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. 


  1. I love this post. I am 73, fit and healthy. I truly love my body as never before in my life. After some very difficult times recently reflecting many years of a dual existence on his part, my partner and I have committed to building a new relationship. Part of this relationship includes great sex, wonderful as it never was before in our lives, together or apart. He is learning to feel good about and in his body as well, a first in his life.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. A photographer friend asked me to pose for nude photos when I was 60 and it was one of the best things I ever did for myself! He was sincerely interested in improving his skills and we would take a set of shots and then review them together - we both improved in ways we couldn't have imagined. Even though I was about 60 pounds overweight at the time, I looked good in my own skin - better than I ever expected! One of the results was being inspired to improve my eating habits to improve my health - which also resulted in losing those extra 60 pounds! The last set of photos we took, me at 64, were some of the best photos ever taken in my entire life so far! As Joan says, being comfortable with yourself, knowing and liking who you are, is incredibly sexy! And not something I experienced as a young woman - I hated all my flaws then but now I embrace them all as part of the amazing and vibrant being that is me!


My readers and I appreciate your thoughtful comments. Please share your views! Comments are moderated, so yours won't appear until I've seen it. Thank you in advance for commenting!

Some people have reported problems commenting. If this happens to you, please email your comment (with the name under which you want it posted) to, and I'll post it for you.

Retailers please note: I delete comments that attempt to hijack my readers to a commercial site. If you'd like to advertise, contact me at and I'll be happy to send you information.

Authors, therapists and sex educators who have helpful information for readers are welcome to post links to their sites.

-- Joan