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 Amazon.com using this direct link. Enjoy!

— Joan

I was interviewed by Jennifer Margulis, author of Why Babies Do That and editor of Toddler: Real-life Stories of Those Fickle, Irrational, Urgent, Tiny People We Love. She turned the interview into a marvelous feature story for Healthy Life, a quarterly health supplement to the Greenfield Recorder which circulates to about 50,000 readers in Massachusetts and Vermont.

The article is not available online, but here are some excerpts:

Fitness writer and former high school English teacher Joan Price has finally found her calling. At 62, Price now identifies herself an “ageless sexuality advocate.” What’s that? A spokesperson for the sex life of aging Baby Boomers.

Her advocacy has come in the form of a 269-page book, just released from Seal Press, “Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk About Sex After Sixty.” The book is divided into 15 chapters—everything from “Plug In, Turn On: The Quick Version of Everything You Need to Know about Sex Toys” to “When You or Your Partner Can’t.” Price also includes advice for spicing up long-term relationships, reentering the dating scene, fitness over 60, and other topics.

The book is a celebration of sex by a woman who writes frankly about her own sexual awakening over the years… “Juicy is an attitude,” Price writes in a chapter entitled, “It Ain’t Easy After Menopause,” “… based not on the flow of our vaginal secretions but on physical well-being, emotional state, mental attitude, and love of sex. Here’s to post-menopausal zest—and understanding lovers!”

The idea for the book came out of the relationship she was having with an understanding lover….

“I went looking for good sex books, both fiction and nonfiction, specifically aimed at my age group. I was surprised – and turned off! – by how few of these books existed, and how dry and unsexy most of them were,” she says. “Some were much too academic to bring into the bedroom, many were outdated, and some were supposed to be titillating but weren’t—at least to us.”

So Price decided to write the book she wanted to read…. And her book—which is full of exclamation points and positive affirmations about ageless sex—reads like it was written by a woman on a mission.

Price’s mission is to celebrate, enhance, and affirm the sex lives of women (and men) over 60.

…Of course, sex after 60 isn’t always easy, as Price is the first to admit. In Better Than I Ever Expected Price includes a chapter about when one partner or the other is not able to be sexually intimate. She also talks honestly about the changes wrought on women by menopause and on men by aging, gravity, and prostate dysfunction.

… “Our hormonally deprived bodies challenge us with less lubrication; thinner, less resilient vaginal tissues; and often less physical sensation,” she admits. “Our bodies are slower to respond, and we may have more trouble reaching orgasm.”

Some of Price’s solutions to our body’s changes? Lubricants, vibrators, a sense of humor, and a very patient, loving partner.

“Sexual response is in our brains more than our genitals,” Price insists. “My lover and I are 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 ense of humor.”

She says sex over 60 has made her both adventurous and accepting: “We’re willing to experiment and stretch our boundaries. Men will be relieved to learn how accepting most women are about men’s changes and how to have great sex even when some parts aren’t cooperating.”

Throughout the book Price includes quotes from women who took her survey—women in their 60s who are having great sex. It’s a pre-selected group, which Price herself points out. When she sent out a call for interviewees she stated she was looking for “sassy, sexy women, age 60+ to share feelings and experiences openly and anonymously” so any women who didn’t fit that description would not have responded.

…If you’re looking for great sex over 60 but not yet having it, this book might make you feel rather alienated and depressed (wow, all those folks out there getting their groove on, where’s mine?). But maybe, just maybe, it’ll get you into your first sex shop purchasing your first sex toy. After all, it’s never too late to start.

For more information about Price, visit: http://www.joanprice.com/.

Anne Rodgers reviewed Five books on midlife sex for Cox News Service. Here’s what she said about Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex after Sixty:

I found this book both uplifting and horrifying. Uplifting because of author Joan Price’s frank optimism and practicality; horrifying because of the challenges to successful coupling that most of us are apparently going to face. In addition to the normal aches and pains associated with aging, Joan covers loss of libido, catastrophic illness, impotence, painful intercourse and the post-menopausal issues of vaginal dryness and thinning of the vaginal walls (which can result in tearing). Yikes!

While the glimpse into the future was daunting, I was again and again heartened by Joan’s grace and courage as she delved into the particulars of traditionally awkward subjects, addressing each with the comforting light of acceptance and education. Her observations are interspersed with comments from women she interviewed on topics such as using sex toys, the challenge of finding a partner, spicing up a long-term relationship, solo sex and more. Of the six books, this is the most specific, the most upbeat and perhaps the most helpful.