Posts Tagged ‘aging stereotypes’
Don’t skip the sex part!
I was in the hospital following my cataract surgery, woozy from the sedative. Robert held my hand, attentive to the nurse who was reading us a checklist of postoperative instructions.
“Normal daily activity is fine, such as walking or light reading. Nothing strentous or jarring for one week, such as lifting heavy weights, bending all the way over, jogging…” she read in a crisp, clear voice.
Suddenly her voice lowered, becoming girlish and tentative. “Sex…” she paused, then whispered, “Do you want to know about sex?”
“Yes! Read the part about sex!” Robert and I almost yelled.
“You may resume sexual activities after one or two days,” she finished in a whisper, then raised her voice to the pre-sex level to read the rest of the instructions about bathing, protecting my operated eye, and treating discomfort.
“She almost skipped the sex part,” Robert said to me afterwards.
Why did the nurse feel the need to ask our permission and then whisper this one bit of information? I guess I should be used to this assumption that people of our age (63 and 70) are no longer interested in sex, and that approaching us with sexual information is embarrassing — but I wish this would change!
I keep saying that my mission is to change society one mind at a time. But darn, it’s taking a long time! Join me, please!
Dean asks, “Does Granny like oral sex?”
I just got an email from Dean, who describes himself as “a very active 70 year old” from Kansas. He asks this:
Joan: I have had sex with ladies 40 to 74 in the last ten years. However I am diabetic and take pills for high blood pressure, so due to those two items I am as you guessed, impotent to the Nth degree. I have had and given oral sex to several partners but I feel like they feel that this isn’t normal. My question, I guess, is, does granny really like this or is it that she feels, well, that’s all he can do? Can you come up with a ball park figure in percentages of the lassies that do and don’t get excited about oral sex? I have known ladies that were extremely sexual but would have nothing to do with oral. Is this very much the way granny thinks? Joan, I love the ladies and they like me, but what’s a relationship without a little pandering?
Dean, I imagine our readers will have plenty to say, but let me start out by saying that calling a woman with whom you want to have sex “Granny” just isn’t sexy! I don’t know how you interact with these women, or what you call them during pillow talk, but your wording here makes me wonder!
As far as whether older women like oral sex, there’s no percentage I can give you. I can tell you that the better the man is at giving oral sex — the more he tunes in to the sounds and movements that show him what she likes — the better she’ll enjoy it. That means not developing a one-technique-fits-all approach, but gathering many skills and the most important skill: being attentive to her cues and responding to them.
I’d like to recommend a book to you, Dean, and to every man who wants to understand better what a women enjoys during oral sex: She Comes First: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pleasuring a Woman by Ian Kerner. This book is clever, practical, and full of tips and techniques guaranteed to help any man become a better lover!
Best Life magazine: “a lot of kissing and touching and maybe a sex toy”
I’m quoted/mentioned extensively in “She Hunts by Night,” an article by Colin McEnroe in Best Life magazine, April 2007, about “How to handle the (new) sexually empowered over-40 woman.” McEnroe, a midlife man, says,
Many of us men spent the first half of our lives trying to talk women into having sex with us. Now we occasionally try to talk them out of it … We live in a new culture of sexually empowered older women… The last two years have seen a rockslide of books both documenting and encouraging the sexual reblossoming of women age 40 and up.
… Joan Price told me she wrote [Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty] partly because she couldn’t find any books for people like her. Price is a fitness instructor from Northern California who found herself “in a new relationship and having the best sex of my life, but not without challenges.”She went looking for information and found “doom and gloom…you’re gonna wither and dry up…give it up…sex is for the young.”Price wrote a book that is solution oriented. By that, I mean there’s information about actual solutions you can rub on parts of you that aren’t as damp as they used to be, and there’s a chapter about sex toys, because Price believes that female orgasm, post-50, is “much more subtle and takes longer to get there … a lot of kissing and touching and maybe a sex toy.”
… “What we want from men is not what they think we want,” agrees Price. “Men think we want a raging erection and the Energizer bunny. We have always wanted foreplay. Now we want even more, so much that we don’t even want to call it foreplay. I actually recommend that older couples schedule lovemaking. Schedule it at a time of day when you both have a lot of energy, which is usually not when you’re falling asleep at night. There’s a reason they call it ‘afternoon delight.’ And schedule at least two hours.”
I want to point out here that my “two hours” recommendation isn’t meant to intimidate anyone or suggest marathon, two-hour intercourse. Rather, the two hours includes all the “surroundings” of good sex that make it great: a long warmup; lots of kissing, touching, talking and laughing; leisurely sex; and time for cuddling and maybe even napping afterwards. It’s a total experience of intimacy, not just the “go for the goal” part.
Pole Dancing: Exploitative or Empowering?
I was quoted in today’s New York Times commenting on the trend that is bringing pole dancing (complete with instructors and portable, ceiling-high poles) into the homes of middle aged, middle class women, as well as into fitness studios. Here’s an excerpt from the article by Tina Kelley:
Some say exercise that echoes the acrobatics done by women who take their clothes off for a living is exploitative rather than empowering. But Ms. Shteir and Joan Price, the author of “Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk About Sex After Sixty” (Seal Press, 2006), see a clear difference between middle-class, middle-aged women choosing to give parties in their homes and women pushed by poverty into potentially dangerous or demeaning work.
“If we were to limit what we do in the realm of affirming our sexuality because it has been used against us in the past,” said Ms. Price, who tried pole dancing in 2005, “we would then be buying into the idea that we don’t own it.”
The important point in the NYT article is that pole dancing, once solely the domain of strippers, has been reclaimed by women in all walks of life and of all ages. Why not? It’s a sensual activity that lets us see our bodies as sexy and alluring. We wrap around that pole as if it’s a lover. Pole dancing is also full of fun, healthy sexuality, fantasy, and good exercise –just try hanging onto that pole with your arms, your legs wrapped around the pole, your body suspended, and see if it’s a fitness challenge!
Besides pole dancing, women are flocking to fitness clubs for strip aerobics (we even saw this on Oprah), burlesque dance, and many other activities that “nice women” — especially of our age! — supposedly didn’t do.
Physical exercise itself is sexy, and we’re bringing the notion up a notch or two by indulging in a fitness activity that is decidedly and openly sexual.
I had the pleasure of experiencing a pole dancing class taught by Virginia Simpson-Magruder in 2005 as part of my research for an article for Marin County’s Pacific Sun about innovative exercise classes. Here’s what I said about it then:
“Push out your chest more,” Virginia Simpson-Magruder tells me in the Pole Dance class at Stage Dor Studio (10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite #340, Sausalito). Let’s see: butt out, chest out, look over shoulder, hip out, wrap leg around pole, swing–I never realized that pole dancing would require such strength and coordination. This sensual workout is much more than slithering around a pole–it strengthens the upper body (sometimes your arms are holding your whole body weight on the pole) and feels delightfully sensuous. Instructors Virginia Simpson-Magruder and Lane Driscoll got their training from a former exotic dancer. Yes, we used a real pole. (No, we didn’t strip.)
What do you think? Have you tried pole dancing, strip aerobics, or burlesque dance? What was your experience?