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.
Hey, this is so cool! I just received the “Best of the North Bay 2007” award for “Best and Mightiest Aphrodite” AKA “wrinkly sex kitten” by the North Bay Bohemian newspaper ! I love it!
This happened the same week I had cataract surgery. It all fits together, doesn’t it? 😉 Here’s the article:
Best and Mightiest Aphrodite
If gaining entrance to the love-ins of the ’60s was contingent upon being mortal, Aphrodite would likely have traded in her spot on Mt. Olympus for a ticket. Some 40-odd years later, would this goddess-turned-mortal still be sexy? Somewhere after menopause, she’d probably have traded in her Botticelli curls for a Diane Sawyer coif. Popping Viagra, suitors would still come knocking to woo this now mature and wrinkly sex kitten.
Wrinkly sex kitten? Yeah, why not. Enter the world of Joan Price, who at 63 is pshawing the way that pop culture ridicules older people who still have sex. The Sebastopol resident has written Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk About Sex After Sixty, which has become something of a bible for sextua-, septua- and octogenarians wanting to restore their sex lives. She’s packed the book with exercises to keep love muscles tuned up, testimonials by older women doing it and her own story about falling for the love of her life at age 57. This author-cheerleader has been touring throughout the country, giving workshops to women–and sometimes men–who are 50-plus and want to keep their sex drive alive. “When I do a workshop,” she says giggling, “it’s sort of an ice breaker the first time I say ‘lubricant’ or ‘vaginal tissue’ or ‘clitoris’ or ‘sex toy.'”
To Price, mature desire is not an oxymoron. In fact, she and her husband don’t see any reason why wisdom shouldn’t be sexy. “[My husband] sees wrinkles as sexy,” she says. “He sees an aging body and face, certainly, as extremely attractive, because they reflect what a woman has experienced and learned and given to the world and brought back to herself. Someone without them is sort of suspect.”
Price also has a popular blog, www.betterthanieverexpected.blogspot.com, where she and her readers discuss issues surrounding aging. In one recent post, Price brainstorms about different terms to describe older people: senior, elderly, mature, etc. She was prompted to write this post after reading a newspaper article that referred to a political conference attendee as a “little old lady.” Although the article wasn’t talking about her, per se, she took it as an affront to her demographic as a whole. On her blog, she quipped, “Don’t call me a little old lady . . . Call me Joan.” Whatever you call her, she’s our mighty, middle-aged Aphrodite.
Thanks to Cole Porter, we know that birds do it, bees do it, even overeducated fleas do it. Well, apparently oldsters do it, too.
Happy Valentine’s Day! I was delighted to be profiled in the North Bay Bohemian‘s 2007 Sex Issue in a lively article by Brett Ascarelli titled “Certain Age.” Here are some excerpts:
Last fall, ABC Nightline sent a crew to Sebastopol to interview author Joan Price about seniors, sex and dating. Price, a former high school teacher turned fitness author and guru, fell in love a few years ago, drawing media attention when she claimed that she was having the best sex of her life. In 2006, she released Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk About Sex After Sixty (Seal Press; $15.95), already in its second printing. The book features interviews with “sexually seasoned women,” experts’ advice about keeping the nethers in shape and Price’s own musings on the challenges of being a sexy senior. The book’s popularity spawned a related blog, in which Price moderates discussions about sex for the mature set.
One recent afternoon at her Sebastopol house, the 4’11” Price is wearing a rhinestone-covered blouse and Mary Janes. No wonder she’s getting some; at 63, she’s super-fit, thanks to a frequent work-out regimen and what must still be damn good metabolism, given the chocolate cookies she’s munching.
… Price is a poster-adult for the cause and now fields sex-related questions from mature adults at workshops across the country.
“I call myself an advocate for ageless sexuality,” Price laughs, “but maybe I’m trying to do more than that: I’m trying to change society one mind at a time, I guess.”
Ascarelli, a young woman, took to heart my comments about the need for society to change its ageist attitude toward sex. She quoted me saying, “I think it will be easier [for women in the future], especially if younger people pay attention to what we’re going through now and don’t see us as the Other, but just as themselves in a few decades.”
photo by Brett Ascarelli
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?