If for some reason this is not possible, then I recommend a vibrator that you can use with your husband — or alone. There are plenty of "sex toy" sites on the Web where you can buy one anonymously.
Bottom line: You don't have to live a sexless life. If you love your husband and want to be monogamous, you still have good choices. Talk to him about making love with you in new ways. It could be a wonderful breakthrough for both of you.
Q: What is a comfortable sex position for older adults?
—Mary, New Jersey
A: Great question. As we age, our libidos may be intact, but our backs, knees and hips may sabotage us. So positions that are kind to these parts of our bodies are a good idea.
Many people find the best one is the spoon position: The woman lies in front of the man and both bodies are lined up, full length, close together. Then the guy can either slip in between his partner's legs, or she can bend her outside leg at the knee to offer an easier entrance for the penis. She can also bend both knees up, although this will make it difficult for her to move and he will have to do most of the movement. Advantages: He can nuzzle her neck and touch her breasts, and they can feel the full length of each other's body.
Another approach is for the woman to lie on her back, while her partner lies down next to her and facing her. She then turns slightly toward him and puts her closest leg to him over his hip. This should be gentle on both of their backs, and he can slip into her easily and get fairly deep penetration. Advantage: The lovers can look at each other.
There are lots more, as well. I suggest that you get a copy of The Joy of Sex. You can then look at the various positions you find intriguing. Just flipping through the pages and experimenting with things is all part of the fun.
Q: My wife doesn't seem to be able to have orgasms during intercourse. What can we do about it?
A: For many women, penetration may be exciting but it doesn't lead to orgasm. That's because there are few nerve endings in the vagina or at the cervix. Most of them are in the clitoris itself, and that area isn't necessarily stimulated during intercourse.
Of course, the brain is involved, too. So the psychological pressure can make the whole physical process even more difficult. I recommend just thinking of intercourse as her sexual play — and your sexual event — with her sexual event happening at some point (before or after yours) by using fingers, mouth, or a vibrator or some other sex toy — whatever works for her. The point is to have the intimacy and sexual arousal you want — any way that suits both of you — without creating any performance anxiety on her part or feelings of insufficiency or worry on yours. Rest assured, your story is a common one and easily dealt with as long as neither of you believe that the only normal way for a woman to have an orgasm is to have it during intercourse. Just have sex any way it's easiest and enjoy each other.
Q: Ever since menopause, I've found sex extremely uncomfortable. What can I do so I'm not gritting my teeth every time we make love?
A: One of the things that happen in menopause is that our bodies stop producing estrogen. As a result, the vagina loses its elasticity and the tissues become drier. That makes penetration uncomfortable and even painful, which doesn't feel sexy at all.