Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Aging and Sexuality: Recommended Books

In Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex after Sixty, I recommended an assortment of helpful books for women and men interested in having great sex and aging vibrantly. I thought it would be useful to reprint this resource here. I’ll divide the books by category, and I’ll add new books that have crossed my path since Better Than I Ever Expected was published. Let me know about a special book you’ve enjoyed that belongs here. (Keep checking back -- this list is just the beginning!)

I’ve included links to these books on Amazon.com for your convenience and to read more customer reviews, although I encourage you to purchase from your local independent bookstore when possible.

And of course, if you don’t already have it, I hope you’ll read Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty! Order a personally autographed copy directly from the author here, or order from Amazon here.


Better Than Ever: Love and Sex at Midlife by Bernie Zilbergeld, Ph.D., (Crown, 2005). A guide to sexual enjoyment in the second half of life, including overcoming health challenges and staying sexy in long-term relationships, based on 145 interviews with men and women ages 45 to 87. This is an excellent book from the male point of view. Unfortunately, Zilbergeld died before this book could be published. We are fortunate to have his last work.

Dr. Ruth's Sex After 50: Revving Up Your Romance, Passion & Excitement! by Dr. Ruth Westheimer (Quill Driver, 2005). Smart advice from Dr. Ruth about health issues, physical changes, and keeping your sex life with your partner interesting and fun, with stories of real couples.

The New Love and Sex After 60 by Robert N. Butler and Myrna I. Lewis (Ballantine, 2002). A geriatric physician and a psychotherapist discuss how sexuality is affected by physical aging changes, medical conditions, medications, emotional issues, and relationship changes. Rather dry writing style, but it covers the ground.

Sex Over 50 by Joel D. Block, Ph.D, with Susan Crain Bakos (Parker, 1999). Frank self-help book aimed mostly at couples, with tips ("sizzlers") galore for recapturing romance and passion and dealing with the sexual challenges of midlife and older, plus anecdotes.

Still Doing It: Men & Women over 60 write about their sexuality, ed. Joani Blank (Down There Press, 2000) Real people 60-plus to 80-plus tell bluntly and in graphic detail (and graphic language) what they do and what they like, including an array of sexual styles.

Rescue Me, He's Wearing a Moose Hat: And 40 Other Dates After 50 by Sherry Halperin (Seal Press, 2005). Fifty-plus widow's adventures with online dating mismatches. Fabulously funny and often poignant. With dating catastrophes like these, single life doesn't look so bad.

Revolution in the Garden: The Memoirs of the Garden Keeper by Dell Williams and Lynn Vannucci, autobiography of founder of Eve's Garden, New York women's sex shop, written at age eighty-two. Her reminiscences include losing her virginity in date rape in 1940 and attending Betty Dodson's masturbation workshop in 1970.

A Round-Heeled Woman: My Late-Life Adventures in Sex and Romance by Jane Juska (Villard, 2003). Sixty-six-year-old woman overcomes a restrictive sexual upbringing and places personal ad: "I would like to have a lot of sex with a man I like." She gets plenty of responses and trysts, but the results mostly aren't very satisfying.

Still Sexy After All These Years? The 9 Unspoken Truth about Women’s Desire Beyond 50 by Leah Kliger and Deborah Nedelman (Perigee/Penguin, 2006). Empowering self-help guide to understanding your changing sexual desire after fifty, with excerpts from interviews.

Unaccompanied Women: Late-Life Adventures in Love, Sex, and Real Estate
by Jane Juska (Villard, 2006)). Juska chronicles how her life, dating and otherwise, has changed since publication of Round-Heeled Woman. If you enjoyed RHW, you’ll enjoy this one, too.

All Night Long: How to Make Love to a Man Over 50 by Barbara Keesling, Ph.D. (Harper Collins, 2000). A sex therapist and former sex surrogate explains what a woman should understand about an aging man's sexuality, his "temperamental penis," and how to keep the focus on "lovemaking, not erections--partnership, not performance." Practical, frank, and helpful.

Great Sex: A Man's Guide to the Secrets of Total-Body Sex by Michael Castleman (Rodale, 2004). Castleman writes with warmth and honesty about issues that concern men at any age: their own and their partner's sexuality and pleasure. An excellent book for the man in your life.

Intimacy with Impotence: the Couple's Guide to Better Sex after Prostate Disease by Ralph & Barbara Alterowitz (Da Capo/ Lifelong Books, 2004). A frank, practical guidebook to satisfying, sensual intimacy whether or not the male partner can have erections. An array of self-help strategies, from communication and creativity to medical therapies.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Who Called In the Creeps?

I apologize profusely to any readers who were subjected to the dozens of nasty and profane comments that were posted to my blog the morning of Dec. 5. I deleted them and easily traced the trashing of my blog to an organized attack led by the fan message board of a shock-jock radio show.

The listeners apparently found the idea of joyful senior sex icky and set out to trash "the old lady sex blog," as they called it, by posting more than 40 obscene, racist, sexist, ageist, offensive messages.

Wow, this really surprised me, and continues to.

Too many people with too much time on their hands, too much meanness in their hearts, and too little capacity for intimacy, perhaps. I wonder how they treat their grandparents. We might discuss their fears of aging and sexuality, and their need to keep us as the "other" -- easy, even enjoyable, to stereotype and demean.

If you've tried to post a comment and it hasn't been accepted, I'm being particularly careful here because they've tried to continue the assault with comments that pretend to be sympathetic.

Chris Smith wrote a nice paragraph about me in his column in the Press Democrat Dec. 5, and I had many new visitors that morning. I hope they realize that I was sabotaged, and they don't stay away because of what they read before I got to it. I've changed my settings so that now I'll moderate all comments before they appear. Sorry it was necessary.

-- Joan

12/7 update: I was able to listen to the radio show that set off this assault by reading aloud from this blog for many minutes. I sent this note to the producer, who invited me to appear on the show:

I heard [the hosts] discuss my topic, book, blog, and the personal stories of those who opened their lives to me. I choose to preserve a level of dignity about older people enjoying sex and intimacy that is at odds with the show's glee at ridiculing them.

Therefore, I decline your invitation.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

More on ABC Nightline show

On Friday, Dec. 1, ABC Nightline aired the segment on senior dating and sex, including an interview with me and a bit of my love story with Robert.

I had no idea how Nightline's hours of interview time would translate to a couple of minutes of air time. I knew the emphasis of the show would be on seniors' risky sexual behavior, and I hoped there would also be room for the joy and intimacy of senior sexuality.

ABC did a great job putting this show together and -- yes -- conveying not only the cautions that our age group needs to be aware of, but also the joy and exuberance -- as well as the challenges -- of being fully alive in aging bodies.

I was thrilled when I saw it. Having watched it five times now, though, it's a little embarrassing that so much focus was on how creaky our aging bodies become! I liked that the creaky talk was juxtaposed with the energetic and not-the-least-bit-creaky line dance visuals – that was cool. (And it's amusing that I'm receiving emails from people recommending specific mattresses and arthritis remedies to combat the creakiness!)

One thing I didn't mention in my background story in the post below: We had some laughs before the taping, when I asked what language was acceptable and what wasn't. I knew I'd be reading aloud from reader comments on my blog, and I'm used to speaking frankly. Respectfully, but frankly.

We all laughed together as we went over words: "erection" was OK, "hard" wasn't. When they told me that "clitoris" was okay, I reduced the crew to hysterics when I proclaimed, "Great! I've always wanted to say 'clitoris' on national TV!" But ...it turns out I didn't!

Did you see the show? What did you think?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Joan on ABC Nightline 12/1/06: senior dating/ sex

(photo of Vicki Mabrey from ABC Nightline)

Air date update: The senior dating/sex segment ran December 1, 2006!

Tuesday, October 24, put me on a natural high that still makes me tingle. That's the day that ABC Nightline came to Sebastopol, CA to film an interview me for a segment about senior dating, sex, and sexual health.

First, the film crew met me at Coaches’ Corner, where I teach line dancing, and filmed my line dancers (who had assembled for a contemporary line dance demo) for an hour. It was both strange and exhilarating to dance with cameras literally in our faces, at our feet, everywhere we turned. I am grateful to our fabulous line dancers who kept their cool and kept on dancing and smiling.

The crew then drove to our house and settled in: moving furniture, asking Robert to move some of his paintings so the right color painting would be behind me, setting up lights in two different rooms, checking the lights and sound with me sitting, talking, typing. They filmed me typing and reading the Sex and Dating comments of my blog. (Thank you, those of you who commented!)

Next Vicki Mabrey, the 4-time Emmy award winning correspondent, and producer Talesha Reynolds arrived from New York. Fabulous women, full of spirit, they seemed to enjoy every word as they interviewed me for about 2.5 hours. We talked about many subjects related to seniors dating, loving, having sex. We discussed our culture's stereotypes of older people having sex as either ludicrous or icky. (You know how I feel about that!)

At the end of it all, Vicki and Talesha asked me to teach them a line dance, which I did with pleasure. We danced, shook our hips, and laughed together.

I’m thrilled about getting the opportunity to “speak out” on this important topic to a huge audience. I'll check in again here after the show airs.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Trying to comment?

I'm getting emails from people who would like to comment, but aren't sure what to do.

1. Click either "Comments" or "Post a Comment," whichever you see at the end of one of my posts.

2. Ignore "user name" and "password" (which only applies to people registered with Blogspot). Instead, check "other" and then type in the name you'd like to use, with your real age, if you don't mind. (No, you don't have to be over 60 to comment.)

3. "Word verification" : You'll see some weird characters and the instructions "Type the characters you see in the picture above." Do that. This prevents an automated comment inserter from spewing ads and worse at us. Only real human beings can read and replicate the characters on the screen.

4. "Preview" means you can see what you've written as it will appear, and you can edit it if it's not exactly to your liking.

5. Click "Publish" when you're happy with it and are ready to share it with the rest of us.

(If you'd rather, you can email me your comment and I'll post it for you.)

Thank you for doing this! I'd really like this blog to become a community of people talking about sex and aging!

-- Joan

P.S. If you have a website or a book related to the subject of this blog that you think we'd benefit from knowing about, feel free to include name or title and link with your comment. (No feeble excuses for blatent advertising, though, and no links to drugs or sites that I might consider questionable. If in doubt, ask me.)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Reclaiming Sexuality after Cancer

Lynn, age 50+, phoned to order several of my books and she told me her story of trying to reclaim her sexuality after cancer. I encouraged Lynn to share her story with you here:

I was diagnosed with cancer in my mid 30’s and was given a grim prognosis of 3-5 years to live. Thanks to medical research trials and multiple treatments, I have survived over 3 times that long. Through the years I have met other cancer survivors who are struggling to deal with their questions about sexuality after cancer.

Part of my cancer treatment was a stem cell transplant that involved both chemotherapy and radiation which put me into premature menopause. I had a medical condition which made me susceptible to blood clots, so hormone replacement in any form was not an option.

The resulting sexual problems were sudden and unexpected and left me with feelings of grief and loss that were hard to put into words. At times I felt like “You should just be thankful to be alive,” but I wasn’t ready to give up my sexuality.

I began to search for information. One cancer newsletter’s “Ask the Doctor” column confirmed that many readers had asked the same questions about sexual problems following this particular treatment. The American Cancer Society has a publication titled, “Sexuality and Cancer.” Both of these resources mentioned that there are many women who cannot take hormone replacement therapy and suggested that people should discuss “options for facilitating sexuality” with their doctors.

When I asked my oncologist for help, he was too embarrassed to talk about sexual problems and practically ran out of the exam room. He could have at least referred me to another medical resource. Although we passed the turn of the century, some medical providers are still in the “dark ages” when it comes to addressing the sexual problems of cancer survivors.

I went to a cancer survivor’s conference at a large medical center in another city. One of the sessions was about cancer and sexuality. I sat next to a woman who had been through treatment identical to mine and also had the same blood clotting disorder which ruled out HRT. We were both blessed with partners that did not walk out the door when the cancer diagnosis arrived, but we missed the giving involved in making love to our partner and meeting their needs for intimacy as much as the pleasure we had derived from it ourselves.

Some people came to the group session accompanied by their partners - the standard response from the partner without cancer was “I’m just glad my partner is alive,” but the cancer survivors were not content with that. They went on to express their deep emotions and struggles. “First I was diagnosed, then I had treatment - I’m thankful I survived, but I am still working through the loss of my sexuality.”

The oncology professional who was the group facilitator listened, and could see that this was an important subject that needed to be given more attention in the future. I left feeling like at last we were heard, but I was still lacking practical information and resources.

I am now over 50 and my cancer is in a durable remission, but I was beginning to believe that I was probably “too old” to be hopeful about ever being sexually active again. I lacked the courage to ask another Dr. or medical professional for help to address sexual problems.

I’m so glad I found your blog - I read the post “a man asks about sex after prostate cancer” and was impressed by the personal interest you took in responding to his questions.

I went to your website to order your book and read, “Joy isn’t age-bound. Neither is sexuality or fitness.” Discovering that you have also faced challenges as a result of two car accidents and refused to give up was an encouragement to me. Your statement, “I had to get back to having a life”, really sums up where I am at currently. Your story inspired me with a “spark of hope” and I also found the resources that I need to begin working on regaining physical fitness and sexual function!


Lynn, thank you for sharing your experience and your thoughts. When you told me about your oncologist bolting out of the room when you asked about sexuality, I was shocked and outraged. Sexuality and intimacy are so much a part of what binds us to our partner and makes us fully human. How can doctors not understand this or help us reclaim that vital part of our being when we ask for help?

I know doctors get very little training in sexuality, and I've written about this here. Fortunately, there are some wonderful sex therapists and sex educators who are doing a great job in this arena, and I encourage you to find one of these in your area.

I am so happy that you survived cancer, and I wish you the best success reclaiming the joy of your sexuality. Please keep us posted about what you do and what you learn.

Best,

-- Joan

Too soon to be intimate with new man after spouse dies?

Susan, age 65, sent me this email, with permission to post it and respond here:

Joan, I found your website while browsing and really enjoyed it. I was widowed 5 months ago, and a friend of mine lost his wife shortly before my husband's death. We had known each other casually for 20 years.

A social event brought us face to face about a month ago and we both have been smitten since that night. We are both young for our ages; both being 65, good physical condition and both exercise daily. I am experiencing a lot of guilt from wanting to see him after such a short span of time since my husband's death. Although he has discussed me with his family and I with mine, I still have some guilt. I also, don't hear the "approval" from other members of my family.

However, at our ages, how long is considered appropriate? I am also experiencing whether or not this could become a moral issue with me. He is a wonderful man, who cared for his wife, who was ill for many years, as I did for my husband.

He has expressed to me that he may be impotent. He had not had sexual relations with his wife for many years before her death, nor had I with my husband. I did, however, use a vibrator from time to time. Although I am 65, I certainly have been experiencing strong sexual feelings toward him.

I guess my questions to you are:
1) what is the appropriate time frame?
2) Is sex outside of marriage a moral and/or guilt issue?
3) How do I get rid of trying to please everyone else?
4) Should we pursue sexual intercourse or just "play around"?

Thank you so much for your input and can't wait to get your book!


Susan, thank you so much for writing and for sharing these feelings.

I can't tell you what the appropriate time frame is for YOU. I'm not a therapist, but I've heard some therapists say that it's good to wait a year, because people need to grieve, then rediscover and reclaim who they are alone before they're ready to enter into a new relationship.

I've also heard from/about people who were caretakers of ill spouses and did much of their grieving while their spouses were alive. They then needed to reach out to someone who could bring joy and intimacy back into their lives.

I can't say what's "right" for you -- only you can know that. If you're questioning whether it's too soon, that maybe that's your own heart saying it is. If this relationship will be right for the two of you, it will be right if you wait a few more months, too.

Meanwhile, you can develop a friendship and enjoy each other's company. But do learn to enjoy your own company, too -- see who you are on your own in the world, what interests you'd like to pursue now.

Of course you still have sexual feelings -- glory in that wonderful gift, and let your fantasies roam. When you and your friend come together in that intimate way, if you decide to, you'll be good and ready for his tender touch.

You say your family hasn't expressed approval of your new relationship. Realize that they are still grieving your husband, too. Respect their feelings, and if/when you decide to go ahead with this new relationship, perhaps it would be best not to tell them until and unless they ask, at least for a while.

As for sex outside of marriage, that's completely your decision. I don't know your beliefs or your religion, or whether these values might be changing at this time of your life. You might find it useful to consult a counselor to get your own values and needs in perspective.

Your friend told you that he might be impotent. Please suggest that he see a urologist and find out the cause, and whether any treatment is appropriate. If he is inable to have erections, you can still have loving, intimate sex in other ways. I have more information about that in my book, in the chapter titled "when You or Your Partner Can't."

I'm sure that Susan would like to hear from others who have gone through this, and from others who have an opinion. I invite you to comment.

-- Joan

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Autumn of Love: "We are having hot, fabulous sex after 60"

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

Book Review: "Lighthearted, titillating and informative... inspiring... arousing...."

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

Thursday, October 19, 2006

How do you handle sex and dating?

You're dating again, after years, maybe decades, away from the dating scene. How do you handle sex with a new person? Do you use/require condoms? Do you get tested for HIV and other STDs and request the same from your partner? What questions do you ask? In other words, what steps do you take to protect your sexual health?

When Robert and I started dating, we used condoms, talked openly about our previous experiences, and got tested. I don't know if most people our age do that, or if they assume that they're not at risk. I'd love to hear from you about this.

I wish I had included this topic in my book, and I may include it in a future magazine article. Please either post your comments here or email them to me, and I'll post them for you.

Thanks --

Joan

10/21 update: Some very interesting comments have begun to appear on this topic -- if they don't display automatically for you below this post, click "comments" to view them. Please keep your comments coming!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A man asks about sex after prostate cancer

Billybob, 62, has written several times, always willing to share his thoughts and experiences to help both men and women talk more freely about the special challenges of sex after 60. In his case, these challenges include recovering from divorce, re-entering the dating scene, and living with prostate cancer. I just received this question from him:

Since my cancer treatments I still want sex but I have an erection problem that Viagra seems not to work to well. What would a lady think of me if I chose to use a strap on device? Or do you know of alternatives? And If I were to use a strap on how would I break or tell such an idea to a lady?

I wrote this to Billybob:

If you read the chapter of Better Than I Ever Expected titled "When You or Your Partner Can't," you'll see that women are very happy with fingers, tongue, vibrator, and cuddling when their partner can't have an erection. I don't think many women would appreciate a strap-on device, though I suggest you talk about it ahead and let her know you're willing if she'd like it. My suggestion: level with her about your situation as soon as the intimacy gets past kissing, and see what she'd like and -- please! -- also tell her what would make you feel satisfied. Let me know how this works for you.

What do the rest of you think?

I read two good books on this topic, which I mentioned in Better Than I Ever Expected and which you can order from Amazon by clicking on the links:

Intimacy with Impotence: the Couple's Guide to Better Sex after Prostate Disease by Ralph & Barbara Alterowitz (Da Capo/ Lifelong Books, 2004). A frank, practical guidebook to satisfying, sensual intimacy whether or not the male partner can have erections. An array of self-help strategies, from communication and creativity to medical therapies.

Making Love Again: Hope for Couples Facing Loss of Sexual Intimacy by Virginia and Keith Laken (Ant Hill Press, 2002). Candid personal narrative by Keith Laken, prostate cancer survivor facing impotence, and his wife, including fears, arguments, resolutions, setbacks, and a new definition of intimacy.

-- Joan

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Thank you, readers!

Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty (Seal Press, 2006) has just gone into its second printing -- thank you, readers!


Of course I'd prefer that you order Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty from me directly (support the author!) here. I'll autograph it personally to you or to your giftee, and you can purchase any of my fitness books for just $5 more each!

However, I realize that I cannot match Amazon's discounted price, so if you'd prefer to order from Amazon, please use this link:

Buy Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty from Amazon.com

Happy reading!

-- Joan

Saturday, October 07, 2006

What juicy younger women need to know about sex & aging

Thanks to NML, 29-year-old UK blogger, for reprinting my Hot Sex Tips From the Older Generation

I just left a comment for her readers, which I'm reprinting here:

What you might not realize, as juicy younger people, is that the body does indeed give us some challenges to satisfying sex after 60, but there are ways we can learn to prepare beforehand so that we don't have to "fix it" afterwards.

In my book, a woman age 75 who had been celibate for 38 years (!) tells her story. She had just fallen in love with a man age 88. They were very loving and sexual, but could not achieve penetration because it was "too much of a stretch" and her dryness -- even with lubrication -- created pain and led to infection. She was very frustrated by not being able to "complete" the act of love.

What women don't realize -- and their doctors don't think to tell them in time -- is that there are preventive measures that we can take to make sure we don't get in that situation. I'm not going to give away everything that's in my book, but I do have tips from experts on keeping our sexual parts vital, youthful, and in working order, even when we're not in a relationship.

I think that should be required reading for single women who think they might welcome sex in the future, don't you?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Women talk to each other about sex and aging

Last Saturday, a group of women gathered for my workshop, which promised "Straight Talk about Sex after Sixty"--and "straight talk" it was.

The women, ranging in age from 50 to 74--single, partnered, married--came together to express what was on their mind about their sexuality and relationships. We discussed how to stay sexy when "we don't have that hormonally driven freight train any more," as one woman put it, and the challenge of feeling sexual energy "squashed down" when men seem drawn to younger women without getting to know what we have to offer. We discussed past and present relationships, finding in the safety of the workshop an opportunity to share our experiences, attitudes, and hopes for the future. We also laughed a lot over shared experiences and a couple of "tools" that I passed around the room.

On November 4, I'm repeating this Straight Talk about Sex after Sixty workshop for women only in Sebastopol, and I encourage women to join us. You don't have to be over 60 -- in fact, many of the participants are in their fifties and experiencing post-menopausal changes that they want to talk about.

Our ground rules promise confidentiality -- you're encouraged to tell others about the ideas brought up in the workshop, anything I say (since my sexuality is an open book-- literally!), and anything you personally experience or learn--but not to divulge any private information that other people share.

I'm not shortchanging the men -- My workshop for men and women, Ask Me, I'll Tell You: Women and Men Talk about Sex and Aging, happens October 14 -- see below. When I presented this workshop before, I was happy and grateful that the men wanted to share their views as much as the women. Certainly the reader response bears that out, too -- men frequently write me their questions and stories, and are asking--as the women are--to be heard.

Interested? Details about both workshops below:

Saturday, October 14, 1:30-4:00 pm: Workshop for men and women: Ask Me, I'll Tell You: Women and Men Talk about Sex and Aging, in Sebastopol, CA. For many people, sex and aging are two of the hardest topics to talk about. Add in the challenges of communicating across the genders and it can sometimes seem impossible. But Joan Price, ageless sexuality advocate, and author of Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty is here to help! In this interactive and fun discussion, you'll have a chance to get the answers you're looking for. Joan will guide an afternoon of conversation and discovery, and will help everyone in the room learn from each other. For couples & singles, men & women. If you're 60+, or you plan to be, this workshop is for you.

Saturday, November 4, 1:30-4:00 pm Straight Talk About Sex After 60 (women only) in Sebastopol, CA. Yes, sex after sixty has its challenges,but it can also be sizzling and satisfying. Joan Price, ageless sexutality advocate, fitness expert, and author of Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty will help you face the challenges and celebrate the joys of older-age sexuality. By sharing experiences and learning with other women in a spirit of candor, acceptance, creativity, and humor, you'll take home new tools, techniques, and attitudes that help women over sixty experience hot, joyful sex with or without a partner.

Either workshop $40, or both for $75. Preregister by phoning 707-874-2285. Please register early. (Address & directions will be sent to you when you register)


[Photo by Constance Cavallas, published with permission]

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Older Woman, Younger Men

Recently Judy, age 62, who attended my Ask Me, I'll Tell You workshop, emailed me a description of her special "niche of passion:"

Here's what Judy has to say:

I'm interested in the special challenges of over 60 women with under 25 men. This has been my preference for many years.

Contrary to expectations there seems to be a wealth of available men for me. Perhaps it is the "sex only for the pure joy of it" idea; I have offers pretty much daily.

I don't pay but treat the young men with respect and a great deal of motherly (grandmotherly!) concern. Our relationships have lots of laughs and energy. ever see the movie Harold and Maude?

Currently I live with 4 young men under 25. All are affectionate, and watch each other to see if I have a favorite. (I tell them I love them all equally.)

Then there are numerous lovers from outside the house who visit. This is as close to heaven as I can get. It would be fun to meet another grandma who has found this niche of passion.



Are there other women out there who love men much younger? Share your stories, please!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

How did you learn about sex?

How did you learn about sex, and how did your early sex education affect your enjoyment of sexuality later on? Please post your comments.

Here's my story from "My Sex Education," Chapter 3 of Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty:


It was 1955, and I was twelve, with budding breasts, when my father--an obstetrician/ gynecologist--sat me down and handed me a pamphlet about the "facts of life." The language was vague, with references to pistils and stamens, very little about penises or vaginas, and certainly no reference to the clitoris. The only fully developed information was about how the egg in the woman was fertilized by the sperm from the man, leading to pregnancy. My father sat quietly as I, embarrassed and confused, read the pamphlet.

"Do you have any questions?" he asked when I finished.
"No," I lied.

I did have one burning question, which I asked my best friend: "How does the sperm get from the man to the woman?" That itty bitty fact was nowhere in the pamphlet.

My friend, oh so much wiser, told me, "He puts it in her."

Not only was "how" omitted from my introduction to sexual information, but also "why." Over the next few years, I was taught what not to do (sex or anything that could lead to it) and what awful things could happen--after all, my father saw lives ruined by teenage pregnancy. I was never taught why people want to have sex and how fulfilling it can be.

I was totally unprepared for the excitement and delicious pleasure of my urges a few years later.


Here's what a few of the Sexually Seasoned Women I interviewed said about their Early Sex Ed and Experiences:

I was reared in a home where one did not talk about sex. When I first had sex at nineteen I felt guilty because I was raised to believe it was something for married people. However, my guilt did not stop me. I justified it by becoming engaged. (Melanie, 64)

In the 1950s, when I was a teenager, few of us had intercourse due to fear of pregnancy as well as the taboos placed on extra-marital sex by society. However, I loved "heavy petting" and had terrific orgasms with digital stimulation and squeezing on men's thighs--or on horse back or fence railings! (Phoebe, 64)

I came out when I was twelve years old. I was oppressed by the times and I came from a violent family. I created my own little private world where masturbating was a way I'd feel comforted. I had my first sexual experience at fourteen with an older woman, twenty-one. I felt that was going to be my life, that I would be a sexual person. (Claire, 66)

I was brought up in a rural area in the 1950s, when sex was supposed to be forbidden, but several girls in my (very small) high school became pregnant. Then I had an affair with a married neighbor from age sixteen to twenty, and sex became a major focus, although I still excelled in school and got scholarships to college. I am very satisfied now, and no longer searching as I was. (Tina, 61)

When I was young, I was very affected by the abuse I suffered as a child. I hadn't coped with the molestation even though I had a very active sex life. I was always fearful and held back. I grew up without boundaries. You don't know your own body. It belongs to someone else. I was always so confused about sex. (Monica, 60)

I was raised in a very repressive environment. Everything about sex was labeled bad and forbidden. French kissing was a sin, kissing over ten seconds was a sin, masturbating was a sin. Birth control was also a sin, and so I became pregnant after my second sexual encounter. (Susie 60)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Attention Single Seniors

Are you a senior who has divorced or lost a spouse or partner? Are you dating or considering dating? If you want to dip your toes in the waters of senior dating, but you're frightened because you don't know what scary stuff might be in those waters, I'd love to hear from you.

What will go into your decision whether or not to have sex with a new person? What will you do about protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs/HIV)? How will you talk to your new partner or potential partner about this?

If you've been dating for a while, how do you resolve the questions above?

I hope you'll share your thoughts on this topic.

Please either post a comment here (see instructions below, if you're new to this), or email me your story/thoughts and I'll answer you directly.

How to comment:
1. Click "post a comment."
2. If you're not registered with Blogspot (and you don't have to be), ignore the request for "user name" and password. Just check "other" INSTEAD of filling out "user name," and then type in the name you'd like to use, with your real age, if you don't mind. (e.g. "Joan, age 62")
3. Type the weird characters that you see below the sign-in. This is to prevent an automated comment inserter from infiltrating our community to leave ads or worse. Only real human beings can read and replicate the characters on the screen.

If you have trouble with this, or you'd like to comment but you don't feel like wading through the process, just email me your comment, first name, and age, and I'll post it for you.



Thank you!

-- Joan

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Boynton Beach Club film review


Boynton Beach Club is a movie featuring – finally! – realistic 60+ people experiencing truthful emotions of living in our later decades: grieving, wanting love and touching, distressed about how our older bodies look and act (or don't act), wanting and fearing to start a relationship after a devastating loss, and finally hurtling towards sex and love with a new person – or being content alone for now.

The film offers enough provocative topics to spice up an after-film discussion with a date or pals and terrific acting from an ensemble cast, especially Len Cariou and Brenda Vaccaro as the latest members of the Boynton Beach Bereavement Club. That's right – the "club" of the title is a social club for people who have recently lost their spouses.

These seniors are in touch with the modern age. Lois (Dyan Cannon) and Donald (Michael Nouri) go inline skating on their second date. Marilyn's husband is run over by a woman chattering on a cell phone. Marilyn (Brenda Vaccaro) invites her friends to watch a porn video she found in her deceased husband's file drawer. Harry goes online to find dates (and lies about his age and the color and profuseness of his hair).

There are also enough cliches to annoy me, though: women who can't drive, men who can't cook, female vamps who descend on new widowers with tuna casserole and invitations, and of course the obligatory scene of a man buying Viagra from a loud and indiscreet drugstore clerk.

I was disappointed when the first kissing and groping scene of the movie involved the best looking, youngest looking and slimmest couple: Dyan Cannon and Michael Nouri. How Hollywood, I thought, to reserve lust for the babe and the hunk of the group.

I was pleasantly surprised to see lust and sex revisited with Jack (Len Cariou, with a realistic paunchy belly) and Sandy (Sally Kellerman). An especially touching moment was when Sandy bared her breasts, and Jack recoiled. She thought he found her aging body ugly; it was actually because he was still grieving for his wife ("my best friend and companion for 45 years") – it was just too soon for him. The sweetest moment for me was when Jack shyly asked Sally, "Could we just cuddle?"

Boynton Beach Club is a comedy, but I'll remember the moments of emotional authenticity over the tired, cheap jokes ("Whatever you wear, evey man in the place will be drooling." "Big deal. Most of them are already drooling."). We all want to love and be loved, touch and be touched, and we all crave (and sometimes fear) the act of giving ourselves – mind, spirit, and body -- to another person. This movie made me happy to see our human emotions portrayed honestly – those human emotions that don't change just because we've got wrinkles in front of us and decades behind us

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Eroticism and Spirituality: One Couple's Daily Ritual

I received this lovely account of a couple's erotic and spiritual ritual from Anne, 58, with permission to share it with you:

My husband and I have been friends since age 14 and were fortunate enough to marry our best friend. We're 58 now and have been married 35 years.

As part of our spiritual practice, we begin each day together, nude, in our hot tub, located on a screened porch where we're surrounded by woods, garden, and birdfeeders, watching the sun rise over the mountains. Usually we do this in silence, although we've been known to add music. Our favorite is Tina Turner's "You're The Best" CD. If you listen closely to the words, it can become a hymn to the Creator! Our neighbor's rooster also chimes in, crowing in the early hours -- a prelude to the day.

Each evening at day's end, we repeat this ritual. It's usually dark. The moon hangs above the trees or over the mountains. Every night is different. Sometimes it's a dazzling darkness with no moon, other times everything shivers in silver when the moon is full. The silence speaks volumes as we listen to the night creatures and other sounds.

We also purchased a massage table years ago, which is wonderful for relieving aches and pains as well as a delightful addition to foreplay. I'm trained in massage therapy by profession, however, my husband, whose wonderfully large hands were untrained, improved dramatically when I encouraged his visits to a massage therapist. Now we're both comfortable giving and receiving a massage and every one is different. Variety is truly the spice of life!

These are wonderful modalities for both of us who suffer from arthritis and who continue to be very much in love. It's a three for one deal, improving physical, emotional and spiritual health. I can't speak highly enough of this practice's rewards and encourage others to give it a go.


If you have an erotic and spiritual practice you'd like to share, I invite you to tell us about it.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Men & Women Talk about Sex and Aging

Good Vibrations in Berkeley was alive last night with the voices of women and men sharing their sexual feelings and experiences at my "Ask Me, I'll Tell You: Women and Men Talk about Sex and Aging" workshop (see full description here).

Thank you, participants, for your candor and respectful acceptance of what everyone else had to say. I hope you left the workshop as I did -- flying high on the excitement of the evening and filled with the ideas you shared with me and each other.

Two hours flew by much too quickly, and the #1 complaint was "not enough time!" So let's keep talking! Here are a few of the questions we discussed, including those that you asked, but we ran out of time before discussing. Go ahead and post a comment with your thoughts, and we'll keep the discussion going.

Questions for the men:
- What do you fantasize about, and how do you like to incorporate fantasy into your sex life?
- Why don't many men find women sexy as they get older, and how can older women become more desirable?
- How do you experience your sexuality and sexual response as you get older?
- What are your fears about aging and sex?

Questions for the women:
- How can men establish sexual communication (e.g. talking about foreplay, oral sex, anal sex)?
- What can men do to help women keep lubrication?
- What should men know about women in order to turn them on sexually and maintain sexual arousal?
- What are your fears about aging and sex?


We'll be repeating this workshop in Sebastopol this fall and at Good Vibrations this winter. (If you would like me to bring this workshop to your location, please email me and let's talk.)

Some comments about Joan's workshop from participants:
"Thank you for your candor and expertise" (Lisa, 55)
"A great candid comparison of people of similar interests and concerns" (David, 66)
"Love to hear the open discussion" (Judy, 62)
"The group exercises were excellent" (Steve, 45)
"I found this group to be especially open and intellectual and positive. You have a great deal to share that will improve many lives." (Fay, 66)
"You should be on Oprah!" (Anne, 50)


[Photo by Constance Cavallas, published with permission]

Thursday, August 10, 2006

60+ Singles Searching

pds62 said...
I just found your site today and have only had a chance to read a portion of all the information on it. My question to you is this: if on-line dating has proven unsatisfactory, what are some other ways to meet men over the age of 60 who are looking to get back in the "dating world"?


That's such an important topic, pds62 -- thank you for offering it.

I wouldn't say that online dating doesn't work -- several of the women who share their experiences in Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty tell how they found their soulmates that way, and others say they at least found a temporary partner, an appealing fling, or a good friend. I've noticed a bunch of new books out specifically on online dating -- I hope our readers will let us know if some are really helpful.

The problem with online dating is that (a) you have to email a lot of frogs before you kiss your prince or princess and (b) most people lie in their profiles and emails, or at least try to make themselves appear more desirable (physically, socially, emotionally, and/or financially) than they are.

So it's up to you to be prepared for lots of emails, lots of phone conversations, lots of disappointing first dates. But he's out there, somewhere, and he's looking for you, too! Give yourself every chance to be where he might look.

My first recommendation for finding a compatible potential partner, though, is to get out there and fill your social life with activities you love. I met Robert in my own contemporary line dancing class! Do you like to dance? There are dance venues galore, including lessons and mixers. Do you like to hike? There are many outdoor-oriented groups, some aimed at singles specifically. Would you rather read? Look at your local bookstore's author event calendar -- and don't be shy about approaching the unaccompanied men in the audience who are as interested in that author as you are.

I welcome suggestions from my readers!

For a hilarious look at dating after 50, I recommend Rescue Me, He’s Wearing a Moose Hat (And 40 Other Dates After 50) by Sherry Halperin (Seal Press, 2005). As I read the book I kept laughing hysterically at her witty descriptions of her doomed dates -- a great read.

Thanks again for the topic, pds62!

-- Joan

Monday, August 07, 2006

"I Wish I Could Tell You..."

What do you wish your partner or present/ past/ future lover(s) understood about your sexual wishes, needs, turn-ons, turn-offs, and worries?

Let's get some serious stuff out in the open. Both women and men are invited to respond, and you don't have to be 60+ to join our community.

How to comment:
1. Click "post a comment."
2. If you're not registered with Blogspot (and you don't have to be), ignore the request for "user name" and password. Just check "other" INSTEAD of filling out "user name," and then type in the name you'd like to use, with your real age, if you don't mind. (e.g. "Joan, age 62")
3. Type the weird characters that you see below the sign-in. This is to prevent an automated comment inserter from infiltrating our community to leave ads or worse. Only real human beings can read and replicate the characters on the screen.

If you have trouble with this, or you'd like to comment but you don't feel like wading through the process, just email me your comment, first name, and age, and I'll post it for you.


Thank you!

Joan

Friday, August 04, 2006

Novel Request

I love that we now have a wealth of nonfiction books about aging and sexuality. It seems we're finally digging our way out of the pile of old misconceptions. Besides my book, Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty, authors like Gail Sheehy, Jane Juska, Dr. Ruth, Susan Swartz, and many others have written guidebooks, memoir, and commentary about what it's like for the Boomer generation -- who practically invented sex, after all! -- to grow older and stay vital.

I remember that when Gloria Steinem turned 40, a reporter said to her, "You don't look forty." She replied, "This is what 40 looks like!"

Now we're saying to a society that still worships youth, "This is what 50, 60, 70, 80 looks like and feels like!" And we're recording our experiences and thoughts candidly in writing.

But are we only doing it in nonfiction? Where are the contemporary novels featuring realistic, modern, full-dimensional, introspective, sexy protagonists in their later years? If you know any, please recommend some authors and titles, and please tell us what you like about these books! (Either post a comment here, or email me your comment and I'll post it for you.)

Thanks,

Joan

Suddenly Senior



What does it take to get a web site voted "America's Most Trusted Senior Site"? Frank Kaiser knows. Suddenly Senior, his 2,400 page web site, and his weekly ezine ("for everyone over 50 who feels way too young to be old") cover everything to do with being over 50: humor, personal anecdotes, travel, nostalgia, trivia, senior advocacy.

My favorite part is the hyperlinked, annotated list of 222 Best Senior links, covering every topic you can think of relating to people over 50. Two million people a month visit his site, which is updated daily.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Does Her Past Sex Life Matter?

Don, age 73, who read my book, wrote this email:

A question for Robert Rice.... I need your help. Like you I have re-entered the world of two people in the same house after 5 years of no one, and like your Lady, my Lady has had a very active sex life in the period before our meeting. The question is this…how do you deal with that? Do you think about the other men that were before you? I under stand that at our age it shouldn’t be an issue but I find myself wondering how I “stack up” to the others. I don’t want to ask, I feel that would be crossing the line. Should I just accept the fact that we are together and that’s the end of it? Tell me how you deal with it... and thank you !


Robert replies to Don:

Don, in response to the question that you asked me, I understand where you're coming from. I used to worrry about this myself. I am fortunate to have someone who assures me that I am the one she loves. This assurance comes in many ways, and sometimes it's up to me to see and recognize it. This gives me great freedom to let go of worrying about what has happened before.

Since we learn from all our previous sexual experiences what we want and like, and what we don't, this sexual learning necessarily includes all past lovers. A couple of Joan's past lovers are now our mutual friends, and both of us get along well with the other's ex-spouse.

The question whether we measure up to other guys who have had sex with our partner and question whether we are good enough, or big enough, etc., I am told -- and believe -- it's much more a male concern than female. In any case, I have come to believe that authentic expression of love and the ability to be playful and experimental seem to be the most reliable ingredients for successful sex, rather than focusing on measuring up (which can only be unknown anyway).

It seems to me that you answered your own question in your last statement about accepting the fact that you are together. That says a lot! It sounds like you're on the right track!

I hope this helps with your concern.


Joan replies to Don:

When I fell in love with Robert, it didn't matter to me whom I had bedded before and what I had experienced with anyone else. All that surfaced in my mind was how powerful my bond was with this man I loved. Remember our primary sex organ is our brain. For me, my previous experience was a good thing, because I was done with needing to experiment, and I knew whom/what I wanted, sexually and emotionally. I'll bet your special lady would tell you the same.

Have other readers dealt with this situation? What do you think about Don's question? I invite you to comment.

-- Joan

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Older Women and Sex Shops?

What do you imagine a sex shop to be, if you've never been in one? A sleazy, dark space with sticky spots on the floor and walls? Photos of gaping orifices? You're in for a surprise when you walk into the brightly lighted, playfully arranged, and downright inviting woman-friendly sex shops (as I call them). I discover that most women of my age and older have no idea that there are such stores!

I've been giving some workshops in woman-friendly sex shops such as Good Vibrations in the San Francisco Bay Area, A Woman's Touch in Madison & Milwaukee, Venus Envy in Ottawa, Babeland in New York City, and Early to Bed in Chicago. What fun it is when a first-timer enters one of these welcoming stores and discovers a wealth of information, entertaining "touch me" displays of everything you can (and can't!) imagine to enhance sex, and helpful staff.

I enjoy presenting my workshops in these venues because I can be absolutely candid there, talking about different types of vibrators for enhanced arousal, lubricants for comfort and sensation, props that are helpful for bad backs, and more.

Yet I am frustrated that many women who seek this information and would benefit most from my workshop don't think they'd feel comfortable setting foot in a so-called sex shop!

What do you think? What have your experiences been?

-- Joan

Monday, June 19, 2006

Urgently seeking the right man!

UPDATE 7/20: I'M STILL LOOKING FOR THIS MAN! DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO KNOWS SOMEONE?

For a TV program that I'll be involved in, I'm looking for an articulate single man, age 70-80+, who's actively dating and living in senior community/retirement village in New York State or New Jersey, willing to talk openly about his dating & sex life.

If this describes you, this TV show (shown nationally on a well-known cable channel) is interested in interviewing you and filming you going about your activities (leisure and social activities, not sex!) in your senior community.

Interested? Please email me right away and I'll tell you more and pass your info along to the show's producer if you're interested. Please feel free to copy this into an email to send to your friends in NY/NJ.

Thanks!

--Joan Price
Author of Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty
http://www.joanprice.com/
joan@joanprice.com

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

What's in this book?

When I order a book, sometimes I feel that I'm taking a chance, because I don't really know what's in it--even with the editorial description, reviews, and sometimes an excerpt. I'd like to make this easier for you by posting a description of each chapter of Better Than I Ever Expected : Straight Talk about Sex after Sixty. (These chapter descriptions are also available on my website)

Let me know if this helps you make your decision -- and remember you can purchase a book autographed by the author here.


Chapter Descriptions:
Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty by Joan Price

1. Tale of a Book: How This Book Came to Be. The history of this book, starting with the author, age sixty-one, affirming that she is having the best sex of her life. The surprises of sisterhood rediscovered, as women respond to her request: "Wanted: Interviews with sassy, sexy women, age 60+, who are willing to share feelings and experiences openly and anonymously in a candid, woman-to-woman book." The discovery that women want to talk about the most intimate details of their sex lives, present and past.

2. Sex in the Golden Age. What makes sex after sixty the best sex of our lives? Great sex isn't just about body parts. Wisdom, connection, logistics, time, intimacy, a sense of humor, ease of communication, resilience of body and spirit, no kids barging in—who needs youth? Sexually seasoned women speak about what makes sex better than they ever expected. Includes Boo Hiss Department: media messages that present older sex as unseemly, pathetic, and altogether icky.

3. My Sex Education. How and what we learned about sex in the fifties. Jaunty account of author's early sex education: early misinformation, discovering love and sex (but not orgasm) with first boyfriend, and greatest teenage nightmare: getting caught. Includes reflections of first boyfriend as he remembers the experience and relationship. Sexually seasoned women speak about early sex ed and their experiences.

4. The Bodies We Live In. Learning to accept and celebrate our bodies' changes. Topics include Body Image, Facing Our Faces, and What Color is My Hair? Author's fiancé gives a male viewpoint on the attractiveness of wrinkles and wisdom. Includes author's story of near-fatal automobile accident and reclaiming her body and her sexuality. Sexually seasoned women speak about their bodies and what they love about them.

5. It Ain’t Easy After Menopause. A lively look at the challenges of post-menopausal bodies and having zesty sex in spite of them. Topics include Hormone Hubbub, Hot Flash Flashbacks, and the author's trials, alternatives, and personal solutions. Sexually seasoned women speak about HRT and alternatives. Expert tips: Painful intercourse problem-solving.

6. Fitness and Exercise: Our Bodies, Ourselves, Our Sex Lives. Fitness isn't body weight or shape—it's regular physical activity to rev up energy, self-image, and sexy feelings. Tips from the author, a fitness professional, about how exercise enhances sex, with specific exercises that enhance horizontal workouts. Sexually seasoned women speak about exercise routines that make them feel sexy.

7. Public Sex Acts and Private Preparations. Sex starts long before we get naked. What we do in public, in private, and with or without our partners to heat up in advance. Ways to be intimate outside of bed. Sexually seasoned women speak about what gets them in a sexy mood. Includes a couple of group sex adventures, to keep the chapter title honest.

8. Beds Afire: Stoking The Slower-Burning Flame. Sexual arousal after sixty is a slow burn rather than an instant flame. Adjusting to slow arousal with understanding, communication, acceptance, and sexy rituals. Topics include Kiss Me Forever, Foreplay: We Need a New Word, Lube Power, and My Brain Chemicals Made Me Do It. Sexually seasoned women describe what turns them on.

9. Plug In, Turn On: The Quick Version of Everything You Need to Know about Sex Toys. Women with decreased sexual sensation can fly high again, thanks to sex toys. Author's frank, personal vibrator history, including involving her fiancé. Expert tips: Your First Vibrator: the Possibilities of Pleasure and Tips for Toys: A Guide for Women of a Certain Age. Sexually seasoned women speak about using sex toys.

10. Staying Sexy without a Partner. Author's story of partner-less years, overcoming desperate attitude. How to feel sexy, attractive, and satisfied without a relationship. Includes Solo Self-Pleasure: Being Your Own Best Sex Partner and expert tips for toning, lubrication, and massage for genital health. Sexually seasoned women speak about how they stay sexy and happy without a partner.

11. Hunting Grounds: In The Dating Game Again (or Still). Author's story of social dry spells, finally meeting the love of her life at her line dancing class. Challenges of being in the dating scene after sixty. Two stories of women who found love on the Internet and another who's still looking. Includes Around the Block: Erotic Adventures of Single Sexually Seasoned Women.

12. Done It All—Ready to Nest. Sexual experimentation, multiple partners, sex with strangers—many of us tried it all, and now are happily settled down with one partner, or want to be. Sexually seasoned women speak about their wild, past sex lives, and compare early excesses with the contentment of a stable, monogamous relationship.

13. Late Bloomers—Ready to Fly. Women who married early and opened up sexually later report that they're enjoying the wildest, most satisfying sex of their lives right now. Stories your grandmother didn't tell you: surprising, real-life tales of finding sexual fulfillment after sixty in unconventional relationships, including one woman, age seventy-seven, in a relationship with a man thirty years younger.

14. Sparking a Familiar Fire: How to Spice Up a Long-Term Relationship. Satisfied women in healthy, loving, decades-long relationships describe how they keep the sparks flying with long-term partners and make sex sizzle, not fizzle. Spicy activities and fantasies that keep the fires burning. Expert tips: Keeping a Long-Term Relationship Fresh and Sexually Hot.

15. When You or Your Partner Can’t. Ways to enjoy sex (and life!) despite erectile dysfunction and other health challenges of aging that affect sex, including upbeat tale from man with ED about his enjoyment of pleasuring his partner, and a lusty elder couple overcoming a myriad of medical obstacles. Sexually seasoned women speak about how they cope with their partners' physical challenges and their own.

Appendix A: When and How a Physician or Therapist Can Help. Not having the best sex of your life? How to talk to your doctor about your sex life, and when to see a sex therapist. Expert tips from Tina Tessina, relationship therapist.

Appendix B: Resources
- Directory of women-friendly sex shops, both brick-and-mortar and online
- Recommended books

Appendix C. Interview Questions
The questions answered by our sassy, sexually seasoned women.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Robert Rice & Joan Price married 5/24/06



If you've read Better Than I Ever Expected, you know the story of my relationship with Robert. From the details you've read, you probably know the two of us very well!

It is our great delight to tell you that on May 24, 2006, we married.

With great joy,

Joan

(Photo by Robert's son, Mitch Rice -- thank you, Mitch!)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Getting Back in the Dating Game

Tips for getting back in the dating game after divorce or the death of a spouse:

1. Don’t date until you’re really ready—go out with friends, go dancing for the pleasures of physical touching, have friends of both genders to whom you can talk honestly and deeply.

2. Engage in activities you really enjoy where you’ll meet other people (friends or potential dates) who also like your favorite activities, like hiking, book discussion groups, and dancing.

3. Try online dating. Some people have great luck with it. Others don’t. Keep in mind that people often describe themselves inaccurately and sometimes even lie about their age, their looks, their finances, and their emotional stability.

4. Meet new people for coffee or a walk in a public place. Don’t go on a “date” before getting to know him/her.

5. When you do go out on a real first date, be sure a friend knows where you’re going and with whom. Call your buddy when you get home.

6. When you’re ready to have sex again, use condoms every time. Don’t believe someone who tells you, “I’m safe, we don’t need to use condoms.” If she/he’s willing to go to bed with you without protection, then how many other people has she/he done this with? It’s a hassle, sure, but it’s a myth that only young people are at risk for HIV or other STDs.

Healthy Life: "a celebration of sex"

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/.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Anne Rodgers: Better Than I Ever Expected is "both uplifting and horrifying"

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.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Ottawa Sun: "right into the nitty-gritty"


I love this article by lifestyle columnist Ann Marie McQueen in the Ottawa Sun today!

Ageless Sex Advice
Author touting the benefits of nookie after 60 during stop at local adult shop

By Ann Marie McQueen, Ottawa Sun

After I suggest to California author Joan Price she seems to have landed the world's greatest sixtysomething man -- scratch that, the greatest man of any age -- she launches right into the nitty-gritty.

They're out there, says the author of Better Than I Expected:Straight Talk About Sex After Sixty, who is coming to Ottawa this weekend to give two workshops on the topic at downtown sex shop Venus Envy.

The men she speaks of, like her Robert, came of age in the 1960s too, and many of them want to be with their female contemporaries, want to find ways to make sex good with them, no matter what their aging bodies say about it, says Price.

She gathers steam as she describes such men, who will listen as women say things like, "let's see what we can do about my thinning vaginal tissues, about my lack of lubrication."

She stops suddenly.

"This may be too frank for you."

"No, no,"I say, realizing I had starting chuckling out loud right about the time Price said "thinning vaginal tissues."

"It's fine."

"You all right?"she says once more, sweetly, before forging ahead " -- what can we do about my slow arousal, what can we do about the time it takes to reach orgasm?"

If you are below 50, and before you start going 'ewwww' at the priceless Price, it might be time to think about where your own life is headed. That's right. Straight to 60, and beyond. Might be time to pay attention. And ditch the attitude, such as the kind embodied in Louise Rafkin's article for the San Francisco Chronicle magazine, headlined "Now that Baby Boomers have discovered there's sex after 60, could they please stop writing about it?"

It's not very likely Price is going to do anything of the kind. In fact, she's made it her mission to speak on it as much, and as frankly, as possible.

"If you want to be a sexual person, you've gotta really make a commitment to it, you've really gotta say, 'I'm gonna love my wrinkles, I'm gonna love my sags, I'm gonna love my partner's wrinkles and sags and we're gonna find ways to rejuvenate the relationship,' " she said.

While the one-time English teacher, fitness professional and author was penning Better, Gail Sheehy would be building on the success of her book Passages 30 years ago with Sex and the Seasoned Woman, which was all over the morning TV shows, Internet and newspapers when it came out in January.

Fitting, really, considering Price blames the media for the dim light cast on aging women.

"It has never portrayed the older woman as sexy, understanding herself, self-confident, self-knowledgeable, self-affirming and that that's a good thing," says the California-based Price.
If women are shown as sexual when they are older, it's either perceived as ground-breaking (Diane Keaton in Something's Gotta Give) or predatory and pathetic (a turn by actress Holland Taylor on Boston Legal's predecessor The Practice). They are invisible in magazines, says Price, who is determined to build on the current wave of awareness.

"I want it to seem normal for one," she says, "and I want people who have not come out of the woodwork to talk about it, and they are."

Price's perky, inspirational book offers not academic theories but practical expertise. It is filled with concrete tips -- say, instructions for how to use a vibrator -- and she's-been there-anecdotes about everything from exercise, to hormone replacement therapy.

She's even delighting in holding her Straight Talk About Sex After Sixty workshops in new-generation adult stores like Venus Envy. Drawing people who've never visited them, helping them realize the sex-related treasures they hold, is another of Price's goals.

"They are places filled with joy and laughter, and the attitude that sensuality and sexuality are great pleasures for us," she said. "And they are just showing us ways we can enhance those pleasures."

Price will give two workshops this weekend, each from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday's is open to women and men, while Sunday's is limited to women. The cost is $25. For information, call the store at 789-4646.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Ottawa XPress: "the book'll whip your skull"

In an article titled "Check the Expiry Date" in the Ottawa Xpress, Sylvie Hill wrote about Better Than I Ever Expected:

I always wanted a book of nude photographs of older ladies to help me grow accustomed to what I'll become. I haven't found that book, but I have checked out Joan Price's Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk About Sex After Sixty (Seal Press, 2006). Price is priceless... As a collection of testimonials about sex from gay, straight, married and single 60-plussers, the book'll whip your skull over yonder toward the future, and alert you to some sizzling possibilities!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Good Vibes: "the book that we’ve been waiting for"


Good Vibrations has posted a terrific review of Better Than I Ever Expected:

The best sex of your life is yet to be- if Joan Price has her way! She offers upbeat, comprehensive, explicit advice for [post]menopausal women about body image, changing physiology, cultural expectations, relationships, partner sex, masturbation, and sex toys. Acknowledging in a chapter heading that “It Ain’t Easy After Menopause,” she addresses the complications of hot flashes, HRT, and painful intercourse on the way to becoming a sexually seasoned woman. By including her own and other women’s personal perspectives, Price has written the book that we’ve been waiting for. Heterosexual focus.


I love the review, but I question "heterosexual focus." Although I happen to be heterosexual, as are many--but not all--of the women I interviewed, I also include the lesbian perspective, and most of the tips and techniques are not orientation-specific at all. Just wanted to make that point!

Thank you, Good Vibes, for the enthusiastic review!

-- Joan

Seeking Couples Who Met Midlife or Later

Are you a couple in love who met each other after age 40? I'm seeking interviews for a national magazine article.

The editor was intrigued by my story of meeting the love of my life when I was 57 and Robert was 64, five years ago. She wonders if there are other similar stories out there -- I'm sure they are many! Do you have a story of meeting your love at midlife or later, and would you be happy to be interviewed about your meeting, your romance, and your current relationship? (No intimate details necessary for this article.)

If so, please email me directly so I know how to contact you.

I hope you'll also post a comment here, because I have many single readers who tell me they think it's too late to meet someone and fall in love again. That's what I thought when I was single and seeking love in my fifties. Let's show my readers that it's never too late!

Thanks,
Joan

(Do you want to comment, but you don't know how it works? Please read this.)

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Shocked by Reactions

I was at the Palm Springs Book Festival a week ago, speaking on a panel about life and love after 50 and selling my books. I had thought this would be a perfect venue because of the age of most Palm Springs residents. I was right about the age, but I was shocked by the reactions I got! At every other event before this one, I had heard only enthuastic comments, like "It's about time!" and "Oooooh, I want to read that!" or even, "You should have interviewed me!"

But this time, most people kept their distance when they saw the topic and never opened the book to take a look. Here are some of the comments I heard:

"If I brought this book into the house, my wife would divorce me."

"No-oo-o, I'm done with sex."

"I don't care for men any more and I'm not a lesbian,
so no thanks."

And from one person who promised to come back later:

"I'll slip you the money, but I know a lot of people here and I don't want them to see me buying this book."

I'd love to hear your comments. Do these reactions surprise you?

Fortunately, there were a few brave souls who broke the mold. A group of three women laughed and they all bought copies. (I asked if it was for their book club!)

One man bought the book for his wife, then returned, worried. "What's the worst that can happen when my wife reads this?" he asked.

"She might keep you up all night!" I replied.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Menopause The Musical

Please note new date!

Come hear Joan Price, author of Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk About Sex After Sixty, and see the hit show Menopause the Musical at San Francisco's Pier 39 on Thursday, October 5, 2006!

Hear Joan: 6:45-7:30
See the show: 8:00 – 9:30

All for only $41.50 (a $5 savings over the regular show price) -- and you'll get a complimentary glass of wine!

Joan will offer spicy details, tips and stories about the joys and challenges of women's sexuality after sixty, based on her own experience, interviews with dozens of women, and advice the sex experts want you to know. For more info about Joan, please visit her website at www.joanprice.com.

Then you will be treated to the joyful parody of 25 re-lyricized classic baby boomer hits. The 90-minute show features such chart-toppers as "I Heard It Thru the Grapevine; You No Longer See 39" and the disco favorite "Stayin' Awake! Stayin' Awake!”

To order your tickets:

  1. Go to http://www.tix.com/Schedule.asp?OrganizationNumber=434
  2. Select Menopause The Musical for Thursday, Oct. 5
  3. Enter the promotional code GGGTin the promotions box to get the special price of only $41.50 (a $5 savings over the regular price).
This special price is only valid for Oct. 5, and seats are limited, so reserve yours now! And remember to arrive by 6:45, even though your ticket confirmation may say 8:00.

9/26 update: Please note: The theater's onling booking had a problem. If you tried to book tickets and the code did not go through to give you the discount, please phone 415-433-3939 and they'll fix it.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Meet Joan in Person

I'd love to meet you! Here are the places I'm speaking, signing, and presenting workshops. Please contact your friends in these cities.

(If you're a member of an organization that would be interested in hiring me to speak or present an interactive workshop, please let me know. See my web page for meeting planners.)

[please see updated schedule here.]


Monday, August 14, 8-10 pm, Good Vibrations, 2504 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA . Workshop for men and women: Ask Me, I'll Tell You: Women and Men Talk about Sex and Aging. For many people, sex and aging are two of the hardest topics to talk about. Add in the challenges of communicating across the genders and it can sometimes seem impossible. But Joan Price, ageless sexuality advocate, and author of Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty is here to help! In this interactive and fun discussion night, you'll have a chance to get the answers you're looking for. Joan will guide an evening of conversation and discovery, and will help everyone in the room learn from each other. For couples & singles, men & women. If you're 60+, or you plan to be, this workshop is for you. Preregister at least 24 hours in advance by contacting the Berkeley Good VIbrations at (510) 841-8987 . You will need to give the staff your name, phone number, and a credit card number. $25

** rescheduled: Thursday, Oct. 5, 2006 ** Wednesday, June 7, 6:45-7:45 pm, talk and booksigning before the performance of the fabulously funny "Menopause the Musical" in San Francisco. We'll even get a discount on tickets! (See detailed information in separate post.) Update: that show had to be cancelled because of an air-conditioning failure. We've rescheduled for Thursday, Oct. 5, 2006, and there's a separate blog entry about this. Thanks! -- Joan

** TO BE RESCHEDULED ** Tuesday, August 1, 8-10 pm, Good Vibrations, 1620 Polk Street (at Sacramento Street), San Francisco. Workshop: Straight Talk About Sex After 60 (women only). Yes, sex after sixty has its challenges, but it can also be sizzling and satisfying. Joan Price, ageless sexuality advocate, fitness expert, and author of Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty will help you face the challenges and celebrate the joys of older-age sexuality. By sharing experiences and learning with other women in a spirit of candor, acceptance, creativity, and humor, you’ll take home new tools, techniques, and attitudes that help women over sixty experience hot, joyful sex with or without a partner. Preregister at least 24 hours in advance by contacting the Polk Street Good Vibrations at (415) 345-0400. You will need to give the staff your name, phone number, and a credit card number. $25.

[updated August 1, 2006]===

Events already completed:

Thursday, January 26, talk and reading, Center for Sex & Culture, 11th & Harrison, San Francisco.

Tuesday, February 7, talk at Sports Club/LA~San Francisco, 747 Market St., San Francisco.

Sunday, February 12, Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera, CA. Valentine's event, talk and booksigning.

Monday, February 27, Straight Talk about Sex after Sixty workshop at Good Vibrations, 2504 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA.

Saturday, March 4, talk and booksigning at Early to Bed, 5232 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL.

Sunday, March 5, Straight Talk about Sex after Sixty workshop at Early to Bed, 5232 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL.

Tuesday, March 7, talk and booksigning at A Woman's Touch, 600 Williamson Street, Madison, WI.

Wednesday, March 8, talk and booksigning at A Woman's Touch, 200 N Jefferson St. Suite 101, Milwaukee, WI.

Saturday, April 15, "Meet the Author" Book Party, Pilates Collective, 132 Weeks Way (on the Plaza), Sebastopol.

Saturday, April 22, Palm Springs Book Festival, 538 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs.

Tuesday, May 2, talk and booksigning at Babeland, a woman-friendly sexuality shop at 94 Rivington St. (Lower East Side between Ludlow and Orchard), New York City, 212-375-1701.

Saturday, May 6 (open to women and men) & Sunday May 7 (women only), 6:30-8:30 pm, Straight Talk about Sex after Sixty workshop at Venus Envy, 320 Lisgar St., Ottawa, Canada. 613-789-4646.

Thursday, May 11, 7-9 pm, talk and booksigning at Copperfield's Books, 138 N. Main Street Sebastopol, CA, 707-823-2618.

Saturday, May 27, 9-10 pm, talk and booksigning at the San Diego Mensa Regional Gathering, Lake San Marcos Resort, 1025 La Bonita Drive, Lake San Marcos (San Diego), CA.