Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Ultimate Guide to Sex After 50 by Joan Price available now!

I am happy to announce that The Ultimate Guide to Sex After 50: How to Maintain – or Regain! – a Spicy, Satisfying Sex Life (Cleis Press) is available now!

That means that you can start 2015 with the most comprehensive and up-to-date guide to sex after 50, 60, 70, 80 and beyond.

You'll learn immediately useful information and tips about medical challenges, loss of libido, loss of intimacy, dating, elusive orgasms, erectile dysfunction, vaginal pain, self-pleasuring, sex toys, kink, and more.

If you want information about the sexual changes, questions, and concerns you’re experiencing. The Ultimate Guide to Sex after Fifty offers straightforward, nonjudgmental information and immediately useful tips, spiced with comments from my readers.

The Ultimate Guide to Sex After Fifty delivers solid, practical information in a friendly, accessible style to help you -- whatever your gender or orientation, partnered or unpartnered -- enjoy your sexuality for the rest of your life. 


Do you want your copy of The Ultimate Guide to Sex After 50 now? Here are three ways to get it:
  1. Order directly from Joan for an autographed copy with this PayPal button:

    Autograph to [name]:
  2. Buy from your local bookstore. They probably have it in stock; if not, ask them to order it.
  3. Order from Amazon with this link.

What's inside the covers? Check out the Table of Contents:
Chapter 1: Busting the Myths about Sex and Aging 
Chapter 2: What’s Happening to My Body? 
Chapter 3: Getting Your Mojo Back 
Chapter 4: Sex with Yourself and Toys 
Chapter 5: Sex with a Longtime Partner 
Chapter 6: Stretching Boundaries 
Chapter 7: When Intimacy Ends 
Chapter 8: You and Your Doctor 
Chapter 9: When Sex Is Painful 
Chapter 10: Cancer, Cancer Treatment, and Sex 
Chapter 11: Heart, Brain, Joints, and Sex 
Chapter 12: Sex without Erections 
Chapter 13: Single after All These Years 
Chapter 14: The New Rules of Dating 
Chapter 15: Sex with a New Partner 
Chapter 16: Safer Sex: Always 
Chapter 17: Sexy Aging Going Forward 
Chapter 18: Conclusion 
Recommended Resources
Joan with Brenda Knight

I was so excited about the arrival of my books that I drove an hour and a half in gusty winds to the Cleis office to pick up the copies I ordered, rather than wait for shipping. I arrived to find Brenda Knight, the queen of Cleis Press, and the whole staff as excited as I was!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Loving Our Own Aging Bodies


Lauren Marie Fleming's email to me began,

I'm putting together the final touches for the launch of my BawdyLove program and I wanted to ask if you'd be interested in sharing what I'm calling your "Bawdy Love origin story", or the moment(s) where you decided you were done hating yourself and ready to work towards loving yourself fully.

I didn't ever "hate" my body, but I didn't see it as beautiful or sexy through most of my teenage and adult years. I looked good in clothes, but naked, my body was far from the media's image of what a sexy female body should look like. My breasts have never been perky, not even as a teenager. They always flopped, and the older I get, the flatter and floppier they become.

But here's the strange thing: I love my body now more than I ever have. OK, you can tease me about my eyesight, but honestly, it isn't about what I look like -- it's what I feel like. and I feel like a beautiful, sensual, sexy woman at age 71. Here's how I got here:

1. When my great love Robert and I fell in love, he truly found me beautiful and told me so often. He and I had a morning routine, where he brought me coffee in bed, I let the covers slip from my breasts, he covered his eyes and stepped back as if dazzled by my beauty. This didn't just go one way -- I would drink in his body with my eyes and tell him, "You're the handsomest man in my world." Take-away point: If you're lucky enough to have a lover in your life, let each other know how sexy/ beautiful you find each other.

2. I discovered shaper bras that can give me the uplift and cleavage that my breasts don't have on their own, and that makes me feel confident in sexy, revealing clothing. Take-away point: Shop for underwear and outerwear that show off your body to the best advantage. Put the accent on revealing rather than covering up.

3. I did a lingerie shoot with a photographer at age 65, and I enjoyed it so much that I repeated the experience at age 68. (Hmm, I'm due for another!) I learned so much from the experience of posing in lingerie and seeing the photos afterwards. Take-away point: Pose in lingerie if this intrigues you -- you'll discover that the camera reveals how sexy you are in ways you never saw on your own.

4. I realized that this body, whatever its age, is capable of giving me great sensual and sexual pleasure. What's sexier than that? I celebrate my body because of the sensations and the pleasure I get from it. I encourage you to do the same. Take-away point: Whether you're partnered or not, experience, enjoy and love your body's sexy gifts to you. 


I asked followers of my Naked at Our Age Facebook page to comment about their own body image challenges. Here's what they said:

  • I turned 62 yesterday and of course never appreciated my young self's body. While I try to appreciate my current body, sagging breasts, stretch marks, and loose skin make my newly single sex life a challenge. The lights are out before sex and I don't dress or undress in front of him. He likes my body but I'm still not comfortable being naked in front of him.
  • I'm 55. I have been severely limited in expressing myself freely because I think I should be a smaller size. A friend who was heavier than me once said, "Men don't care what size you are as long as they can get it in there!" Too funny! I guess she could sense my fear was holding me back from meeting anyone. I have never been able to be that uninhibited about not being my ideal size. Hence, I have been alone a while now. I say I'll meet someone when I trim down.
  •  How about also addressing the challenge of explaining scars from injuries and surgeries to a person not yet familiar with what adventures and misadventures you have survived? Along with the ethical quandary of a cancer survivor (with the scars to prove it) dating a person who lost their mate to cancer?
  • The most insecure I have been is after surgeries. Explaining your scars and exposing them is nerve wracking. Plus your body has been through a trauma and getting intimate after these events takes time from healing and a patient lover.
  • [from a therapist:] I frequently counsel with gorgeous women from 30-65+ who look at their body in the mirror and all they see is the tummy roll from child-bearing or their less than 34D bust. What I see is a woman who is physically, spiritually and emotionally beautiful, but just doesn't look like the Victoria's Secret models. You must love yourself before you can love others, and that includes your body.
To everyone of my age or any age: Please stop putting your life on hold. This is your body. Rejoice in its capacity to give you pleasure. If you're partnered, let your lover(s) see you fully enjoying your own body. If you're solo, celebrate your body's sensations. Sexy is an attitude.

bawdy sales
Lauren Marie Fleming
I hope you'll comment with your own experience and viewpoint. 


I encourage you to learn more about  Lauren Marie Fleming's 10-week Bawdy Love program to help you "kick the habit of negative self-doubt and replace it with the practice of radical self-love." I know Lauren personally, and I encourage you to explore what she's offering. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Transparent and Still Mine: highly recommended

I'm always hungry for films that portray aging and relationships insightfully, teaching me something new and unexpected.

Amazon Prime jolted me recently with two stellar offerings -- one series and one film -- that feature aging characters who don't fit any of the stereotypes. Both affected me profoundly, and I recommend them to you:


Transparent


At 68, Mort (played masterfully by Jeffrey Tambor) comes out as a trans woman who wants to be called Maura. In this sweet, smart, and strongly acted ensemble series, we see the strengths and vulnerabilities of Mort/Maura and a family of ex-wife and three adult children -- who make a ton of relationship mistakes of their own.

This 10-episode series resolves many questions and leaves enough unanswered to allow for a second season, which is in the works -- hurray!

Yes, there's lots of sex in Transparent, but (boo) only Maura's children are having it. Maura is more interested in establishing her identity and being accepted by her family than in having sex with anyone -- at least in season 1. Will this change in the second season?





Still Mine


Craig (James Cromwell) is watching Irene (Geneviève Bujold), his wife of 61 years, lose her memory. He loves her fiercely and wants to protect her by building a house that will be easier for her to live in.

Although Craig has been building houses his whole life, he's no match for the bureaucracy that insists on permits and strict adherence to building codes that are irrelevant to Craig  (the plans are in his head; the lumber came from a tree he felled; the knowledge came from his father and a lifetime of craftsmanship and self-sufficiency).

The love and chemistry between Craig and Irene are powerful. The tenderness in their loving looks and caresses will make you applaud or cry or both. And rather than portray this elderly couple as sexless, there's a sexy undressing scene early in the film that includes, "This never gets old. We always did passion well."

This film is based on real people and actual events. Don't miss it.




What films have you watched that portrayed aging and relationships in a non-stereotypical way? I look forward to your recommendations.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Sexy Seniors' Holiday Gift Guide 2014


Searching for a sexy gift for your lover or yourself?

2014 has been a great year for innovative sex toys! Here are my favorites from December 2013 to December 2014:

Palm Power: New favorite vibrator! Drum roll, please: Introducing the Palm Power, a lightweight, ergonomically designed product that packs so much power into a small, silicone topped vibrator that it jumped to #1 on my personal Hit Parade the first time I used it. And the second time. And... you get the picture. I continue to be amazed at how a vibrator this small can deliver such intense vibrations. With the different caps available, this vibrator is versatile for any gender body.

Doxy - a power tool: Oh my. I wouldn't have imagined that a vibrator this strong existed. I don't even need to take it to the highest power setting to send me spinning into space. Even the low settings are strong and they're rumbly rather than buzzy. A really strong wand vibrator. If you or your loved one needs extra power, Doxy delivers.



Men, you'll love the Pulse! Presenting... The Pulse, a pulsing, oscillating, amazing vibrator for men that does not require an erection for his pleasure! That's right -- unlike other vibrating "sleeves," the penis does not have to be hard to start enjoying it. Spread open the flexible flaps, rest your penis in it, turn it on, and enjoy the sensations. The Pulse is the perfect gift for the penis in your life.



Iroha: Cutest Vibrators Ever. The Iroha Rechargeable Silicone Vibrators, available in three styles and shapes, are adorable and cushy. I want to cuddle and squeeze them. And yes, they're dynamic little vibrators -- though not turbo power. The vibrator has a cushy layer, covered by a body-safe silicone skin. It's not soft through and through (there's a motor in there) -- just a layer -- so you can press firmly and feel just a little cushioning, or press lightly, and it all feels soft. Delightful.


Minna Limon: Cute, Squeezable VibratorI like my new Minna Limon so much that I'm starting to think of it almost as a pet rather than a product. It's cute, touchable, squeezable, fun to play with, and responsive. But no, it's not a pet -- it's a vibrator, and it's a delight. This is a great gift for a loved one, a pal, or yourself. It works like this: Power it on with the button, then squeeze the sides of the Limon. The harder you squeeze, the stronger the intensity, though it never gets super strong. 


Original Magic Wand + Accessories. The Magic Wand has been around since the 1970s, almost as long as I've been having vibrator-assisted orgasms, and it's been responsible for a good many of them. It was called the Hitachi Magic Wand until recently. (I reviewed it here.) Now, after Hitachi sold distribution rights to Vibratex, it's the Original Magic Wand. So the new Magic Wand is called the "original," and it's as strong as ever -- and much less pricey than most quality sex toys.


Buy nowIf you'd like to give a sex-themed gift that isn't a vibrator, consider 

ÜberlubeNeed a stocking stuffer? 

  • An elegant bottle or refillable case of Überlube, a superbly comfortable, slick, long-lasting, silicone lubricant. (Fine with condoms, not with silicone sex toys.) You can even use it to style your hair or eliminate chafing during sports.

  • Condom sampler from Lucky Bloke: great variety, including some brands you've never heard of. And don't you want to do business with a company whose motto is "Have more sex and save the world"?

  • Blossom Organics Natural Moisturizing Lubricant or Warm Sensation Lubricant, pH balanced for female bodies. (Fine with condoms and with silicone sex toys.) If she likes arousal gels, the Pure Pleasure Arousal Gel is, as it claims, pure pleasure, adding an extra tingle!
Blossom Organics



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

For More Senior Sex News and Views...

A new book coming out in January... regular Sex At Our Age articles for Senior Planet... speaking gigs all over the country... a gazillion yet-to-be-answered emails from readers -- with all that's going on, you may notice gaps of two weeks or more between posts.

That doesn't mean that I'm ignoring my mission to keep the conversation going about boomer and older-age sexuality -- quite the contrary! I'm using my Naked at Our Age Facebook page to give you quick senior sex news and views and links to articles of interest to sex-positive seniors. You'll also find questions I'd love to hear you discuss and occasional rants from me.

Here are some of the topics we've been discussing there:

  • Single seniors: What has made you cringe that you've viewed or read on a dating profile?
  • The lack of older adults in sexuality research.
  • What does your favorite porn say about you?
  • Men try sex toys for the first time video -- our guys grumble about the message.
  • Sex blogger Erica Jagger's gynecologist says sex ends for women at 65.
  • A midlife man talks about his body and posing nude.
  • A Danish magazine interviews me about sex toys for seniors.

If you're not following my Naked at Our Age Facebook page yet, visit the page, "like" it, comment on anything that grabs you, and visit often.

Don't assume that you'll automatically see that page in your news feed, even after you've "liked" it, though. Only a small percentage of the page's followers do, because Facebook wants to encourage (strong arm) me to pay to promote the page. You can circumvent that problem by doing this:

  1. Go to my Naked at Our Age Facebook page.
  2. "Like" it if you haven't already.
  3. Hover your cursor over the "liked" button to get a drop-down menu. Click "get notifications." 

Aha, now you'll  receive a notification from Facebook every time I update the page. (Thank you, Eva Gantz of Giving Books a Voice: Helping authors get smart about social media, for explaining this to me.)

Yes, I'll continue to write this blog with topics that need more length and depth than a Facebook update allows. In fact, I have about five different posts in the hopper that I need to finish. Meanwhile, see you on Facebook?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Iroha Mikazuki and Minamo: soft, slender, gentle vibrators


Squishy soft, slim, and ergonomically designed to embrace the vulva, the Iroha Mikazuki and Minamo will delight women who need or prefer a slender and gentle vibrator.

These smooth silicone vibrators can be inserted vaginally or used externally over the clitoris and surrounding area. (It is not designed for anal insertion.)

Differences:
  • Mikazuki is a soft yellow color and has a smooth, slightly curved shape. The tip is soft and squishy; the rest has just a bit of cushion. The tip is .7 inch in diameter, progressing to 1.1" midway to 1.4" just above the controls.  

  • Minamo is light blue and has a wavy shape. The waves and tip are soft and squishy. The tip is .9" in diameter, progressing to 1.3" at the larger wave. 

Pros:

  • Slender, smooth, and soft enough for vaginal insertion by many women who experience pain or discomfort with penetration and for external comfort on older, thinner genital skin. (Of course, use plenty of water-based lubricant.)
  • Can fit easily between bodies for extra clitoral stimulation during partner sex.
  • Controls are easy to see and use, even with lubed fingers. Use the big button to turn it on and progress through higher intensities; use the little button to decrease intensity or turn it off. You don't even need your reading glasses!
  • Body-safe, high-quality materials.
  • Rechargeable.
  • Demo of squishy tip
  • Waterproof for use in the tub or shower.

Cons:

  • Although the settings are supposed to be low, medium, high, and pulse, the highest setting is what I would call medium. It's not powerful enough for those of us who need really strong vibrations.
  • Because they're shaped for both external and internal use, the shape does not easily find the G-spot when used internally. 
  • Expensive (but you're paying for high-quality materials and design).



These rechargeable vibrators come in a storage case that is also a charging case. Plug the cord via USB or wall adapter.  Note that when it's charging, a steady light will stay on. That confused me (until I read the directions), because most rechargeable vibrators display a pulsing light while charging, and a steady light when fully charged. Not these.


Is one of these vibrators for you? Yes, if you want a toy that is slimmer and softer than most. (Many of you have told me that most vibrators are too girthy or hard.) No, if you need powerful vibrations or larger girth.

(See also my review of the Iroha Midori, Yuki, and Sakura, the cutest vibrators ever.)

Thank you, Good Vibrations, for sending me the Iroha Mikazuki and Minamo  to review.




Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Foria -- get your vulva high on cannabis

Foria Bottle
"Foria. The First Marijuana Infused Personal Lubricant for Her Pleasure" - from the Foria website.

What would happen if you took coconut oil and infused it with THC, the active ingredient in marijuana,  then you rubbed that on your clitoris and labia and in your vagina, waited 30 to 60 minutes, and then had sex? 

Here's how one woman in our community, age 70, described the experience:

I tried this product with a large dose of skepticism at first, but oh my god, I haven't had orgasms this intense for decades. It doesn't increase my arousal or bring me to orgasm faster, but once orgasm creeps up on me, it's more powerful and much deeper than what I've been experiencing as an older woman.

Over the past couple of months, I've continued to use Foria for special occasions -- I don't want to run out too fast! I use it for solo pleasure mostly. It's not condom-compatible, and I only have partner sex with condoms, so except for one lovely "hands only" partner encounter, I've reserved my dates with Foria for self-pleasuring. 

I continue to love this product! As I said, it doesn't affect arousal or decrease the time I need -- I can't even tell it's working until I actually reach orgasm. Then, it makes the orgasm feel deeper, fuller, and way stronger. I wish it were legal everywhere so every woman in our age group who is experiencing muted orgasms could try it.

Yeah, I wish it were legal everywhere, too, and without a medical marijuana prescription. Right now, Foria, a combination of coconut oil and THC (cannabis) oil, used on vulvas for sexual enhancement, is only available for residents of California with a physician statement and recommendation letter for the use of medical marijuana.

Have any of you used Foria? I'd like some opinions/experiences from other people who have tried it, especially (though not exclusively) from our 50-80+ age group. Contact me privately if you don't want to identify publicly, and I'll post for you.

If you tried it but you hesitate to make a public statement because you don't qualify for legal use, I'd still like to hear from you and will keep your info confidential. Email me with "Foria" in the subject line.

This post will be expanded once I gather more personal experiences. I hope to hear from you!

(This post was originally published October 2, 2014. I expanded it after the woman quoted above added to her original comments.)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Doxy - a power tool

When Roylin Downs, owner of Trystology, told me that I had to try the Doxy Wand, I believed her. She knows my preference for intense vibrators, even if that means that they're heavy and need to be plugged in.

Oh my. I wouldn't have imagined that a vibrator this strong existed. I don't even need to take it to the highest power setting to send me spinning into space. Even the low settings are strong and they're rumbly rather than buzzy. If you cycle from the lowest to the highest setting, it sounds like a plane taking off.

Doxy vs length of my arm.
Be aware that when you first turn it on, it doesn't start at the lowest setting, but at higher than mid-point. From there, use the "+" or "-" to turn it up or down. There's also a pulse setting activated by holding down the power button for two seconds, then releasing, but I have to admit that I didn't bother with that.

What can I say? It works hard, and it works quickly, even for this almost 71-year-old, slow-burning  woman.

I generally prefer vibrators that are easy on arthritic wrists -- this one is not. It's heavy, it's huge, and I would be in pain from trying to hold it for any length of time. However, that's irrelevant, because it works so fast that my wrist barely notices. Yes, it's that good.


"But how does it compare to the Magic Wand?" you're asking. It's bigger. ("Bigger?! No way!" Yes, bigger.) And heavier. The cord is longer. All those sound bad, but it's not bad because all that size is necessary for the power it delivers.

As far as intensity goes, the Doxy feels stronger, but it may just seem that way because the head is larger and covers more territory.

I also like Doxy's head more than the Magic Wand's because Doxy is more cushy. Strong and soft are a great combination.

The head is made of medical grade PVC, according to the tiny, mini-font instruction booklet. I didn't know that PVC plastic can be medical-grade, but I looked it up, and it's phthalate-free and used for things like oxygen bags, drainage bags, and medical tubing. I know that doesn't sound very sexy  except to my fellow sex geeks who get excited at learning about sex toys made of body-safe materials.

You can use water-based or silicone-based lubricants with Doxy, but not oil-based lubes.

No pouch included, which is shameful. An expensive sex toy should always come with its own pouch, especially since you're not likely to have anything around large enough to store it in. Maybe a knee-high sock, if you happen to have a spare. Doxy comes in a cardboard box that's even more enormous than it requires -- not the best storage solution unless you have a large, empty drawer.

The mini-instruction booklet has all the requisite warnings -- don't use under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or on inflamed skin, or if pregnant, or in water, etc. The warning that makes no sense to me is this: "Do not use... if you are under the age of 16." Why the heck not? I wish I had owned this vibrator when I was 15!

Thank you, Roylin and Trystology, for sending me the Doxy Wand, highly recommended for all of us who need extra power in our sex toys and have room in our drawer for a 15-inch-long vibrator! Available in white or black.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Dating After 50, 60, 75 -- Making Our Own Rules


Image for This New App Is Like Tinder, But For Hotels"Online Dating Over 50: The Rules of The Game" on Huffington Post began,

Monica Porter, who dated "dangerously" for a year, shares nine top tips to help protect yourself, including: don't believe anything, be careful who you get into bed with and split the check. If you're looking for romance through online dating, make skepticism your starting point, says Monica. 

Sure, "be careful whom you get in bed with" and "split the check" are reasonable, whatever your age and whether you're dating online or some other way. But the negative attitude overall made me cringe For example,

Rule #1 of dating over 50: Don't believe anyone. Emotionally, you need to construct a wall around yourself which nobody can penetrate until you believe it to be safe. People will plunder your emotions without compunction if you let them. It is up to you keep them locked up, like jewels.

Really? I've been online dating for a while now, and though I have my own frustrations with it (see my advice to men here), fearing that my precious emotions will be plundered if I don't lock them up is not one of them.

Personally, I think that most people of our age who are using online dating sites are looking for love/ lust/ sex/ adventure/ friendship/ companionship, or some combination of these; feel as vulnerable as we do; and have good intentions. Am I naive?

Isn't the point of a first date  to know each other enough to decide whether we want a second date? Isn't part of that being ourselves, talking openly, and, yes, risking a little? I've met people who have their emotions locked up, and I have no interest in dating them.

I invited the fans of my Naked at Our Age Facebook page to weigh in. Boy howdy, were you willing! Here are some of your points:

Janet, 55: I agree, it is very negative. If you go into online dating with fear and negativity, that is what you will attract. I suggest: Know yourself, be clear about what you expect from the site, be clear on the qualities of a date you are seeking, be ruthlessly honest because you have nothing to lose -- you don't want to waste time in a charade. This is the time of life to be real. Be you, be positive, have fun and you will attract what you put out.

Dana, 62: I tried online dating and it seemed like every man I met had a laundry list, and I was too short, not brunette, too chunky, not enough like their ex wife, too much like their ex wife, too independent, not independent enough, too sexual, too frigid, and on and on. They had this woman pictured in their mind and were looking for her and her alone. My strongest recommendation would be not to make snap judgments at the first meeting. Be willing to let things unfold, be curious. Resist the temptation to judge a book by its cover. Just relax and don't be on the hunt for your "soul mate" (whatever the heck that is). Find a true friend, a joyful companion, a kind soul and be nice. Let life, God, the universe, fate (whatever you want to call it) choose for you.

Jim, 58: As negative as it may be, is the article accurate? I say, for the most part, yes. Photos are old, many of them are of flowers, their dog, whatever. Would it be nice for a woman to offer to help pay for a nice dinner? Never happens. Not that I would accept it either, but the offer would be nice. I think we all have preconceived notions of what we want, but I agree that you need to let things flow. I find that many women aren't ready to date, let alone have a new relationship. After 3-4 dates, it's "I just don't think I'm ready," or "my ex BF is really trying to be a better man so I'm going to go back and give it another try," or "I thought I was ready but now I'm not sure."

Ruth, 67: I think the Huff Post article is valid to some extent -- don't believe anybody! It doesn't mention that you can ask for a reference after you've met someone for the first time and before you hop into bed with them. You can find out about the person's honesty and relationship history from someone else's point of view. I don't agree with the statement, "If you meet someone you fancy, by all means enjoy good, fun sex. But - hard-nosed as it sounds, and I can't pretend it's always easy - take the emotion out of it or you will be hurt over and over again." I can't take the emotion out of sex and I'm not sure many people can.

Paula Ellen, 53: I find the photo with the article pretty offensive. Why isn't there a photo of a 60-year-old, gray-haired woman with a thirty-something male? Jesus.

Brian, 64 : I'm a verbal guy, I'm not interested in profiles without a lot of writing either in the profile essays, or in the explanations of the questions on OKCupid. That's where I gauge such things as sense of humor, care for others, and intellectual curiosity. I wonder what women are thinking when they post a profile picture showing them scowling or otherwise looking unhappy. My correspondents tell me that they get tons of messages from men on the model of "Hi beautiful, what's up?" (That sort is the more tasteful) I can't give advice on how to handle this, except to put clearly in your profile something that you ask for a comment on, if only to see if someone actually read it. I sent a woman one of my usual cheerleading notes, telling her how much I loved her profile and wishing her good luck. Six months later, we've got a very fine romance going, despite the long distance. As it happened, one of my lovers had just said goodbye for reasons best known to her, and I had some time/energy to spare. So, be careful what you don't ask for. You may get it.

Ashton, 62: I agree that that article is way too negative. I'm a fan of OK Cupid and I think you need to go into it open-minded rather than paranoid. My #1 rule of online dating is to meet sooner rather than later.

Cyril, 65: While I agree that the wording is negative and excessively emphasizes the need for caution, we should not be gullible or leave ourselves open to exploitation, whether by a date or a rogue trader. Simply put, make sure they have earned your trust before you open up.

Chuck: I'm 74 and my honey is 78. We met on JDate two years ago. The obvious catalyst is honesty--and candor. We got the heavy lifting done on our first date (my alcoholism and depression, her husband's dementia) and moved on from there. Respecting one another's history and allowing space for individualism, these have worked so well for us.


What do you think? I welcome your comments. (Please include your age.)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

CatalystCon West 2014: Catalyst Award!


CatalystCon - Sparking Communication in sexuality, activism and acceptance is an amazing conference that happens twice a year: once in Washington, DC and once in Los Angeles. If you attend, you'll never forget it.

The presenters and attendees are sex educators, bloggers, authors, researchers, professors, sex workers, adult entertainment performers, therapists, and anyone else who has a commitment to sharing in the conversation about sexuality education and activism.

You'll meet legends in the field who paved the way to the kind of sexual liberation most of us in the US enjoy today. You may find yourself sitting next to a porn star or an erotica writer who sparked your own sexual awakening. You'll get so much new information and so many diverse points of view that your brain and heart will expand.

CatalystCon feels like my world -- a loving world in which sexuality is celebrated, and all sex-positive viewpoints and consensual behavior are accepted. I attend regularly and I give a presentation (or two) about senior sex each time. Even when I'm the oldest person in the room, I feel warmth, acceptance, and genuine interest in what I have to say.

This time, there was an additional surprise for me: I received the Catalyst Award "for inspiring exceptional conversations in sexuality"! I can't remember what organizer Dee Dennis said about me when I rose to accept the award (I had absolutely no idea in advance!) -- all I remember is looking out at 300 people who were standing, applauding, and smiling at me.

Here is the description of the purpose and mission of this conference from http://catalystcon.com/:

CatalystCon is a conference created to inspire exceptional conversations about sexuality. It is about reaching out and stimulating those who attend to create those important conversations in their own communities, changing how we as a society talk about and treat sexuality. It is about stimulating the activist that is within all of us and sparking transformation in the way our friends, neighbors, children and even politicians discuss one of the most important aspects of humanity. 

This is a conference meant to energize, enlighten and exhilarate. It is a conference where everyone is welcome, everyone is respected, and everyone is encouraged to share their knowledge and experiences. As the struggle continues over issues relating to equal rights, access to health care, and sex education, it is more important than ever to come together and have these important conversations on all areas of sexuality. 

The fundamental principle of CatalystCon is that knowledge is power and sharing that knowledge is the first spark in igniting change.

Do you see why winning the 2014 Catalyst Award feels to me like one of the most important honors ever? See why my smile takes over my entire face?

If you can attend in the future, please do. You'll be changed by it: listening to, learning from, and networking with the most interesting people you'll ever find in one weekend of sharing information and attitudes about sexuality.

I'll write more about what I learned from the presenters in another post, coming soon. The conference really wasn't "all about me," and neither was my enjoyment of it. I just had to share this much right away!


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

FeMani Wellness Sexual Health Massage Wand


If you've read my book, Naked at Our Age, or the advice given on this blog, I hope you've noticed the valuable information contributed by Ellen Barnard and Myrtle Wilhite, MD, co-owners of A Woman's Touch. They are brilliant sex educators and compassionate human beings who devote themselves to women's sexual health and pleasure, with a special emphasis on helping women with sexual pain and limitations.

I've recommended A Woman's Touch's Vaginal Renewal Program often, and many of you told me how helpful it has been for you. An attendee at one of my workshops recently emailed me:

I wanted to let you know how much I benefited from your workshop. Using some things that were discussed, the Vaginal Renewal Program you recommended, your books that I purchased (I went straight to chapter 11 -- "When Sex Hurts" --  in Naked at our Age), and some steamy stories from Ageless Erotica, I was able to have penetrative intercourse for the first time in 4-1/2 months. It can only get better from here and hubs is very happy.


Ellen Barnard
I'm including this testimonial here not only because she specifically mentioned AWT's Vaginal Renewal Program, but also because  much of what I know about vaginal pain and self-help solutions I learned from Ellen and Myrtle. I consult and quote them often, and you've benefited from their expertise several times on this blog as well as throughout the pages of Naked at Our Age.

Myrtle Wilhite
Ellen and Myrtle have been working for years on developing the best sexual health internal massage wand for women who have pain and/or limitations with penetration and with medical internal exams due to aging, cancer, or other issues. They (and we) were dissatisfied by the wands -- aka vaginal dilators -- that were available to women with sexual pain, either from doctors or online.

After years of research, they've designed and tested the FeMani Wellness Sexual Health Massage Wand, which has been perfected to their high standards. FeMani Wellness Sexual Health Massage Wand is ready for manufacturing -- but their funds have run out.

That's why I'm appealing to you. These amazing educators have been (and continue to be) generous with their expertise, helping anyone who needs them. Can you be generous to them now? You'll be helping yourself and many other women who will be able to have comfortable, pleasurable sex because of these tools.

If you've been helped by the expertise of Ellen and Myrtle, either through my books or elsewhere, or you just want to help other women, can you assist with a donation of any size?*  Go here to learn more.




* You know I don't use this blog for fund-raising appeals. You may not know that I turn down about one worthy project a week, because I know you come here for senior sex news and views, not to be asked for money. But this project and these people are so special in our world that I had to make an exception.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Amorino: a twisted sex toy

When I first saw a photo of the Amorino, I was mystified. Why put a twisted rubber band on a vibrator? Bondage is one thing, but on a vibrator?

What an odd sex toy -- I had to try it. Fortunately, the good folks at Good Vibrations were eager to send me one.

I discovered with pleasure that this strange little vibrator can be used in a variety of ways, and  I had  fun experimenting with it.

Let's start with the bare vibrator. Without the band, the medical-grade silicone mini-vibe can be used as a "rabbit"-style vibrator for dual stimulation of the clitoris and vagina.

The insertable length is only 3 inches, and the width is just 1.25 inches. This smaller size suits many of us older women just fine. The surface is smooth, and both tips are soft and a bit flexible, another plus.

So why the yellow band?  I was skeptical at first: Why would anyone want to add a rubber band to a vibrator?

Actually, I discovered, the band adds a strange and quite pleasant sensation, almost like it's "strumming" your vulva. Instead of inserting the shaft fully, just insert it shallowly (or not at all) and let the band play over your clitoris and labia. Pleasant, fun (it's made by Fun Factory, after all), and sexier than you might imagine.


How do you attach the band?

1. You can loop it around the vibrator (there are indentations to keep it from slipping).

2. You can loop it over the top, twist it once, then loop it over the bottom.

3. You can twist it twice.

Experiment and enjoy! In case you're wondering what havoc that twisted band might wreak on pubic hair, I was happy to discover that it did not catch or pull. Your experience may vary.

The Amorino may also be used anally, but only without the band.

Is the Amorino strong enough to bring older women to orgasm? You may not need the intensity I do, in which case the small but mighty Amorino will make you very happy.

For me, it felt good, very good, but it wasn't quite strong enough. I've come to enjoy several of my feels-nice-but-not-quite-strong-enough-to-get-me-there vibrators for a yummy, slow arousal. Then I grab one of my stand-bys (Magic Wand, Eroscillator, or -- my recent find -- Palm Power) for a happy ending.

The  Amorino comes with a USB charger. Once charged, no cords. And it's waterproof!

I wouldn't recommend the Amorino as your first or only vibrator, but if you're a connoisseur of sex toys, as -- ahem! -- many of us are, I think you'll find this an entertaining and pleasurable addition. Or, as some reviewers do (hello, Dangerous Lilly!), you may find it too gimmicky. I'm in the first camp -- I like it. I don't love it, but I like it a lot.

Thank you, Good Vibrations and Fun Factory, for providing me  with the Amorino in exchange for an honest review from a senior perspective.






Sunday, August 31, 2014

"I left without letting him see me" -- a first date goes bad


Martha, age 67, is a friend of mine and a beautiful, peppy, athletic woman. We were taking a walk together, and with great embarrassment, she confided this story (posted with permission):
This man contacted me from OK Cupid. In his photo, he had thick black hair with a little grey, and he described his body type as "average."

When I arrived at the coffee shop for a first meeting, I spied him from the doorway. I recognized him, but just barely. His hair was white and thinning, and he was at least 40 pounds overweight. I was totally grossed out by his misrepresentation of himself, and I froze. Then, instead of approaching him, I left without letting him see me.

He sent several texts along the lines of "I'm here waiting, looks like you're running late." When I finally responded, I told a half truth -- "I'm so sorry, I couldn't meet you" and a total lie: "I'm having trouble dealing with a break-up." 

He sent me a scathing email calling me rude and inconsiderate, and I apologized and said, '"Yes, I know, I'm so sorry."

What advice would I give to men on online dating sites? Be honest, really honest. Post a recent photo. Say what you look like. If you're 40 pounds overweight, say so. Otherwise you're misrepresenting yourself, and someone's going to be pissed off. Hopefully they won't do what I did and not even talk to you. There's someone who will love you the way you are, so be yourself.

Do I feel right about what I did? No, I'm terribly embarrassed. I've never done anything like this before. I was scared to tell you.

I confess I came down pretty hard on Martha. I'm always ranting about honesty and authenticity, so neither Martha nor her date scored big points. How could she have handled this instead? 

I suggest that she could have gone through with the meeting, and after some light conversation, said something like this:

"I need to tell you that when I saw how different you are from your photos and your description of yourself, I felt you had misrepresented yourself. It doesn't do any good, really, to post an old photo and not tell the truth about your body type -- it's bound to come out once you meet, and they feel deceived. If you portray yourself honestly, you'll draw people who are attracted to who you really are, and you deserve that. We all deserve that."

Do you think that's cold? There was no potential for a second date anyway, so maybe this could be a teachable moment.

Please realize that I'm not shaming someone for an extra 40 pounds and thinning, white hair -- it's the misrepresentation that doesn't serve him and doesn't get him closer to a first date becoming a second date. 

What do you think? I'd love to know your opinion. 



Friday, August 29, 2014

When Your Partner Wants Something that Turns You Off



Question for you: If your partner wants a sexual behavior that not only isn't your thing, but really turns you off, what do you do?

  • Tell your partner no and expect your partner to shut down that desire? 
  • Do your best to accommodate your partner some of the time? 
  • Pretend to like it? 
  • Negotiate "I'll do this for you if you'll do this other thing for me"?
  • Give your partner a pass to get that need met with someone else? 
  • Break up because you're not sexually compatible?
  • Other? 

If you've been at the other end of this -- you have a passion for something that your partner doesn't share -- how do/did you resolve it?

I'd love to hear from you whether you're encountering this situation now, or did in the past, or you're thinking about how you might handle it in the future. Please describe the sexual behavior, fetish, role play, or desire if you're willing and if it wouldn't embarrass your partner or ex (no "revenge comments," please).  I'm also happy to hear from counselors, sex therapists and sex educators about how you advise clients.

If you want to answer anonymously, please pick a name that isn't yours instead of using the name "anonymous" so that we don't have a string of comments by "anonymous."

I hope we can start a discussion about how to work with dissimilar and conflicting sexual needs.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Me, Dan Savage, and Two 70-year-old, Lust-Crazed Cousins


8/19/14 update: I originally wrote this post on June 25. I'm moving it to the top of my blog because I'm a guest on the Savage Lovecast episode 408 that airs today, and I expect many Dan Savage fans to visit this blog for the first time out of curiosity. In the 8/19 podcast, Dan refers to a scolding that I gave him. This blog post is the scolding/ spanking he's talking about. Enjoy! 

"Joan? Too far outside your wheelhouse?" began Dan Savage's message to me. He sent me an email from a reader who wanted advice. Because the reader was 70 years old, Dan thought I'd be the right person to help him respond.

Here's my interpretation of what I read:

A 70-year-old woman has been crazy with lust over her female cousin for the past 50 years! It turns out, the cousins discover now, that they both feel the same way! Bring it on! But since they're both inexperienced in the ways of lesbian sex, they decide it would be cool to get a third woman in on this, to guide the experience so that the first time is stellar. Their fantasy is that Cousin #1 would watch Cousin #2 and their #3 at first, then join in.Their question: How to find this third? 

What did I actually read? This:

I'm a bit out of your demographic, agewise (I'm 70), but I am still an avid reader. This is true, not a Penthouse letter. My cousin and I have flirted and joked about getting it on together for about 50 years or more. Now, she's divorced and having the time of her life. She told me the other day, what she'd really like is to have a "lesbian experience" with me watching and then joining. I'm so crazed with lust that I'm having a hard time thinking straight. This is a kinky dream come true. I love oral sex and with two pussies to eat, etc., the whole thing sounds just great. What I don't know is how to contact someone to do this. I don't want someone who's got a disease, or someone with a boyfriend just waiting to break in and rob everyone. Or someone truly horrific for any number of reasons. How do I contact, and then arrange such a thing? How would I ensure that my concerns are dealt with? Is using an escort services any guarantee of any degree of safety? Boy, I would just love some good advice. Got any for me? If you answer, you can call me... Old But Alive.

What's wrong with this picture? Just the gender of the letter writer, that's all. Turns out that my assumption that Cousin #1 (C#1) is female was wrong, wrong, wrong. C#1 is a man.

Dan knew that. I didn't. It never occurred to me that I had the gender wrong. He didn't realize that I didn't know.

So I sent my advice, which included:
  1. "I hope you're indulging that lust with plenty of hot talk, make-out sessions, and role-playing as you figure out how to make your fantasy a reality." (Good advice.)
  2. "Start hanging out at lesbian bars and other social venues. Don't go in aiming to pick someone up right off the bat—you don't want to come across as predatory and creepy. Instead, go on a date with your cousin, dance, chat up women who are friendly. You could make great connections if you're open and take your time." (Good advice if C#1 is a woman. Horrible, clueless, shudder-worthy advice since he's a man. No, no, no.)
  3. "Another way to go, as you suggested, is to hire someone. The advantage of a paid escort is that you can choose the woman and spell out exactly what fantasy you want her to provide. She'll be experienced, creative, and totally focused on your pleasure." (The best advice of all.)
Dan sent me back a quick email that he disagreed with some of what I said, but he didn't tell me what. I was puzzled -- what could he possibly disagree with?

The column posted today -- you can read it here. To my shock, Dan broke into my lesbian bar advice with "About the only thing lesbians hate more than opposite-sex couples prowling for 'thirds' in their bars are sharp fingernails digging for clams in their pants." 

Huh? Where did he get the idea this was an "opposite-sex couple"?

Later in the post, talking about safer sex, Dan says, "Use condoms, Gramps." Who's he calling "Gramps," and where would these lesbians put the condoms (unless they're sharing sex toys)?

So it all comes out. C#1 is indeed a man*, and I've just gone from respected sex educator to clueless in the eyes of all the Dan Savage fans and Dan himself.

* (But Dan, don't call him "Gramps" anyway -- that's ageist and condescending. Whether or not he has grandchildren has nothing to do with his sex life.)

Once Dan and I realized what had happened, he apologized profusely, both to me for not clarifying the gender of C#1 and to his readers via a "Dear Readers" update. 

He told me later:

I thought it was obvious the letter writer was male -- his cousin wanted a lesbian experience, which he couldn't provide. That's why they needed a third and he would watch while the cousin had her lesbian experience, then join in. And he mentioned having two pussies to play with… not three.

So, that's the story, and now I can breathe more easily and sleep tonight. Now that I see it all in perspective, it's pretty funny that I jumped to the conclusion that the letter writer was female. I can laugh about it now. 


While I'm on the subject, finding a paid escort is less problematic than you’d think via the Internet or referrals – these women have found ways to advertise their availability, or they wouldn't be in business. Kendra Holliday, who describes herself as a sex worker from St Louis, tells me, “You can track down sex workers in your area online and run your scenario by them. If the sex worker is not into that kind of thing, she can float it by her network. Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool in the sex worker realm.” 

Thank you, Dan Savage, for all you do to create a sex-positive world! (See my review of Dan's book, American Savage, along with a gratuitous photo of his husband Terry in a swimsuit, here.) While you're at it, do subscribe to the paid version of his Savage Lovecast -- it's well worth the small subscription fee to get almost 1.5 hours of Dan every week.



Sunday, August 17, 2014

Infinit Massager: Bouquet of Vibrators?

 "Oooh, a bouquet of vibrators!" I exclaimed after unwrapping my Infinit Massager. The Infinit has not one, but three silicone vibrators growing out of an aluminum base.

Each vibrator has its own control button for increasing intensity or changing vibrational pattern. And each is flexible (well, sort of flexible -- more about that in a minute), so it can be bent into different angles and positions.

The idea -- an interesting idea indeed! -- is that the array of vibrators lets you stimulate several areas at once. You can use one prong for vaginal stimulation, one for anal stimulation, and bend one to press against the clitoris for clitoral stimulation -- all at once, using one hand and one product!

Or, if you like more fullness vaginally, put two in the vagina, one against the clitoris. Or -- whatever you want to try.

That's the idea. Now here's the reality from a senior perspective:

  • You can't simply turn on the vibrators and easily bend them into place. You have to figure out how to get the arms bent the way you want them ahead of time because they're difficult to bend into the position you want. The arms aren't flexible like pipe cleaners -- they only bend in two places. 

  • Even with effort and concentration, I couldn't manage to wrestle an arm (or two) into a position for clitoral stimulation that worked for me while one arm was inserted vaginally. If the clitoral arm(s) were placed right, the vaginal arm was barely inserted. It worked best using all three arms for external stimulation, surprisingly.  

  • Each button controls one vibrator independently, but they're not marked in any way, so you don't know which button controls which arm except by trial and error. It's best to get them all at the right setting before you start. It would have been easy to color code the buttons to correspond with a little marking on the arms, eh?

  • The Infinit isn't comfortable to hold for the amount of time we older women need, especially if we have arthritis or weakness in the wrist. Although the vibrations are concentrated in the ends of the prongs, the whole base is vibrating enough to become annoying with long use, especially when the slipperiness of lubricant-coated fingers on aluminum requires a hard grip. 

  • It's way too easy to accidentally press one of the control buttons and turn the vibrator off or change pattern when we don't want to.

Of course, your experience may be different. If you'd like a playful experience with lots of possibilities, the Infinit Massagerwill entertain you. And it would probably work better with a partner to help you experiment -- certainly there can be plenty of sensation in a three-pronged vibrator.

The Infinit charges via either wall socket or USB port, very convenient, so it's cord-free while you're using it.

It's fully waterproof and can be fun in the tub. It's quite heavy, so hold on tight if you take it into the shower. I say that because I dropped it on my toe in the shower. It didn't break either the toe or the Infinit, but it hurt.

I think male bodies would find the Infinit Massagerfun. Would you like me to ask a buddy with a penis to test it? Say the word and I'll get on it, so to speak.


--> Want a discount on this product or any other? Click this link: Sextoyfun.com and use the coupon code SENIORSEX for a 10% discount on any order over $100. No expiration date.

 Thank you, Sextoy.com, for providing this product in return for an honest review.