By Jane Glenn Haas
The Orange County Register

(MCT)

By now you undoubtedly have read about the formula a Texas pastor promotes for a purpose driven marriage.

The Rev. Ed Young wants husbands and wives among his flock of 20,000 to strengthen their unions through seven days of sex. The pastor says it's time to put God back in the bed -- unless, of course, you are single, in which case he suggests "try eating chocolate cake."

The pastor contends too many couples avoid intimacy. God wants you to have sex, he says. You will perform better at work, leave a loving legacy for your children and maybe even avoid an extramarital affair.

(There is a temptation to fall into the built-in punch line about not having an extramarital affair because you are too tired, but I intend to avoid that pitfall.)

Anyway, it occurs to me that the good pastor says nothing about Viagra, Cialis and other outside influences that promote sex after the body is saying "Don't do it."

(Or is it God saying "Don't do it"? Ah, there's that temptation again. Resist, Jane, resist.)

I know these man-made sexual enhancements allow gentlemen to "re-invent" themselves, so to speak. And I am sure there are many couples -- in addition to the ones on TV commercials -- who are happy as all get out that the pills exist.

Certainly the purpose of these pills is to promote intimacy, which the pastor extols.

I just can't find anyone who will acknowledge these pills are part of their marital life after age 70.

I find women who say they don't have sex. "We cuddle," says a friend of mine. "And that's just fine." In fact, cuddling seems to be the favorite sexual experience of many women.

"Oh, there are women who smile and giggle and stroke their husband's arm and act like they're close, but I know they aren't really doing it," says my friend who is my authority on senior dating.

The dating scene has changed in the past couple of years, she says.

"It used to be I would have eight, maybe 10 dates, with a guy before he would ask me to do it, but now the average is three," she says.

In fact, one guy didn't even finish a dance with her.

"He came over and asked me to dance and when he got me out on the floor he asked me if I lived alone," she says. "Well, I do but I always say I don't so I said my son lives with me. And he said that was that and walked away and left me on the floor."

This grandmother has a cute figure and is a good dancer and conversationalist. She says she's "as normal as anyone else" and has "desires and all that" but she's not going to bed with a guy just because he bought her a steak dinner followed by pie and ice cream.

Then she gets serious. "These guys don't want to use condoms because they say they can't get us pregnant anymore. Do you know how much disease they can spread?" she says.

(Cases of AIDS after age 50 have increased 500 percent since 1995, according to U.S. health statistics. And that's not funny.)

Clearly, we are a nation confounded by sexual desire.

We try to stifle raging hormones in the young, particularly young women.

Virgins are still preferred in marriage. The conclusion: God wants you to do it as much as you want to do it but not until you're married.

We try to re-ignite flames of desire after marriage. The pastor says God wants you to do it and if you're single, you can eat chocolate cake. The conclusion: God expects single people to be obese? (Ooops, another temptation I couldn't resist.)

Finally, we don't really expect older people to think much about sex, despite all those TV commercials for Viagra and other ED solutions.

There's nothing sexy about age in our culture. The conclusion: God doesn't want you to do it just for fun.

Oh, for God's sake!

(Jane Glenn Haas writes for The Orange County (Calif.) Register. E-mail her at jghaas@cox.net)