Update 10/20: Wonderful experience talking to counseling students yesterday at San Francisco State with fabulous instructor Rebekah Skoor. Once the counselors-in-training realized I really would discuss anything they asked, we covered an array of topics about ageless sexuality, many of them very personal. They were also interested in understanding grief after loss of a spouse, and I talked openly about that, too. It was beautiful to be in a crowded room of mostly young people who were eager to understand and support the older person’s experience. I came away with more ideas about topics I’ll want to bring into focus in my new book, Naked At Our Age.
I’ve been invited to speak about sex & aging to graduate students of counseling at San Francisco State University in their one-and-only sexuality course. When the instructor, Rebekah Skoor, invited me, she told me, “This class has historically skipped over the lives of older adults in the curriculum and I am working to correct this critical oversight.” Kudos!
I want to help these future counselors understand senior sexuality, and also help them understand how to talk about it with clients who may be three times their age. Would you help me by commenting here about how you would like a counselor to talk to you about sex, and what issues you’d like help bringing up in the first place? Specifically, please comment on any or all of these questions:
What issues in your sex life — or, perhaps, lack of sex life — would you like a counselor to help you resolve?
How difficult would it be to speak to a younger counselor about your sex life?
How could a younger counselor help you feel more comfortable about opening up? Would you like her/him to initiate discussion of sex, or wait for you to bring it up?
What else would you like me to tell these counselors-in-training?
I suspect we’ll get lots of divergent points of view here, and that’s fine. Just because we’re seniors and elders doesn’t mean we feel the same way about anything! I’d like to collect these points of view to share with the counselors-in-training. Please post your comment, or email me and include permission to post it for you.
If you’re one of the students I’ll be talking to at SF State, please add your questions and comments — I’d love to hear from you.