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by Abigail Van Buren

Good Lovin' Is Senior's Secret for Good Marriage

DEAR ABBY: Sex for seniors? Why not? That's right up my alley. I'm age 85, with a 71-year-old third wife, and we make love frequently. I lost my first two wives to cancer after almost 20 years with each.

I met my present wife when I was 79 and she was 64. She had been with the only man in her life -- her husband of 37 years -- so I should not have been surprised at her obvious lack of experience. Being "made love to" was new to her, as opposed to being an outlet for a man's desires. Once we got in tune with each other, we made love 10 times in nine days -- once every day, and twice on Sunday. I kid you not.

We have slowed down somewhat since I was hospitalized for a month after surgery to remove a cancerous colon. It was a month after that before we could resume our lovemaking. Notice, I said "lovemaking," not having sex. There is a difference.

By the way, I met my third wife in church. After our relationship became serious, we toured Europe together. Different names on passports don't bother hotel clerks or anyone else when two people travel as a couple. After living out of a suitcase for six weeks, we knew we'd either love each other or hate each other's guts. We married as soon as our property sales were completed.

My secret for a successful marriage? Take your time. Sex is a quick roll in the hay. Making love is like an ocean voyage; half the fun is getting there. -- OLDER BUT NOT TOO OLD

DEAR OLDER: You could write a book ... you certainly know what to do between the covers. Hooray for you!