Monday, July 28, 2014

Dating Advice to Men Over 50, 60, 70+

7/28/14: I wrote this in 2010. I'm updating it now, with a few more years of experience with dating as a senior. Here's what I said in 2010, with updates italicized in blue.

Yes, I've started online dating, and I'm actually enjoying it.

I realize that my enjoyment goes hand in hand with not having anything at stake, no big expectations. I'm not looking to replace Robert (couldn't be done even if I wanted to, which I don't) or find someone to give my life meaning and joy (my life already has meaning and joy). I want to bring more male energy into my life, meet new people, get out, have new experiences. If that results in connecting with someone wonderful, that's a big bonus.

I wrote this on a message board for women over 50 in response to one person who was scared to date:

If you think of dating as your way to learn about another person and about yourself without risking anything, it can be fun -- go for coffee or a walk or dinner with someone new, talk, see what you both enjoy discussing and doing. It's when you think of dating as auditioning a potential soul mate that it becomes fraught with anxiety, unpleasantness, and emotional danger.

First dates aren't scary to me in the least. I'm interested in learning what we do and don't have in common, and which of the divergences matter a lot. Plus, the writer in me loves hearing people's stories, and first dates are a great way to learn a huge amount in an hour, because it's expected that we share our stories.

Although I'm newly dating after almost ten years, I already have some strong opinions about online dating do's and don't's. (When did you ever know me to not have strong opinions?) Here are a few, aimed at men because that's my experience. I'm sure I'll add more as I proceed, and I encourage you to add your own. (Be constructive, not nasty, please.)


Advice for Men about Profile Photos

1. Please use a current image as your default photo. It's fine to include older photos also -- I love to see the long, bushy hair you wore in 1969!--but label them with the year, and make those secondary photos, not your main one.

2. Include at least one recently taken close-up of your face. Do. Not. Wear. Sunglasses.  I can't tell you how many profiles I skip over because the man is wearing sunglasses. I need to see your eyes. (I can't believe how many men wear sunglasses in their profile photos. Please, guys!)

3. Have a photo taken if you don't have one already. You don't need to go to a photography studio -- all your friends have digital cameras. Make your default photo just you -- no buddies on a fishing trip, no arms around a woman who might be your daughter or maybe your ex-wife, and absolutely no edited photo with the woman at your side cropped out (we can tell)!

4. Smile! Most of the profiles that men post show them either scowling or looking intently serious. I know that's because you're taking selfies and you don't want to put on your reading glasses to see the tiny screen. Ask someone else to take your photo, and smile as if you're glad to meet us.


Advice for Men about Your Profiles

1. Please give your real age and body build. If we'll eliminate you if you're older or heavier than attracts us, so be it -- that would happen once we met anyway. By the way, I'm learning that "average" build/body type means 30 pounds overweight. Is it true for women's profiles, too, guys? Just FYI, I put a lot of energy into staying fit, strong, and healthy. In my eyes, it's not superficial to seek men who take this kind of care of themselves, too.

2. I love it when men 50-70+ are looking for women their age and even older, but some of you say you're seeking to date women who are at least 10-15 years your junior. Is that simply an attraction thing? Or are you ruling out vibrant women your age for some reason I don't understand? Sometimes I write men with this question, and occasionally it leads a man to change his upper limit requirement! Mostly, though, they don't answer.

3. Describe what makes you interesting and unique. Skip the usual "I like moonlight walks on the beach," etc. -- if everyone who said this actually did it, the beaches would be crowded at nighttime, and they're not. Instead, think about the qualities and interests that will attract us and make you stand out from all the other profiles we're reading.

4. I really respect those of you who give me a courtesy of a "no thank you" if I write you first and you're not interested. I see you as polite and compassionate when you write something like "Thank you for writing, but I don't see us as a match. Best wishes...." rather than not answering at all.


Advice for Men When We Meet

1. Be yourself, be truthful, tell me about yourself -- and I'll do the same. That doesn't mean dumping details of your last health exam or therapy session, but take the opportunity to show me who you really are and what matters to you. We're too old to play the I'll-try-to-appear-to-be-who-you-want-me-to-be game.

2. Please also try to learn about me. If you do all the talking and don't ask me any questions, I don't know if it's nervousness or that you don't care who I am. As interesting as you may be, a monologue absolutely rules out a second date.

3. If we've gone out to dinner, I won't assume you'll pay because you're a man -- I'll offer to share the expense. If you prefer to pick up the check, tell me with a smile, and I'll accept with thanks. But please don't make a face, shudder, and tell me how much you hate "women's libbers" who "act like men." No kidding, someone did that recently. He's a very nice man and we had good conversation over dinner, but clearly our values and opinions don't match enough for a second date.

Please, good men, I know you're out there. How do we find you?

Since I'm a straight woman reading men's profiles, this post is slanted to my experience. Help me expand it. I'd love to hear from you about your experiences, likes and dislikes, and pet peeves about the people of any gender whom you meet (or choose not to meet) through online dating. I hope you'll comment!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Has society's view of senior sex changed? Question for my readers

7/17/14 update: I originally wrote this post October 2012. At that time, it seemed to me that our society's attitudes towards senior sexuality were finally starting to shift. When I began writing and speaking about the this topic in 2005, I was a rare voice talking publicly about this subject. In the past couple of years, I think we've made gigantic strides. A large -- and loud! -- community of sex educators, writers, workshop presenters, therapists, and sex-positive seniors are shattering the ageist sexual myths that our society accepted for generations, such as that our aging bodies have an expiration date when it comes to sexual pleasure. What do you think?

Do you think that senior sex is now accepted, even celebrated, compared to five or ten years ago? I hope you'll comment here.

Sometimes I really feel we're changing society's view of aging and sexuality -- other times, I wonder if I'm deluded because I surround myself with open-minded, sex-positive people who  applaud my ideas and communicate similar messages to their followers.

Sometimes I get so caught up in the momentum of the world I want to live in that I think we've already achieved it -- but have we?

Are we just a small (but loud!) part of a society that still sees sexually exuberant seniors as laughable? Or are things really changing?

When my first senior sex book, Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty came out in 2006, it caused quite a stir in the media because it celebrated the joys of senior sex and included details of what was hot about sex after 60. (My personal favorite moment in that book is the nail-filing section -- I love the smiles I see from women when I read that part aloud during a speech!)

Then I wrote Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex (2011) to address the challenges that prevent sex at our age from being as spicy and fulfilling as it can be. This book has won two major awards and is used and recommended by therapists and sex educators. I'm proud and grateful to all the people who contributed to that book.

Now I'm interviewed a lot and invited to speak at conferences and other gatherings. It really feels like I'm living in a world that recognizes that our sexuality is lifelong and ageless, and no matter what else is happening in our lives -- medically, emotionally, partnered or not -- we are capable of this pleasure. 

I hope you'll post a comment so that this topic can become a discussion rather than one woman's monologue --or her wishful thinking!

Friday, July 04, 2014

62-year-old Woman Seeks Man for Sex


Lucy, age 62
Lucy, a 62-year-old woman from Santa Fe, NM, wrote to me:

Joan—I’m bisexual and have always loved sex with men. Unfortunately as I age, I find men in my age group don’t have much interest in getting right to sex -- they just want to “date”—interminably. 

If there were just places where a woman could safely buy a man’s time, tell him what she wants, and then complete the transaction I would totally do that. I did find Cowboys4Angels, which advertises "Straight Male Escorts For Women," but the closest one is in Las Vegas.

Am I crazy? Why is it men can buy sex anywhere but women have to "date"? And yeah, I know I’m old, but I’ve been asking this question for decades. I don’t want the man, I want the fucking (and I swear this is a legit letter). Please answer. 


I went first to my colleagues and followers on my Naked at Our Age Facebook page, where I can always count on a community willing to share knowledge, opinions, and experiences. Here are some of their suggestions:

One reader wrote, "I've heard men from Rentboy.com -- which is a gay male service -- say they either happily take female customers already, or they would be happy to take female customers."

Headshot of sex educator and presenter Sabrina Morgan
Sabrina Morgan
Sabrina Morgan, sex and dating coach and sex workers' rights advocate, agrees. "Contacting a guy on Rentboy.com and asking if he's comfortable with female clients is a great first step, as is looking for straight male escort directories. There's ConciergeDuMonde.com, which has several reputable independents."


Hercules Liotard
How do you find an escort? "If you do a web search for 'straight male escorts' or (although I hate the term) 'gigolos' and the closest large city, you will get various agencies and independent providers that will come up in your area," suggests Hercules Liotard, The Pleasure Coach.

You said you wanted full-on partner sex, but if you or other readers would enjoy an erotic, intimate massage (highly recommended, as you'll read in Naked at Our Age!), check out providers like Hercules, who is based in Los Angeles. Search "intimate massage" and your city to find a provider near you.

Whether you're hiring an intimate massage practitioner or an escort, Hercules has this advice about safety:

The number one key factor for women who hire men for sex is the trust factor. Is this person safe? When talking with the women I work with, this comes up almost every time in the conversation. They chose me because my site was inviting and interesting. I answered their questions and concerns in advance and did not try to rush them into an appointment. I had reviews and a good standing in the community, and that all made them feel safe.

So I would say that any woman should look for these same qualities when contacting anyone. Shop around!  

Photo Credit: Peter Hellberg
Pamela Madsen
Pamela Madsen, Sex and Intimacy Coach and Co-Director of Back to The Body: Sensuous Retreats for Women, shared these thoughts:

Many women work with Sacred Intimates, Escorts or Sexological Body Workers. It's not so underground anymore! The rules for sexual interaction change from man to man and practice to practice. Sexological Body workers can provide an amazing experience for women who want to experience one-way touch in a very safe environment with boundaries. Women who are looking for two-way touch experiences such as intercourse and oral sex would be better served by working with a Sacred Intimate or an Escort.

No matter who a woman chooses to work with, it's important for her to find out the practitioner's boundaries, STD status, and get references -- as well as find out about pricing ahead of time. Many female sex coaches, like myself, work with men who work erotically with women, and can provide direction and referrals.

Do you have to hire someone if you want a sexual encounter? No. You can find casual sex online with like-minded partners without hiring a professional. Craigslist has a personals ads category titled "Casual Encounters."  (Yes, there's a Sante Fe section, Lucy.) Some of the ads are pretty raunchy, others are straightforward ("looking for..."), and some are quite plaintive ("not much sex from my partner no matter how much energy I put out"). You can search by age if you wish.

Personally, I'd feel nervous and vulnerable using Craigslist for a casual encounter, because you don't know anything about the person placing the ad, but clearly most people do get the results they want, or it wouldn't be as popular as it is. Do I sound unnecessarily cautious, readers?

Sometimes approaching a man whom you meet in your daily life can lead to an interesting and satisfying connection. Seth, a man of our age, emailed me to share his experience:

My casual sex partner is a lady who walked up to me while eating dinner at a restaurant and asked if I could give her a ride home. Wonderful conversation, and when I dropped her off, she asked if I wanted to come in. Conversation continued, and when I got up to leave, she asked if I would like to stay. I did.

We have both continued our connection. It's very straightforward. She calls and asks if I would like some loving. There are times I'll say no. Both of our needs get met. We don't discuss our connection with anyone. So delightful to walk in with sex  on both of our minds. Clothes come flying off. We both enjoy our sexuality. Then we both go back to running our businesses.

What didn't work is a woman who sat down next to me and started a conversation that made it clear she was hitting on me. "Gigolo?" she asked. That felt strange to me and I didn't pursue that line of conversation.

A reader who wishes to remain unnamed recommends AdultFriendFinder.com,a huge sex site with 55 million members that aims to help you find "worldwide sex dates, adult matches, hookups and fuck friends." My reader says,

I was 61 when I started "playing" with AdultFriendFinder. But, of course, you have to be very good at vetting the men who e-mail you. If you do a good job of vetting, you will find that there are a lot of very nice men on there who want to give a woman pleasure, as well as getting their own pleasure, with no strings attached.  

Also, you can find no strings attached sex on some of the free regular dating sites, such as Plenty of Fish and OKCupid. One of the interesting things is that there are so many younger men who are looking for older women. On POF, I found a 31-year-old with whom I had a 4-month dalliance, until he found a woman he wanted to marry, then he broke it off with me. He was very sweet.  

I asked several of the younger men who e-mailed me why they were interested in a woman who is so much older than they are. They all gave pretty much the same reasons: "Older women don't play games. Older women know how to please a man. Older women are comfortable in their bodies." Yup, we are hot stuff!

"Hot stuff" indeed! Let us know how your quest turns out, Lucy!


I welcome your comments, but I do not permit solicitation or attempts to draw my readers to sites for porn, escorts, or any retail sites I have not vetted. If you wish to advertise on this blog to reach our sex-positive seniors, email me. Don't try to submit a comment aiming to get free advertising for a site I haven't approved. It won't work, and it makes me extremely cranky.