When Penetration Hurts: Vulvar and Vaginal Pain

One of the most helpful chapters in Naked at Our Age (coming June 2011) addresses vulvar/vaginal pain, a complex issue. You’ll read real-people stories from women whose vaginal or vulvar pain prevented them from enjoying penetration, or who learned how to renew their vaginal health, plus information and direction for getting your own pain diagnosed and treated. Although you’ll have to wait for the book, until then, these posts about vaginal/vulvar pain will be helpful, and here is a list of websites that offer more information and/or referrals to knowledgeable professionals:

• American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists: http://www.aasect.org/.

• American Physical Therapist Association, Section on Women’s Health: http://www.womenshealthapta.org/.

• American Urogynecologic Society: http://www.augs.org/.

• International Society for the Study of Vulvar Disease: http://www.issvd.org/.

• Mypelvichealth.org: http://www.mypelvichealth.org/

• National Vulvodynia Association: http://www.nva.org/

• OObgyn.net: http://www.obgyn.net/

• Pelvic and Sexual Health Institute: http://www.pelvicandsexualhealthinstitute.org/

• Secret Suffering: Helping Women Cope with Sexual and Pelvic Pain (patient site): http://www.secretsuffering.com/.

• Vulval Pain Society: http://www.vulvalpainsociety.org/.

• Vulvar Pain Foundation: http://www.thevpfoundation.org/

• Vulvodynia.com: http://www.vulvodynia.com/

Betty Dodson at 81: “out loud and sex-proud”

Betty Dodson has influenced my thinking and my sexual self-acceptance for decades. Her 1974 book, Liberating Masturbation: A Meditation on Self-Love, morphed into Sex for One: The Joy of Selfloving. At 69, Betty met a young man of 22 who arrived for a weekend and stayed ten years, inspiring Orgasms for Two: The Joy of Partnersex. Her most recent book is her memoir, Betty Dodson: My Sexual Revolution, available as a Kindle edition.

Betty, with sidekick and business partner Carlin Ross, runs a website where she answers sex questions  from readers, posts articles and videos, and displays the famous Genital Art Gallery, which aims to show all of us that we’re just perfect the way we are, “a research project where both women and men can share as well as appreciate the vast diversity of our magnificent sex organs.”

I am deliriously happy that this icon of candid sexuality wrote the foreword to my new book, Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex! In it, she talks about how her sexuality changed through the decades, and how, at 81, she’s still “out loud and sex-proud.”

I have to admit it — I got shivers when I read the latest email from Betty, where she addressed me as “Sister Warrior.” It doesn’t get much better than that!

(To be notified when Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex is available, please email me and I’ll put you on the notification list. I will not spam you, sell or share your information, or in any way abuse your trust.)

Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex

Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex is the title of my new book that will be published by Seal Press a year from now, Spring 2011. If you’ve been following this blog, you’ve been reading about Naked at Our Age for a while as I solicited interviews from you and posted information and resources that I didn’t want to make you wait for. The subtitle, though, is brand new, just finalized today. I love it — do you?

Unless you’re an author yourself, you have no idea what goes into choosing the title of a book. Many publishers just decide on their own what to title a book, sometimes without even consulting the author until it’s a done deal. Seal Press, though, is an author’s dream of mutual respect and collaboration, and I love working with them. My earlier book, Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty, was published by Seal, and they were a delight to work with, from start to finish.

We’ve been batting around subtitle ideas for a while, suggesting, rejecting, and tweaking — and today we settled on the title that truly describes what’s in this book.

Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex is a straightforward guide to the realities of senior sex — thanks to the stories of more than a hundred seniors and elders (maybe you were one of them!) who candidly described their sex lives and relationshps — with tips from about 30 experts for overcoming challenges and setbacks. I can’t wait to share it with you!

I’m talking as if it’s all written and just awaiting publication — but it’s not! I’m still writing it… and I’d better get back to that part of the job now! I just couldn’t wait to share my excitement about the title. I’d love to hear your reponses.

“Endless foreplay and multiple orgasms”- she’s 58, he’s 68, ED no barrier

Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk About Sex After Sixty While Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk About Sex After Sixty celebrated the joys of senior sexuality, my new book, Naked at Our Age (coming Spring 2011 from Seal Press) concentrates on the other part — the physical setbacks and emotional challenges of sex and intimate relationships in later life. I have more than a hundred personal stories and a bevy of amazing experts answering questions and addressing concerns.
As I work on this book, the stories keep coming. This one, from Evonne, age 58, struck me as so inspiring and joyful amid all the problems I’m addressing that I had to share it with you right away. It shows that erectile dysfunction doesn’t have to be a barrier to a passionate and immensely satisfying sex life. Evonne’s joy makes me happy, and I hope it does that for you, too.

My fiance (age sixty-eight) and I are in an incredible, sensual, passionate relationship. We met about a year ago. Sparks flew immediately, and we jumped full force into each other emotionally. I must say, I was quite surprised, as I didn’t know I could be that passionate again, and neither did he.

He was widowed, and I was divorced after a long-term marriage where I was rather bored with sex with my ex. My new lover aroused me in ways I never felt before. Neither one of us had had many sexual experiences and were not “world wise,” but what came naturally – whew! What a ride.

My lover has had prostate cancer, and so we didn’t expect much sexually. He is not able to sustain an erection. But–what the man can do with his hands! Wow. He is able to give me “inside” orgasms as well as out. All I can say is endless foreplay and multiple orgasms. I just roll with it and we play for at least an hour.

I pleasure him daily also. At first it was a little weird to kiss and caress him while he was not erect. But I got over it, and he gets so much pleasure out of it and I enjoy doing it for him.

We both are enjoying being truly desired and wanted. I am slightly overweight and always felt uncomfortable about my body with my ex-husband. But, my new lover tells me often how much he loves every inch of me. What a gift to my self-esteem he has been!

We both enjoy cuddling and this is a great source of comfort and intimacy for us. We are both in shock over the pleasure this sexual relationship gives us. Of course, we are in love and I truly believe that we could only reach this level of connection and intimacy in a spiritual committed relationship. We are getting married in June.

We sleep in the nude, which I love also. We believe this greatly enhances our activity as we are always open and available to each other’s touch and arousal usually follows. We plan to cuddle and snuggle–we call it “huggle”–for many years to come!