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Midlife Wisdom for Men Newsletter Issue #028, February 15, 2005
February 14, 2005

Helping Men Navigate Midlife Transitions.


Written by Noel McNaughton
(c) copyright 2005


If you like this e-zine, please do a friend and me a big favour and forward it him. If a friend DID forward this to you and if you like what you read, please subscribe by visiting Midlife Wisdom for Men.


Issue #028, February 15, 2005

=========== TABLE OF CONTENTS ==========

· A Letter From A Gay Married Man

· Want To Know About The S*ex Life Of Midlife Men?

· Don't Have A Lot Of Money, But Still Want More Happiness? Try S*ex.

· Help For Those In The Sandwich Generation


Welcome to this issue of Midlife Wisdom for Men. And a special welcome to the new subscribers this week. Hope you find this newsletter interesting and useful.

This newsletter seems to have quite a bit of s*ex (I have to write it that way to get around the spam filters) in it, but none of it is lurid :-)

In fact you might find it fascinating.

And don't forget to check the classified section.

There are 1520 words in the articles in this newsletter, which may take about five minutes to read. I think you'll find it worth it :-)



NOTE: I am a regular monthly guest on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's AM Radio call-in program 'Wild Rose Forum', hosted by the inimitable Don Hill. The program airs locally in Alberta from 1:00 - 2:00 pm Mountain Time weekdays at 740 on the dial in Edmonton, 1010 in Calgary, and around the world on the internet at Wild Rose Forum on CBC Radio (click on #21 on the map). My next appearance is on Thursday, March 10 at 1:00 Mountain time.

If you want to know what 1:00 pm Mountain time is in your time zone, go here: You can discover what time it is anywhere in the world.


A Letter From A Gay Married Man

I got a letter from reader Brian, who recently decided he had to 'come out of the closet' as a gay man, after being married for 25 years.

My understanding is he reached that time in midlife when he had to become more authentically himself, which William Roberts calls 'having the conversation with the Self' in his excellent book Crossing the Soul's River.

Here is his letter...

Thanks, Noel for the midlife newsletter...I enjoyed the issue you've just sent out and have the link to the back issues which I'll plow thru in the days ahead...nice to know that this 'crisis' is for real and not just some selfish act on my part.

I'm getting lots of support for my 'coming out' from all my friends/family... my wife is apparently consulting with her lawyer before responding... if you ever mention this particular crisis in a future letter u might mention the good support on a chat group called I haven't yet read it but a book for the wives is 'I Married a Gay Man' which I can't even find on the computer search at the library... I'll try thru my friend at the university who referred me to it as a helpful book for my wife to understand.



ON PACKAGING FOR A ROWENTA IRON: Do not iron clothes on body.


Want To Know About The Sex Life Of Midlife Men?

I have decided to use my website as an informal research instrument from time to time, and the first 'research' I am conducting is on the midlife man's sex life. This decision was prompted by a man who emailed me a few days ago saying there seemed to be a lot of information around about how men at midlife have lower sex drives, but his is as strong as ever. He suggested I do some research to see whether all the talk is true. So I am. And I need your help, in return for which you will get to see what other men have reported.

I have put up a 'Men's Sexuality Survey' form at Would you please go there and fill it in? It is totally anonymous, and will only take about one minute. When you have filled it in, you will be taken to a page that shows the results so far.

I have had ten responses by visitors to my site since I put the form up a few days ago, and the results are interesting.

A note to my women subscribers: I suspect you may be curious about what the men are reporting, so if you can't resist filling in the form too, just to see the cumulative results, will you please, in the 'Comments' section, note that you are a woman? Thanks.


On a repair shop door: We can repair anything (Please knock hard on the door - the bell does not work.)


Don't Have A Lot Of Money, But Still Want More Happiness? Try Sex.

In spite of the old adage that "Money can't bring you happiness", everybody I know is pretty sure having more money would make THEM happier.

So what do you do when you don't have more money, and don't see your ship coming in any time soon? Well, a couple of economists in the U.S. have determined that in the happiness department, sex can be just as good as money. In fact, they have been able to make some direct comparisons, which I will tell you about in a minute.

David G. Blanchflower and Andrew J. Oswald surveyed a random sample of 16,000 adult Americans to study the links between income, sexual behaviour and reported happiness. They reported their findings in a paper called "MONEY, SEX AND HAPPINESS: AN EMPIRICAL STUDY", published by the National Bureau Of Economic Research in Cambridge, Maryland, last May.

Here are some of their findings:

  • Frequency of sexual activity is shown to be positively associated with happiness. This is true for males and females, and for those under and over the age of 40.
  • The median American has sexual intercourse 2-3 times a month (among people under 40 years of age, the median amount of sex is once a week). Approximately 6% of the population report having sex more than three times a week.
  • Close to half of American women over the age of 40 report they did not have sexual intercourse in the previous year. The figure for men is 20%.
  • Homosexual and bisexual people make up about 2.5% of the United States population, and homosexuality has no statistically significant effects on happiness.
  • Sex seems to have disproportionately strong effects on the happiness of highly educated people.
  • The happiest people were those that had only one regular sexual partner the previous year.
  • Married people have more sex than those who are single, divorced, widowed, or separated.
  • Highly educated females tend to have fewer sexual partners.
  • Income has no effect. Money buys neither more sexual partners nor more sex.

Now here's the interesting part…

Using a combination of formulae only economists could come up with, they found that sex "enters so strongly (and) positively in happiness equations" that they estimate increasing intercourse from once a month to once a week is equivalent to the amount of happiness generated by making an extra $50,000 a year for the average American.

They also determined that a good, stable marriage brings as much happiness as making an extra $100,000 per year.

Divorce, on the other hand, reduced happiness by the equivalent of losing $66,000 a year.

Now, does sex lead to happiness, or are happy people just more likely to lead each other to the bedroom? That's still under investigation, say the economists, but there is evidence that psyche and sex feed off each other.

So... having trouble making extra money in the current economy, but still want to be happy? You know what to do (if you can get your wife/partner to go along with it) :-)


Help For Those In The Sandwich Generation

My mother, who is 82, is now in long term care. She went in about a month ago. She has been in a wheel chair for about three years, and my 89-year-old dad has been looking after her at home, with the help of some wonderful home care mostly paid for by the Alberta government. But mom got to where her legs wouldn't hold her up while dad transferred her from her bed to her wheel chair, or from her living room chair, or the bathroom, to her wheel chair, so he had to let her go. In the long term care centre in the small town where they live, there is a kind of hand-operated crane that lifts her in and out of bed with a sling.

It is one of those emotional times for my brother and two sisters and me, when the woman who used to be so big and important and powerful and competent in our lives is now basically helpless.

Of course, we are not alone in this.

Here is a quote from the Herman Trend Alert (, January 26, 2005: Boomers are preparing for at least a decade of caring for parents, children, and themselves---all at the same time. This burden will force them to continue working to produce the income needed to meet their widespread obligations. A recent survey conducted by the National Partnership for Women and Families found that nearly two-thirds of Americans under age 60 expect to be responsible for the care of an elder relative within the next 10 years. About half of US workers are raising children under the age of 18.

One of the big challenges is finding a good nursing home, or other long term care facility. We hear all kinds of horror stories about old people being warehoused and ignored, or worse, but most of us don't know what to look for when choosing a place for our parent(s).

A quick search in the library catalogue using the term "nursing home" brings up quite a few titles, but one book that seems to be very thorough, and I first heard of when it was recommended in the CARP (Canadian Association of Retired Persons) magazine 50 Plus about a year ago, is A Spy In The Nursing Home.

The author, Eileen Kraatz, has worked in nursing homes, and knows what goes on behind the scenes.

If you are in the sandwich generation, and are facing the turmoil of having to move a parent to a nursing home, this book can be very useful.


A married man should forget his mistakes. There is no point in two people remembering the same thing.


Just For You: A Free Do-It-Yourself Retirement Planning Report

If you are a new subscriber to this newsletter, you will recall I promised you a link to a secret page on the Midlife Men's site where you can download a free 27-page report on 'DIY Retirement planning' by George Slater.

Welcome to the newsletter, and for your free report, go to: DIY Retirement E-Report , click on the link, and follow the instructions.



Learn to be a Teleclass Facilitator

If you are a facilitator/speaker/professional who gives lectures or workshops, you can do it from home and make money. Teleclasses (also known as teleseminars) using telephone bridge lines, are becoming increasingly popular, and and a very inexpensive way to deliver high-quality training. I took training in teleclass leadership from Teleclass International which I highly recommend.



A Destroyer of Compasses by Wade Bell, published by Guernica Editions, (Toronto, Buffalo and Lancaster UK) $15.00 Cdn

One Man's Mid-Life Crisis Led to Spain. Planning to spend six weeks, he stayed five years.

A book of stories the Toronto Globe & Mail called "an assured and sensual portrait of a culture" with "precise and ironic examples of human idiosyncracy." The review went on to call stories "gems."

Available from Amazon, E-Bay and local bookstores.



This is a handy program that I use every day to clean my computer and keep it ticking along at top speed.

Is Your Computer Slower Than When You Got It? And Are You Protected From Hackers? Performance Pro is a POWERFUL little program that gives you:

  • Personal Firewall - Protect your privacy against online snoopers and hackers
  • System Cleaner - Delete old, unnecessary files that waste valuable disk space
  • File Shredder - Securely shred files and folders with military precision, so they cannot ever be recovered
  • Speed up general system performance and hard drive searching performance
  • Block annoying pop-ups and banner ads - this alone speeds up your Internet browsing experience!
  • Delete all traces of your Internet usage, so nobody will ever know where you have been online


I Need Your Questions and Feedback!

Got comments? Questions? I'd love to hear from you.

Just email your suggestions and/or questions to . I look forward to hearing from you. And thanks.


Well friend, that's it for now. Again, if you enjoyed this and/or found it useful, and know of anyone else who might like it, please pass it forward. And if you have questions or recommendations, I would love to hear from you.

All the best, Noel

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