Sexual Wellness Resource Center
For Adults over 50.
Older Couples and Sexual Wellness

About X's and O's

About Dr. Michael Bates

The website X's and O's is directed by myself, Michael Bates, a retired OB/GYN physician at midlife(and beyond!) in collaboration with my wife, Carolina, professor of linguistics and masters of psychology. The time demands of my clinical practice were heavy, and there was a hesitation on my part to bring up sexual issues with my patients because of the time that might be required. Independent studies have shown the patients are also hesitant to bring up such issues, even in the most intimate of specialties, OB/GYN. Now there is not a long list of patients waiting, nor a laboring patient nearing delivery, nor a surgical problem requiring extra attention. I have the time and the interest to dedicate to sexuality in a confidential setting, and I hope you have the courage to ask the questions.

X's and O's is dedicated to sexual health over 50, with ample time and respect for the sexual concerns of both sexes. Why both sexes, since I am an OB/GYN? I am male and after treatment for prostate cancer, my wife and I found ourselves in a changed sexual world. Our problems forced me to confront impotence and its affects head on. Carolina and I had to face this as a team, her needs were affected, too.

I hope you find the content to be informative and helpful.  I also hope you feel comfortable asking questions about any sexual concern or problem.

More about Dr. Bates

Why Specifically Over Fifty?

Sexuality is one of the most important quality of life issues for both men and women. Sexual dysfunction is a highly prevalent, age-­‐related and progressive problem which becomes more common after 50. Don’t be alarmed, you don’t have to close the door on that part of life!

For women, the average age of menopause, the last menstrual period, is 51. With menopause come changes that can make sex painful, decrease libido, increase difficulty in reaching orgasm, all causing a decrease in sexual pleasure and frequency. These problems are successfully treatable. For many men 50 and beyond, maybe 50%, erectile dysfunction or impotence, the decrease or loss of ability to obtain or maintain an erection, becomes a problem. An erection is the symbol of masculinity, the inability to obtain one is a blow, after all, penetrative sex has been the norm all of their sexual years. Some men withdraw from sexual activity altogether, even affectionate gestures. Where does this leave them and their partners? Erectile dysfunction is successfully treatable. 

Paradoxically, 50 is also the age when we begin to have more time and privacy for sex, the children are grown and gone, there is less financial stress, we are more sure of ourselves. A time of freedom and spontaneity to nurture and enjoy this important part of our beings, our sexuality. So 50 is the crossroads of menopause and erectile dysfunction on one hand, and the freedom and time to enjoy and even enhance one´s sexuality on the other. XsandOs will focus on the choice of sexual health. We will attend to the problems, solutions, and pleasures of aging and sexuality. After all, we are sexual beings every day of our lives. There is no reason to abandon our sexuality with aging. Most elderly people consider sexual activity and associated good feelings a natural part of later life. The concept of sexual pleasure can evolve and continue with caring, nurturing, and practice.


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The Author

Michael Bates, M.D.

Dr Bates practiced obstetrics and gynecology for 34 years in Wichita, Kansas, until his retirement in 2011.

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