Are you 50 – 80+, feeling sexy and enjoying your sensuality, yet celibate? If you’re unpartnered, either by choice or because you haven’t found the right person to share your sexuality, I’d like to interview you for my new book, Naked at Our Age.
I’d like your story about being unpartnered at our age, and how you’ve channeled your sexuality into solo pleasuring and/or other outlets: art? exercise? paid companions? massage? nuzzling grandchildren? volunteerism? dance? You tell me.
I’m especially seeking women and men who haven’t turned off their sexual nature — you nurture, even celebrate your sexuality and your sensual enjoyment without a partner.
Please email me your story or your questions. You will be identified by a first name of your choice and your real age, and I’ll be the only one — ever! — who knows who you are.
If you are a senior or elder, partner-less and NOT feeling happy in your sensuality, I’d like to hear from you, too.
(Do you have a different senior sex story to share? For more ways to get involved in sharing your experience in Naked at Our Age, see this post and email me for the interview questionnaire.)
Becka, 70, the most active member of my senior online dating posse, has been trying to puzzle out the internet dating maze. Here’s her third report:
Trying to decode the mystique of the internet dating scene is a little like being lost in the middle of a Dan Brown book. “What does it all mean?” you ask yourself – many times.
My first piece was titled “Wading Into the Senior Internet Dating Pool.” I erred. The experience is more like being thrown fully clothed into the deep end of your neighbor’s pool which has not been cleaned for months!
I’ve discovered that these dating sites pad their numbers by keeping people on the rolls who have not visited in months, in some cases, years. They are, in effect, ghosts and will not, of course, respond to your inquiries.
Despite the ghosts, I have received a slew of responses. Some men who liked my profile responded right away and a day later sent me petulant “pokes” as to why I had not answered. Hold yer horses, buster! I’ve yet to figure out both the etiquette and the technology of this thing. But one thing I do know, I’m deleting the guy, age 65 who is looking for a woman 40-60!
Some of the choices you have for communicating are “icebreakers,” “winks” and “flirts.” I don’t know about you, but I’ve never winked at a guy in my life unless he was under the age of 8. If you are 60 or older, chances are you will not be comfortable taking the aggressive role. Okay, go to your corners and come out flirting! Luckily for you, it’s all anonymous. That makes you braver than you thought you’d ever be with men you don’t know — and might not want to know.
- Senior Match encouraged me to fill out a personality form only to disclose that I could use it if I paid. I didn’t like the subterfuge. But I’m finding out that if you don’t like subterfuge, don’t try internet dating.
- A number of guys had signed up with two different user names, so if you rejected them once, you get a second chance to reject them all over again.
- On all of the sites I found links that didn’t work, windows you had to check but they didn’t drop down for you, and pages that would not come up.
- On one site I could not choose my state and so I received a dozen interested queries, the closest being from a man 750 miles away.
But I soldiered on and learned some surprising things.
Thank you, Becka! Coming soon — what did Becka learn?
Note from Joan: I apologize for posting about a particular dating site’s special free weekend offer recently. I don’t know if the site was overloaded or what, but one reader reported that after spending forever filling out the long questionnaire, the site gave an error message. She wasn’t about to start all over again, so she emailed customer service to find out if what she had done was saved so she could continue from there. She got a form email telling her to phone — but no one manned the phones on the weekend, and the free offer would be over by the time the phones opened. She gave up and receives frequent solicitation emails from them now. I deleted my post about the site’s free weekend, so don’t bother looking for it. I’m not naming the site now because I don’t know if this was one person’s freak experience or that’s what happened to many of you — let me know.
Ellen Taft wrote me this moving email and gave me permission to publish it here:
I can’t thank you enough for all you’ve done to help me get back out there again after losing my husband of 37 years in December of 2007. I’m 63 today, and it’s been a terrifying and exhilarating experience.
My husband died a year and a half ago. It had been over 40 years since I’d dated. Getting back out there has been a real trip! But I’ve done it, largely with the help from Joan’s book, Better than I Ever Expected, and her blog here with the wonderful information and links. The link to Judith Sills, and her book, Getting Naked Again, gave me the final push.
Sills suggested having a friend “mentor” your reentry into getting naked again. So that’s what I did. I asked a dear friend and fellow recent widower to help me in this tremendous step. We had been dating for a few months, very cautiously, as he is a more recent widower, and not ready for any new relationship, but this mentoring idea appealed to him.
We “negotiated” which means we clarified just what we were doing and why, so no one would be mislead. We shared our feelings about our bodies, what we needed the other to know, our limitations, and our fears.
I asked that we use condoms or get tested for STDs. It was an amazingly honest and open sharing, and I attribute the comfort level we experienced to our “negotiations.” Once we knew these intimate details about each other, the concern and caring that followed made the whole experience positive.
I had done a lot of reading, too, including Michael Castleman’s Great Sex, also mentioned in Joan’s blog, and all my reading paid off.
It was a wonderful, amazing three hours. Neither one of us could believe how smoothly it all went. We both enjoyed it so much and were so relaxed we have continued the relationship. We call it “Touch Deprivation Therapy,” and oh, how it helps!
Thank you, Ellen. I’m thrilled that you shared your experience with us and that my book recommendations helped you! (Read these and my other book reviews here.)
This guest blog is the second from Becka, a member of my online dating posse Enjoy Becka’s online dating report, Part 2: (Read Part 1 here.)
I signed up on Match.com and was instantly overwhelmed. I saw nowhere to click for anything free. Loads of ads blared at me, so I left. Free is good. All the other sites I looked at offered choices that were free, and you could upgrade to a paying choice later if you wanted to. It feels like bait and switch when they ask if you want to see a photo, you click on “yes,” and they take you to a page where you are offered a chance to pay for it. Be patient, stand your ground. If you like the facts about someone and decide to communicate, the person him/herself will send you a photo.
I signed up feeling very broad-minded, so I said that I was interested in meeting men ages 40-90 anywhere in the world. I am 70. But I lied about that and subtracted a year because I figure a 6 was more attractive than a 7. So sue me.
But the joke was on me. I was immediately shown six “matches,” ranging in age from 47 to 82. Guess who I found the most interesting? Yup. Age 82, who lived “only” 2,751 miles from me.
Here’s why I rejected the others, although some of you might find them appealing:
- Mike was a retired doctor who had no interests in anything other than things medical and golf. I hate golf.
- Robert said the most important thing in his life was his guru, whom he followed “passionately.” Personally, I like a man who thinks for himself, plus I wondered would he have enough passion left over for me?
- Cal was military all the way and liked his bed made up with precision corners. Me, I like rumpled sheets, lots of pillows and an oversized, wildly colorful bedspread. Definitely not a match!
- Zeke was into fixing up his trailer.
- Allen I actually knew and thought he was a sleaze.
- Harry suddenly appeared – true! — on the nightly news as a government employee who had been arrested for driving drunk. No thank you.
But I’m not discouraged. In fact, I’m about to send a response to Ian. He is retired, lives alone, has no family, is quiet, mild-mannered, unobtrusive and likes to fly. He is either Superman or a terrorist. So we’ll see.
Thank you, Becka, for your entertaining report! Who else wants to contribute your senior online dating experiences? See my invitation here. — Joan