Many thanks to Dr. Romance Tina Tessina, Ph.D. — for her review of my book, Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty. Tessina, Redbook’s “Love Expert,” is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California, with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 11 books. Here’s what she said:

This book was better than I ever expected. It’s a wonderful balance of memoir, others’ personal reflections, and fact. A very enjoyable, well-written, and useful read, especially encouraging and supportive for older women.

We live in a youth-obsessed culture, and too many people are afraid of growing older. Joan Price’s book tells it like it is — sex can be great after sixty, long-term relationships are worth keeping, and even senior dating can be great! This book looks at real life as we age, and sex as a reality of senior relationships. With lively interviews, expert commentary and lots of valuable information, it’s a must read for anyone who is getting older — and none of us is getting younger! Younger women will enjoy knowing that the future is positive. I will be recommending it to clients.

Tina Tessina’s latest book is Money, Sex and Kids, a guide for handling marital conflict and arguments over these hot-button issues.

I love it when readers tell me their reactions to Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty. I just received this from Nancy, age 72:

Received your book today and have already read through it once! Thanks for the frank, honest words. Believe me when I tell you that I have friends in the age range of 44 to 82 that have given up on “the Big One,” as I call it. Some, like me, had complete hysterectomies early…others went through natural menopause. But vaginal dryness, bleeding, and the problems with taking hormones have done them in!

I went through using the “ring” and was most uncomfortable. Creams are messy and rule out oral sex. After reading your blog and website info, I decided to try something creative and crawled into bed naked and spooned up to my husband. We tried something new, which to him had previously been a no. If it wasn’t the “normal” position, forget it. Well…we had a great time and he’s been smiling all day! Thanks for having the courage to write this book!

Nancy, I wonder what “creative” activity you tried with your husband that led to his daylong smile, but you don’t have to tell! Thank you for sharing this with us!

By the way, I’m surprised you find the estrogen ring uncomfortable. I don’t even feel it once it’s inserted, no more than I felt tampons or diaphragms in my youth. I agree that creams are messy and interfere with oral sex!

Readers: If you don’t already have a copy of Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty, you can order a personally autographed copy directly from me, or you can buy it from using this direct link. Enjoy! — Joan

Freelance writer Mark L. Fuerst wrote a terrific article based on an interview with me which has appeared in several newspapers, such as The Missoulian, Florida Today, and others. I thought you’d enjoy reading it:

Autumn of Love

Birds do it, bees to it, even educated older couples can, too. Here’s some straight talk about sex after 60.

By Mark L. Fuerst
CTW Features

Society’s view of aging women as sexless is wrong. “Many of us are having the best sex of our lives. We are having hot, fabulous sex after 60,” says Joan Price, author of “Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty” (Seal Press, 2006).

Some 70 percent of sexually active women over 60 reported being as satisfied or more satisfied with their sexual lives than they were in their 40s, according to a 1998 survey of nearly 1,300 Americans aged 60 or older, conducted by the National Council on Aging, Washington, D.C.

“My experience certainly supports that,” says Price, who also is a dance instructor, fitness professional, speaker and health writer. “In my 40s, I was unnerved by the realization that my sex life was being affected by undeniable signs and feelings of aging. Now I’ve grown past wanting to hold onto to youth in the bedroom, and as a result I feel truly present with my lover and capable of intense satisfaction.”

Changes after menopause make sexual enjoyment challenging, but “we’re using our creativity, our personal power, the joy and intimacy of our relationships, and useful tools of all sorts — from sex toys to a sense of humor — to tackle those challenges,” Price says.

The book is mainly about her intensely up-front-and-personal story of hot sex with her 68-year-old lover, Robert, whom she married earlier this year, along with snippets of interviews with other sexually seasoned women about their experiences.

“Sexual response is in our brains. I’m in love with the man I’ve been looking for my whole life, whom I met when I was 57 and he was 64,” says Price, age 61 when she wrote the book. “We’re as turned on by each other as a couple of teenagers, but with the juicy addition of decades of life experience, self-knowledge, communication skills and a sense of humor. We’re also willing to experiment and stretch our boundaries.”

Kaycee, age 66, says, “Keep an open mind. Remember that there is always something new to try and so many men out there. Sex after 60 could be the best time of your life if you play it right.”

Price adds that “we overcome the physical challenges by being inventive and resourceful. We take advantage of the lessened urgency by slowing things down, taking more time.”

You call that ‘older’?

Unfortunately, society has not become more accepting of older-age sexuality. “One day I watched some television talk shows about the sexiness of older women. They dressed sexy, pole-danced, and taught the audience how to strip. But these so-called ‘older’ women were probably in their 40s! I’d like to see women who admit and look like they’re over 60 on these talk shows, rousing other older women to assert their sexuality. We need to accept that women can and do stay sexy through the decades, and it doesn’t stop when we no longer can hide the wrinkles or saggy skin.”

Claire, age 66, says, “I think my body is great. I have all the wrinkles and brown spots, and that’s fine, that’s who I am. And the body works better than it ever has. The woman I’m with thinks I’m the most beautiful woman she’s ever seen in her life, which makes me feel great. I wish women could just learn to love their bodies like I have done, and refuse to buy the social stuff that’s out there about youth and beauty. We are all beautiful.”

Phoebe, age 64, says, “Generally my life is easier, less driven, so sex is a part of it rather than a driving force. It is easier not being controlled by my hormones and sex drive. Also, I feel very self-confident about my sexuality and attractiveness, pleased that I am attractive to others, even younger men.”

One of Price’s major messages is that boomers are redefining aging and sexuality. “We’re the Love Generation; we practically invented sex,” she says. “We’re not about to shut the gates now!”

The article also includes my tips for keeping sex vibrant and fun as we age, which you can read here.

Many thanks to Mark L. Fuerst and to CTW Features for permission to reprint this article here.

— Joan

I was thrilled by the review of Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty in the North Bay Bohemian, October 18-24, 2006, by Patricia Lynn Henley, who really understood (and enjoyed!) my book. Here’s what she wrote:

Old age doesn’t have to be dull, at least not according to ‘Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk About Sex After Sixty’ (Seal Press; $15.95), the lighthearted, titillating and informative new book by Sebastopol fitness professional, dance instructor and health writer Joan Price.

This isn’t a stodgy or academically oriented self-help book; it’s a bright, witty, let’s-get-the-gals-together-and-just-gab look at keeping the home fires burning when some of the parts have shifted or sagged. It’s inspiring. It’s a bit arousing. And it’s definitely worth reading, either by women who refuse to believe their senior years have to be asexual, or by men who want to understand what’s happening in an older woman’s mind and body, as well as what excites and satisfies her.

Price shares her personal experiences along with thoughts and anecdotes from a wide range of older women who revel in their sexuality. The book covers the challenges of post-menopausal love-making together with creative and loving solutions.

“There’s nothing hotter than sex between people who know their own bodies, are crazy about each other, relish taking lots of time and honor sex as extremely spiritual and physical,” writes Price. “I just don’t think people can get there without a whole lot of life experience and a hefty dose of relationship mistakes along the way!” –P.L.H.

(Reprinted with permission of The North Bay Bohemian)

You can order Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty directly from me for a personally autographed copy, or from using this direct link. Enjoy!

— Joan