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]