Friday, July 13, 2018

Tell Me What You Want by Justin Lehmiller: book review

"I'm scared people will find out what I masturbate to." -- Donald Glover 

Tell Me What You Want:The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help You Improve Your Sex Life by Justin Lehmiller, Ph.D. is the book we've all needed, even if we didn't know it. We all have sexual fantasies, but we don't usually share them with others, even our own partners. Many of us agonize about what our fantasies say about us, or we struggle (unsuccessfully) to repress them.

What Is a Sexual Fantasy?
A sexual fantasy is any mental picture that comes to mind while you're awake that ultimately turns you on ... Simply put, a fantasy is a conscious thought that makes you feel all hot and bothered, and maybe gets some blood flowing to your genitals, too.

In this barrier-smashing book, sex researcher Lehmiller surveyed more than 4,000 Americans, ages 18 to 87, who answered 350 detailed questions about themselves, their sex lives, and their sex fantasies. The result is a solidly researched book that answers questions you probably have, such as these:
  • How common is my sex fantasy? 
  • Does my fantasy mean that I'm a bad person?
  • What sorts of people have fantasies like mine? 
  • Should I tell my partner about my fantasy?
  • What should I consider before acting out my fantasy?
  • What do other people fantasize about? 
  • What are the most common fantasies?
My biggest problem reviewing Tell Me What You Want is that it's so good that I don't know how to narrow down what I tell you about it. Look at all these Post-Its! Instead of summarizing or interpreting Lehmiller's points, here are some of them in his own words:

  • Multipartner Sex: The results of my investigation reveal that the single most popular sexual fantasy among Americans today is -- drum roll, please -- group sex ... perhaps the most normal thing there is to fantasize about because almost everyone has been turned on by the thought of it.
  • Men and women are not polar opposites when it comes to their sexual psychology ... most of the things that men fantasize about, women fantasize about as well.
  • Our sexual fantasies appear to be carefully designed to meet our psychological needs -- and because those needs change and evolve over our life span, it seems that our sexual fantasies naturally adjust in order to accommodate them. 
  • There's a world of difference when it comes to what turns someone on at [different] life stages ... older adults -- especially those in long-term, monogamous relationships -- are more likely to crave something fresh and new ... like an orgy or an open relationship.
  • According to my survey data, if there's one specific person who's likely to appear in your sexual fantasies, it's your current romantic partner.
  • When we feel ashamed or guilty about what turns us on, it can potentially lead to sexual performance difficulties ... the more negative emotions [survey participants] reported -- things like guilt, shame, embarrassment, fear, anxiety, and disgust -- the more sexual problems they had. 
  • When the novelty of a new relationship has worn off, adding new and exciting elements to your sex life by acting on your fantasies can potentially prevent passion from subsiding and allow it to keep burning.

There's more, so much more. Whether you're interested in the world of sex research, or you just want to understand your own sex fantasies better, or you're looking for tips for communicating better with your partner, I know you'll enjoy and learn from Tell Me What You Want:The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help You Improve Your Sex Life, as I did.


Justin Lehmiller and I had a conversation about senior sex recently:

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

I Asked, You Answered, Part 2

In my newsletter a few months ago, I asked my subscribers several questions. The response was so huge that I devoted an entire blog post to the answer to the first question: "If you're in a long-term relationship, what tips or wisdom can you share that help you keep a relationship sexy and spicy after decades together?" Read my readers' answers here.

The answers to the remaining questions were less plentiful but every bit as interesting and, I hope, useful. Here are excerpts:

 If you're in a relationship that's less than satisfying, what do you wish you could tell or ask your partner to bring the sexiness back?

* I wish she'd realize how difficult it is for me when I've tried romantic stuff and she doesn't respond. I wish she allow herself to get turned on like she used to in her 30s.

* I’m 67, in a heterosexual relationship with a peer, 68, who has chronic back pain with acute flare ups which he fears and dreads. His solution for sex - on back, still as possible -  leaves me frustrated. His anxiety has affected me, and I’m wondering how to speak up. Friends have suggested sex toys. I’d like to lose my own inhibitions and ask for more foreplay.

* I'm in a relatively new relationship that was interrupted by breast cancer that required a mastectomy. Months after her final chemo treatment, there is no further evidence of cancer. The drugs that suppress estrogen also suppress libido. We are on uncertain ground. It's difficult to talk about, because it is such a change from pre-cancer romance. I'm not sure what it is we are talking about some of the time: is it the shock of having had cancer, exhaustion from trying to get back up to speed at work, drug effects, or is it actually the relationship? All the things that used to work, don't. It's like we're starting from scratch with a lot of baggage added. She once expressed her sense of how this relationship has gone for her as, "We were dating. Then I got cancer and everything focused on that. While you were looking after me the relationship grew deeper for you; for me it disappeared. Now I'm back and we are in very different places." Patience is the key for both of us. Psychological recovery takes longer than physical healing, we both know that. Yes, I'm in love with her and I know she loves me; she says it often.

In what ways have you changed your ideas about the kind of relationship you'd like to have now? For example, would you be happy in a non-monogamous relationship? Friends with benefits? Marriage only? Living together without marriage? Sexually exclusive but not living together? Intimacy without sex?

* My sexual appetite and lack of inhibition are stronger than my husband’s. Part of me -- the randier side of me -- thinks it would be cool to have another partner. But my husband is emphatic that that would be grounds for divorce. It’s not worth it to me at this time to pursue it. Sometimes I believe that it’s attractive because, after 33 years, it’s just different.

* I am involved now with a man who identifies as polyamorous. I've been strictly a one man gal, and it's been an eye opening experience to process this new paradigm. I love him, but only time will tell whether I can live a lifestyle that is so foreign to me. As I age, I am more sexually comfortable, adventurous and voracious! As a young woman I was painfully shy, inhibited, and sure I wasn't attractive. Now I feel strong, capable, sexy, attractive and free to express myself sexually and sensually. As challenging as my current relationship is, I have never had richer, more vibrant, freeing conversations with any man I have been involved with. It is a gift, and no matter what happens, I will always appreciate what this man has brought to my life.

What's the worst thing a date or mate ever said to you? I ask this after a friend told me that a recent sex date said to him, "You're the kind of person I want to go to bed with -- but not the kind of person I want to wake up with."

* My marriage before it ended: "Not only do I have to have sex with you, but I'm supposed to enjoy it?"

* "You're too fat to fuck." Still smarts after all these years.

What else would you like me to know?

* I want to learn how to love without fear, without clinging to the safety of old thinking. How to love extravagantly, with respect at all times for myself and my partner(s).

* I enjoy sex more now at age 66 because after many years, I’m more into the total experience that each encounter brings. When I was young, it was me and my partner getting to the big “O”. Now, it’s so much more. The passion, while still there, is not the rip off your clothes type passion. It’s the patience, if you will, of taking our time and enjoying each other’s bodies. It’s the expression of love and the communication that wasn’t there years ago. It’s the candles flickering in the darkness of the room. It’s the kissing and caressing. It’s the change that comes with each love making session. It’s our willingness to explore different “toys” and lubricants. Can we move and get into positions like 20 years ago - of course not. But what we can and do now that we didn’t do before is we can totally love, accept and appreciate each other for what we are. Seniors who take every bit of love making to the fullest every time.


Do you want to join in the discussion? I welcome your comments!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Womanizer Starlet


Until now, I've felt that the Womanizer clitoral stimulators got better with each new version. I've reviewed four of them here -- be sure and read these reviews to understand the lovely, suction-like, "pressurized air puff" technology and how it feels:
But the latest mini-Womanizer, the Starlet, disappoints. I really wanted to love it, because I travel a lot, and the idea of packing a tiny (3" long and pretty much weightless) yet powerful sex toy is appealing. However...

The biggest problem for me is the design of the cap. I can't tell whether the issue is the size or the shape, but with lubricant, it slips right off the clitoris. My favorite Womanizers -- Plus and 2Go (AKA "the lipstick") -- come with a choice of two caps, so you can choose the one that fits and feels best. The Starlet only comes with one, and the part that encircles the tip of the clitoris is smaller and a slightly different shape (photo below). Without lubricant, it doesn't slip, but hey, at our age, we need lubricant.

Caps L to R, Plus - 2Go - Starlet
The Womanizer website describes the Starlet this way:

Every woman has the right to experience intense orgasms. Everywhere! With the practical format of the Starlet the high-end technology of the original Womanizer is also available on the go. This mobility combined with the modern design make the Womanizer a perfect companion, especially for women, who are still at the beginnings of their sexual development but nonetheless care about a patented premium product. 

Uh, no. If you're a beginner to sex toys (and I know that many of my readers are), you deserve a product that will rock your world, not one that makes you go, "Er, how is this supposed to work?" or "Is that all?" The site also claims that you'll reach orgasm in just a few minutes. I wish!

It also claims to be quiet. Only if you don't use lube. Otherwise, it's noisy. It sounds like it's slurping lubricant through a straw like we used to suck up that last drop of milkshake in 1958. Normally, I don't care about sound -- I love the Magic Wand and the Sybian, and they're about the noisiest orgasm tools available. But an itty bitty travel companion should not be noisy.
L to R: 2Go - Starlet - Plus

My recommendations:

  • For home use, the  big Womanizer Plus. Powerful. Fabulous.
  • For travel, the 2Go. Yes, it's a little bigger than the Starlet, but still small enough for travel.

If price is a big issue, the Starlet is considerably cheaper than the other models. That would be great if it worked almost as well, but at least for me, it doesn't. As always, your mileage may vary.


Sharing moments of hilarity
with Educator Andy at
CatalystCon 2018
Thank you, Educator Andy from Good Vibrations, for the Womanizer Starlet and for always supporting my mission as a senior sex educator and advocate. 





Saturday, June 02, 2018

Talk to Me about Senior Invisibility

If you're over 50, 60, 70 and beyond -- in what ways do you feel invisible as a sexual being? E.g. from medical professionals? community services? caregivers? colleagues? dismissive attitudes from others?

I'm collecting examples for an upcoming talk. Comment here or email me with the subject header "Invisible." I won't use your name if I quote you. Please include your age.

Here are some examples from readers of my Naked at Our Age Facebook page (which I hope you'll "like" if you haven't already) to get you thinking:

💬 I'm 64. A few years ago, I saw a male physician who began almost every sentence to me with "A woman of your age...." as if I was geriatric in every sense of the word and he needed to explain how I no longer had the physical abilities of a "young and healthy" woman.  He was lecturing me on how I needed to change my expectations for my body and make allowances for those changes. The irony was his age, at least 50 himself. 

💬 I was using the free wi-fi at the Senior Center. Anything that has “sex” in it is blocked.  

💬 I'm 53, and I often feel invisible in social groups. I was in a mixed-age group once  online where younger men were telling sex jokes. An older woman joined in, not flirting with them, just telling her own stories. When she mentioned being in her early sixties they flipped out, complained about feeling sick, and so forth. Honestly a lot of men my own age aren’t much better. Sometimes I look in the mirror to see if I’ve grown a second head with the way that they act. I just don’t feel comfortable flirting and being sexual the way I used to because of the negativity I keep seeing towards women over 50.  

💬 Try being a gentleman and over 70. If I compliment (all PC and non sexist) a woman under 50, I get the "dirty old man" look! Can't a compliment just be that? My wife often will compliment another gal on her fashion, and it's accepted with a smile. I wouldn't dare try that! 

💬 I want to be invisible, in fact miles away, when someone at a family gathering starts talking about: their hemorrhoids
* his Viagra use
* how he pees in the middle of the night
* how, when he was a kid, he used a piece of liver to jack off
* asking pretty young women to sit close to him
All of these fall under too much information (TMI). I don’t need word pictures of things I don’t want to see. 

Your turn!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

"Sex after 65" in the news


I'm often complaining that little is known about our age group's sexual behavior and beliefs because no one asks us. So I was delighted to learn that researchers at the University of Michigan surveyed 1,002 people between 65 and 80 about their sex lives as part of the National Poll on Healthy Aging 2018. The report, titled "Sex after 65. Health, gender differences, and lack of communication," was released on May 3, 2018.

Here are some of the findings:
  • 40 percent of people between the ages of 65 and 80 are sexually active.
  • 54 percent of those with a partner are sexually active.
  • Nearly 2/3 of older adults say they’re interested in sex.
  • More than 50% say sex is important to their quality of life.
  • 73 percent said they are satisfied with their current sex life.
  • 18 percent of older men and 3 percent of older women say they’ve taken medications or supplements to improve sexual function in the past two years.
  • Only 17 percent of older adults said they have talked with their doctor or other health care provider about sexual health in the past two years.
  • Those between the ages of 65 and 70 were nearly twice as likely as those in their late 70s to be sexually active.
  • 50% of men but just 12 percent of women aged 65 to 80 said they were extremely or very interested in sex.

As I read this, I kept asking myself how they defined sex or sexually active or sex lives. Did sex with a vibrator, a partner's hand or mouth, or one's own hand count as sexually active or having a sex life? (I say yes.)  I asked Erica Solway, Ph.D., co-associate director of the poll, who told me,

We did not define sex because we wanted the response to be based on the individual’s definition of what constitutes sex (or their sex life or being sexually active) from their own perspective. We felt this was important, but it does mean that we do not have information on what activities people were referring to when they reported they were or were not sexually active. It’s possible that two people engaged in the same activities may have responded to the questions differently based on their personal definition.

I agree that our own definition of what constitutes sex is important in a study like this -- I applaud this, in fact. But I would have liked that clearer in the poll questions. For example, "Are you currently sexually active?" could have been worded, "Do you engage in sexual activity?" That may sound almost the same, but I have a hunch that many people would interpret the first question as "Do you have sex with a partner?" and the second as "Do you have sex, either with a partner or with yourself?" Asking the question differently would have raised the percentage of people who answered yes to that question, seems to me.
May, Graphic 1
What do you think, readers? Am I off base? How would you interpret the question, "Are you currently sexually active?" (Please answer in the comments section.)

The wording of the questions is a minor quibble, though, because I understand that the poll was multiple-choice, not essay questions, and answered online, not via an interview. In the end, I'm happy that someone's asking.

This report was all over the news. Here are some of the headlines:
As glad as I was to see this study in the news, I couldn't help wondering why the [younger] public is so surprised that we seniors have sex on our minds and in our beds. Why would we give up something so pleasurable? Do they expect that on some predetermined birthday, we'll just say, "Sex? Been there, done that, moving on. Now help me blow out all these candles."

Thank you, University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, for conducting the study, and AARP and Michigan Medicine, U-M’s academic medical center, for sponsoring it. Let's keep talking.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Vibrator Nation by Lynn Comella


I wonder if there are two types of seniors: those who love their sex-toy shops, and those who haven't discovered yet how wonderful these stores are.

If you're in the second camp because you imagine (or remember from your youth) a dark, seedy, sticky-floored space with leering salespeople, customers wrapped in raincoats, and gaping orifices on the shelves, you're in for a delightful surprise.

In Vibrator Nation: How Feminist Sex-Toy Stores Changed the Business of Pleasure, Lynn Comella, Ph.D. has accomplished a rarity: a peppy, sex-positive history book chronicling the emergence and evolution of feminist sex-toy shops. Written by a researcher, it's far from dry -- well lubricated, rather, by lively interviews with sex-toy shop owners and workers. We learn how the business of pleasure toys evolved to include sex education, inclusivity, and a feminist mission, not just sales.

This is a book about feminist invention, intervention, and contradiction, a world where sex-positive retailers double as social activists, commodities are framed as tools of liberation, and consumers are willing to pay for the promise of better living through orgasms.

Eavesdrop on the conversations and struggles about what a feminist sex-toy store should stand for, what the politics should be, whether or not to sell porn, and if so, how to choose it, how to be education-based and still sell products.

Smitten Kitten, Minneapolis
Learn Jennifer Pritchett's "sweaty sex toy" story. In 2003, the owner of Minneapolis's first feminist sex shop, Smitten Kitten, opened a shipment of toys that degraded and leached greasy, noxious chemicals. This led Pritchett to spearhead the anti-toxic-sex-toy movement. "That's when Smitten Kitten's mission changed from being just another sex-positive, educationally focused feminist sex shop to becoming a business committed to environmental justice and personal health"

  Photo by Krystal Ramirez
Lynn Comella is an associate professor of gender and sexuality studies, a researcher and expert on the adult entertainment industry, a writer on sex and culture. She immersed herself in sex-toy retail culture while researching Vibrator Nation, including selling sex toys at Babeland to get the inside experience. I've had the pleasure of hearing her speak several times, and she's smart and sassy, a delight. This attitude and liveliness is as strong in her writing as in her public speaking.

You'll not only learn about sex-toy stores, you'll also get some cool sex-education quotes. For example:

"A sex-positive person appreciates that human sexuality is endlessly diverse -- there is no right way to have sex and no singular definition of normal." - Lynn Comella

"In those days, when we were discussing vaginal and clitoral orgasms, we used to say that the only people who reliably have vaginal orgasms are men." - Joani Blank, founder of Good Vibrations.

"When women talk about sex, it changes the culture." - Carol Queen 

"Doing what 'comes naturally' for us is to be sexually inhibited. Sex is like any other skill -- it has to be learned and practiced. When a woman masturbates, she learns to like her own genitals, to enjoy sex and orgasm, and furthermore, to become proficient and independent about it." - Betty Dodson

 "The worst sexual problem we have -- our worst sexual dysfunction... [is] our inability to talk about sex." - Joani Blank


I love today's feminist sex-toy shops. They curate their products carefully for our health and pleasure. They provide sex education to their customers. They believe that sexual pleasure is everyone's right, whatever the age, gender, sexual identity, orientation, kink, needs, desires, abilities, relationship structure, and whatever else should be in this list.

Some of these stores hire me to speak, proving that they agree with my assertion that sex has no expiration date. They advertise on this blog, voting with their wallets to support my educational mission. Please support them in return! You'll find them in the right-hand column of this blog, and yes, you can purchase from them online.


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Fun Factory Sex Toys!


Lucky me! I own a toy box of new vibrators from Fun Factory. As the name implies and the photo illustrates, each colorful Fun Factory vibrator has something playful about it.

The shape may be a dolphin, a cuttlefish, a caterpillar, a race car. You can't help laughing as you try to describe it, and I'm sure that's intentional. Sex is fun. Solo sex is fun. Sex with vibrators is fun.

These Fun Factory toys have much in common, so I'm doing a round-up instead of reviewing the toys individually and repeating myself. All are well-made of body-safe, medical-grade silicone and they're waterproof for shower, tub, and pool use. Most charge via a USB magnetic charger, simple as can be, and they hold a charge for a long time. Yes, I have my favorites with unique qualities, and I'll tell you what makes them special.


My top favorite is the Volta. It's delightfully versatile. The curved shape and vibrating tips (I think of them as "flippers") can give pleasure in several ways. For example:
  • Nuzzle a clitoris by surrounding the glans (protruding tip of the clitoris) with the flippers.
  • Rest the curve of the Volta over the vulva for all-over stimulation.
  • Separate the flippers to vibrate the clitoris and the vaginal entrance simultaneously. 
  • Cuddle or circle around the head of a penis.
  • Stroke the shaft of a penis with the flippers during fellatio. 

The Volta is not only versatile, it's wonderfully strong! Take your choice of 6 intensity levels, oh my, and 6 rhythm patterns. It's rumbly rather than buzzy, which I appreciate.


My second favorite is Patchy Paul (explain that name to me, please), caterpillar shaped including two eyes.* The shape makes it perfect for G-spot penetration, or clitoral pinpointing, or curving over the vulva.

I find most Fun Factory penetrative toys too girthy for pleasure, but Patchy Paul starts narrow  -- 1.1 inch diameter at the tip -- and gradually increases in girth, bloop by bloop, to 1.7 inches in diameter. Unless you like really deep penetration, that widest bloop won't matter. It's also fairly flexible, making it even more comfortable. Like the Volta, you get 6 intensities and 6 rhythm patterns.

Patchy Paul's fake eyes
* A fun fact for you: Many caterpillars have fake eye spots so that predators think they're snakes. Patchy Paul has fake eye spots to make us laugh.

caterpillar with fake eyes
Both Volta and Patchy Paul have ergonomic loop handles -- no wrist twisting required, and no problem with lubed fingers. Besides solo use, the long shape and tapered ends make them work between bodies to add clitoral stimulation during partnered penetrative sex.

You can't choose between them? If you like simultaneous clitoral stimulation and vaginal penetration and you can budget for both, double your pleasure by using Volta on the clitoris and Patchy Paul vaginally. Wowza. Of course you can do that with any two sex toys that fit your needs -- I'm not saying you have to buy two new products for this experience. But Volta and Patchy Paul work especially well as a team, thanks to the shapes -- they don't get in the way of each other.



If you prefer a smaller vibrator and you don't need the turbo power I prefer, the adorable Cayona or Diva Dolphin might be just right for you.

The shape of Cayona is designed for both penetration and clitoral stimulation via the bump, but the dimensions weren't right for me (we're all different), plus the penetrative part felt too thick, and the vibrations were buzzier than my personal preference. Sure love the color, though!
Size comparison
Cayona & Patchy Paul 

The Diva Dolphin was more comfortable for insertion, tapering gradually. It can take batteries (no charging necessary), or if you prefer rechargeable, upgrade with Fun Factory's hybrid kit. It has 4 speeds and 6 patterns. A good product, but I was spoiled by the Volta.



Cobra Libre II is a popular penis vibrator. It's designed to envelop and vibrate the head of the penis, the most sensitive area for most penis owners. Experiment with how you like to hold it and use it. MacDuff, my penis-owning reviewer, tells me:

I used lube on just my penis at first and although it felt good, it didn't get me to orgasm. The next time, I added a generous amount of lube inside the Cobra Libre, and woo! That made it possible to slightly thrust in and out, all the while being stimulated by vibrations. I discovered that for me, the toy works best held in what seems like an upside down position, as that better follows the upward curve of my erection. Whee! Full orgasm. Knocked me out.


Anything to criticize about Fun Factory sex toys? Only that they come without pouches. Sturdy boxes, yes, but who has room to store boxes? Dear Fun Factory, couldn't you include one of your sweet  Tyvek zipped toybags?

I love the Karim Rashid Toybag, which makes a great gift, by the way. This toybag is so cute and durable that I use it to carry favorite vibrators, lube, and condoms when I travel.


Always use water-based lubricant with Fun Factory products. They can be damaged by oils and creams, so be careful with other substances on your body such as sunscreen, Fun Factory warns.



⇒ SPECIAL 10% DISCOUNT ⇐
My readers get 10% off all Fun Factory products with the code JOANPRICE. Go to Fun Factory using this link or any of the links in this post. Explore. Choose. Use the coupon code JOANPRICE at the bottom of your shopping cart, before clicking checkout. Fun Factory is so eager to introduce you to the pleasures of their products that you can continue to use this discount code on all future orders until 4/14/2020. (Please note that this coupon cannot be combined with other offers.)


Thank you, Fun Factory, for sending me these joyous sex toys in return for an honest review. Take a look at all their products -- you'll smile at the shapes and colors, and I'm sure you'll find one that's just right for you. And don't forget to use your discount code.

See my past reviews of other Fun Factory favorites:
Volta and Patchy Paul repose
after fun in the shower


Thursday, April 12, 2018

I Asked, You Answered, Part 1

In a recent newsletter, I asked my subscribers these seven questions:

1. If you're in a long-term relationship, what tips or wisdom can you share that help you keep a relationship sexy and spicy after decades together?

2. If you're in a relationship that's less than satisfying, what do you wish you could tell or ask your partner to bring the sexiness back?

3. If you're single or non-monogamous and dating, what is your safer sex policy? How do you discuss this with a new partner?

4. In what ways have you changed your ideas about the kind of relationship you'd like to have now? For example, would you be happy in a non-monogamous relationship? Friends with benefits? Marriage only? Living together without marriage? Sexually exclusive but not living together? Intimacy without sex?

5. What's the worst thing a date or mate ever said to you? I ask this after a friend told me that a recent sex date said to him, "You're the kind of person I want to go to bed with -- but not the kind of person I want to wake up with."

6. What would you like to learn about sex and aging this year?

7. What else should I have asked?


I got such a huge response to Question #1 that I'm devoting the rest of this post to excerpts from your answers. A later post will address the other 6 questions. (You're welcome to add your answers to questions 2-7 in the comments or by emailing me here.)


* My wife and I married in 1968. I believe that sexual satisfaction comes from sexual growth through constant trial and error experimentation. This leads to a constantly evolving sex life. We must be willing to try new things as long as no one is being hurt. Some will be good experiences and some bad. Keep the good and discard the bad. If we're afraid of making a mistake and have a high aversion to risk, we automatically limit our chances of succeeding or improving.

* At 55, we've been married almost 33 years. Both partners need to actively choose to keep their relationship spicy and active. Both have to be honest and frank about their desires. Don’t be freaked out if you disagree on what you’d like to do. Just treat it like every other issue you’ve disagreed on through the years: listen, suggest, compromise, and give it time.

* I am 70 and my wife is 66, married for over 50 years. Somewhere we lost the spark. I had been taking meds that affected my erection or lack of. Intercourse was impossible. Then I got a penis pump that Medicare paid for. The thing looked unromantic and embarrassing to use, but with the help of "Sucker Sam," I got an erection that I could maintain and have intercourse. Now my wife really wants sex with me! She wears sexy outfits, we turn on mood lighting and music, smoke some medical herb, and break out the massage cream. We are having the best sex of our lives. I think the real key to all this is the extreme intimacy we both experience. As we put it, "Our souls touch."

* Schedule sexual intimacy, and persistently but gently keep to the schedule, because at our age our hormones are no longer adequate to propel us spontaneously towards sexual activity.

* We're 74, and for the last 15-20 years we have not felt the need to spice things up to maintain our sexual interest. Sex for us is about celebrating our being together, being alive with each other, and our deep caring and love for each other. We have a ritual that involves perhaps 20 minutes of foreplay leading to a few minutes up to 10 or so of intercourse, with strong orgasms for both of us. At the end it's less about physical pleasure  and more the elation of saying we are still here, we can still express our love physically, and isn't that incredible?

* We are in our early 70s, married for over 50 years. Despite our many physical limitations, we have found ways to have an active and fulfilling sex life by using advice we have read in our sex library: sex toys, positioning pillows, timing taking of meds, and planning early morning encounters before meals interfere and energy sags. Two years ago we decided to focus on improving our sex lives from mediocre to more active, frequent and satisfying. We found a saying, "A better sex life does take some work. Couples who put effort into their sex lives have stronger relationships." We assembled a library of sex related books (we have all of yours!) and spent much time studying and discussing them. There is so much information available today that was not just a few years ago.

* We began using sex toys (I like that you call them "tools" which is really what they are) and Liberator positioning pillows. We decorated our bedroom to provide a better romantic atmosphere. We found that the more you have sex, the more you want it and your body will adjust to enable it. We learned from our reading  that when physical problems develop (sexual or otherwise), there are methods to help overcome and improve the deficiencies and this gives us confidence, which helps to keep the sexual union relaxed and enjoyable. Also exercise and diet and general good health habits are important. We are having the best time and only regret that we did not make sex more of a priority before.

* At 60, I have found that the best thing is to continue to put the other partner first. In every matter, not just the sensual. I know that if I put my woman's needs, wants, and desires before my own, that I will be well rewarded by a partner who feels the same way.

* I am a T2 diabetic, and neuropathy is robbing me of my sensitivity "down there." We talked about the Pulse you reviewed -- this opened the lines of communication. Push the limits of your sex life outside the box. Keep pushing your comfort zone. Don't let 'age' stop you from experimenting and exploring. You'll be surprised at what you can do, and feel, even at our age.

* Ask your partner if they would like to try new things, like toys or role playing. For instance, I asked my wife if she would like to spank me. This thought had never occurred to her. She considered spanking as a punishment, not as playful foreplay. We discussed how hard to strike (sensual spanking should sting a little, not leave welts), what areas of the body to spank (only the buttocks and upper thighs), and how long before the safe word came out (I always quit right after the orgasm). After a couple of trial and error sessions, she found that she enjoys playfully spanking me, as I enjoy spanking her. There is no punishment meant on either side; this is meant for playful pleasure.

* As my husband and I worked to overcome a crisis in our marriage, one thing that truly helped me ease off all the pressure I was putting on him was your writings, Joan, on Facebook and your newsletter. To read an expert telling me that masturbation was REAL sex; oral sex was REAL sex; sex with sex toys to enable us to orgasm was REAL sex? Holy shit. I realized I was having quite a bit of REAL sex, and I didn’t recognize it. I thought that because I couldn’t orgasm with intercourse anymore (it was never easy), or because sometimes I had to finish myself off alone, after 20 minutes of my husband doing everything in his power to make me come, that our sex life was deficient and substandard. How sad is that?! Two people who love the hell out of each other, are utterly compatible and fit together like puzzle pieces, thinking that they’re defective because their sex life didn’t fit the old notion of what “sex” was. I thought we were all wrong. You said we were right. In doing so, you freed me from feeling inadequate, broken, defective and damaged. My mental state, my physical state, and above all, my husband and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts.


Do you want to join in the discussion? I welcome your comments!


Saturday, April 07, 2018

Iroha Zen and Tori: Cushy, Cute Vibrators

Iroha makes adorable, squishy sex toys for people who want sex toys that don't look like sex toys. I was delighted to receive the Iroha+ Tori from the wonderful folks at Good Vibrations, along with the Iroha Zen, a pleated, mild vibrator that comes in 3 colors. Both are silicone and look more like art objects than vibrators.


Iroha+ Tori 

The Iroha+ Tori is a sweet, cushy, pretty vibrator. With its curved, birdlike shape, it doesn't scream "vibrator!" to a visitor who might see it drying on your sink counter or nesting on the side of your bathtub. Yes, bathtub -- it's waterproof.


I wanted to love this because it's so pretty and I love to squeeze soft, squishy objects. The vibrations, though, are only mild to moderately strong, despite 5 intensity levels and two pulse modes. For me, it's a nice warm-up, but it doesn't pack the punch I need to get more than pleasantly aroused.

However, I've read several other reviewers (younger than I am) who find it perfect for a leisurely ride to an orgasm. So if you prefer vibrations that are less earth-shaking than the turbo power my 74-year-old body requires, it might be just right for you. Or -- and I recommend this often -- use it for sweet arousal for as long as you like. Then finish with a more powerful vibrator, or a partner, or a partner and a vibrator.

Besides being pretty, the Tori's shape is ergonomic and easy to hold. However, the vibrations transmit through the vibrator and into your hand as you hold it, which may aggravate an arthritic wrist.


A  problem led to frustration: although the control buttons are easy to use with dry fingers, I couldn't seem to make the controls advance with lube-slick fingers. So if I started with level 2, I was stuck there unless I stopped the action, wiped my hands and the control buttons, and tried again. Buzz kill. The best solution I found was to turn it up all the way to intensity 5 before starting. (Don't worry, the power won't startle you the way an all-the-way-up Magic Wand would startle you -- the vibrations are never blast-off strong.)

Although Iroha advertises the Iroha+ vibrators  as "redefining pleasure for women," a testing assistant reported enjoying the curved shape vibrating over penis and testicles. If you have a partner with a penis, don't be selfish -- let the vibrating bird flutter over your partner's erogenous zones, as well as your own.

Besides Tori that looks like a bird, the new Iroha+ line offers Yoru that looks like a whale and Kushi that looks like a seashell or hedgehog. All of these are rechargeable using an attractive, clear plastic charging case, which doubles as a storage case.

Although this official video is absurdly delicate, you can see the  models and features here:




I reviewed earlier Iroha models: Iroha: Cutest Vibrators Ever and Iroha Mikazuki and Minamo: soft, slender, gentle vibrators, all from Good Vibrations. The new Iroha+ products, such as the Tori reviewed here, are stronger than the originals and completely waterproof.


Iroha Zen

The Iroha Zen is a cute, swirly-ridged vibrator modeled after the bamboo tea whisk used in Japanese tea ceremonies. It's not rechargeable -- it uses two AAA batteries. Despite this, it's waterproof! I'm not sure how to interpret this warning on the FAQ page, though: "Use in water can expose your body to the water you are using it in. Please ensure that you are using the item in a hygienic environment." Isn't that true anytime you're in water, whether or not you're using a vibrator?

At first I was baffled when I tried to figure out the battery placement with no "+" or "-" label to guide me. The instructions in the box were in Japanese. I foolishly didn't peruse the website for help until after I tried to insert the batteries by squinting at the minuscule diagram, and it took me three tries. Not my proudest moment. You don't have to go through that. Fortunately, the Iroha website has the manual in English as well as FAQ in English

Using the Zen is as simple as pressing the button at the end. Unfortunately, the placement and ease of pressing led frequently to pressing the button accidentally and turning it off. I tried to train myself not to touch the end-cap button, but that made it awkward to hold. It can be used externally or for shallow vaginal insertion. (There's no flared base, so don't use it anally.)

Although the Zen claims to have these four modes -- low/ medium/ high/ pulse -- the "high" is no stronger than medium, and a gentle medium at that. I like the pillowy feel, but I'd love to have more power, much more power. If you prefer gentle, give it a try. It comes in three lovely colors: green, yellow, and coral.

Iroha is a line of sex toys from Tenga, best known for its penis toys: see our reviews of the Tenga Egg and the Tenga Flip Hole and 3-D Sculpted Ecstasy.


Preview

Thank you, Good Vibrations, for sending me Tori and Zen in return for an honest review. Check out the special deals from Good Vibrations here.


Saturday, March 31, 2018

Why is Sex Better After 50?


If you're over 50, how is sex better now than in your youthful decades? I don't mean just the physical part of sex -- also your emotional response, ease of communication, less fear, less self-consciousness? I'd love to hear from you.

I asked this on my Naked at Our Age Facebook page, which I hope you'll visit and "like." We so often hear aging discussed in terms of what we lose, what hurts, what doesn't work anymore, what is falling away. But on the glass-half-full side, aging is filled with changes that are beautiful and fulfilling. My question aimed to elicit some of those thoughts, and indeed that happened. Here are some excerpts from readers' comments:

  • Enjoying. Embracing every single moment and soaking it all in. Losing all the inhibitions, life is short and here to be lived. It's no longer a race but a truly pleasurable shared experience. 
  • It's all about the communication. I feel comfortable expressing what I like and talking all about sex. 
  • Openness, adventure, self acceptance, passion. 
  • I think by the time you’re in your 50s, you’ve established what you enjoy in a sexual relationship. A person knows what their partner likes, responds to and gives back. In youth you just wing it.
  • Not selfish. 
  • Touch is an integral part of the experience for me and I teach my partner how to touch me and where and I do the same for him. I'm much more excited about exploring than I ever was in my younger days. Yes, much fewer inhibitions especially around my body and my body image. I'm less concerned with having an orgasm (because I can get that on my own) and much more focused on enjoying all the sensations. 
  • Discovered that trust on all levels is a major aphrodisiac.
  • Sex in my 70s is relaxed, playful, fun, unhurried, experimental, and made wonderful by open, easy, frank communication with my partner about what we each do and don't like. Feelings of closeness and trust form significant parts of the overall experience, and our orgasms are happily extended as we pleasure one another without stress or anxiety or rush. Now is the best age in my entire life for uncomplicated, completely happy, and totally delightful sex! 
I hope you'll want to comment and add your thoughts.