Friday, December 23, 2011

"What I learned about my sexuality in 2011": readers respond

Are you over 50? What did you learn about your sexuality in 2011?

Please read the comments below to learn how many of you responded to this question. Some responses are joyful; some are unhappy, some are helpful. Together, they give us a glimpse into the reality of senior sexuality -- the delights, the disappointments, the surprises when our dreams come true, the ways we make do when they don't.

If you'd like to add your voice, and you're 50+, please continue to comment below. If you prefer, email me a sentence or a  paragraph, with permission to add it to the comments here, and I'll post it for you under the name you tell me (it doesn't have to be your own).

Since Naked at Our Age was envisioned to answer the questions and address the problems we encounter trying to have a rich sex life at our age, I urge you to read it. It really does discuss all of the problems you wrote about in your comments, and much more. Forty-five experts give advice after reading your stories and your questions.

It's the book that I wished we had available when I started talking to people about their sexual concerns -- and now we do.

As we wrap up 2011, please put at least one special sex-themed resolution on your 2012 list. You deserve joy.

Thank you for continuing to read my books and this blog, and thank you especially for your willingness to add your candid comments. That's what makes this a community.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"Getting Older, Getting Better," guest post by Charlie Glickman, PhD

When I read this post on Charlie Glickman's Adult Sexuality Education blog, I asked him for permission to republish it here. He covers many issues and questions about how our culture views aging and sexuality, including beliefs that we regretfully internalize.  I hope you'll encourage young folks as well as others of our age to read what Charlie Glickman has to say here. -- Joan



Getting Older, Getting Better 

by Charlie Glickman, PhD

One of my favorite sex nerds, Dr. Debby Herbenick, recently retweeted something that I've been thinking about for a while:


Today is the 20th anniversary of the date that I met my partner. In the last two decades, we've both changed a lot. We're both much more secure and solid in who we are. We've grown and challenged each other to overcome many of the habits that caused friction in our lives and in our connections with other people. We've learned many, many ways to support our relationship. And yes, our bodies have changed, too. While I'd love to have the physical resilience that I used to have, I wouldn't trade my current life for the one I had back then. I needed that ability to bounce back- without it, I never would have survived the drama I caused myself and others.

 After two decades with Elizabeth, I think she's more beautiful than ever before and I'm more drawn to her than I could have imagined when we first met. And I think about the many people who stop being attracted to their partners and trade them in for someone younger. This seems to be more common for men, but I've also seen women do the same thing in increasing numbers. While I'm fully supportive of people creating the relationships they want and ending them when they no longer serve them, I can't help but wonder about our tenacious grip on the idea that younger is better and how that affects things.

 In a world that only presents the latest 18-25 year olds as sexy, it's a challenge to not compare oneself or one's partner with that fantasy. Personally, I've found that became easier when I stopped watching TV and reading the drivel that passes for news (and don't even get me started on popular magazines). But it takes more than that. Every time you compliment someone's appearance by telling them that they look young, you're reinforcing the idea that we lose value as we age. I feel sadness around that because it encourages us to deny our histories, to pretend we're something we aren't, and to create an image of who we wish we were rather than celebrating who we've become. And let's not forget that many of the cosmetic treatments to make us look younger don't work all that well and are promoted with ads that are photoshopped like crazy. My willing suspension of disbelief snapped a long time ago.

 Maybe I'll have something different to say in another 20 years. But right now, I think that the physical expression of experience and growth is incredibly sexy. It's an outward manifestation of the individual's evolution. Personally, I find that much more attractive than someone who strives to look like they're still 23. This is something that many of us have to practice. When the only images that we see define attractiveness as equivalent to youth, it can be difficult to not make comparisons.

 I've spoken with quite a few people who are convinced that nobody will want to have sex with them because they have grey hair, or wrinkles, or scars, or stretch marks, or health concerns, or any of the other effects of age. I feel sadness that they're so sure that they're unattractive to others because they're unattractive to themselves. I wonder how much of that comes from never having thought of people over a certain age as desirable. I wonder how much of that comes from the fact that so much of the breathless commentary about attractiveness (especially female attractiveness) is tied up in how young someone looks. What a waste of the incredible beauty and wisdom that surrounds us, if only we could see it.

If Elizabeth and I are fortunate, we will have lots more time together. And someday, we may get to be like the people in this photograph. I look at it and see something to be celebrated. I also know that many people will look at it and feel disgust, shame, or squicked. So what are you going to do when you get to be that age? How are you going to feel about yourself or your partner(s)? Will you be able to be naked with your partner without feeling self-disgust or shame?

 The time to start thinking about older people being sexy is right now. This is the time to stop shaming elders who express desire or who want to have sex. This is the time to stop mocking their bodies or describing them negatively. When you get older, you'll be struggling with a lot of cultural momentum and the longer you go along with it, the harder it'll be when you finally get around to resisting (if you do). That's especially true for women and their partners, given the extra pressure and judgement attached to youth and attractiveness for women. But really, we're all affected by the idea that younger is better.

 Instead of thinking of someone as "looking good for their age," how about simply letting them "look good"? Instead of telling someone that they look so young, compliment them on something specific like their hairstyle or their outfit. And instead of saying insulting things about older people's sexuality, acknowledge the feeling as your own judgment. There's a huge difference between "that's gross" and "I feel discomfort." The more we can change how we think and feel about elders and sexuality, the better off we'll be if and when we get there.

 I also highly recommend Joan Price's book Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud About Senior Sex. Even if you're not there yet, there's a good chance that you will be and many of the sexual concerns that can arise are much easier to deal with when you aren't surprised by them. Joan interviewed and quoted lots of medical professionals, sex educators, and therapists, so it's like you're getting the benefit of a whole panel of experts in one book. It's amazing.


- Dr. Charlie Glickman is the Education Program Manager at Good Vibrations, an occasional university professor, and a sexuality educator. He teaches and writes about sex-positivity, sex & shame, sexual practices and communities, relationships, and other related topics. Check him out at his website, twitter, or on Facebook.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide 2011


Looking for the perfect gift for the sexy seniors in your life? Here are some gifts that are sure to please (repeatedly, in some cases!). Most are delights I found in 2011, though a couple are treasured earlier discoveries that I want to be sure you know about.


SEX TOYS

Here are my favorite toys that I tried for the first time in 2011. Click the links to read my full reviews.


Minna Ola: Strong, rumbly vibrations surround your clitoris nestled into a cushy pad. Truly innovative!


Zini Ran: My new favorite for vaginal stimulation, tapered, slim, and strong. It can also be used for clitoral stimulation, if you prefer.


MiMi: A tiny, quiet clitoral vibrator, just right for travel or for slipping between sex-joined bodies for extra clitoral stimulation.


Jimmyjane Form 4: A throbbing, rumbling, luxury vibrator that you can enjoy in the shower or bath as well as in bed.


Yooo: The cutest sex toy ever, like a bubblegum-colored Mickey Mouse head that vibrates... really nicely!


(Please see my other vibrator reviews by clicking here. Keep scrolling down -- there are many!)


BOOKS

Free Fall: A Late-in-Life Love AffairHouse of Holes by Nicholson Baker: An erotic fantasy novel that is crude, rude, sexy, and utterly hilarious! Only the author and one character are our age, but it's still the best of the year.


Free Fall: A Late in Life Love Affair by Rae Padilla Francoeur: An erotic memoir that takes place when the author is 58 and her lover is 67. Hot and provocative,and a beautiful homage to sex and love at our age.

Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha. Convinced that monogamy is unnatural and unreasonable for our human species? This book is packed with research that supports this, and is written in such an entertaining way that you'll enjoy it throughout. I'll give this deserving book its own review soon.

Sugar in My Bowl: Real Women Write About Real Sex ed. Erica Jong. A remarkable anthology of personal essays and a few short stories, all revealing what women think about sex and their pivotal sexual experiences.


Dear John, I Love Jane ed. Candace Walsh and Laura André. An anthology written by women who left their straight life/ relationships/ husbands because they fell in love with women.

Sex Counsel by Suzi Godson. Godson writes sex and relationships advice for The Times in the UK and edits More Sex Daily. She is smart, funny, and compassionate, and backs up her advice with research. Her questions come from people of all ages, many of them our age. I'll give this worthy book its own review soon. UK readers: book is available here.



JOAN'S BOOKS

Forgive me for patting myself on the back, but my own books make perfect gifts for the special someone in your life. Order directly from me and I'll autograph your books to your giftee. Write "lube, please" in the comment box, and I'll include a free sample of Blossom Organics.


Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud About Senior Sex: Real-life women and men over fifty tell stories of their past and present sex lives, ask questions, and get straightforward advice and information from 45 experts: therapists, medical professionals, sex educators. If you have a problem, question, or concern about senior sex, it's answered here!


Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty: An upbeat, frank, woman-to-woman friendly book that acknowledges the challenges and celebrates the delights of older-life sexuality. This book combines memoir with candid comments and tales from lively, earthy women who aren't afraid to talk about their sex lives.



LINGERIE

Photo by Ruth Lefkowitz
Take your sweetie to your favorite lingerie destination and have her try on a few outfits, buying the one that makes you go va-va-voom! (Read my latest lingerie post and maybe print it out for her if she isn't in love with her body -- lingerie is very flattering!)  This is for guys, too:  the smoothness of silk over the male anatomy will be a delight for both of you. (If he's shy about trying on undies in a department store dressing room, you might just make the purchase and surprise him.)



LUBRICANTS

Blossom Organics Lubricants for Women: This year I discovered Blossom Organics. Only naturally pure, female-friendly ingredients keep your tender parts moist and slippery for the joy of friction. I especially like the arousal gel for an extra zing!


See my 2010 Holiday Recommendations for even more gift ideas!

Saturday, December 03, 2011

#14 of Top Sex Bloggers 2011!

 I'm proud to be #14 of the Top 100 Sex Bloggers 2011, as judged by smart, sassy, sexy Rori, the sex blogger of Between My Sheets, after nominations by the huge sex blogger/sex reader community.

Everyone who blogs about sex hopes to be on this annual list, and I'm proud that this is the third year in a row that this blog has made the cut -- in fact it's been in the top 21 each time.

Of course I find the honor rewarding personally (woo hoo -- people read my blog and like it!), but even more, I am gratified that our topic is compelling enough to receive this high ranking among the many hundreds of sex blogs out there.

As far as I know -- and I still have to finish reading all the other award winners -- this is the only blog that focuses specifically on senior/elder sex, and one of the few in the top 100 that aims to be informative rather than erotic or titillating. Most of the award winners are in-your-face, down-and-dirty, sexually graphic in both writing and photos. That's cool, they're fun to read, and I'm not putting them down at all -- but my aim here is quite different.

I want this blog to be a resource for senior sex-themed information and viewpoints and a place to go when you want to read about senior sex. I want seniors and elders who grew up when I did to feel comfortable here. I see sexuality as a fascinating subject, even more at this age because it's so often kept under the covers. I want to normalize talking out loud about senior sex, and in a respectful, informative manner.

Not everyone likes my style. One year, a reader complained that my blog wasn't "actual sex" and my credibility as a sex blogger was in question because I didn't describe my own sex acts with partners, if indeed I had any. OK, move on, then.

I'm so happy that Rori and all of you who nominated this blog find it worthy of inclusion in the Top 100,and I thank all of you who read it. I love getting comments, so feel free to post (include your age, if you don't mind).

Enjoy the Top 100 -- but watch out, most of these blogs are not safe for reading at work (unless your work has a sex focus) or around the grandkids!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dr. Ruth on Sex After 50, by Sally Wendkos Olds

When my friend and writing colleague Sally Wendkos Olds wrote me that she heard Dr. Ruth Westheimer speak in New York City, I invited Sally to write a guest post  about it. Enjoy! -- Joan

Dr. Ruth Westheimer, age 83, 2011
Photo by Sally Dougan
What a treat I had last night – hearing the 83-year-old zesty, wise, and funny Dr. Ruth Westheimer hold forth on the topic of her 2005 book, Dr. Ruth’s Sex After 50: Revving Up The Romance, Passion & Excitement! Her talk was presented by the New York City chapter of The Transition Network, a wonderful national organization for women over 50.


You can enjoy sex until you’re 99 years old! Dr. Ruth proclaimed. (“Why not 100?” I should have asked.) Just keep her words of wisdom in mind:
  • Intercourse is not the whole story – you can achieve sexual satisfaction in other ways. 
  • Post-menopausal women: For intercourse, use a lubricant so that sex will not be painful. If you have pain despite this, see your gynecologist. 
  • Men: If you no longer have a psychogenic erection (one that comes with just thinking about sex), you need direct physical stimulation. Both you and your partner need to know this. 
  • Both sexes: Take advantage of morning erections to have the best sex – don’t wait for night-time. Instead, get a good night’s sleep, wake up in the morning, eat breakfast, turn off your phones, and hop back into bed. Men who don’t have morning erections: see a urologist. 
  • Men who tend to rush into intercourse and then fall asleep immediately afterwards: Remember that the arc of women’s arousal is slower than yours, and take time to bring her to readiness – and then afterwards, if you feel yourself getting sleepy, prick yourself a little with a pin to stay awake so you can hold her and cuddle. 
  • Women: Take responsibility for your own sexual satisfaction. Teach your partner what you need, not necessarily in words but in ways that make your desires clear. 
  • When about to embark on a new sexual relationship, use condoms – or agree with your partner that before sexual activity you will both be tested for sexually transmitted diseases. Once you’re both given a good report, keep the relationship exclusive. 
  • Condoms: Men: practice putting one on in front of the mirror when you’re alone, and women: learn how to help him put it on. 
  • When to keep your mouth shut: When you’re having fantasies about other partners or remembering old lovers – your present partner does not need to hear about them. 
  • When to keep your mouth open: When you want to give oral sex, which can be done at a time when you don’t expect, plan, or need your own orgasm. Simultaneity is over-rated – you can take turns. 
  • In front of the mirror, pick out something you do like about your body. To enjoy sex you have to feel desirable, so don’t sabotage yourself by focusing on what you don’t like. 
  • In the Jewish tradition, married men have the obligation to provide sexual satisfaction to their wives, even after menopause, thus confirming that sex is not only for procreation – but also for recreation. 
  • If you have teenagers at home, don’t wait for them to go to sleep – teens never sleep. Instead, go out to a motel for a few hours where you can have total privacy. 

Dr. Ruth has a turtle collection: A turtle is well protected in its shell, she says, as long as it stands still. But if it wants to move, it needs to stick its neck out, to take a risk. So that’s what moving ahead demands – sticking your neck out, taking a risk, and when things don’t work out, shrugging your shoulders and moving on.

 So here’s to moving on!

Sally Wendkos Olds has written extensively about intimate relationships, personal growth, and developmental issues throughout the life cycle, and has won national awards for both her book and magazine writing. In addition to her classic, The Complete Book of Breastfeeding, first published in 1972 and revised for its fourth edition in 2010, she is the author of ten other books, including Super Granny: Great Stuff to Do with Your Grandkids. She is currently writing a book for people whose life partner died a year or more ago.



Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hollywood Sex Wars: If this is young sex, I’m glad I’m old.

Hollywood Sex Wars is a hideous film. I detest these stereotypes:
  • Women are big-breasted lust machines, willing to do whatever it takes to please men as long as money and/or gifts are bestowed in exchange. 
  • Men are sex-crazed animals who don’t want relationships, just a quick get-in, get-off, get-her-outa-here, tell-the-guys. 
If this is young sex, I’m glad I’m old.

The plot is a 14-year-old boy’s wet dream – plenty of nipple shots, obscenities, drugs, and ordinary guys getting the hottest girls. FYI, despite the profusion of bare, jiggling, surgically (or digitally) enhanced breasts, penises are always off-camera, unless you count a couple of dildos.

I can only imagine the effect of the denigration of women’s looks on an impressionable, self-conscious teenage girl. Average-sized breasts are unsexy. Fuller sized bodies are unsexy. Average looks are ugly. The guys are far from dashing, but those who understand the attraction of money and drugs will score anyway. Yecchhh. Both genders are equally degraded.  

Typical lines from the movie:
  • “We don’t want girlfriends, we want to bang hot chicks.” 
  •  “Although girls want to get fucked and do drugs, you have to trick them into it.” 
  • “Hone your inner pig.” 
  • “The women we’re after are money grabbing hos.” 
  • (One woman to another:) “You like to fuck and party, don’t you? Those are marketable skills, and totally tax-free.” 
Ghastly, isn’t it? The girls barter gifts for sex (stripper shoes = a blow job; shoes costing over $500 = he gets laid). The boys learn to use cocaine to attract the hotties. Both genders are equally duplicitous and manipulative.

Shortly into the movie, I wanted to turn it off, write my review based on 15 minutes, and move on to work that didn’t leave the taste of dog poop in my mouth. But I wanted to see Fabio, the only person of our generation who, I discovered close to the end of the film, has ten seconds and one line in the entire movie. Totally not worth it.

The worst moment (of nothing but bad moments) for me as a sex educator is when one boy describes how he cuts a hole in the condom so that it rides up and away as the friction proceeds. By the time she knows, he pretends he’s so big that it broke. This is followed by a brief safe sex warning, which is undermined by everything else in the film. When one girl finds herself pregnant, for example, she hits up maybe a dozen sperm shooters for abortion funds.

Of course one couple falls in love despite the training from their homies, with sweet background music, walks in the park, posing with statues, you get the picture. Equally predictably, their pals manipulate the dissolution of their relationship. I won’t tell you how that ends, because, frankly, who cares?

If more than five people see this despicable, reeking repository of vomit-worthy stereotypes, I’ll have failed in my duty to inform you.

So why am I, a senior sex writer with a reputation to uphold, using my precious time and yours to review this loser film that none of you will ever see (please promise me that)?

Hollywood Sex Wars was a reminder to me that if we’re to have a chance of changing our society’s view of older-age sexuality, we have to counsel young people about theirs. Who better to help young folks put relationships and sexuality in perspective than those of us who have been around the block and figured out our own sexuality and self-image at age 20, 40, 60, and beyond.

Will they want to talk sex with us? Surely not at first, but if we continue to be outgoing, candid, and respectful of ourselves and them (something the movie doesn’t even pretend to do) then we have a chance.

Thank you, Hollywood Sex Wars, for reminding me what we have to fight against.

I’d love to read comments from both my age and much younger. Tell me, have I done more harm than good by giving Hollywood Sex Wars the publicity of my review? Should I have listened to a friend of mine, who said, when I invited him to watch this movie with me:

I want to thank you for the invitation, but after watching the trailer, I decline. And I don't know that your name should be heard anywhere near this movie.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Older Women Wear Lingerie Revisited


  I wrote "Older Women Wear Lingerie" in 2009 about my photo shoot at age 65 with photographer Ruth Lefkowitz. It was a liberating experience, both during the shoot -- I had no idea how much fun it would be to disrobe and flaunt my underwear in front of a camera! -- and afterwards, when I viewed the photos.

Two years later, I knew I looked older. Grief ages us, and I could see it in my face. I had stopped coloring my hair. My skin was looser, more wrinkly. My thighs and fanny were bigger.

But I felt beautiful, because I've really internalized the message I keep communicating to you:

We don't have to buy into our youth-obsessed society's view that only young, firm, fertile bodies are sexy and alluring. We are beautiful, handsome, sexy at our age.

That statement is true for you, too, no matter how many wrinkles or extra pounds you see in the mirror. It doesn't matter.

If you accept yourself, enjoy yourself, and feel sexy within, it will show. 


Ready to walk my talk (or pose my talk, more accurately),  I approached Ruth about doing a repeat of our photo shoot, with new lingerie, a new attitude, and two more years under my belt -- I mean camisole.

She said yes. We did it two weeks ago.

Again, I loved the experience. We laughed, we romped, I posed, she clicked the camera.

 I am delighted to share our photos with you today, on my 68th birthday.


If you live in Sonoma County, CA, and would like to talk to Ruth about doing your own lingerie photo shoot, please email me and I'll forward your email to her.


As always, I welcome your comments! How would you feel about posing in lingerie?

Ruth Lefkowitz is fascinated by how the camera captures spirit, beauty and style in a magical instant. She especially enjoys photographing the female figure--a subject of art through the ages--to create images that capture and preserve a bit of a woman's inner life. In her day job, Ruth is the chef and owner of Ruthy's Real Meals, a high quality, organic and locally sourced meal delivery service in Sonoma County, CA.


Thank you, Rae

Rae Padilla Francoeur
"It takes intention to keep movement and sexuality in our lives," Rae Padilla Francoeur quotes me as saying in her insightful, sensitive, and generous profile, which she titles "Life lessons from a senior sexpert."

Thank you, Rae, for the most amazing birthday present.

I love how Rae combines three parts of me that define who I am: my commitments to senior sex education, physical fitness, and endless learning. She captured my drive when she wrote about my recent trip to New York City, when I had the pleasure of staying with her and her love Jim,

The only time you weren’t working or making connections with others throughout the city was when I was talking or when you were sleeping.

Rae's profile is such a heartfelt tribute that I want it read at my memorial service (not soon, please) and printed on a t-shirt.

I expect it would have to be in small print to fit on a t-shirt, especially my petite size, so I'm picturing grey-haired gents putting on their reading glasses and getting close to peer at my chest--a pretty nice fantasy for my 68th birthday today!

Speaking of t-shirts and chests, Rae and Jim gave me this "Naked at Our Age" t-shirt. At the time I took this photo, I was sitting outside a coffee shop in Ventura, CA, where I was visiting to present two workshops. I discovered that three men were staring at me. Flattered, I smiled and they looked away. Later I realized they were probably just trying to figure out what I meant by the message on my shirt.


If you're not familiar with Rae's work, I encourage you to read her erotic memoir, Free Fall: A Late-in-Life Love Affair. I reviewed Free Fall in 2010 before I knew Rae personally. Our admiration of each other's work led to a strong friendship.

Rae, Joan, and Jim Hicks

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Zini Ran: A favorite already!

I confess that although I delight in reviewing new sex toys, the more the merrier, I have favorites that I keep returning to when I'm indulging my own pleasure and not blogging about it. The Zini Ran, I'm happy to tell you, became an immediate favorite! Thank you, EdenFantasys sex toys, for sending it to me for review.

 I like the size, the shape, the function, the materials, and the ergonomic design of this lovely pleasure tool. The Zini Ran is designed to be used as either a clitoral vibrator or a vaginal/G-spot stimulator, and it works well for both. The controls are easy to see and use -- they even light up when you press them! -- and you can hold it comfortably even with wrist arthritis. Just be careful to keep your slippery fingers (I assume you're using lube) away from the controls when it's in action, or you could accidentally -- shudder! -- turn it off or change intensity or pattern.

Used clitorally, you can either hold it perpendicular to your body and position the tip on your clitoris, or, as I prefer, hold it against your vulva so that it wraps and cradles the clitoris and surrounding areas. Though I didn't try it this way, the shape would likely work well between partners without getting in the way.

Used internally, it's a joy. It's tapered and slim, and once inserted, you get a feeling of fullness from the bulb-like section (1-3/8" at the widest part) while the slimmest part -- about half an inch in diameter -- sits comfortably at the entrance to your vagina. Women who like penetration but don't find girth comfortable will appreciate the shape and size of this lovely creature.

The vibrations can be mild or strong, not super turbo strong like the Hitachi Magic Wand, but for most, it's impressively strong, especially for a rechargeable vibrator this size. The vibrations feel deep and rumbly rather than buzzy. It's surprisingly quiet -- just a soft, whirring sound, more like the sound of the refrigerator that you barely hear. Internally, it's barely audible.

The materials are top grade silicone and plastic. The silicone is so velvety smooth that you may just want to stroke it for a while. It has a bit of a "drag" (friction is good!) which I found very enjoyable. If it's too much for you, just add more water-based lube.

Zini Ran has plenty of cool features -- patterns which light up in different colors, rechargeable, comes in a pretty box with a nice pouch. I like it a lot and think you will, too!


I love to hear from you and welcome your comments about any sex toys I review, because our experiences are all different, and your experience will help readers as much as mine. (However, if you're a sex toy retailer, I don't permit links that compete with the retailers I endorse, so don't even try -- spammy, highjacking comments and links won't see the light of day.)


Please see my other vibrator reviews by clicking here. Keep scrolling down -- there are many!




Sex toys - EdenFantasys adult toys store

Monday, October 24, 2011

Older women wear lingerie

11/10/2011 update: I did a second lingerie shoot, as I was about to turn 68. See it here.

10/23/2011 update: My goodness, two years after I originally wrote this post on 10/11/09, it continues to be the most often read! Hmmm. Ruth and I are actually planning an update -- a new photo shoot this week, results to be posted as soon as they're ready. My reasons are maybe the opposite of what you might think: No, I'm not fixing to show off a youthful body. Rather, I've aged a lot in the past two years, have stopped coloring my hair, and want to celebrate my authentic self by re-doing this photo shoot. Yes, I'm nervous. Of course I am. But if I keep insisting that we should stand up for what's real at this age and celebrate our aging process, then I have to walk (or pose) my talk . 



"I'm photographing real women in lingerie," Ruth Lefkowitz of Ruthy's Real Meals told me. "Would you be willing to model?"

Wow. A "real woman" I am, all 65 years of me, and I do love lingerie, but I've only worn it for intimate hours, not a photography session.

I'm not shy, I just don't think my 65-year-old body looks as good as it used to. But whose does? And if you can't do something new and outrageous as an older person, when can you do it? "Sure, Ruth!" I said. "And if I love the experience, I'll blog about it."

I loved the experience.

The wonderful people at HerRoom were happy to provide some lovely garments and were enthusiastic about a woman my age modeling them.

We met in a garage converted (roughly) into a photography studio. Ruth made me feel comfortable with her relaxed, matter-of-fact approach to posing me and complimenting me. We had many giggles, too.
Ruth was exuberant about what she called my "curves," and when I expressed alarm that the sags, folds, and puckers would come to light, she reassured me that she was there to capture the beauty in real women.

By golly, I think she did it.
-----
Photos by Ruth Lefkowitz. If you live in or near Santa Rosa, CA, and would like to be photographed by Ruth, please email me and I'll put you in touch.









HerRoom 125 x125HerRoom-Huge Clearance Sale
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Lingerie provided by HerRoom Lingerie We Buy For Ourselves