nutrition and hormones. The urge is to have loving and caring and a connection with someone else and be able to give and receive love and that can take many, many forms whether it is through sexual activity or whatever the couple decides to do. But always remember the loving and keeping the loving present.

Bernie Sandler: I guess at 90 a good cookie can be love.

Rita Benasutti: It could be that’s right.

David Debin: A good cookie. A nice cookie. A nice chocolate chip cookie.

Bernie Sandler: A macaroon! That was hotter than my wife ever was! [laughter]

David Debin: It could be wonderful; it could be good…

Rita Benasutti: It could be that, it could be hot chocolate.

David Debin: Hot chocolate, that’s a good thing!

Rita Benasutti: Whatever, yes it’s back to communication and finding out what it is because each couple will define what loving means to them and romance and sex.

David Debin: The one thing is don’t smoke in bed, darling. Never smoke in bed.

Rita Benasutti: That is a very good idea.

Bernie Sandler: Unless you’re very hot.

David Debin: Dr. Rita we thank you very much for being with us. Everybody, if you want to know more about Dr. Rita, which you should go to www.drrita.net. Go there, we’ll be right back with The Third Age. Thank you so much Dr. Rita.

Rita Benasutti: Thank you! I enjoyed it very much. I’ll be back.

David Debin: OK. Bye.

Bernie Sandler: Bye dear.

[radio break]

Geren Piltz: We’re back with the Third Age.

David Debin: Welcome back. That was a good conversation with Dr. Rita, wasn’t it?

Marisa Sgobassi: Yes it was.

David Debin: I found out a lot. I found out a lot about what to take. I forgot to ask her what drugs you’re supposed to take when you have these date nights.

Bernie Sandler: Ahh. I think it depends on the date. The hotter the date, the less drugs you need.

David Debin: Oh, I see. Let’s see what did I want to ask you. Oh, by the way, out there, you know third age is a time when you’re retired and you’re not working and we don’t think that you should just completely stop working so we’re giving a workshop.

Bernie Sandler: Work. I like that word. We’re familiar with the word “work”.

David Debin: You like the word work. So we’re going to have a workshop. It will be Peter and I and we will go through all of the fundamentals of the third age and then we’ll get you to interact with each other. Don’t be frightened. It’s going to be fun. It always is. People come out of there saying it was, believe it or not, a spiritual experience. If you can imagine somebody that’s been fooling around like this, this whole show, can be spiritual, well it’s true.

Bernie Sandler: Omm.

David Debin: Omm.

Bernie Sandler: Think of these classes just like the first day of school they weren’t nervous were they remember the first day you went to Kindergarten? It’ll be just like that.

David Debin: Thank you very much Bernie. I remember the first day I had to go to school. I still have this memory of my mother standing there looming over me. She was all dressed up and I was screaming. I’m not going! I’m not going! I’m not going! Oh boy but anyway I wound up loving school.

So if you look at our website which is www.thirdagefoundation.com. You can see what we do in the workshop there or you can call us at 969-9794. We’d be happy to talk to you about what we do in the workshop. I think you’ll enjoy it. We’ve been doing it for years. We always have a good crowd and everybody always comes out a little lighter.

Bernie Sandler: Yeah it’s true. It’s a diet program then right? But I will say this is true. This is very true. You have nothing at all to lose except loneliness, boredom, confusion, frustration and indecision.

David Debin: Nobody wants to lose those. Those are the staples!

Bernie Sandler: Our staple diet of old age.

David Debin: It’s funny we did a workshop where we were talking about forgiveness. People were writing letters of forgiveness that they didn’t necessary have to mail. But one woman said that the reason she couldn’t forgive herself for things that she had done in the past was because she would lose her identity. She wouldn’t know who she was so she had to hold on to that misery.

Bernie Sandler: She was a kvetch and she didn’t want to lose it, the label.

David Debin: No she wasn’t a kvetch. She just had to hold on to that inner feeling of not forgiving yourself, of not being satisfied with yourself or having been wronged. If you have to let go of that then it’s more frightening than having those negative things in your life.

Bernie Sandler: It’s interesting, you’re right. The unknown is more frightening than even miserable knowns.

David Debin: Isn’t that true? Don’t you find that to be true? I don’t want to talk about politics here but…

Bernie Sandler: The politics of it all…

David Debin: …look at the politics. I’d take an unknown any day over what we have now.

Bernie Sandler: Well I think you and Peter are really… you’re giving of yourselves to I think to share something that you feel will empower other people. I hope they embrace it. If they don’t, it’s their life. They’ll live their life no matter what happens and then you go out at the end no matter what happens. But it’s what you want to do, what ride you want to take along the way and I think you give them an option.

David Debin: Thank you very much. We do. We try as hard as we can. This is The Third Age. We’ll see you one of these days.