Wednesday, February 20, 2008

ELDR gets sex right!

Len, age 80, says of his loving relationship with Joyce and their ability to talk openly about sex, "I've been enlightened. I don't need to feel bashful about asking for something that makes me feel good. This is a gift from the gods."

You've got to read Amelia Glynn's article Love After Sixty, which appears this month in both the print and online ELDR* magazine. The photos in the print edition from Kc Gunn are fabulous (a few are also online, such as these reprinted on this post). The article presents several elder love stories and discusses how sex is (and is not) different once we pass the 60 milestone. Authors Jane Juska, Joani Blank, Betty Dodson, and yours truly weigh in on the subject, along with Cynthia Mort (creator/producer of HBO's Tell Me You Love Me) and several sex experts.

It's refreshing to read about and see photos of real-life 60+ people who are frank about their sex lives. Kudos for ELDR for having the courage and the conviction to publish this article and the photos.

*October 2009 update: It is with great regret that I have asked to remove all my content from its website. If you've been there lately, you'll see the comments have been overrun by spam. Unfortunately, this high-quality publication and website fell victim to inadequate funding, and although past content remains, the site isn't being maintained. I hope ELDR readers will continue to come here for news and views about sex & aging.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A Love Letter to Aging Bodies and Faces

Do you think aging has made you less attractive? Do you have difficulty seeing yourself or your partner as sexy and desirable?

Then it’s time to challenge your own as well as society’s perception that only young bodies and unlined faces are sexy and beautiful. We need to accept – no, celebrate! – our wrinkles and rejoice in all the pleasure these bodies can still give us.

Let's join together and practice rejecting society’s youth-oriented view of beauty, keeping ourselves fit so that we feel happy with our bodies, and keeping a loud, buoyant sense of humor!

I love my 71-year-old husband Robert’s face and body. I look into his vibrant blue eyes and I see the young man as well as the older man. The older man is no less sexy than the younger man must have been (I didn't know him then). In fact, he's more sexy, because he has learned how to live joyfully and love completely in ways that a young man can't know until he has lived a full life.

I look in the mirror, where new wrinkles seem to appear weekly. I try to walk my own talk, accepting my own face as I accept Robert's, telling myself these wrinkles are badges of living, laughing, and loving. I tell myself, this is the youngest I'll ever be from now on!

I asked my 103-year-old great aunt what it felt like to be more than a hundred. She said, “I’m the same person I always was.”

So are we. Rather than trying to deny our aging -- which is futile anyway -- let's celebrate it.

(Photos by Mitch Rice, Robert's son, on Robert's 71st birthday)