Old People Sex
(with apologies to T.S. Eliot)
by Shamus MacDuff
It starts with talk—a conversation—
At which we set a date for play
Often a day or two away.
Time passes, anticipation simmers,
Thoughts unfold, excitement builds,
And then the chosen time arrives!
Showers happen, nothing’s rushed.
Sheets are pulled back, lube’s at hand,
And sex toys to match our ken.
We begin with talk—a loving flirtation—
Back and forth about who’ll go first,
Taking turns is very sexy!
The receiver makes requests; the giver
Complies gladly. Our “joint undertaking”
May require repositioned stiff knees.
Kissing, touching, then more kissing,
And more touching, all slow and easy,
No hurried strokes, no rush.
Responsive desire fires mutual pleasure,
Slow, gentle, sensuous, and exhilarating,
Spiced with smiles and laughter.
Activities vary, we experiment as we play.
PIV seldom happens; other ways
Prove more pleasurable and fun.
We finish with orgasms, hugs, spooning,
And more conversation—sharing thoughts about
Our past and present lives.
And this is how our date ends, this is how our date ends
This is how our date ends,
Not with a bang, but a cuddle.
I’m often asked what I mean when I say that I review sex toys “from a senior perspective.” What’s a “senior perspective” and how do our senior needs differ from younger folks?
- We need vibrators that can go as long as we need to arouse our slow-burning bodies without overheating or running out of charge.
- We want ergonomic sex toys that don’t strain arthritic wrists.
- We need sex toys made from body-safe materials. (Aren’t they all? No.)
- Vulva owners who enjoy vaginal penetration may require a slim fit for comfort.
- Penis owners with erectile challenges need sex toys that don’t require an erection to use it.
- We want to see and differentiate the controls without putting on our reading glasses.
- We want to be able to adjust the controls by touch, despite slippery, lubed fingers.
- Above all, we need intensity: strong vibrations. We’re battling our (lack of) hormones, people.
That’s why I say I review sex toys from a senior perspective. Is there anything you would add to my list?
To see the whole list of vibrators and other sex toys reviewed on this blog, click here. Keep scrolling to “older posts,” because I’ve reviewed a lot of them! You’ll also find my webinar “Sex Toys for Seniors” informative and enjoyable.
I welcome your comments on my reviews, whether you agree or disagree. I’m just one person, and our preferences vary. Whether a toy works for me may depend on “fit” as well as preference, and it’s useful for all of us if you post your own experience in the comments section.
7/19/2020: I’m updating this post from 2011 to answer a reporter’s question. You might have wondered this also!
Seniors often ask me, “What’s the best vibrator?” I’m happy to help, but the answer isn’t that easy. The question usually comes from people who identify as women who never used vibrators in the past, or who tried vibrators but never got attached (so to speak) to them. Now they discover orgasms are elusive, and they need an assist to intensify sensation, ramp up arousal, and reach orgasm.
I’ve reviewed more than a hundred vibrators on this blog over the last decade, and tested many more that I decided not to review. My blog reviews screen for the best vibrators for our age group and give you the pros and cons of each. Despite all my experience, I can’t tell you which one is “best.” That’s not an inadequacy on my part, it’s because the vibrator that’s best for you depends on many factors.
Your first step is figuring out exactly what you need. We’re all different, and your own needs and preferences will determine which vibrator will become your best friend. Let me guide you through how to sort through the many possibilities.
How Do I Get Started With Vibrators?
Start by answering these questions:
- How will you use your vibrator? I know, you’ll press it against your sexy bits to give you orgasms, but how and where? Do you want a vibrator that stimulates your clitoris? Goes into your vagina? Does both at the same time? Will you use it solo or during partner sex? Do you want it to double as a back massager?
- Do you care what it looks like? Some women want a sex toy to look like a penis. Others really don’t want it to look like a penis. Some want it not to look like a sex toy at all.
- How should it feel against your skin? Vibrators can be firm, flexible, cushiony, hard, soft, textured, smooth and any other tactile quality you can think of.
- How strong should the vibrations be? Do you want your vibrator to be quiet and whisper-light, turbo power, earth-shaking strong, or something in between?
- How much does noise matter? Will you worry that your neighbors in the next apartment or a family member in the next room can hear it?
- What size is too big, too small, just right if this is a penetrating toy? Sometimes a size that would have felt perfect 30 years ago is just too girthy and uncomfortable for us now, especially if we’re not having regular penetrative sex.
- Do you have mobility restrictions or other physical issues to consider? Is wrist arthritis an issue for holding a vibrator? What position will you be in when you use it?
- What else is important to you? This is completely individual. You may want it to be no-brainer easy to use: off, on, that’s it. Or you may relish multiple patterns, rhythms and intensities, and not mind a bit of a learning curve. You may want the controls to be comprehensible by touch without your reading glasses. You may want to travel with it.
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’re ready to start narrowing your choices.
Never underestimate the power of a good orgasm, whether it’s vibrator-assisted or not. At this time in our lives, catching that evasive orgasm can be difficult. Make it easier with the right tool!
How do I Choose the Right Vibrator and Purchase Online?
Read online reviews. I review sex toys from a senior perspective on this blog, taking into consideration intensity, ease of use, body-safe materials, etc. Click “vibrator review” and keep reading and scrolling until you find those that match your criteria. Links to order from the reputable retailers that I endorse are included within each review. If you’d like to compare several vibrators, choose a retailer from my advertisers and affiliates. (Find their banner links in the right-hand column of my blog if you’re using a computer, or scroll past a few posts if you’re using your phone.) These folks support me in providing senior sex education to you, and I’ve vetted each one as a high-quality, reputable online store.
The most entertaining way to learn more about some of my favorite sex toys is to view my webinar, Sex Toys for Seniors. In this 90-minute online class, I do a lively show-and-tell, covering these topics:
- My criteria for evaluating sex toys
- 8 questions to help you choose your personal vibrator.
- 5 myths and facts about vibrators.
- Show-and-tell: my highly recommended sex toys for seniors.
Subscribe to my newsletter for a special webinar discount!
You’ll also find a ton of sex toy information in my book The Ultimate Guide to Sex after Fifty, including how to buy sex toys made of body-safe materials (the cheaper ones may not be). You’ll also find info on every other senior sex topic!
When I announced my Sex Toy Sightings contest, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew it would be funny and surprising, and I was right about that.
This project has been a delight, thanks to all the contestants and their creative photographs. Sex toys were spotted in workout rooms and yoga classes, on library shelves, at a cemetery, and in stores of all types. There were plenty of outdoor scenes, including Rockefeller Center in New York City at Christmas. Many people noted that although their toys were public and very visible, passers-by generally ignored them.
Here are our winners
Most Prolific Sex Toy Photographer, first place: Louise, age 69, submitted 27 photos. She took her glass dildo to the ocean, her flogger to the library, her strap-on dildo to the pool, her handcuffs to the gym, and various sex toys to stores selling food, clothing, even children’s toys. It is my honor to pronounce her the winner in three categories (see below) as well as Most Prolific. Her prizes: We Vibe Melt and Fun Factory Stronic Drei.
Photo Taken While Surrounded by the Most People: Adult film star and sex educator jessica drake took her LeWand Chrome Grand Bullet to New York City for Christmas. She wrote me, “At Rockefeller Center I used it to put the star atop the iconic tree with tens of thousands of people standing shoulder to shoulder all around me. Some of the comments were, ‘You GO, girl,’ ‘Is THAT…?” and “That’s amazing, what’s it called?” Although jessica told me she had all the sex toys she needed, she was happy to receive copies of my Ultimate Guide to Sex after 50 and Ageless Erotica as her prizes.
Most Beautiful Photo(s): Louise captured the prize with these two lovely shots of her glass dildo at the ocean.
Best Story of What Happened When the Photo Was Taken: Dave posed his We-Vibe Unite and his We-Vibe Wish cuddled together atop a police car at the police station. As Dave tells it, “Got some strange looks and comments from one officer who came out in the rain to ask why I was putting a ‘bug’ on one of their vehicles. I had forgotten about the security cameras in the parking lot. I guess being 81 years old helped get me out of that one. Are the police ever young!”
Best Conversation with a Stranger When the Photo was Taken: Sharon, 60, took her Magic Wand on a 4 a.m. romp in her workout center, submitting 9 photos. While she was taking this one of her Magic Wand climbing the climbing wall, “Four beautiful young men were working out.” One of these men told her, as she clicked the photo, “Excuse me, you’re standing on my mat!” Her prize: We-Vibe Touch from The Smitten Kitten.
Best Story About No One Noticing the Sex Toy: Raven, 64, took her Fun Factory Volta to the yoga studio. She posed it on the altar, among the carrots at lunch, and on her mat in a variety of yoga poses. “No one even asked me what I was doing, although I took my time placing the toy in several fun poses and then casually putting it away in my yoga bag,” she says. “I was surprised and amused that not one person made a comment to me, although many were around. I have trouble believing no one noticed. In the yoga studio maybe they are all just too deep in meditation.” Her prize (by her request): a new Fun Factory Volta.
Riskiest Photo: Ness created her “Tadpoles” photos with her collection of Tracey Cox Supersex Kegel Balls by climbing over rocks and hanging onto a tree branch to get the “tadpoles” positioned right and position herself for the best angle to take the photo. Glad you survived it, Ness! Her prize: Three of my webinars.
Best Statue Carrying Sex Toys: I invented this category, too, because Dave’s photo of The Lovers, each carrying a We-Vibe sex toy, needed an award.
Most Fitting Juxtaposition of Sex Toy and Surroundings: We have three winners here:
Dave’s half-century-old sex toys were just right under the sign, “Dead People’s Stuff: Antiques.” Dave tells me, “Both these toys are over 50 years old and still fun and pleasurable. Advertised as a ‘personal massager’ back in the ’60s, the Prelude was way ahead of anything else on the market and still gets plenty of fun time use. I have rewired it a number of times.” (Hey, Dave, I used to have a Prelude, too!)
Linda’s Kegel balls look like a miniature version of the dumbbells in the gym at the Hilton Garden in Phoenix. “There was a gentleman running on the treadmill behind me,” she says. “He was either too engrossed in TV to notice, or maybe did not realize what I was taking a picture of.” Her prize: $100 gift certificate from Good Vibrations.
Louise’s flogger-wearing dildo knew its place at her public library: in the crime fiction section, in this photo titled “Crime and Punishment.”
Photo That Made the Judges Laugh the Hardest: Louise’s Sunbathing Strapless Strap-On Dildo was the funniest photo submitted. If we had a category for Best Sex Toy That Looks Like Something Else, she’d win that, too!
We also had several runners up who won’t go empty-handed: They’ll get $25 gift certificates from Lucky Bloke. And our friends at Wicked Sensual are sending all the winners and runners up a bottle of Toy Love lubricating gel, plus a variety of water-based lube samples to keep their sex toys well lubricated for pleasure.
Shamus MacDuff wasn’t eligible for a prize because he helped me set up and judge the contest, and he took preliminary photos to show what we were looking for. But he kept on taking photos — 43 total! — including this one of the Womanizer 2Go and the Hot Octopuss Pulse at a rural cemetery with a fitting message.
Congratulations to all our winners and runners-up, and many thanks to the wonderful companies that donated prizes! Please click on their links and purchase from the stores that support senior sex health and pleasure.