Thursday, December 23, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
I realize that my enjoyment goes hand in hand with not having anything at stake, no big expectations. I'm not looking to replace Robert (couldn't be done even if I wanted to, which I don't) or find someone to give my life meaning and joy (my life already has meaning and joy). I want to bring more male energy into my life, meet new people, get out, have new experiences. If that results in connecting with someone wonderful, that's a big bonus.
I wrote this on a message board for women over 50 in response to one person who was scared to date:
If you think of dating as your way to learn about another person and about yourself without risking anything, it can be fun -- go for coffee or a walk or dinner with someone new, talk, see what you both enjoy discussing and doing. It's when you think of dating as auditioning a potential soulmate that it becomes fraught with anxiety, unpleasantness, and emotional danger.
First dates aren't scary to me in the least. I'm interested in learning what we do and don't have in common, and which of the divergences matter a lot. Plus, the writer in me loves hearing people's stories, and first dates are a great way to learn a huge amount in an hour, because it's expected that we share our stories.
Although I'm newly dating after almost ten years, I already have some strong opinions about online dating do's and don't's. (When did you ever know me to not have strong opinions?) Here are a few, aimed at men because that's my experience. I'm sure I'll add more as I proceed, and I encourage you to add your own. (Be constructive, not nasty, please.)
1. Please use a current image as your default photo. It's fine to include older photos also -- I love to see the long, bushy hair you wore in 1969!--but label them with the year (if your site permits captions), and make those secondary photos, not your main one.
2. Include at least one recently taken close-up of your face. Do. Not. Wear. Sunglasses. I can't tell you how many profiles I skip over because the man is wearing sunglasses. I need to see your eyes.
3. Have a photo taken if you don't have one already. You don't need to go to a photography studio -- all your friends have digital cameras. Make your default photo just you -- no buddies on a fishing trip, no arms around a woman who might be your daughter or maybe your ex-wife, and absolutely no edited photo with the woman at your side cropped out (we can tell)!
1/7/11 update: I really don't believe in ridiculing people, but I have to share this with you. A 46-year-old man who wants a partner age 36-48 wrote me -- I'm 67-- and probably many others from the look of his boilerplate message. Although his message didn’t attract me – he misspells words, says he likes shopping malls, and doesn’t use capital “I” – I looked at his profile. He says he has a PhD, makes more than $100,000, and ends his profile with “i am a religion person,and i am into oil and gas.” I wonder which university granted his doctorate. His only photo is in sunglasses.
I'd like to be kind and send a nice "no thank you," as I advise you to do, but what can I possibly say?
Thursday, December 16, 2010
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.
LELO Siri: A clitoral massager that curves over your clitoris and labia with delicious results.
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.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
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?
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
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
• 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/