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

5 comments:

  1. You have got to be kidding me! If we can't admit our sexuality has ebbed we are in for a lot of grief. If sexuality were meant to continue after menopause, heart attacks, high blood pressure and all the other aliments that accompany aging we wouldn't need to pump ourselves full of hormones and viagra.
    I have been married forty one years and we have accepted the demise of intercourse. Neither one of us can be up on our knees or fore arms for any length of time, joking aside, we are happy and content. Who wouldn't love to once again feel the rush and passion of lusty sex, but "been there and done that". It is quite alright to love one another and share the moments of laughter at the irony of becoming our elderly parents in the eyes of our children without trying to be forty again.
    Each segment of our lives carry different problems and differnt rewards and this part of my life is full of gratitude for staying with and sharing my life with this man, the man I have always loved.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Di, I'm very happy that you wrote. Certainly many women feel as you do, that they've "been there, done that," and can be content and fulfilled without sex.

    I acknowledge your feelings and have no quarrel with them. You sound very much in love with your husband and satisfied with your relationship. You express yourself eloquently when you say,

    "Each segment of our lives carry different problems and differnt rewards and this part of my life is full of gratitude for staying with and sharing my life with this man, the man I have always loved."

    On the other hand, there are those of us who are well past menopause and are experiencing exhilarating sex in our later years. I'm in a relatively new (5 years) relationship, but some of the women I interviewed for Better Than I Ever Expected are with long-time partners/husbands. Since those of us who are enthusiastically enjoying older-age sex are seldom heard from or portrayed in the media, I feel a mission (and a joyful mission it is!) to give voice to that part of our population.

    By the way -- I'm considering writing an article addressing those physical challenges -- e.g. discomfort being on knees/forearms -- and discussing ways to work around those issues.

    Others who want to join our conversation, please chime in!

    -- Joan

    ReplyDelete
  3. Bill from DownUnderDecember 11, 2006

    As it happens, I am drawn to your site because of my seemingly unending search for information about sex and the senior citizen. Am I normal? is one of the questions I thought I had long ago answered ... but then I turned old. Now it's, is my sex drive normal for a 70 year old man? Is it normal for my mind to be filled with all the desires of a 30-year-old while my body acts like it was on vacation? Are the best years of sexual activity behind me?

    The women I meet act as if they are looking for a friend and can't be bothered with sex ... is this the way it is or am I meeting the wrong women? Questions, questions, questions.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Bill, thank you for visiting and leaving such provocative comments.

    No, you’re not too old for ANY of this! If you only knew how many women I've met recently who would love to meet you! Don't give up, please.

    Any women from Australia reading with a response for Bill?

    -- Joan

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nancy, age 71December 19, 2006

    I met a man whom I have been seeing for 5 months now and he loves me and I love him. I have been a widow for 6-1/2 years after having a good, 45-year marriage.

    I live in a senior apartment building, where he lives part time. I first met him at a blood pressure reading. He does not know how to cook, just grills and buys fast foods to throw in the microwave, but he loves my cooking and baking. He buys the food for me to cook for him and he also takes me out for dinner a couple times of the week.

    He is a great lover and is not pushy about it. He cannot get hard for he had surgery 3 years ago. But we still have sex in other ways and I can see what you mean in the article about you that I read in the Green Bay Press Gazette.

    We enjoy each other's company. I have no intentions of marrying again and neither does he, for he has been a bachelor for so long. When he’s away, I miss him and his arms around me.

    He says he only cares for me and no one else because I accept the only kind of sex we can have together. Sex isn't everything -- companionship is just as nice -- but at my age I do enjoy sex.

    ReplyDelete

My readers and I appreciate your thoughtful comments. Please share your views! Comments are moderated, so yours won't appear until I've seen it. Thank you in advance for commenting!

Some people have reported problems commenting. If this happens to you, please email your comment (with the name under which you want it posted) to joan@joanprice.com, and I'll post it for you.

Retailers please note: I delete comments that attempt to hijack my readers to a commercial site. If you'd like to advertise, contact me at joan@joanprice.com and I'll be happy to send you information.

Authors, therapists and sex educators who have helpful information for readers are welcome to post links to their sites.

-- Joan