I used to be eager for sex, easily aroused. My desire dipped after menopause and now barely exists. I can go weeks or more without desiring sex or thinking much about it. The funny thing is, if I get started, I like it, but it’s so hard to get in the mood.
The number one sex problem that I hear from women is the lack of desire for sex. They do still enjoy sex once they get started, they tell me, but they’re seldom in the mood ahead of time. It isn’t just a problem for women—many men also report decreased desire—but for women, it’s the primary complaint. The problem is that if we wait for the mood and don’t make sexual pleasure a priority, we’ll rarely have sex.
There are lots of reasons that you may be feeling decreased desire, but let’s cut to a solution that works first, and figure out the reasons afterward:
Instead of waiting for the mood, start getting yourself sexually aroused—on your own, with a partner, or with a vibrator. Just do it. The physiological arousal will trigger the emotional desire.
That’s the opposite of the way it used to work! When we were younger, our hormone-induced sex drive bombarded our brain and body with desire—especially during our most fertile times. This was simple biology. A glance, a thought, a murmur, a fantasy, or a touch sparked the mood. Once in the mood, we opened ourselves to the pleasures of physiological arousal. We got turned on, our arousal built, and we crashed joyously into orgasm.
But now, this all works the other way around. Instead of waiting forever for the mood to strike, we can induce the mood by letting ourselves get physiologically aroused as the first step. Arousal will lead to mood and desire, instead of vice versa.
Here are your new mantras:
- Desire follows action.
- Use it, don’t lose it.
- Just do it.
“You may have just saved my marriage,” a woman told me after I gave this suggestion at a presentation. Try it—you may feel the same!
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to approach our sexuality in this new way: Relax, start getting physically aroused, emotional arousal will happen, and voila, we’ll be in the mood. So the key is to commit to regular sexual pleasure, partnered or solo.
How does this translate to real life? Here are some tips:
- Schedule sex dates with your partner and/or with yourself at least weekly, more is even better.
- Exercise before sex for faster arousal and easier orgasms.
- Create rituals with your partner that signal sex would be welcome.
- Allow plenty of arousal time — no rushing, no goals except pleasure.
- Make sexual arousal and orgasm a habit, whether you’re partnered or on your own.
Here’s an inside look at a writer’s brain: Every time I finish writing a book, I shout, “There! I’ve done it! There’s nothing more to say!”
But there always is more to say, more to think about, more to learn, more to teach.
What questions, concerns, and topics related to sex and aging did I not cover in Naked at Our Age, or cover too briefly? What more would you like to know about aging and sexuality in all its colors?
Yes, I’m thinking about my next book, and I need your input! Brainstorm with me by posting your suggestions. (Though you’re welcome to use a fake name, please tell me your real age.)
5/27/13 update: Here are some ideas that followers of my Naked at Our Age Facebook page posted, to get you started:
- Do you cover Tantra? Or is that too New Age for “our age”?
- I’d like to know what I can do in my 40s to prepare for the longest, healthiest, most enjoyable sex life possible in the decades that follow.
- I know you covered some of this in Naked at Our Age but more of how to deal with Sexless Marriage would be real good thanks xxx
Ageless Erotica is now available! Follow this link to buy it at a very good price from Amazon. (Please post a reader comment on Amazon after you’ve read it, ok?) I have copies for sale now, too, and I’ll be happy to sign them – click button at the bottom of this page .
Your independent bookstore should have their copies soon — request it and they’ll notify you. The book will also be available in e-book format very soon.
Seal Press, 2013
What would it look like if talented writers over age fifty wrote erotica featuring steamy, sexy characters who were also over fifty? Now we know. Ageless Erotica is a ground-breaking anthology of erotic short stories and memoir essays presenting women and men, couples and singles, straight and gay, who are over fifty, sixty, seventy, and beyond – all enjoying and sharing their erotic moments.
This is not your usual erotica with a few wrinkles slapped on — these are stories that show how hot sex can be at our age. This collection embraces the agelessness of sexuality while still realistically acknowledging the changes that accompany aging.
Ageless Erotica is a stimulating celebration of the many pleasures of “well-seasoned” sex. In this anthology, age is accepted, celebrated, and sensually enjoyed. Some selections are tender and loving, while others are edgy and kinky. Characters may be having spicy sex with partners they have loved for decades; or with new loves, old loves reunited, or forbidden partners; or solo with fantasies. Ageless Erotica has it all, portraying older-age sexuality as healthy, lusty, and glorious.
TO BED by Erobintica
SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMETHING BLUE by Nancy Weber
DOLORES PARK by Dale Chase
INVITATION TO LUNCH by Donna George Storey
OTHER PEOPLE’S STUFF by Susan St. Aubin
LADY BELLA by I.G. Frederick
HAND JOBS by Kate Dominic
SMOOTH AND SLIPPERY by Doug Harrison
TONY TEMPO by Tsaurah Litzky
BETTER THAN VIBRATORS by Cheri Crystal
AFTER TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS by Dorothy Freed
MY NEW VAGINA by Audrienne Roberts Womack
TRAIN RIDE by Harris Tweed
AT THE WANE OF THE MOON by Bill Noble
PEAS IN A POD by Maryn Blackburn
ENDLESS PRAISE, TIMELESS LOVE by Linda Poelzl
THE HOTEL LOUNGE by Skyler Karadan
COMING FULL CIRCLE by Cela Winter
GEORGE by Lorna Lee
IN THE MEANTIME by Miriam Kura
MR. SMITH, MS. JONES WILL SEE YOU NOW by D.L. King
JAGUAR DREAMS by Evvy Lynn
TOAST FOR BREAKFAST by Cheyenne Blue
BY THE BOOK by Rae Padilla Francoeur
BLIND, NOT DEAD by Johnny Dragona
AFTER DINNER EUPHORIA by Peter Baltensperger
THE WACKY IRAQI, THE SHAMAN LOVER, AND ME by Erica Manfred
BEYOND THE DOUBLE DOORS by Sue Katz
MORNING by Belle Burroughs Shepherd
Media, book reviewers, bloggers: If you’d like to review Ageless Erotica or interview Joan Price, please email Joan.
To purchase your autographed copy of Ageless Erotica directly from Joan Price via PayPal for $16 plus shipping, please click below.
Autograph to… (name)?
I ask this because I discovered from the interviews and reader stories that you’ll read in Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex, many of us make some pretty drastic changes in our lives after age 50. Maybe we get divorced, discover love, open up our marriage, take a new lover, experiment with kink or multiple partners or virtual sex — or some combination of these or other alternatives.
The point is that although society sees us as settled into mid-life or old age, we’re far from “settled.” I think there’s something about emerging from menopause that makes us question where we want to be in our lives. Menopause often feels like an upheaval — I’ve described it before as “PMS on steroids” — where everything seems upside down. We don’t want to be responsible for remembering the whole family’s appointments, for example, and we might not be overly kind when we tell family members to take care of themselves.
After the upheaval settles, we see our lives differently. We realize that it’s now or never: it’s up to us to invent — or reinvent — what we want the rest of our lives to be, and what we have to do to actively go after our dreams.
I got so many stories from my Naked at Our Age interviewees about alternative sex practices that this topic became a whole chapter: “Off the Beaten Path: Nontraditional Sex Practices and Relationships.” People wrote about swinging, polyamory, BDSM, friends with benefits, older women/younger men (20-30 years difference!), phone sex, and more.
I predicted that younger readers would be shocked at what seniors are doing behind closed doors, and I should have guessed that it would shock our own age group, too. I’ve heard a couple of criticisms that this chapter and the one titled “Hiring Sensuality” (which I won’t tell you about — you have to read that one for yourself, and no, it’s not just men hiring sex!) make it sound like I’m endorsing or even pushing people towards alternative lifestyles.
I’m not pushing anyone into anything. I’m showing senior sex — behaviors and attitudes — in all its colors and stripes. Personally, I support adults doing with other consenting adults whatever brings them pleasure, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone — including the partners of those consenting adults. I have “vanilla” tastes myself, but that’s beside the point. The book is only partly about me. It’s really about you… and you… and you.
So back to my original question: What sexual “rules” have you broken since turning 50, 60, or beyond? By rules I mean society’s rules, the law, unspoken or spoken rules in a relationship, even your own rules. I’d love to see a dialogue start here. Please comment!
Learn more about Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud About Senior Sex here.