Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Breaking Rules at Our Age

What sexual “rules” have you broken since turning 50, 60, or beyond?

I ask this because I discovered from the interviews and reader stories that you'll read in  Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex, many of us make some pretty drastic changes in our lives after age 50. Maybe we get divorced,  discover love, open up our marriage, take a new lover, experiment with kink or multiple partners or virtual sex -- or some combination of these or other alternatives.

The point is that although society sees us as settled into mid-life or old age, we're far from "settled." I think there's something about emerging from menopause that makes us question where we want to be in our lives. Menopause often feels like an upheaval -- I've described it before as "PMS on steroids" -- where everything seems upside down. We don't want to be responsible for remembering the whole family's appointments, for example, and we might not be overly kind when we tell family members to take care of themselves.

After the upheaval settles, we see our lives differently. We realize that it's now or never: it's up to us to invent -- or reinvent -- what we want the rest of our lives to be, and what we have to do to actively go after our dreams.

At the same time, in our sexual world, the old ways may not work any more. We may need different kinds of arousal or even a different type of relationship or a different partner. Major!

I got so many stories from my Naked at Our Age interviewees about alternative sex practices that this topic became a whole chapter: "Off the Beaten Path: Nontraditional Sex Practices and Relationships." People wrote about swinging, polyamory, BDSM, friends with benefits, older women/younger men (20-30 years difference!), phone sex, and more.

I predicted that younger readers would be shocked at what seniors are doing behind closed doors, and I should have guessed that it would shock our own age group, too. I've heard a couple of criticisms that this chapter and the one titled "Hiring Sensuality" (which I won't tell you about -- you have to read that one for yourself, and no, it's not just men hiring sex!) make it sound like I'm endorsing or even pushing people towards alternative lifestyles.

I'm not pushing anyone into anything. I'm showing senior sex -- behaviors and attitudes -- in all its colors and stripes. Personally, I support adults doing with other consenting adults whatever brings them pleasure, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone -- including the partners of those consenting adults. I have "vanilla" tastes myself, but that's beside the point. The book is only partly about me. It's really about you... and you... and you.

So back to my original question: What sexual “rules” have you broken since turning 50, 60, or beyond?  By rules I mean society's rules, the law, unspoken or spoken rules in a relationship, even your own rules. I'd love to see a dialogue start here. Please comment!


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4 comments:

  1. I have broken every possible rule, it seems. I have met two men I got to know on a dating site in my own home instead of a public place. I have failed to use protection. I flew to Zimbabwe to spend a month with a man I had never met. I have spent way too much time and money searching for contacts.I found myself dating so many different men that I couldn't keep track of them.

    I was trying to learn things and disenchanted with the old rules so I broke them left and right to see what would happen. Worked out pretty well, in fact, and I wrote about them in a book which might get published some day.

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  2. Since my husband of 35 years finally realized he was gay (and I then understood why my sex life with him had been so bad all those years) and we separated when I was about 60 years old, I have had lots of friends with benefits (one who was 30 years younger than I was), many one-night stands, some 3somes (both FMF and MFM - I very much enjoyed the MFM!), became involved with a couple of polyamorous men (and friendly with the wife of one -- the definition of polyamory includes HONESTY with everyone involved with everyone else). I have also taken workshops in love, intimacy and sexuality. I have been invited into an "invitation only" sacred sexuality group that meets almost every month. I have visited sex clubs where I watched other people have sex and had other people watch me. I participated in a "temple of orgasm" evening where people were all in one room having sex with their partners and making "joyful noises" to contribute to the good feelings in the world. I feel so much better about my body and my sexuality now. Sex is wonderful, joyful and healthy and builds your immunity. I am 65 years old now and I look forward to many more years of sexuality.

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  3. I'm 66 and have dated about 25 women since turning 50. Big social boundary violation was an affair with my married college professor. Other women have been married or in barren relationships who I've served as a source of sensual pleasure not available at home. At least 8 of the ladies have enjoyed visiting nudist resorts with me and found that special freedom women enjoy in a safe venue for nudism.

    Sexually, I've shared a Jack and Jill party with a long time male friend and two long time lady friends. We got nude, lit candles, and watched each other pleasure ourselves. My lady finally couldn't stand it and wanted to make love, so we made love on the floor while the other two watched and pleasured themselves.

    A lady and I have also made love while another lady just watched us.

    Making love in front of others is intimate and accepting - being unashamed of being unashamed. We all do it - lets share and enjoy it.

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  4. In "Letters to Penthouse XIV" published back in 2001, and the letter is probably older, there's a very real sounding letter about a 62yo lady in NYC seducing her niece's boyfriend of three years. She's described as part of a large Jewish family, short, with a "fleshy kind of sexiness." At a family Passover gathering she invites the 35yo boyfriend over to her place to listen to old records.
    When he arrives she tells him, "Live without good sex - what's the point?" When they'd finished making love she told him, "Now wasn't that a nice way to spend a pleasant afternoon?"

    ReplyDelete

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