Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Friday, January 25, 2019


Monday, January 21, 2019

On MLK's Birthday, I remember how he spoke out against the Vietnam War. His advisors told him, the civil rights movement for black would be crippled. He did it anyway. His voice with many others made the government move toward ending the war. Keeping silent injures the oppressed.

Most of us Christians, Episcopalians and liberals fail to yell out about the plight of the Palestinians who suffer mightily against the Israeli government’s cruel and illegal policies and actions against them. Politicians and the media fail to speak out fearing the reprisals of powerful American Jewish organizations who have enormous political clout.

The Israeli government has allowed Palestinian homes to be bulldozed as people wept, children’s toys strewn over the demolished site. Ancient olive trees have been destroyed. Palestinian land are confiscated for new illegal settlements subsidized by Israel government and the military. Discrimination against Palestinian include streets for Jews only. There has been a forced displacement of 750,000 Palestinians since the establishment of Israel.

The U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights has spoken out, there are a number of other Pro-Palestinians rights. We liberals need to get into the fight. See PALESTINIAN HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS COUNCIL (PHROC). The United Methodist Church withdrew its pension funds from Israeli banks. Many groups call for a boycott of Israeli goods.

A Palestinian child is as precious as a Jewish child. We need solidarity with the people of Palestine.

Such bullshit!   As if Israeli children’s lives have not been impacted. The Israelis are not cruel nor are they acting illegally-rediculous! 

Israelis are not cruel nor are they acting illegally-rediculous!"

As I said  earlier I do not expect you or others to agree with me on political matters. I have expressed my opinion carefully. 

Be clear that I am very careful to say that the Israeli government is cruel and illegal in their treatment of the Palestinians. I did not say the Jewish or Israeli people are cruel and acting illegally.

Always with love,



Friday, January 25, 2019

Michelle Obama
Crown 2018

A fine book. Let’s all read it. I did. It’s a tale of a middle-class family whose daughter became the wife of the President of the Unites States. Her dad worked for the Chicago Water Company and her mother a housewife who later worked as a secretary. Hard working Michelle went to Princeton and Harvard Law. Her teen years are told with winsome delight, with the pains sorrows and joys of an African-American or any American kid. 

The trajectory from urban Chicago to the White House is well known and aptly described in the book.  From high salaried lawyer to legal services for the non-profits is illustrated by taking a $60,000 pay cut is a case in point. Her courtship with Barak Obama is sweet and her efforts to be a careful devoted mother of the two daughters is moving. The White House years are kept humorous battling the ever present and necessary secret service protection and creating a vegetable garden on the lawn. There is so much more worthwhile entertaining, political and historical information in the book.

I have a quibble. The religious and theological life of the Obamas is superficial if not absent from the book. Michelle’s family apparently were not church goers. There is scant mention of the Jeremiah Wright scuffle in the Chicago Church. The Obamas attended, but Barak and family left when Dr. Wright became too strident in his political attacks. But there is nothing about what they believed about God, Jesus and prayer. Mrs. Obama mentions that they prayed in national crises, but nothing about what prayer meant to them.

That aside. Becomingis a powerful and wonderful book.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018


Advent Christmas Letter

Love’s will on earth may be through you.
-Angel to Mary

The infinite becomes finite
-W.H. Auden, oh, and the gospels too.

Use the word Love when you say God.

Guess what? The world will end when the kingdom comes at the end of history.
God, not the present incumbent, will handle it.

How to pray? Give thanks for every person in your address book and then add a few more.
Pray for 1/30th of the list every day for a month, then start over. It’s OK to pray for our immediate family every day and then the rest. Remember, prayer works on us, not on God. God “does not give a hoot” for our measly prayers. A prayer of thanks for our family and friends will work on us. We will become truly human.

It is ok to ask God for help, help, help. You may get it, you may not get it, or you will have to help yourself. But you will feel great just asking for help

More than you want to know about our modest travels. A week in Palm Springs, five weeks in London in June, two weeks in Utah in August, in October Robert in New England visiting family while Ann was on a three week safari in Tanzania with her brothers and sister. Any questions?

Health? Robert creaky, Ann robust.

Love and bask in the Christmas story. We humans are loved so much that our creator came and lived with us.

A Blessed Christmas,

Robert and Ann



Christmas is not the birthday of Santa Claus. Christmas is not about Christ. On December 25th, Christians for centuries have celebrated the birth of Jesus, the son of a Jewish family, born in Bethlehem in Judea. The exact date or place of his birth are not known for certain. He grew up to be a preacher and teacher. His life and work are steeped in tradition and story. He was thought by early Christians to be especially anointed by God and therefore called Christ, the anointed one. Some even called him Messiah.

His basic teaching is to heal the sick and care for the hungry, widows and orphans, and to oppose the injustice of the religious and the Roman leaders of his time. He was executed by the government forces while in his early thirties.

The early followers of Jesus were Jews. Some of them began to call Jesus Messiah. Most Jews rejected Jesus as Messiah and were critical of the so-called Christians.  As the Christian Church became stronger, it initiated sharp criticism against Jews because they refused to believe Jesus was Messiah.

Many Christians began to think of Jesus as God in human flesh. This was made official in the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. It proclaimed that Jesus was truly God and truly man. Christians have wrestled with that idea for centuries.

The Christian Churches grew to great power. The Roman Church, the Orthodox Churches, the Anglicans and the Protestants all abandoned the basic teachings of Jesus. They were all more interested in power than compassion.

As a result, terrible things have happened in the name of Jesus Christ. Pogroms, racism, crusades, anti-Semitism, anti-Muslims, hatred of homosexuals, crimes against people who believe in abortion and birth control. There are even attacks on people who want to feed the hungry and heal the sick, the basic caring ideas of Jesus.

Christmas Day is a festal commemoration of Jesus’ birth. It demands that we look carefully at Jesus’ basic teaching by loving our neighbors and giving gifts of compassion for our human family.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018


I hope the results of the election will remove some of the fear and doom that so many Americans have.
The Democrats have taken over the House and that is very good news. It will thwart attempts to cut social security, Medicare and many programs the Republican want to under finance. The Senate remains in the hands of the Republicans, too bad. The Trump agenda will still have more trouble messing things up. 

I read that the extreme right has 6% of the American voters and the extreme left also has 6%. That leaves 88% of the voters in the solid and fluid middle. That too should allay fears of a pending dictatorship.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018


Things are getting better. Around the globe health care has dramatically reduce infant and maternal; mortality and children are now better fed and better educated. Workers make more money and are injured less frequently and retire earlier. In the U.S. fewer people are poor. In Asia, billions fewer live in extreme poverty. Statistics show the world is growing less polluted and has more parks and protected wildernesses. Globally, there are fewer victims of murder, war, rape and genocide….accidental deaths car crashes, lightning strikes are also in deep decline….poverty, crime and drug abuse are declining.

Our media, the president and many people are sure everything is awful. Many are afraid. Fear is rampant. But not everyone thinks so. Steven Pinker in his book Enlightenment Now uses his background as a cognitive scientist to look at global statistics to look at a larger picture and sees much that is positive. His work is worth a good look. The New Yorker of July 23, 2018 has a fine article about his work.

Monday, July 23, 2018



Fear is a political ploy. “Make ‘em afraid, then they’ll vote for us.” Nixon, Trump and Hitler. African- Americans, Immigrants, Jews. When fear gets trapped in our minds it is hard to shake. Fear crouches in our hearts, hollows out our insides and eats out and gnaws out our moral ties that bind us to each other and…to God.

Edited from others by rwc


Fear mongering is a favorite American sport. DT rolled into office terrified by Muslim immigrants, Mexican criminals and foreign competition. He tells us we must fear other people taking advantage of America, threatening white culture, national security, business health and Christian community. None of these supposed horrors have occurred. None are even slightly true or realistic. Frightened Christian conservatives, white nationalists and the Republican Party use these so-called fears to wield power and spend up the national debt.

Christianity does not need protection. We worship freely, live our faith, say what we will and champion the rights and needs of many more peoples.

Americans, except the poor and the sick have nothing to be afraid of. The massive spending on armaments, while morally despicable, is intended to keeps us safe.

Try setting aside fear and reflect on the safety and prosperity of most Americans even in the world of the DTs.

Sunday, July 22, 2018



Where do we get words like, gook, rag heads, japs, krauts, nigger, spics, and nips? The United States military teaches young men and women to use those words about enemies they may fight. Those words are meant to teach young people to dehumanize any enemy they might have to fight. Enemies, are not human beings. They are objects not people. Yes, the enemies are to be destroyed, killed, murdered and mutilated by bombs, bullets and bayonets.

Basic military training dehumanizes enemies. They become easier to kill if they are seen as not human, not flesh and blood, not fathers, sons, wives, daughters or loving people. They are objects.

I had a high school teacher who had been a navy airplane pilot in WW2. He strafed Japanese sailors helpless in the water, who were swimming from their sinking ship. He was following orders.

Military training dehumanizes American young people too. They become blind followers of their leaders. They must do as they are told. In the army, they are called grunts. They must run, jump, crawl through mud, climb walls, wade in mud. They must become strong, fit, muscular, not as human beings but as fodder to be sent anywhere at the command of their superiors. The military knows how to train killers.

As a Christian and a follower of Jesus, I want to love my enemies and forgive. That is why I am against war. It like military training, dehumanizes people. I know human beings will probably always find reasons and ways to go to war. I, however, with some others, am against war.

Veterans who see the horrors of the killing and mayhem in wars develop Post Distress Syndrome. They have trouble holding jobs and maintaining family ties. Some become violent and kill people. Some become addicted to drugs and alcohol. There is a high suicide rate among returning veterans. Many veterans do return to normal lives. Much to their credit and character.



Chapter 4. Geezer Sex

A television crew asked a 107-year-old man what was the secret of his longevity.

“It's because I gave up sex,” he said.

“When did you give up sex?” asked the reporter.

“Fifteen years ago.”

“I see," said the reporter. "And why did you give up sex?”

“I had to. I like older women.”

I am the geezer. One look at Ann and you know she is not a geezer.  I show my age more than she does. I am retired and 86 years old at this writing. I have been retired for 15 years. Like a teen boy I think of sex all the time. Advertising in newspapers, television, and movie plots keep sex before my eyes. I would rather see sex scenes than violent ones on TV and in movies. All this in addition to my own personal sexual thoughts and feelings keep sex on my mind and I’ll bet on other people’s minds but they won’t admit it. Well I admit it and enjoy my sexuality.

Statistics indicate older Americans are interested in their sexuality. The drive does not diminish necessarily with aging. Many people have little or no sex when reaching 70.  They should not be surprised to find they have poor sex as they become older. So, one can expect good sex when we get older even if we have been having good sex all along.

It is certainly true that as our bodies age, our sexual capacities diminish, but certainly do not disappear. Many women’s vagina walls may become dry and tender. Lubricants can help. Men’s erections may be softer than they were when younger. Viagra and Cialis and other pills and treatments help many men achieve better erections. Orgasms may be less deep and powerful.

Good sex at any age depends on good communication. Young people often have sex problems because they are not confident enough to speak about what they like or don’t like about having intercourse. “You are touching my breasts too hard.” “I want us to kiss longer.” “I want you to touch my penis.” Learning to communicate clearly about our sexual needs can only improve our enjoyment of sex.

Younger and older people can have warm delicious conversation about how often they should have intercourse. Specific talk about oral sex can be embarrassing and fun too. 

Older men can learn to laugh when their penises look and feel like marshmallows. Women can talk about how nice it is to just lie there and let the man do the work. Laugh when the orgasm feels more like a sneeze or a squirt than any great thrill.

Sex and intimacy and just holding and cuddling are the glue that keeps a relationship warm. One older couple I know has a warm relationship. He has had surgery so that he cannot have an erection. I can only imagine the possible variations so that both are pleased and pleasured. The man can help bring the woman to orgasm by oral sex, licking and kissing her clitoris and vaginal area. The man can receive pleasure when he knows his partner is pleasured. The woman with her hands and tongue and mouth may caress the man’s genitalia and evoke intimacy. In fact many men who can’t have erections can still have orgasms. Cuddling, massage and bathing together can bring love and intimacy.

With good communication comes trust. Couples can try new and unusual ways to have sex and closeness if they trust each other. Good sex is quite available for people of all ages and especially for the elderly.

We found many ways to arouse ourselves. We share our sexual fantasies and dreams. We talk about our past sexual experiences. Ann does not want me to talk about previous loves and sexual partners. We share our dreams almost every day, especially if they have sexual content. Our motto is if we don’t want to share the dream, then we have to do it. It is always fun and sometimes arousing.

Geezer Sex

Ann and I often talked and read about sex. She and I sat down one day and came up with ideas and topics for Geezer Sex. The list is also of interest to anyone interested in sex.

Sex is good for your health. It is a good way to convey the love we have for one another. It increases our intimacy. The physical exertion for an active man exerts the heart and breathing.  The physical pleasure of orgasm relaxes and calms the body. Pillow talk after sex increases intimacy and physical closeness.

Love and laugh at being a Geezer who wants sex. I am good at laughing at myself. As my sexual prowess began to diminish, I made fun of myself. When my penis got soft I would brag that my penis now resembled a wet noodle. I laughed and cried, “Oh how I miss the old days.” With Ann, I could share and laugh about my limitations. “What’s the matter,” she’d ask, “Can’t get it up?” I would grimace with horror and then laugh.

We had favorite positions that I can’t do any more. My aging and aching body can’t squirm, kneel, or change positions easily. It is one more item worth chuckling about and even regretting a bit. We talk about it and it doesn’t matter much.

In my 70s I began to use Viagra to get and keep an erection. The pill made my nose get stuffed. I switched to Cialis, which worked fine for a long time. Later Dr. Gary Feldman suggested I use ½ Cialis the night before sex and one in the morning. That worked for a while and then I took a half at night, later a whole one at night and then two in the morning. Dr. Anna Beyer, my cardiologist, said there is not a cardiovascular danger using sexual dysfunctional pills.

Frequency is another issue for geezer sex. Ann and I used to make love three times a day when we first lived together and then married. I was in my early 50s and Ann was in her 40s. We got down to once a day, every day. Then every other day, three times a week, and then once a week. And then not-so-much. I am 86 and Ann is 75. 

Vaginal lube for Ann became a concern for Ann when she was in her 60s. Thinning vaginal walls made intercourse irritating and painful. She experimented with a variety of lubes and settled on Just Between Us from Key West Aloe, a Florida firm.

What will the children think, or the neighbors, when they discover we are having intercourse? Sometimes Ann and I are noisy in our lovemaking. This is a concern when we stay in other people’s homes. The son of one of Ann’s teacher friends coined the term geezer sex. This friend reported that when her teen son realized his divorced mother was having sex with her “boyfriend,” he gasped, “Oooooweeeegeezer sex.”

One of my daughters lived with us for a year when she was in her twenties. She told her sisters, “I know it’ll be over soon when the floor stops creaking.”

If it doesn’t come naturally, learn to be affectionate. Much kissing, hugging, petting, touching, caressing literally keeps us in touch with each other but helps keeps us aroused and physically aware. Ann and I are in constant physical touch with each other. I feel sad when we are with other couples who seldom even touch each other.

I have found over the years that I accept my body as it is. Growing older, my skin is flabby and wrinkled. I appear tall, although Ann has to remind me to stand up straight a lot. I admit to a jot of pleasure when people are surprised that I am 86. 

Ann’s body always gives me pleasure to look at and to touch, kiss and caress. We often talk about our bodies and what we appreciate about each other’s body. Ann is very careful about her diet and weight. She walks and exercises a lot. We are both delighted when people remark that she looks so much younger than her age.

I led a therapy group once where a young Asian man spoke of how he hated his body. Much of his chest and neck were badly scarred after he was caught in a fire. After he talked about his pain, I asked him to take his shirt off and let us see the scarring. Reluctantly he did so. I asked his permission to look at and touch the scars. He allowed other members of the group to touch the scars. Yes, the scars felt taut and were uneven. Yet everyone in the group told him that while the scars were not pretty, he was a good person and a worthwhile human being. He wept with a sad joy and began to feel better about his body and himself.

Sex is better, more fun and arousing if we talk freely about cock sucking and pussy licking.Anal sex—love it or leave it. Some women like it or at least are willing to do it. Some men like to have anal intercourse with other men. Couples should have a frank talk about what they want or do not want about anal intercourse. There is nothing bad, wrong or evil about it. It is a matter of personal choice and interest. Just talking about it lessens the tension couples have about it.

Well, it is time to own up to the fact that my cock isn’t going to get very hard now that I have reached 86 plus. I have even tried Muse. It is a thin plastic tube that goes down my penis and then a small amount of some chemical is injected into the depths of my urethra. After ten minutes my cock gets hard enough, sometimes, to fuck Ann. She is enormously patient with my sexual shenanigans, hard, soft, floppy, and sometimes solid for mutual orgasm. I do hope this will change but I am realistic and so is Ann.  

This is the end of having erections hard enough to satisfy me and even go into Ann’s sweet body. My first worry is that Ann will miss straight fucking, yearn for it, and will find another man to fuck her. She reassures me over and over again that she is and will be faithful to me.  I am mostly satisfied with her pledges but I still worry a bit that temptation may wend her way to a sex contact with another man. She certainly is attractive enough and sexy enough to seduce or even be seduced. She seduces me all the time and I can’t do anything about it.

I notice I don’t miss the sexual activity too much, although I do think about fucking Ann a lot. I think about the old days with her, and other women before our marriage. I do enjoy some of the free porn on the Internet but it is best for seeing lovely women naked and sexually aroused. The men usually look and act like brutes or nerds.

I suspect I will gently ease out of this sexual anxiety and be at peace with little or no sexual performance. I feel sad writing those words. Good sex has been such a wonderful part of my life and our lives as a married couple.

Certainly my sex drive, among other things, ruined my first marriage to Lillian, and the divorce hurt my daughters. Nevertheless, sex has always been wonderful, exciting, orgasmic, sensual, powerful, pleasurable, relaxing, and visceral. Sex has driven me to love my body and women’s bodies. I have never had sexual feelings toward men, nor desire for personal or sexual intimacy with them. I rejoice that same-gender lovers enjoy sex and deep love.

I have had sex with many women. I have lost count actually. However, I have not had sex with another woman in the 34 years Ann and I have been married. I like women, looking at them, wishing I could see then naked, and want to touch some women’s breasts. I have not touched anyone. Some years ago, I was at Esalen Institute at the communal baths and did enjoy looking at the naked women climbing in and out of the hot tubs and taking showers in the washhouse overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I like looking at women’s breasts and nakedness when I see them (rarely) in magazine photos.

My mind has sex urges all the time. I enjoy them and don’t want them ever to go away. Ann often shows me her lovely naked body, PTA—pussy tits and ass—as we like to say. Into her nightie, or the shower, she often pauses to let me admire her body. Sex is always in the air and my mind. I just can’t get my cock erect much anymore.

I have always loved feeling Ann up. She says she likes it. I stand behind her and put my hands around her breasts and gently jostle them. She pushes her ass into my crotch. Ann kisses me on the forehead when she leaves the room or even when she re-enters. She often puts her hand on my crotch and it always feels good, sexy, but it no longer causes an erection. Sometimes I pretend to blame her because she can’t arouse me anymore and we both chuckle. Orgasm for me when I masturbate feels just a little better than a sneeze.

We have always been very affectionate with one another. We both enjoy embracing and being embraced, kissing, and being kissed. I have to remind Ann and myself that we must cuddle naked in bed, body-to-body, lips-to-lips, and sex kisses more often, especially since I can’t get erect enough to fuck. I do love just being close, kissing and fondling.

Regular sexual and physical closeness is a sacrament of our love for each other.

An American Marriage

An American Marriage
By Tayari Jones
Algonquin Books 2018
308 pp.

A wonderful book about marriage. The characters are all African-Americans living in the South. However, it is for anyone married, thinking about marriage and the formerly married. “What happens to you doesn’t belong to you, only half concerns you. It’s not yours, not yours only” This quote by Claudia Rankine, is the central theme of the novel.

A young happily married couple’s life is interrupted when Roy is sentenced to 12 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. There is a bit about southern prison life. The book is about what happens to anyone in relationships. The couple, the parents of Roy and Celestial are explored and how they affect their children. Then there is Andre who falls in love with Celestial while Roy is in jail. Hopes, dreams and business lives intertwine with the values of all the characters. The story gives a first-rate picture of middle class Black life in the South today. There is also an undercurrent of faith that runs gently through this rich, entertaining and moving book.

DA VINCI - review

Leonardo Da Vinci
By Walter Isaacson
Simon and Schuster
2017, 599 Pages

Wow, what a book about a genius and a half. The painter of The Last Supperand the Mona Lisasaw himself and an engineer, mathematician, anatomist, physicist and scientist. He noted in a letter, “I also paint.” He lived in Florence, Milan and died in Rome in the 1572. The author describes the cultural and artistic Renaissance life of Italy and also Europe. This book describes his paintings in exquisite detail but not too lengthy. I am not interested much in the sciences, which he explored. Skipping over them was just fine. I could peek in at the drawings of the human body, how light works on water and optical experiments, and then move on to the paintings, which interested me more. It is an expensive book worthy of any serious library. Who knows, it might come out in paperback, but I’ll bet your local library has a copy. In fact, you can borrow my copy if you promise to return it.


I went to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art yesterday. I drive into the parking garage and I get a ticket to get me out later. I get to the museum and I get a ticket to check my hat. I got to the membership counter for a ticket of admission. I now have three tickets. I see the Magritte Exhibit and buy a poster. I get a receipt. I have lunch and get a receipt for the bill. I now have six tickets. In my hands or wallet. I have a bag for the print I bought. I have my bag and my cane. Then I have to reverse the process. I have to find the ticket to redeem my hat. I get to the garage a block and a half away and I have to find the ticket to get to my car. I insert my ticket into the barrier, which resurrects so I can drive away. I get home, recycle the 78 tickets and fall into my nap.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Pacifist Memorial Day

Memorial Day

Dear Nick,

You are the only person I know that lost a beloved family member in the Vietnam War. Your brother Spike lost his life as a pilot in that awful conflict. You remember him often and by name but especially around Memorial Day. Some years ago, Ann and I went to the black, shiny curved wall Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. and sought out the name of your brother. It was a moving experience for us. He was among the 58,220 American military who died in Vietnam.

On this day I pray for and think of the men and women who died in our wars. I hope they felt like they died as patriots and in service of our country. We are urged to remember them so that they did not die in vain. The Vietnam War and the Korean War earlier sadly were wars of vanity, fear, greed and self-delusion. They were examples of the U.S. government’s self-righteous desire to meddle in other nations’ business. The communism of Russia and China was never but a perceived threat. Both those country’s power was taken up with their own internal problems of famine, poverty and economic failure. So, the mighty U.S. powers sent troops into those tiny countries of Korea and Vietnam to “halt the spread of communism.” The countries were ravaged by bombs and Naplam, millions of civilian and children were killed, thousands of U.S. soldiers and unknown millions of “enemy” soldiers were wiped out. 33,668 American military died in Korea.

The results were divided countries, international tension, bereaved and haunted civilians and the families of the war dead. There were no winners, only death and destruction. Of course, we are proud of the military who served their country and especially those who died.

Today we are at war in Afghanistan and Iraq. There are no figures on the number of the U. S. dead military that I could find.

I remain a patriotic pacifist. I think war never wins anything but death and destruction. Yes, even the Civil War and WW2 could have been prevented by serious negotiations. I want to be part of a movement that is so against war the arrogance of government is curtailed by the fact than many enlightened, loving and caring people will not fight in a war.