The Canadian pronghorn antelope

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter –  August 7, 2020

by columnist Tom P Blake

                         The Canadian pronghorn antelope

An exasperated male Champ has raised his arms in frustration. Martin emailed this week: “What is the answer to all this lack of love between the sexes? I am 76, a healthy male. I find women around my age so independent these days they are more interested in their dogs or pets than a good loving intimate relationship.

“I have found most dating sites a waste of time with most women just playing a game and not at all serious about finding a good man.

“Have all women lost their hormones? Trying to make love more than once a week is almost impossible in a lot of relationships–mine included. A big problem is a difference in libido! Don’t women realize how healthy sex is for the human body? What happened to Senior sex?

“I compare this dating game to my hobby of keeping chickens. When I let them out of the barn in the morning, my rooster tries to chase and mount some of his harem but with great difficulty.

“The hens don’t want him but he catches them. Are the hens playing a game also? It’s a wonder I ever get any fertile eggs being laid. Two hens seem to like him and roost next to him on the perch at night.”

The email was signed: “Yours, a frustrated human rooster, Martin.”

Nearly at a loss for words, I wrote to Martin: “Dear Frustrated Human Rooster. May I print what you wrote?”

Martin said, “Yes. I am a Canadian living in Marmora, Ontario. I was in a love affair for over 10 years. The relationship kept getting worse.

“We were opposites, but initially the sex was good. I felt she had some hang-ups; she worked less and less at keeping the relationship together.

“Now with COVID-19 she has said, ‘That’s it,’ ‘goodbye,’ and bought a $2000 dog for company.”

I answered: “Your words, a $2,000 dog for company remind me of my first-ever newspaper column, written July 7, 1994, titled, “Home Alone with only dogs for company.” That column was written six months after my wife, without warning, cleaned out the house on Christmas Eve 1993 and moved out of my life. I was away visiting my 83-year-old mom in Northern California. 

“The gist of that column wasn’t about wondering if women had lost their interest in sex, rather, it was whether they had lost their interest in dating altogether. I couldn’t get anybody to go out with me.

“Similar to what your girlfriend said to you, “That’s it,” my wife also had done the same. 

“I didn’t have to buy a $2,000 dog, I already had two dogs at home. Besides thoughtfully leaving them for me, my wife left four other items: a TV, bed, couch and a cassette player. That’s it: six items. 

“I think the answer for you might be: “She’s just not that into you,” a take-off from the popular, ‘He’s just not that into you,’ book from the 2004-2005 era.

“In the 1970s, when I was single and working for the Victoria Station restaurant chain, one of the founders, Bob Freeman, liked to jerk my chain. He called me “a pronghorn antelope,” describing his perception of my dating modus operandi (pronghorns, by the way, aren’t antelopes; they are classified as mammals. They are the fastest land animal in North America, 60 miles per hour).

Pronghorn antelopes   (photo courtesy San Diego Zoo)

Bottom line: 42-years later, undoubtedly, some men are still pronghorn antelopes. But Marty, since, you are north of the border, we’ll call you “The Canadian pronghorn antelope.”

“Cool your jets. Take a deep breath. Tend to your chickens. Becoming single later in life is a bear. Although you may not see it at the current time, someone more compatible with you could enter your life, when you least expect it.

“Who knows? Maybe one of our woman Champs, who lives near Ontario, will ask to correspond with you.“If that happens, put your libido in the Canadian deep freeze, at least until the spring thaw.” Senior sex can wait.

Senior Sex no time to waste

 On Love and Life after 50 eNewsletter – May 8, 2020

The Letter – Senior Sex no time to waste

By Columnist Tom Blake

You may recall that last week’s eNewsletter was a bit off the wall. It featured a woman, age 30, who insisted on a six-month pre-marriage trial with her fiancé, age 59, where they slept together, but had no physical contact, no hand holding, not one hug or kiss. She considered the trial “a success.” They married.

After the wedding she was shocked to find out he wanted sex.

Her letter had been sent to me in 2001.

There were many, varied responses to her story. The first came from Mark, who said, “I believe you made this up to bring good cheer to your readers. Am I right?”

I replied: “Greta and I are out of town for a week. When I get back to Dana Point, I will scan her letter and send it to you.

“I found it in the garage in a box of old column stuff. Thought to myself, this can be a column someday.

“Letter is for real. Glad you enjoyed it.”

Mark said, “I didn’t doubt for a minute that the letter was real. As they say, you can’t make this stuff up!”

Mark’s right; I don’t have the imagination to create something like that. Here’s part of the actual letter:

The Letter – from 20 September 2001

Helen, Arizona, responded, “Thanks for the laugh. Oh me. Sometimes I wonder. Are there really people walking around our country like this? Wonder if she made the whole thing up? Doesn’t matter.

“Phil and I have been together since 2003 after meeting on the Net. Didn’t marry. We are 80 and 81 now. Times are not easy, but we are together. We are one of the couples you featured in your book all those years ago.”

Another response came from Laurie Jo: “I read your eNewsletter and had an immediate, strong reaction.

“Things like impotence can be an issue, but there are ways to work around that and other difficulties when we age. I feel happy that I can still ride my horse, do household chores, and walk without any problems.

“I have friends that have hip issues and things like cancer. My point is: why give up intimacy? Why forego or avoid a wonderful part of being alive and capable.”

Twice a widower, “after two good marriages,” John commented. “I’m nearly 80 and every time I think I’ve heard it all regarding love relationships, something comes along to prove me wrong—such as your article last week. The woman in the story must be totally unaware/naive about how the world works–at least pertaining to how men and women relate to each other physically.

“I’m still actively dating and looking for a life-partner. After several dates with a woman, and if it begins to look promising, we start digging down into the weeds of what we’re looking for in a relationship.

“Eventually, I ask if she is interested in a physical relationship. Or, is she just seeking a friend for movies and dinners? I ask because having a physical relationship remains important to me.

“To illustrate how difficult expectations can be, I met a woman on a dating site two years ago who lives three hours away by car. My thinking was, if we were a good fit, it would be worth the drive.

“It turned out she oversees the caregivers who tend to her disabled sister, about a 10-minute drive from my home. I started seeing her when she was in town once or twice a month for six months.

“Then, she invited me to visit her at her home. I spent two nights with her and slept in a separate bedroom; there was no physical contact during the stay. We saw each other on and off when she visited her sister for about a year.

“She continued pursuing me and invited me to her home again, for three nights. I accepted. (Separate bedrooms again.)

“We were watching a TV movie the second night and I attempted to hold her hand, but she was not receptive. At dinner, the third night, I asked her if she was looking for a physical relationship because some women are not.

“She erupted and said, ‘All men are looking for only one thing!’ With that comment, I promptly left.”

“We had no contact for six months when out of the blue she sent me an email apologizing for how she reacted and wanted to get together again. We did but, it was just not-to-be for me.”

An important point from John’s story, Laurie Jo’s comments, and Helen’s comments, even at 70 or 80, for seniors physical contact is important to many men–and women.

Lesson for dating seniors: It’s best to discuss each person’s sexual expectations in the early dating stages of a potential relationship. At 80, we don’t have any time to waste.

Message for Mark: I didn’t make this up either: Because this column is about a letter, and about not having time to waste, the song, “The Letter,” by The Box Tops, 1967, popped into my mind.


“Gimme a ticket to an aeroplane
Ain’t got time for a fast train
Lonely days are gone. I’m a-going home
My baby, just wrote me a letter”

Link to Box Tops song (click on open wide screen and then the red arrow to begin video ):
Link to song “The Letter”

Happy Mother’s Day

Why can’t senior men be just friends without wanting senior sex?

September 20, 2019

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – September 20 2019

Tom Blake 26 years of writing columns

Senior sex and intimacy

Why can’t senior men be just friends without wanting senior sex?

Champ Althea emailed, “Why can’t senior men be just friends without wanting senior sex with a lady? I’m having a problem with that. It has happened to me more than three times recently at age 70.

“It also happened when I first started dating in my 50s. I was divorced at 51.

“I meet a man and he’s nice, we get along, share humor and activities we like. But I’m not romantically or sexually attracted to him, but I like his company and would like to be friends and do things together.

“I tell him this and he says okay, but he will continually try and pursue a romantic relationship even after I’ve explained my feelings.”

Althea said she met a man who lives in the same small city on Craigslist over a year ago. She found out after four dates that his wife had passed away only two months before. She told him that he was still grieving and should hold off on dating. She said he was even thinking of romance that soon after losing his wife.

She told him she enjoyed his company, but she was not physically attracted to him. They stopped dating.

Althea continued, “He stayed in touch with me, texting every now and then and wanting to know if I’d see him again. It took me until this summer for me to say okay.

“But then, off he went! On the same train of thought. Again, I explained that I liked him, really liked his company and would like to do things together, but that I was not attracted to him romantically or sexually.

“He still brought up romance, would hug me, touch me… try to get me to change my mind. He even stole a kiss when I only bent in to hug him goodbye. He then said, ‘Aha, I’ve been wanting to do that for a long time!’

“My girlfriend told me that was rude and disrespectful of him and that he didn’t understand boundaries. Yeah, I was shocked. And he’s not the first to act like this!

“So, tell me, is it only when a man doesn’t find a woman attractive that he can and will be friends with her? What I’ve heard is, a man won’t spend time with a woman he feels is unattractive or isn’t attracted to. Huh???

“What is your take on this? Why can’t a man, who is lonely, has no one to go out with and do things with, be content to spend times as friends with a woman he likes and enjoy her company without it having to go romantic or sexual?

“I am interested in what other women, and men, might say on this subject because it really bugs me on the whys and how comes.”

Tom’s response: Over the years, I’ve written on this topic or a variation of it from time to time, and, posted 15 of those newsletters on my website under the category, Senior Sex and Intimacy. At the conclusion of today’s article, I describe how to access those 15 website articles.

I copied four quotes from one of those articles—two quotes from men and two from women.

Man #1 said, “I’m always amused at the ‘surprise’ women report when the men they date want sex. Here’s a bulletin for females in that category: Men date to get sex! That’s not all that bad, because for lots of guys like me, that’s the minimum relationship requirement.”

Man #2, Mason, stated, “Women need to realize that when men leave after having sex, it isn’t because of the sex. They would have left anyway. Any man that has true attraction for a woman will stay. Sex is not the issue, it’s simply that he determined she’s not the right woman.”

Kathy said, “Women get short-sighted and connect sex with love. Men don’t associate sex with love like we do!”

Sandi, “Men are hard-wired so differently from women. I think by now we know sex is uppermost in men’s thinking process.”

I’ll take a stab at an answer. And, perhaps Champs will share their thoughts.

Most of the men I know enjoy physical contact with women. They are, as Sandi stated above, “hard-wired” that way. If a man is attracted to a woman, in addition to doing things together–movies, plays, travel, camping, dinner, walking, for example—chances are he wants the physical contact as well.

I am not talking about casual sex just to have sex with women. I’m talking about having physical contact with the woman he’s dating and cares about. To me, that seems natural.

If a man is interested in a relationship with a woman, he’ll wait until she’s ready to have sex. Of course, at some point he may decide the situation is never going to change–as in Althea’s case above–and he’ll move on to be with a woman who is physically attracted to him.

And, I have a question for Althea: Were there any men you were attracted to? Maybe the problem is you are “Looking for love in all the wrong places,” as singer Johnny Lee sang in his song, Looking For Love, featured in the soundtrack from the 1970 movie Urban Cowboy. (See link to that song at the end of the article, featuring John Travolta (Bud) and Debra Winger (Sissy).

                      Looking for love in all the wrong places

Also, for Althea, that man who pursued you likely kept trying because he was attracted to you. He hoped you’d change your feelings toward him. He felt you were worth waiting for.

And as far as him stealing that kiss. Really now, is that rude and disrespectful, as your girlfriend says? Take it as a compliment. At least the guy had some cojones, and a little fire in his belly. And at age 71, he’s still got a little testosterone working.

For me, I wouldn’t be in a relationship without my woman being willing to share hugs and affection. That was one of the things Greta and I had in common when we first met—and it’s still there after 21 years.

I understand Althea’s frustration. And one item she mentioned I agree with: I don’t understand why a man who is lonely, and has no one, isn’t willing to have a friend without benefits. It seems that would be better than not having a friend at all.

                               END OF COLUMN

To access those 15 articles on

Go to the home page. Under my photo near the top is a green horizontal tab running across the page. To the right on that tab, you may see the categories appear near the top. Scroll down to the Senior Sex and Intimacy category. Click on that and it will pull up those 15 articles.

If that doesn’t do the trick, go to the eNewsletters listing in the green tab. Hover your mouse over that, which should pull up the categories. Scroll down to the Senior Sex and Intimacy category.

Looking for Love Urban Cowboy link:

Book Club Date Night

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – June 1, 2018

Book Club Date Night

I don’t often go to movies. My partner Greta loves movies, and usually goes with friends or alone. I surprised her–and myself–by suggesting we go on Saturday over the Memorial Day weekend to the 4 p.m. Book Club movie. Date night for us.

The TV ads for Book Club suggested that the movie might deal with topics we cover in the newsletter: The need for seniors to have social interaction, to get out with friends, and to incorporate mental stimulation into their lives. The genre was romantic comedy—nothing too heavy, which appealed to me.

Also, the four primary characters were mid-60s women, which is pretty much my target audience. I knew it would be primarily a “chick flick,” but thought it would be entertaining.

Greta belongs to a book club that meets once a month; she hosts the group once a year. In my opinion, her belonging to the book club is good for her; she has female friends and they have a great time. This photo shows members holding the book To Dad From Kelly, about Denver Broncos and former University of Michigan tailback Rob Lytle, written by his son, Kelly Lytle. Kelly autographed a copy for each member.

Rob passed away in his 50s from CTE, a brain disease caused by brain trauma, which has happened to many football players. Rob Lytle was a friend of mine.

Greta’s book club with autographed book, To Dad From Kelly

“Did you order tickets on line ahead of time?” she asked.

“No,” I said, “it’s an early show on a Saturday, there will be plenty of seats available.”

At the ticket window, I was surprised that there were only a few available seats, and they were in rows one and two, so we were closer to the screen than we like. OK, I admit, I should have listened to her and ordered seats online.

Since we were in row two, I didn’t notice how many men were in the audience. But I did notice that most of the laughter, and there was plenty to laugh about in the movie, came from women. From the male perspective, I thought the movie was great. Very funny.

The four accomplished actresses had been in a book club together for years:

-Diane Keaton, widowed for a year, after a 40-year marriage, has two daughters who live in Arizona, who think she should come and live in the “cleared-out basement” of one of their homes.

-Jane Fonda, single, a successful hotel magnate, wanted no strings attached to any man because years before, she had gotten hurt by then boyfriend Don Johnson, (of Miami Vice fame), who resurfaces during the movie.

-Candice Bergen, divorced, a federal judge, had been celibate since her marriage ended 18 years before, attends her son’s engagement party, and sees her ex-husband with a woman about 30 years younger than he, which opens her eyes that she should start living again. She turns to online dating.

-Mary Steenburgen, married, but her 35-year marriage is in a funk. Her husband is depressed and in love with his aging Honda motorcycle, and doesn’t want to be bothered taking dance lessons with her.

It was a feel-good movie. Very funny, great script writing with humorous lines. A surprising amount of focus on senior sex issues but done with class and humor. There is a scene where Diane Keaton, who has a fear of flying, climbs over an airplane seat, in which the male passenger is asleep, which is hilarious.

Keaton is also involved with a department store escalator scene that is also funny, but has an underlying message: because we’re seniors, doesn’t mean we can’t hop on and off escalators without injuring ourselves, although our kids think otherwise.

Much of the movie’s book club discussion is based on the members reading the book, Fifty Shades of Grey, and the book’s two sequels. The books inspire the actresses to reexamine their lives. Some critics I read feel the movie’s multiple references to the book were too much commercialism, but I didn’t have a problem with that.

Another issue that was dealt with is children trying to overly influence their older parents lives.

The movie’s settings are in Southern California and Arizona, with much beautiful scenery around Scottsdale and Sedona.

There were approximately 20 songs in the movie’s soundtrack. I loved the nostalgia of Paul Simon singing, “Late In The Evening,” Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers,’ “Runnin’ Down A Dream,” and Meatloaf’s “I’d Do Anything For Love.”

Life Messages for seniors from the movie Book Club:

-Don’t worry about what other people think. Do what’s right for you

-Don’t let your children make decisions for you because they think they know better than you

-Give love a chance in later years

-If you are too set in your ways, lighten up, loosen up. Take chances. Fonda tells her women pals why she breaks up with Johnson: “He doesn’t want to change me, he listens, he cares for me.” The honesty scares her. The other three set her straight

-We are never too old to enjoy life. Go for it. Spice it up. Don’t worry about tomorrow

-Venture out of your comfort zone. There are plenty of examples of that in the movie with all four actresses

No movie is perfect. Not everyone will like it or approve of it. But I sure the heck enjoyed it. I won’t spoil the movie for you other than to say it ends on a warm and fuzzy note.

After the movie, as we walked next door to Hendrix restaurant, Greta took my arm and said, “What a great date night! I loved it.”

As we sat at the bar, enjoying a drink and snacks, I took out a piece of paper and jotted down some notes about the movie for this column. The bartender said, “I know you owned that Tutor and Spunky’s Deli; I hope you aren’t writing a critique of our service.” I smiled and said, “Nope, I’m just making notes for my column about Book Club, the movie we just saw.”

A 60-ish woman, Cindy, and her husband, Jim, were sitting next to us. She heard my comment to the bartender. She said, “Oh my gosh. We live in San Clemente and read your columns in the San Clemente Times newspaper.”

I said, “You’ll read about this one in next week’s paper.”

I thought about the evening. I had stepped out of my comfort zone and it had paid off—my partner was happy, and we made new friends, with a bartender, and a San Clemente couple, who live in the same neighborhood where Greta has had a home for 35 years.

Good things happen when you get out of the house.

Book Club Date Night update – July 15, 2018

Three weeks ago, I wrote about the Paramount Pictures movie Book Club in this newsletter and in my newspapers. Somewhere online, the publicity department at Paramount, read my column. They contacted me. They are going to use my article in the press release they are sending to 2,000 regional and local newspapers and their websites, to promote the movie when it gets released on Blu-ray and DVD. Should be in late August or September.

And where was I when I got the inspiration to write the Book Club article? While Greta and I were sitting on bar stools at a restaurant called Hendrix in Laguna Niguel, shortly after seeing the movie. Some things–like sitting on bar stools–never change.