Why is senior sex invisible in magazines?

Jennifer Nelson

Health and lifestyle writer Jennifer Nelson is blogging about women’s magazines at http://stilettonation.wordpress.com/. For a book she’s writing titled Stiletto Nation: The Lure and Loathing of Women’s Magazines (Seal Press), Jennifer asked me for a quote about whether the sex articles in the women’s magazines portray a realistic image of real-life sex in our age group. 

This was my response:

As an older woman and a spokesperson for ageless sexuality, I find that my age group is largely invisible in the women’s magazines’ treatment of sexuality. The only exception is when they notice the gorgeous sex appeal of an older celebrity, like Helen Mirren. But celebrate the sexuality of the rest of us older women, or offer us sexual self-help? No, that’s only for those without wrinkles — or life experience!

After responding to Jennifer and posting this on my Naked at Our Age Facebook page (which I hope you’ll “like” and follow!), this topic stayed on my mind and kept giving me frown wrinkles. I decided to consult you:
Do you find that any magazine — women’s or men’s — treats seniors as sexual beings and gives honest, helpful, candid information about sexuality at our age? I know, this blog does that (thank you!) — but can you pick up any print magazine at the supermarket or bookstore that doesn’t ignore our sexuality? 
Contrast that with the dozens of magazine covers — featuring wrinkle-free, airbrushed, cleavage-enhanced women and virile, muscular, ab-enhanced men — that promise the ultimate answer about what he/she wants in bed, or 10 tips to seduce or thrill your partner, reignite your relationship, fulfill your/his/her fantasies… do I need to go on?
Why is senior sex invisible in magazines? More important, how can we change that? That’s what I want to know.

1 Comment

  1. Miriam on January 27, 2012 at 3:52 am

    About 3 or 4 years ago, More magazine (for the over 40 year-old woman) tiptoed into the area of exploring sexuality. While some people like me welcomed the prospect of having such a resource, the magazine also received a huge backlash. Readers didn't want to endure that kind of "smut" in the pages of the magazine.

    More magazine retreated and hasn't raised it since. I'm afraid we're our own worst enemy.

    I'm supremely disappointed. They could have been pioneers.


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