More on ABC Nightline show
On Friday, Dec. 1, ABC Nightline aired the segment on senior dating and sex, including an interview with me and a bit of my love story with Robert.
I had no idea how Nightline’s hours of interview time would translate to a couple of minutes of air time. I knew the emphasis of the show would be on seniors’ risky sexual behavior, and I hoped there would also be room for the joy and intimacy of senior sexuality.
ABC did a great job putting this show together and — yes — conveying not only the cautions that our age group needs to be aware of, but also the joy and exuberance — as well as the challenges — of being fully alive in aging bodies.
I was thrilled when I saw it. Having watched it five times now, though, it’s a little embarrassing that so much focus was on how creaky our aging bodies become! I liked that the creaky talk was juxtaposed with the energetic and not-the-least-bit-creaky line dance visuals – that was cool. (And it’s amusing that I’m receiving emails from people recommending specific mattresses and arthritis remedies to combat the creakiness!)
One thing I didn’t mention in my background story in the post below: We had some laughs before the taping, when I asked what language was acceptable and what wasn’t. I knew I’d be reading aloud from reader comments on my blog, and I’m used to speaking frankly. Respectfully, but frankly.
We all laughed together as we went over words: “erection” was OK, “hard” wasn’t. When they told me that “clitoris” was okay, I reduced the crew to hysterics when I proclaimed, “Great! I’ve always wanted to say ‘clitoris’ on national TV!” But …it turns out I didn’t!
Did you see the show? What did you think?
Thank you for posting a comment on the Alternative Medicine Blog: http://www.amacf.org/2006/12/hivaids_a_conce.html#comments
It does seem that sex is a rather taboo subject for many seniors. I don’t know why that is?
Isn’t a healthy sex life just as crucial to aging as a healthy cardiac system, endocrine system, respiratory system, etc? It seems, as we age, more and more emphasis is put on keeping these systems functioning, but very little is done to remind people that a healthy reproductive system is also part of dignified, healthy aging.
Thanks for keeping the conversation going!
Living in Australia, Nightline is not a program we get. Once in a while, one of the two Aussie public TV channels will present something from Nightline, but not often. Aussies aren’t really interested in what’s happening in the US. Too much fun at home, I suppose.
However, both SBS and ABC (the two AU public outlets) have far more lenient rules. Words such as ‘clitoris’ and ‘prick’ can be heard on shows aired after 9 pm. Another difference was the presentation on SBS of an hour documentary on orgasm … both clitoral and vaginal. A real in-depth study, and something all boys at the age of puberty should have already seen.
Hi Joan, I saw your posting in the linedance newsletter and decided to check out your blog. I’m sorry I missed Nightline but congratulations! It sounds like it was very exciting. Also, I noticed you live in Sebastopol. I went to college with an amazing woman and talented singer who is from Sebastopol, Gelsey Bell. Have you heard of her? Her voice is so beautiful. Anyway, congratulations again and maybe I will see you at a linedance event!
I saw you and I thought you looked awesome! In fact you looked so good I didn’t believe that stuff you said about all your aches and pains. Probably none of the viewers actually believed that you are really old enough to be talking about seniors’ experiences. Congratulations!
Dear “Someone who remembers sex” — in fact, I answered very specifically and gave tips that explained what I meant by getting “more creative,” but only snippets of what I said were used, as I knew would happen.
If you want to know my creative tips, they’re in full blazing glory in my book, Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty. (Hey, everybody, you know you can order by clicking on the links in the right-hand column….)
Thanks for writing,
You came across so naturally…the best guest on the show, IMO. You looked FAB and you and hubby are such a great looking, congenial couple. All ‘your’ dancers should be pleased too – everybody looked great.
I was surprised they didn’t get a bit more “specific” with you on sex advice for seniors (the obvious segue would have been your comment about getting “more creative”) but if nothing else it will lead interested viewers to your website or your book.
Saw your interview… just happened to be watching. I had thought about writing the same sort of stuff, as my DH & I married when he was 60 and I was 46, and we were together and active til he passed away at 83 just this past March. Happy for your success… in love and life.
I saw the show and thought you were great Joan!
Sex, intimacy , and all the things in a relationship that are “connecting” things are things that YES we CAN survive without… they are not necessary
for survival maybe–[ although Dean Ornish & others would disagree ]
but connection makes life so much more full, and the potential for having ones own shortcomings
pointed out to propel personal growth is also present.
I don’t think that connecting to others is ‘optional’.
We NEED to connect for a healthy emotional state.
Joan, it was so wonderful to see you on TV! You, Robert, and all your beautiful dancers looked great. But even better, a huge national audience got to hear your positive message about love and sex after 60 and beyond. I hope this will lead to more TV features on shows that can give you the time you deserve for a lengthier presentation.