Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dr. Carol Queen reveals the History of Vibrators

Carol Queen, PhD, one of the learned sex experts in Naked at Our Age and Good Vibrations Staff Sexologist, explains the History of Vibrators:



Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sex Toys: 2010 Holiday Recommendations


As a sex toy reviewer, I'd say it's been a great year! Here are a few of my recommendations, with links to my original reviews. From there, you'll find links to retailers I endorse.

Most of my recommendations are new toys in 2010, but not all of them. Just in case you haven't been following this blog religiously for the past four years, I don't want you to miss some all-time favorites that might be new to you, so I've included a few of them, too.

Realize that all the toys I recommend get high marks from a senior perspective: they're strong (most are really strong!) to compensate for our slowing arousal pattern, reliable, comfortable to use (even for athritic wrists), orgasm-inducing effective--and they don't balk at long use times. Bonus points when the controls are easy to figure out without reading glasses.

I only recommend high quality toys, made of body-friendly materials and designed to last. They won't overheat or turn themselves off if we need to keep them running for a while. Because of the standards of design, function, and materials, these aren't cheap. They're like us -- high quality, durable, and ready for pleasure.


Jimmyjane Form 3: Put your finger into the indentation of this sweet vibrator and voila! You get a softly cushioned, intensely vibrating finger.  


LELO Siri:  A clitoral massager that curves over your clitoris and labia with delicious results.

LELO Gigi: I reviewed this G-spot/vaginal vibrator in 2009, and despite the many newer toys I've received, I find myself reaching for this one frequently, pairing it with various clitoral stimulators. I like the slender shape and the design of the G-spotting tip really does aim perfectly.

LELO Lily: Another 2009 favorite, smaller than the Siri, yet still strong. Try this during partner sex -- it's small enough that it won't get in the way, and it will intensify your pleasure.

Vibratex Mystic Wand: I was so surprised by the strength of this vibrator! I often find myself reaching for it instead of the Hitachi Magic Wand when I need a super-strong assist. It's almost as strong as the Hitachi, which seems impossible because it's powered by just 4 AA batteries, and there's no cord to get in the way and no need for an electrical outlet.


Petite Couture Enchanted: Cute enough to make you laugh, but potent enough to make you squirm, this vaginal vibrator is shaped just right to hit the right spots and stay in place almost hands-free. I love the squishiness of this toy, enjoyable--even before its designated use--to just hold and squeeze.
Snow Bunny: I tried rabbit after rabbit, convinced I couldn't find one to fit me, and  then I found the Snow Bunny!

Eroscillator: Long before I started reviewing sex toys, I discovered the Eroscillator and used it for more than a decade. It's great between bodies for partner sex, because the wand is slim enough that it doesn't get in the way. Be sure to try the "marshmallow" attachment -- my favorite!   


My list here is far from comprehensive. Please click here for all my sex toy reviews and commentary -- keep scrolling down and click "older posts" when you get to the bottom, because there are many reviews, and one that was just okay for me might be the one you've been wishing for.

In addition, I have a collection of toys I received in 2010 that I haven't yet reviewed. Look for an update as I discover new ones I have to tell you about.

Your comments are welcome! (But please don't try to use my blog to send my readers to other retailers than the ones I recommend. Those comments never see the light of day.)

Enjoy!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Put Your Head on My Shoulder

12/14/10 update: I wrote the memory below last March 7, first in my personal journal, then as a blog post.

Later on, working on the last chapter of Naked at Our Age, I realized it also needed to be the ending of my book.

Today, I was finishing proofreading the designed pages that Seal Press sent me and simultaneously struggling to figure out how to make today -- which would have been his 74th birthday -- special.

As soon as I read this memory at the end of the book, I decided to share it with you again:


Put Your Head on My Shoulder

One day I was rushing about, I don’t remember for what, maybe preparing for a trip. I was stressed, crashing about, full of nervous energy. Robert caught me in mid-flight, taking my hand. “I’m so busy,” I protested.

“Just for a minute,” he said quietly, leading me into the living room.

He switched on the CD player, and Michael Bublé began to sing, “Put Your Head on My Shoulder.” Robert enveloped me in his arms and began to dance me around the floor. My body melted into his strong embrace and his graceful rhythm. I started to cry, feeling his closeness and knowing that nothing was more important than holding this man I loved in my arms. I continued to sob, and he didn’t need to ask why. He just cradled my head into his shoulder and kept us dancing.

I don’t remember what I was rushing to that day, but I do remember every moment in Robert’s arms, the feel of his chest against my face and his body leading mine until our rhythms melted into one being. Yes, just like making love.

I would do anything to dance in his arms again. I narrate this special moment to remind you to stop, take time with your lover if you’re fortunate enough to have him or her with you, and never take for granted that there will always be time later on. Now is all we have. Treasure each other.



Saturday, December 11, 2010

Love Dances In: Dec. 10, 2000

December 10, 2000 -- ten years ago exactly -- turned out to change my life in every way: my emotions, my personal growth, my sexuality, my view of aging, even my career. That was the evening that Robert's life journey landed him in my line dance class. He had recently moved to Santa Rosa and was looking for a place to dance.

Here's how I tell it in Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty (the book that never would have been written without that eventful evening):

Love Dances In

The day that Robert walked into my line dance class, my hormones thought they were twenty years old again. His smile, fit body, and grace of movement caught my eye immediately.

Then, when he started to dance, his years of tap, modern dance, and ballet training were revealed in every movement, and I was lost at sea. His nimble feet, muscled thighs, and sensually mobile hips commanded my attention. I wanted to touch the inviting curl of chest hair that peeked through the open top buttons of his shirt. I met his dazzling blue eyes and pretended to breathe. For the rest of the evening, I kept losing my place in the dance I was teaching because I couldn’t take my eyes off him.

Robert kept coming to class and danced into my heart. I tried to engage him in conversation after class occasionally, and he responded almost warily, answering me but not giving me any signals that my attentions were welcomed or reciprocated. I wondered:  Is he gay? Attached? Or simply not interested in me?

I started inviting him for walks after class, which he accepted. We talked, but never very personally. I told him about the Internet health book I was writing, and he told me about his art and the English gardens of his travels. There was no touching, no eyes locking, no double entendres, no intimate details revealed.

We choreographed a line dance together, which felt extraordinarily intimate to me. We were using our bodies to communicate and showing each other movements, which was very sexy. But the harder I tried to push to the next stage, the faster he retreated.

Then what? I am tempted to tell our whole story here, but I'd rather you enjoyed it yourself in Better Than I Ever Expected.


Now, ten years and a lifetime later, Robert has been gone for two years and four months, his life ended by cancer. He is still strongly present -- my house filled with his paintings, my mind filled with memories, my heart filled with love. I am struggling to move forward, starting to date again, opening myself to what life holds for me. I am forever grateful that Robert chose December 11, 2000, to wander into my dance class and that he found something there that kept him coming back.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Great Sex after 50: A Woman's Guide to Getting Her Mind, Body and Relationship Ready for Pleasure by Dr. Pepper Schwartz

Great Sex after 50: A Woman's Guide to Getting Her Mind, Body and Relationship Ready for Pleasure  by sexpert Dr. Pepper Schwartz,  is an e-book in PDF format about our sexual issues, problems, and pleasures. Vibrant Nation, an online community for women over 50 that I enjoy immensely, published this book.

Dr. Schwartz is a professor of sociology, author of many books, and the AARP sex & relationships expert. You've seen her on Oprah, Dateline, Dr. Phil and Lifetime programs. She knows her stuff, and she's fun to read.

My favorite of her books is Prime: Adventures and Advice on Sex, Love, and the Sensual Years, a memoir about her sexual adventures at age 55+ after ending a 23-year marriage. So much fun to read, with good tips, too, and you'll be planning a trip to Bali before you finish it!

When I heard that Dr. Schwartz's new book about sex after 50 had just come out, I was, at first -- I'll be honest -- worried. Would this book duplicate ideas in my own  Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk About Sex After Sixty? Or anticipate what I cover in my upcoming book, Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex?

But no, although the topics overlap quite a bit, the treatment is very different. Dr. Schwartz offers tons of statistics -- who's doing what, what are we enjoying or not enjoying in sex, what problems are we facing? The book is not dry in any way, it's warm and friendly, with tips for improving whatever is ailing our sex lives, such as boredom, lack of communication, pain, and much more. Some of her advice is geared to couples, some to singles. Her chapter about dating is full of good advice presented in a warm, upbeat style.


But my goodness, this book is way overpriced -- 54 pages for $29.97? And it's just in PDF format, so if you want a paper copy, you have to print it out yourself. I'm all for e-books -- I buy them all the time and read them on my iPad, where I read this one. But even full-length e-books are generally priced at $10-$12, not $30. Please, Vibrant Nation, this book is too useful and well written to price itself out of the market.

Vibrant Nation also offers a useful, free report: Top 5 Treatments for Vaginal Dryness and Dyspareunia (Sexual Intercourse Pain).

Thursday, December 09, 2010

When Penetration Hurts: Vulvar and Vaginal Pain

One of the most helpful chapters in Naked at Our Age (coming June 2011) addresses vulvar/vaginal pain, a complex issue. You'll read real-people stories from women whose vaginal or vulvar pain prevented them from enjoying penetration, or who learned how to renew their vaginal health, plus information and direction for getting your own pain diagnosed and treated. Although you'll have to wait for the book, until then, these posts about vaginal/vulvar pain will be helpful, and here is a list of websites that offer more information and/or referrals to knowledgeable professionals:

• American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists: http://www.aasect.org/.

• American Physical Therapist Association, Section on Women’s Health: http://www.womenshealthapta.org/.

• American Urogynecologic Society: http://www.augs.org/.

• International Society for the Study of Vulvar Disease: http://www.issvd.org/.

• Mypelvichealth.org: http://www.mypelvichealth.org/

• National Vulvodynia Association: http://www.nva.org/

• OObgyn.net: http://www.obgyn.net/

• Pelvic and Sexual Health Institute: http://www.pelvicandsexualhealthinstitute.org/

• Secret Suffering: Helping Women Cope with Sexual and Pelvic Pain (patient site): http://www.secretsuffering.com/.

• Vulval Pain Society: http://www.vulvalpainsociety.org/.

• Vulvar Pain Foundation: http://www.vulvarpainfoundation.org/

• Vulvodynia.com: http://www.vulvodynia.com/

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Love Ranch - Helen Mirren deserves better

I had great hopes for Love Ranch, a film that takes place in a brothel, starring the beautiful, talented, and sensual 65-year-old Helen Mirren as the madam. Hurray, I thought, Mirren is playing a sexy, older woman. I heard that her character had steamy sex with a man decades younger -- go, Helen!

The film started slowly -- plodded, actually, though I laughed and applauded when Mirren's character's husband, played by Joe Pesci, challenged her, "Who do you think you are, the Queen of England?" Mirren is beautiful despite mostly conservative clothing and smudged lipstick, and the closeups of wrinkles made me happy that yes, finally, an older woman is being celebrated without trying to hide her age.

The film is based on a true story about the first legal brothel in Reno, Nevada. The script isn't worthy of Mirren. It's hackneyed, predictable, and not all that interesting. In fact, I have the movie on "pause" right now, minutes from the end, dreading the obvious finale.

There is one brief but steamy sex scene, all too short (hey, she's an older woman -- let's take our time!), which seems thrown in so that people would be shocked by the show of passion between a young Argentine boxer (actor Sergio Peris-Mencheta) and a woman more than twice his age. Peris-Mencheta didn't strike me as sexy or appealing, and she deserved more -- both as a sensual woman and as an actress.

It's astonishing to me that the director, Taylor Hackford, is Mirren's husband. That's likely the reason she agreed to do Love Ranch. It certainly wasn't the flaccid script.

See a trailer here. The film is available from Netflix.

Monday, November 22, 2010

No sex, and we can't talk about it

“My wife and I are in our fifties and rarely have sex, about once or twice a year,” John wrote to me. “I cannot talk to my wife about it at all, as I suspect she is not interested.” Here is his story:


Because she never initiates anything I am assuming that she can live without sex. We once went five years of abstinence. This is really a problem for me as I need sex much more frequently. When sex occurs it is not great anyway, following the same pattern each time.

Since menopause my wife finds intercourse painful. Is this just because it’s been a long time since we had sex and the menopause has really kicked in? She never used to find it painful, but I noticed that she does not seem to become aroused much and vaginal fluid has become a thing of the past. Gel did not work either.

John went on to explain that he masturbates a couple of times a week to “fend off the urges that could lead to infidelity,” but he worries that this is harmful and he’s trying to stop. He admits that their sex life in earlier times wasn’t terrific, either -- lights off, no variety -- but they lived with it for the thirty years of their marriage. He continued:


I have racked my brain for a plan of action. I know the hard part is putting it across to my wife in a way which is pleasant and attractive. So my first move is to stop masturbating to stop the urge. I think that if I leave things until I get really desperate, I will have to communicate with her as the only option.


John’s story tugs at so many important concerns: lack of communication and his wife’s vaginal pain, lack of lubrication, and diminished desire. In my new book, Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex, I devote an entire chapter to each of these four problems. I wish I could send him the book now, but it won’t be out until June. Of course I’m not going to make him wait until June to get some direction.


First of all, John, your wife needs to get a medical evaluation for her vaginal pain. There can be several causes (which I go into in Naked at Our Age), and yes, there are solutions! A common cause is the tightening of the vaginal floor muscles after menopause when they don’t get regular practice relaxing through sexual arousal and orgasm. An excellent resource for making vaginal intercourse more comfortable is the Vaginal Renewal Program from A Woman’s Touch.

Please also try different lubricants. I don't know which "gel" you used, but lubricants are very important at our age when our own lubrication decreases. These posts about lubrication will give you more information.

However, you’ve got to be able to talk about this problem in order to fix it! A sex therapist would be a great help here, especially since this isn’t a new problem. Sex therapists are trained to understand what’s preventing you from having a good sex life and offer strategies for improving communication as well as sex itself. This has gone on so long that although I could offer some communication tips, I think you do need a third person listening. If she wouldn’t be willing to go to a sex therapist, a couples therapist would be a good start.

For now, can you say something like this to your wife?

“Our marriage means the world to me, and I would feel happier if we could work on the problems that are interfering with our sexual intimacy. I think we need some help and guidance, because we’re staying stuck on our own. Could we see a doctor about your vaginal pain and talk to a counselor about how to bring intimacy back into our marriage?”

Please see also Yvonne Fulbright’s comments on communicating about sex.


Please realize, John, that there's nothing wrong with masturbation at our age or any age. Our sexual urges tell us that we're fully alive -- they're not our enemy.

I know this is a small answer to a big problem, John, but I hope it will encourage you to take the first steps at talking with your wife openly and lovingly and seeking professional guidance. Would you please let me know what you do and what happens?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

“My head knows moving on is best, but...."

“My love for my husband was so great that I am having a very difficult time considering another man,” Jean, age 74, wrote to me. “My head knows moving on is best, but my heart puts up a very good fight. Yes, it gets very lonely at times and then, at other times, I appreciate the solitude. I do believe that at this age, finding someone with whom you are compatible from a distance is best. His and her homes with visitations rights, perks, and genuinely being there for one another sounds like a plan to me! Easy to say and difficult to find!”


Jean’s email came at exactly the moment that I was trying to make sense of similar feelings. I had a “date” with a man with whom I had shared an intensely sensual relationship 27 years ago, when I was 40 and he (get ready) was 23. We had enjoyed each other immensely, then both of us had gone on to other relationships, and he had moved many states away.

Suddenly we discovered that we would be in the same city last Saturday. With anticipation and fantasies abounding, we made arrangements to meet.
How lovely, I daydreamed. Here’s a smart, gentle, witty man from my past, who gloried in giving me pleasure, and we were always able to talk candidly. Surely the 27 years apart could be wiped out for an evening of sensual nostalgia, couldn’t it? I needed to rise from grief and rediscover my sensuality with a live person rather than with sex toys. This sweet man could be the one to take my hand and lead me there.

We met, we hugged, we talked excitedly about where our lives and loves had taken us in the past decades. But then… when the time came to kiss and discover… I couldn’t. I felt myself sinking into sadness. His kiss wasn’t Robert’s. His body type wasn’t Robert’s. I pulled away.

“I really hoped I would respond sexually to you,” I told him, “but I’m not.”

“I’m sorry,” he said, cradling my head against his chest.

“I even packed condoms and lubricant, and chose my underwear with care,” I added. He laughed with me at that last revelation. “But it’s just not happening. I still miss Robert so much.”

“Tell me about him,” he said, maybe the sweetest comment he could have made.

I am grateful to my friend for his understanding, although I didn’t know whether to laugh or cringe when I read “Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be” on his Facebook page early the next day. I decided to laugh and post the comment, “Here’s to nostalgia.”

So when Jean wrote to me just after my friend and I parted, I had to agree with her sentiment, “My head knows moving on is best, but my heart puts up a very good fight.”

Inviting Your Stories and Questions about Senior Sex

I continue to get emails from blog readers who have their own senior sex stories to share and often ask questions about sexual responsiveness, communication with a partner, sex and grief, how health issues affect sex, desire disparity, dating, and all those other issues that challenge our later-life sexuality. I welcome comments on this blog (see the labels on the right for topics already covered) and your emails when you have more to say or ask.

For the past five years, I would have invited you to answer my questionnaire and submit your concerns for my new book, and I would have matched your concerns with experts who have the answers you seek. But now the book, Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex, is finished and we're just waiting for its publication June 2011.

So here's what I'd like to do from here on:

1. Email me your story and your questions.
2. In your email, tell me I have permission to excerpt your email to post on my blog. If I change it much, I'll send it back to you for your approval first.
3. Choose a first name that you'd like your story to appear under (it doesn't have to be your real name), and tell me your real age. 
4. I'll get back to you with a link to your story/questions and the blog post where it appears.

I really can't answer detailed questions via email, but as long as you're willing to share your story to help others, I'm happy to get you the information you seek.

Please be patient, though! I'll acknowledge your email right away, but I might not get to writing the blog post quickly. At the moment, I'm way behind answering your emails, and I doubt I'll ever catch up completely! You're welcome to keep sending me additions and gentle reminders while you wait.

This blog has already won several awards because of its useful content, and I'd like it to be an even better resource, continuing to grow and offer you information and community. I hope you'll return often!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Treeze Wave -- beautiful but big

The Treeze Wave Vibrating Wood Pleasure Wand is a gorgeous sex toy. It's made of wood, beautifully decorated with patterns and stripes, with a removable vibrator inside that makes the whole lovely object buzz on two AA batteries. You can choose among several intensities and vibrational patterns by pressing a tiny button at the base.

The wood fibers are saturated with  urethane resin and cured under pressure at high temperature, so it feels very smooth and can't splinter or absorb lubricant. Materials are safe with no chance of splinters, chips, or termites.

I think the appearance is exquisite, but I have two problems with the Treeze -- it's really noisy, and it's really big. The noisy part might not bother you, and didn't really bother me, though I had to hum along to keep from getting distracted by the noise. I paired the Treeze with the Hitachi Magic Wand -- and I had to laugh at both the amount of noise and the disharmony between the two.

The "big" part won't bother those of you who like girth. It's not huge by sex toy standards, just too big for my personal preference and comfort, especially at my age. The product description says it's 1.5" wide average, but a couple of its ridges are 1.6"-1.75"-- enough of a difference to matter to me. The tapered tip is nice, but then it gets to 1.6" wide within the first 1.25" of length (which is as far as I could get!) and 1.75" wide about halfway along its 8" length. So for me, although I appreciated its beauty and how sensual the ripply wood felt in my hand, I really need a "Treeze Junior"!

Although the size problem disappointed me, I did enjoy the sensations of the part I was able to use. It's delightfully strong, with a variety of vibrational modes.  It comes in a nice, padded pouch for storage.

Thank you, SexToyFun.com, for sending me the lovely Treeze Wave to review. Is the manufacturer, Don Wands, considering a petite version? If so, I'm volunteering to review it!

Enjoy my other sex toy posts here.

Monday, November 08, 2010

A Birthday Without Robert

11/8/2010: Two days from my 67th birthday, and I miss Robert terribly. He always made such a fuss over me on my birthday, cooking me a special meal (vegan mushroom stroganoff and vegan chocolate mousse, for example), writing loving messages in carefully chosen cards, and either buying or painting something special for me.

He painted a wooden cigar box to create a beautiful jewelry box to hold the earrings he delighted in gifting me. He decorated little boxes for me. He was moved by a story I wrote and painted a folder to hold it. He even decorated a cane when I was injured and couldn't walk unassisted.

Whenever he painted something utilitarian for me, he always included a heart, sometimes easy to find, like the box above, sometimes needing a concentrated hunt because he hid the heart in the design. He would watch me search for it, sometimes shaking his head because I was blindly missing it.  


The most wonderful gift was this Kimono painting he created for me for Christmas 2002. The hanging parts are painted on muslin; the "sleeves" are on canvas. He became well known for these kimono paintings and was able to sell as many as he could paint.
 
Then, having learned he had cancer and didn't know how much time he would have to work, he decided he would do no more kimonos, no more "pretty paintings," in fact.
 
Instead, he delved into his soul and his drive to develop as an artist and painted some of his best work. See it here:  
 
I know I'm moving forward after two years and three months wihout Robert -- new experiences, new friends, new accomplishments, even dipping my toes into dating. I can't bring him back, so I must live my life without him.
 
But anyone who has grieved knows that special days like birthdays and holidays pack such a punch that our gut recoils, our heart fills with holes, and the healing seeps out. Grief isn't linear, it's cyclical. Each time, as my uncle Larry Leshan tells me (he lost Eda LeShan, his wife of 58 years), "Although the knife is as sharp, it doesn't cut as deep or as often."
 
"To my wife on her birthday," Robert's final birthday card to me said. "Every day with you is more special than the last. All my love to you, today and always. Robert 2007."
 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Elders Support "It Gets Better!"

I am exhilarated by the ever growing "It Gets Better" project. IGB was created by sex columnist Dan Savage in response to the recent gay teen suicides to help gay teens realize that life, self-esteem, and interactions with others do, indeed, get better.

In an earlier post and on my Naked at Our Age Facebook page, I invited readers (of any and all sexual colors and stripes) to connect with teens and support them in their quest to understand themselves. Those of us who have lived through many decades since our own adolescence still remember how unsure we were of ourselves, how dangerous the world seemed, how tentative our steps until we found our way, and how much better it is now, with experience, wisdom, and self-acceptance.

I love seeing how "It Gets Better" has grown, and especially how many of the participants have wrinkles and gray or white hair (or no hair!). Watch this moving video, "It gets Better: Wisdom from our Gay Elders":




Please also watch this moving performance by the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles:



What do you think our role is, as elders--whether straight or gay--in helping gay teens? I invite your comments.

Friday, October 22, 2010

This blog is #10 of the Top 100!

Oh wow, not only is this blog on the Top 100 Sex Bloggers list again this year, it's #10! (It was #29 last year.)

#10 out of 200 nominees! Blogs were judged on site design, frequency of posting, quality of posts, readership interaction, and more. Excuse me while I do a little dance. As far as I know, I'm the only "elder blogger" on the list.

Most of the other winners are erotic blogs, rather than educational blogs as this one is. So I'm even more honored that an blog aimed at providing solid information about senior/elder sex was voted worthy of being in the top 10 of all sex blogs!

For new visitors to my blog: I am the author of Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk About Sex After Sixty and the upcoming Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex. I started this blog after Better Than I Ever Expected was published in 2006 because I wanted to connect with my readers and continue the discussion about sex and aging.

This blog is all about senior/elder sexuality and related topics, including tips for improving sex at our age, reviews of sex toys from a senior perspective, books and films that look at senior sex, expert interviews, senior sex in the news, dating, and my personal love story. Because sex/love at our age does often involve loss, you'll find posts about grief as well.

Read this blog via either http://betterthanieverexpected.blogspot.com/ and the easier to remember http://www.nakedatourage.com/. I hope you'll visit often. I love comments, so please share your thoughts. 

See all the Best Sex Bloggers 2010 winners here. (Warning: extremely explicit content on most of these blogs. If that's enticing, I hope you'll explore many of the top 100.)

I'm so jazzed about being #10! Many thanks to Rori and her BetweenMySheets blog, and all the judges.

- Joan Price

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Jimmyjane Form 3: A vibrating finger

What should a vibrator designed for clitoral use look like? Sex toy designers have been working on that challenge for decades, and have come up with some innovative ideas, as you'll see in the designs of the many vibrators I've reviewed here, most of which aim their pleasures at the clitoris.  But Jimmyjane's Form 3 takes the innovation prize. Thank you, Kama Sutra Closet, for sending it to me for review.

The Form 3 is based on the idea that a clitoral vibrator should feel like a well-placed, vibrating finger. So it's shaped like... I can't describe it -- look at it here.
You hold it in your hand, turn it on (the controls aren't visible in the photos, but they're easy to find and use), put your finger in the thin, membrane-like indentation, and voila, the Form 3 becomes an intensely vibrating finger. Your finger. Intensely vibrating.

You can use it however you please over your clitoris -- press, circle, roll, rub, whatever tickes your fancy.

I love that it's powerful yet flexible and soft -- so often the powerful vibrators (and you know how I like power in my vibrators) are hard. That was a trade-off I thought I had to accept. But the part that touches your tender spot is soft, bendable, and moves just like your finger moves.

With 4 vibration modes, 5 power levels, it's easy to find the mode and level that please. The Form 3 is made of high-grade silicone and is completely waterproof . Charge it in its little charging bed before use -- no need for batteries.

Jimmyjane designs innovative, luxury sex toys. I think they need my help naming their toys, though -- Form 3, Form 2, Form 6 -- how unsexy are those names? I'll overlook that, though, and tell you that the new Form 3 is an amazing toy with the design I've been looking for, but never imagined on my own.

Kama Sutra Closet is offering a fantastic 15% discount to readers of this blog on the Form 3 and all other products other than sale items. Use the code "Better15" when you order. 

View a video of the Form 3 (gloves optional during use):

Enjoy my other sex toy posts here.


Friday, October 01, 2010

Prayers for Bobby today: Gay kids committing suicide

Gay teens are killing themselves -- two 13-year-olds due to bullying (see this terrific blog post by Sue Katz), and a college student whose tryst was videoed and put online. It sickens me that young people just discovering their sexuality feel so vulnerable that it's easier to die than to live. Those of us who have lived long enough to know ourselves, accept ourselves (including our sexuality -- whatever its stripes or colors), and find or create a community that lets us live fully and honestly have a responsibility to pass this along to young people.


That's how Leroy Aarons felt at age 61, and that's why I'm repeating the following post from January 2009. I don't know if you can find the Lifetime movie now, but the book is as valuable now as the day it was written. Please read it, then pass it along to someone who needs it. A life may depend on it.


Here's what I wrote in January 2009:

At age 61, prizewinning journalist Leroy Aarons discovered the true story of Bobby Griffith, a story so gripping that he devoted himself to retelling this story in novel form.

His book, Prayers for Bobby, has inspired a movie premiering on Lifetime TV, Saturday, January 24, 2009. It is the riveting true story of teenager Bobby Griffith, who back-flipped off a freeway overpass into the path of a tractor trailer at age 20 because he could not accept his homosexuality. Prayers for Bobby chronicles Bobby’s angst at growing up gay in a fundamentalist Christian family and an anti-homosexual social and school environment. Aarons gently and lovingly pieces together Bobby’s life, fears, hopes and, finally, hopelessness, with the help of the five year diary he left, his legacy.

Prayers for Bobby (subtitle: A Mother’s Coming to Terms with the Suicide of Her Gay Son) is also the story of Mary Griffith, Bobby’s mother, played by Sigourney Weaver in the Lifetime movie. A staunch, one-tracked fundamentalist, Mary was convinced that if she and Bobby just prayed enough, and if Bobby tried hard enough, God would cure him of his homosexuality. She prayed, she nagged Bobby relentlessly, she shamed him, she put Bible quotes on the mirror for him to see when he wakened. Too late, Mary finally realized with a thunderbolt of insight that the reason God had refused to cure Bobby was that there was nothing wrong with him.

What does this have to do with our age group? Plenty. Think about how we had to discover our own sexual and sensual natures despite the mores of our restrictive society in an era that condemned what seemed our most natural feelings and desires. Imagine being trapped in a world that didn't understand you at a time you couldn't even understand yourself. And reach out.

If you think you don't know any closeted gay teenagers, it's only because they are closeted. Maybe your "Bobby" is your grandson, or your granddaughter's best friend, or the neighbor kid, or the quiet boy at church. We've learned a lot about life and about sexuality in the decades we've been living on this earth, and part of it is to accept ourselves and open ourselves to younger folks who might need a role model, a listening ear, and a warm "so good to see you today."

Please see the movie, and read the book, which goes into much more detail and will haunt you in a beautiful way.

I am proud that I knew Leroy Aarons until his death four years ago, called him my friend Roy, and still enjoy a close friendship with Joshua Boneh, his surviving spouse. Please check out the website that Joshua and Roy's friends have constructed in Roy's memory and to celebrate the movie that he always hoped would be made about his book.

(photo of Leroy Aarons and Joshua Boneh)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

10 Tips for Hot Sex after Sixty


This blog has welcomed thousands of new readers since I first posted these tips in April 2006, so I'm posting them again for your pleasure. If you'd like a pretty, print-worthy, colorful page of these tips in .pdf format, email me and I'll send them to you.


1. Slo-o-o-w-w down. Yes, it takes longer to warm us up. Fortunately, one of the best things about mid-life and later-life sex is the absence of urgency for our partners, also. They enjoy slow sex as much as we do! Make sex play last hours... or days.

2. Kiss and kiss. Kiss sweetly, passionately, quickly, slowly, contentedly, hungrily, lightly, sloppily. All kinds of kisses help you bond with your partner, warm up, and enjoy the moment.

3. Appreciate, decorate, and celebrate your own and your partner's bodies. Jewelry, lingerie, feathers, fringe, silk, velvet, massage oil, candlelight--whatever looks good, feels good,

4. Do sexy things together long before you hit the sheets. Dance together. Visit lingerie or sex toy shops. Leave sexy notes in each other's pockets. Give each other little gifts.

5. Do sexy things on your own to get yourself in the mood. Wear sexy lingerie under your everyday clothes. Work out. Swim. Dance. Fantasize. Write in your journal all the sexy things you want to do together. Spend some time humming with your vibrator.

6. Make love during high energy times. Midnight sex after a romantic meal may work for young folks, but we're more likely to feel full, bloated, and ready to sleep. Instead, make sex dates in the morning or afternoon. (Why do you think they call it "afternoon delight"?)

7. Explore sex toys and other erotic helpers. Our hormonally challenged bodies may need extra help to reach orgasm these days. Lucky for us that sex toys are easy to find, fun to try, and wow, do they work!

8. Use a silky lubricant. We don't have the natural moisture we used to, but there are many different lubricants that feel great and bring back the joy of friction. When your partner applies it, it becomes an erotic part of sex play.

9. Enjoy quality snuggle time before, during, and afterwards. Holding each other, feeling the warmth and texture of each other's skin, is one of the sweetest and sexiest parts of making love.
10. Laugh a lot. Play silly games, invent special words, tease each other, rediscover your childhood together. Laughter is bonding, joyful, ageless--and sexy.

(These tips are copyright 2006 by Joan Price and may not be reprinted without permission from Joan Price. Thank you!)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Online Profiles--would you date these people?

Online dating -- it works for many of us, not so well for others. Sometimes you just have to laugh at the profiles some people post. Lucky for us, two women, Tonya and Michele, who aren't yet 50 but are close enough to love this blog, assemble the funniest lines from men's online dating profiles. Their "WTF Dating Profiles"  are posted weekly at http://alanandmichele.com/, which is otherwise a site for "adult product reviews," FYI.

Here's a sampling of their finds and their commentary -- do read them all when you need to laugh.

“Last girlfriends from here weren’t good so I’m doing things very differnt this time. This time I’m looking for a very honest girl who is really down to earth.”

T&M: This makes us wonder what he was looking for before. A compulsive liar who was a space cadet?


“I guess I am a middle aged man looking for a long term relationship, but until I find it I am looking for whatever I can get. Not really into the one night stand thing but it has been too long.”

T&M: Well that’s comforting. If he doesn’t like you he’ll still screw you since it’s been so long since he got laid.


“I am a man! A real man, I burp I fart and if it itches I scratch it!!!”

T&M: How fascinating. We’re wondering how many dates that gets him?

“I don’t mind a woman who has no goals since I don’t have any either.”

T&M: Now what lady *wouldn’t* want this guy? He’s 38 years old, so you could spend the rest of your life going nowhere with him.

 
I'm sure Tonya & Michele have a lot to do viewing men's profiles and choosing their weekly picks without roaming into our age group to help us choose, so let's help each other. If you're over 50 and you've viewed either men's or women's  (let's not leave out the other half of the population) profiles online,  share your favorite line from your least-favorite non-match. Use the "comments" below or email me and I'll post it for you. (No fair identifying either the profile's handle or the name of the site, ok?)





Monday, September 20, 2010

Betty Dodson at 81: "out loud and sex-proud"

Betty Dodson has influenced my thinking and my sexual self-acceptance for decades. Her 1974 book, Liberating Masturbation: A Meditation on Self-Love, morphed into Sex for One: The Joy of Selfloving. At 69, Betty met a young man of 22 who arrived for a weekend and stayed ten years, inspiring Orgasms for Two: The Joy of Partnersex. Her most recent book is her memoir, Betty Dodson: My Sexual Revolution, available as a Kindle edition.

Betty, with sidekick and business partner Carlin Ross, runs a website where she answers sex questions  from readers, posts articles and videos, and displays the famous Genital Art Gallery, which aims to show all of us that we're just perfect the way we are, "a research project where both women and men can share as well as appreciate the vast diversity of our magnificent sex organs."

I am deliriously happy that this icon of candid sexuality wrote the foreword to my new book, Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex! In it, she talks about how her sexuality changed through the decades, and how, at 81, she's still "out loud and sex-proud."

I have to admit it -- I got shivers when I read the latest email from Betty, where she addressed me as "Sister Warrior." It doesn't get much better than that!


(To be notified when Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex is available, please email me and I'll put you on the notification list. I will not spam you, sell or share your information, or in any way abuse your trust.)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Olive Kitteridge

I loved reading Olive Kitteridge, winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The book is a masterful anthology of short stories, linked together so that they become a novel. Characters from one story reappear in another at a different time of life, and as we learn more about Olive, her husband Henry, their son Christopher, and other people who weave through their lives, we piece together a patchwork of lives, dreams, pivotal moments, and regrets. The book is deeply engrossing, insightful, and often disturbing.

I'm always looking for literary fiction with strong older characters for whom sexuality is an accepted part of their emotional lives. Their sexual feelings or activities don't have to be blatent, just acknowledged (by the author if not by the character) as normal and expected. Olive Kitteridge delivers, especially in the final story, "River," where Strout narrates the feelings of the now widowed, 74-year-old Olive who is about to go to bed with a new man:

Oh, what young people did not know. They did not know that lumpy, aged, and wrinkled bodies were as needy as their own young, firm ones... [I]f love was available, one chose it, or didn't choose it... But here they were, and Olive pictured two slices of Swiss cheese presssed together, such holes they brought to this union--what pieces life took out of you. Her eyes were closed, and throughout her tired self swept waves of gratitude--and regret.

I loved Olive Kitteridge so much that as soon as I'd finished, I wanted to start reading it again, now that I knew more about the characters. I also wrote a fan email to the author, Elizabeth Strout, which she graciously answered. (As an author, I know what a solitary endeavor it is to write books, and I always appreciate hearing from readers, so I hoped Ms. Strout felt the same.)

I was thrilled to learn that two of the stories from this book would be performed at Z Space in San Francisco as part of the Word for Word series, and I rushed to see it on opening night. The script was not an adaptation but a staged, dramatic performance of the stories verbatim (hence the name, "Word for Word"). 

The actors were strong, especially Patricia Silver as Olive, and the staging innovative. I applaud Word for Word for choosing stories that portrayed Olive and Henry (and then Olive and Jack) in the later parts of their lives, rather than the younger characters earlier in the book. I especially applaud W4W for choosing "River," the story I quoted above.

If you're in the San Francisco area, I hope you'll catch this play, now playing through September 26, 2010, then read the book.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

All I Really Love About Life, I Learned After Age 50

All I Really Love About Life, I Learned After Age 50

(with apologies to Robert Fulghum, who learned it all in kindergarten)

By Joan Price


Before age 50, I had a pretty good life. I loved my job teaching high school. I had discovered the joy of exercise, which eluded me before age 30. After a near-fatal automobile accident at 34, I turned life’s lemons into lemonade by morphing the fitness habit that had saved my life into new careers: writing magazine articles about health and fitness and teaching aerobic dance. By age 47, I had written a book.

I wasn’t so lucky in love. I had been married and unmarried to a very good man, who remains a close friend, then had a 25-year string (string? more like a giant ball of yarn!) of involvements – long-term, short-term, and casual. All warm and joyful, but not the love I sought.

At menopause, overheated and haggard from sleep deprivation, I switched from teaching sweaty aerobics at the crack of dawn to contemporary line dancing at dusk. That switch turned out to change my life… more about that in a moment.

Before age 50, I struggled to figure out who I was and wanted to be, and battled my way there. After age 50, that became easy. Rather than needing emotional kung fu to battle my way to authenticity, I could use a softer aikido approach and let what I didn’t want flow away.

After age 50, I understood that joy blossomed through living fully, whether I was single or coupled at the moment – learning new things, teaching (now in health clubs, dance halls and speaking engagements instead of high schools), keeping my own body fit and strong, interacting honestly and helpfully with others, and writing professionally. I wrote six more books after age 50!

I still hoped I’d find that special man to love, but I wasn’t putting my life on hold waiting. I realized I had to be the person I was looking for.

And then the love of my life -- artist Robert Rice -- danced into my line dance class and into my heart. I was 57 and he 64. We fell in love, and our joy-filled, spicy love affair propelled me to switch my writing and speaking topic from health and fitness to senior sex!

After five years of loving each other, Robert and I married. We knew he had cancer. We didn’t know we’d have only two more years together. I learned after 50 that we must treasure our loved ones while we have them, because at our age, we will lose them, or they will lose us. We must love fully and joyfully while we can.

I also learned how fragile we are, even when we do everything possible to keep our bodies and minds strong. On June 20, I tripped, slammed to the floor, and shattered my shoulder in ten places. My new book, Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex, was due to Seal Press five weeks later. I had put the book on hold for a year after losing Robert, when grief was my day job. Then I had spent the next year writing it. Darned if I would blow off my deadline for a broken shoulder! I finished the book – on time! – typing with my arm in a sling, measuring out pain killers so that I could focus.

Resilience: that’s the major lesson I learned after 50 and continue to learn at age 66. Life continues to amaze me. What delights are next?

Note from Joan Price: I'm trying to blog my way to the AARP Orlando@50 conference. This blog post is an entry in their competition to find the official blogger to travel to and cover the event. Find out more about the conference here.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

“I’m Going to Make You Coffee….”

If you ask me if I still miss Robert, two years after his death, I answer, “Only when I breathe in or out.”

I still start each morning recapturing a memory. Today it was the way he opened his ocean-blue eyes in the morning and smiled, his face melting with love. “Let’s snuggle,” he would say. Then one of us would decide, “I’ll snuggle you,” and we would shift to our sides, the snuggler wrapped around the back of the snuglee.

I loved when Robert snuggled me, enveloping me, so close that we couldn’t tell where he ended and I began, if indeed there was a distinction. I would take his hand in both of mine, push my nose into his palm, and inhale deeply. His palm smelled of sleep, a warm, enticing smell that was totally Robert. I can still smell his hand, still taste his skin as I kissed him everywhere my mouth would reach.

Other mornings he woke ready to meet the day, his garden or art studio beckoning, no time for snuggling. He announced, “I’m going to make you coffee,” and I always responded, “I love it when you make me coffee.” He padded out to the kitchen to grind beans, boil water, and arrange the filter cone over a metal coffee pot that had journeyed with him for decades.

In a while he brought me coffee in bed with the newspaper and arranged both lovingly on a tray. Before bringing me my coffee, he told me once, he held the cup to his cheek to make sure it was just the right temperature.

He liked me to stay in bed while he had some quiet, private time in the morning to contemplate his latest painting or tend his garden, so he gave me a cowbell that he had decorated with a heart made of Japanese paper. I was to ring it when I desired a coffee refill.

The “make you coffee” ritual started early in our seven-year love affair, and persisted wherever we were, home or hotel, and whatever else was happening in our lives. Towards the end, when his body started succumbing to cancer, he told me, “As long as I can make you coffee in the morning, I know I’ll be all right.”

Then one morning, he tried to get up, and he couldn’t. He stumbled, his legs trembling, his back stabbing with pain, his brain unable to emerge from sleep. He sat back on the bed. “I can’t do it,” he told me, and we both cried, as I’m crying now, remembering the day that everything changed.

…Now I make my own coffee in his special coffee pot and carry it to the living room where I’m surrounded by Robert’s paintings. I write memories in my journal—snippets of sweet conversation, playful games we invented, afternoons that turned into evening as we made love as if life depended on it. Maybe it did.

Even though I write for a living, using a computer and all the tech tools available to me, I write my memory journal in longhand. Somehow writing longhand comes from the heart more than the brain, and I rediscover memories I had forgotten.

My hand lingers over the page, and I picture Robert’s hand –the artist’s hand making love to the canvas, the gardener’s hand making love to the dirt, the dancer’s hand making love to the music, and my lover’s hand--making love to me.

During Robert’s last ten days, I held and kissed his limp hand. I told him of my love, narrated memories from our seven years together, sometimes not knowing if he was asleep or unconscious or moving from this world to the next. “Squeeze my hand if you can hear me,” I would say, and sometimes he would. Over the last week his squeeze became weak, then just a twitch, and then… nothing. I continued to hold his hand and talk to him, not knowing if he could hear me.

I still talk to him, and sometimes his words come to me in response. “Are you really answering me, or am I making this up?” I asked him. He replied, “It doesn’t matter.”

What does matter, at this point in my life, is that I’m taking with me the best of what Robert and I shared. That’s what he’d want for me, and what I want for myself. I find joy in my writing, in dance, in close friends, in physical and mental exercise, in learning, and yes, in my memories of Robert.

I hold my coffee cup to my cheek. It’s just the right temperature.