Saturday, July 19, 2008

How has your idea changed of what sex is?

I was interviewed by Audacia Ray for her Naked City column for the Village Voice online. Audacia asked me, "How has your idea of what 'sex' is changed over your lifetime?"

Here's what I answered:

In my teens and early twenties, I was trying to shed the restrictions I had been taught by family and society about sex being bad until a wedding band somehow transformed it, so sex was rebellion. Although I willingly shed my virginity at 17, I didn’t have an orgasm until two years later. Being a child of the 1950’s, I didn’t even know what/where my clitoris was or what made it work, until a more experienced college boy showed me. I haven’t stopped enjoying it since!

From my mid-twenties to early-thirties, sex was both an expression of love and an exploration of what turned me on. I was in two committed relationships (serially) during that time, and I loved the high and the bonding of sex.

In my mid-thirties and through my forties, sex was the Big O: orgasm, as frequently as possible. I was in a love relationship for part of that time which was sometimes exclusive and sometimes open, and after that broke up, I went a bit crazy with the excitement of multiple partners. This was my real coming of age, sexually. I discovered the glory of powerful orgasms, whether alone or with a partner (or series of partners), filling my drawers with vibrators and my datebook with eager men.

During all this time, my hormonal, biological urge was propelling my sex drive. After menopause, all this shifted.

I was a post-menopausal single woman, needing lubricant, taking longer to get aroused and reach orgasm, and as eager as I was to keep my sex life going, often I felt invisible to potential partners. I still felt youthful and vibrant in my mind (still do, at 64!), but my face started showing my age, and boom, men were no longer interested. It was amazing to me, really.

Then at age 57, I fell in love with Robert, who was then 64. Our love affair was the reason I wrote my book, Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty. My sex drive was no longer hormonally driven. Rather, it was driving by love, the yearning to bond deeply, and a deep commitment to my lover’s pleasure as much as (sometimes more than) my own. We married when I was 62, he 69. Ours has been the great love of both our lives. It has also been the best sex, because joining together is a culmination of everything we’ve experienced in our lives as well as our deep love for each other. It’s spiritual as well as physical.

How would YOU answer the question, "How has your idea of what 'sex' is changed over your lifetime?"

For the rest of the interview, please click here.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Elder Porn in Japan

According to Japan's Booming Sex Niche: Elder Porn in Time Magazine, Jun. 17, 2008 one of the most popular porn stars in Japan is Shigeo Tokuda, a 74-year-old actor. In his latest films, he plays a "tactful elderly gentleman who instructs women of different ages in the erotic arts," Time tells us. The shocker, though, is this:

Shigeo Tokuda is, in fact, his screen name. He prefers not to disclose his real name because, he insists, his wife and daughter have no idea that he has appeared in about 350 films over the past 14 years.

Now that is puzzing! How does Mr. Tokuda manage to keep his double life secret from his wife and daughter when his photo (above) appears on DVD covers and, since the Time article came out, all over the Internet?

Not that Japan is usually seen as a model of elder-sex acceptance. According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report from March 2008 cited in the article, "One in 4 married couples in Japan had not made love in the previous year, while 38% of couples in their 50s no longer have sex at all."

Yet porn videos are a billion-dollar industry in Japan, with "elder porn" one of its rising categories. One of Tokuda's film titles is "Forbidden Elderly Care" -- can you imagine our youth-obsessed American culture clamoring to view that? Apparently Japan is not so elder-phobic.

What about elder women in Japanese porn? Most films still feature women in their teens and 20s, hundreds of adult videos feature "mature women" up to their 70s.

Unfortunately, though, "a popular young actress can earn up to $100,000 per film, while a mature actress is paid only $2,000."

I'm sure you'll have something to say about this! Bring it on!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Listen to Joan's podcast

I was honored to be invited to be a part of the marvelous Seal Press "By Women For Women" podcasts, presenting interviews with Seal authors. Please click here to listen to the podcast, where I discuss some lively strategies for keeping sex spicy and satisfying.

After you listen, I hope you'll comment here and share what you think.

The podcast mentions a free download of a nicely formatted, print-worthy .PDF of my Tips for Hot Sex After Sixty. To receive the Tips, please email me with your request and I'll send the tips to you as a .pdf attachment.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Man, 20, loves "slow burning flame" of late-40's lover

I received a powerful email from Elliot, age 20, who is in a passionate relationship with a woman in her late forties. He writes:

My lover and I are very affectionate, very loving and ultimately very content with each other. Personally, I enjoy the pace, as I am not given a time limit on anything, much less anything sexual. I am given a reign of freedom that most men would divorce for, and my lover herself is so passionate yet so trusting and warm, and dare I say it, cuddly, that she presents the very thing that I have yearned for, yet never found in women my age!

This slow-burning flame I have the fortune to enjoy day after day is something I find much more cosy, more inviting, but finally something that can truly blaze with raw passion, rather than the all-consuming forest fires I seem to find so common in anyone my age. After all, I want to be warm, secure and loved, not burnt over and over again.

So what, in the above paragraph, involves some sort of magic age limit? Where does the question of age come into this? As I write this, I found myself needing to ask my lover what her age actually was, as we see it as something so inconsequential, something so trivial and ultimately so near enough to pointless that I don't even try to remember it. If my wants and desires are met, does it matter if that person is anything between 18 and 65? Of course not. If I find the perfect lover, her age is practically meaningless..

I want a woman who I can cradle lovingly in my arms and read quietly to, so that she will dream a wonderous dream while she sleeps. I want a woman who can be so very vixen in her nature, but so very kitten in her love when she chooses either. I want a woman who is as intelligent as she is loving, with a quiet intensity, but most of all, with a love for being orally pleasured until she passes out after god only knows how long. Where, I ask you, can I find these qualities in a better way than choosing an older woman?

I honestly believe that I must have undergone some major task, some amazing feat in a previous life, to be rewarded with an almost perfect bliss day after day. No, I choose to keep my bliss close to my heart, rather than trying a younger girl, and honestly? When I masturbate when she is not with me, visions of younger girls don't do it for me anymore. She's the one flame I have eyes for.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Sex after Menopause: Good Vibrations magazine

I was pleased to be interviewed by The GV Weekly about sex after menopause. Excerpts are reprinted below -- you can view the whole interview here. Update: this interview is no longer on the original site, sorry.

Menopause Q&A with Joan Price

Recently The GV Weekly sat down Joan Price,, advocate for ageless sexuality and author of Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty, to clear up some of the mysteries surrounding sex and menopause.

1) What are some of the possible effects of menopause on sexuality? What sorts of things can folks expect and what are some ways to respond to them?
Many women experience hot flashes, night sweats, sleep deprivation, and mood swings – which sometimes feel like PMS on steroids! – and who can get in the mood for sex with all that going on? Trust me – it gets better after menopause, once your system calms down and adjusts to hormonal changes. Meanwhile, communicate clearly with your partner and your family, and try to take time for yourself – a “pause” – while you’re going through this emotional and physiological upheaval.

Once the extreme changes have ebbed, the ongoing challenges from diminishing estrogren at menopause and beyond include decreased vaginal lubrication and thinning of the labia and vaginal tissues. These changes can result in painful intercourse, a burning or stinging sensation, or even tearing. In addition, we may take much longer to become aroused and, after arousal, to reach orgasm.

For both of those challenges, it’s crucial to use a good, slippery lubricant. Even if you think you’re wet enough, your natural lubrication has changed – it’s thinner and less protective for your more delicate tissues. So experiment with a slick lube that feels good and doesn’t dry out or get tacky quickly. Personally, I love both Liquid Silk, which feels most like natural lubrication and stays moist through prolonged sex, and Eros, which is very slippery and comfortable.

Never use Vaseline, baby oil, cooking oil, or other greasy stuff you might have on hand. These are difficult to clean out of your vagina and can cause irritation or even infection. Use a lubricant made specifically for sexual comfort and pleasure.

You can buy samples of several different lubricants to find the one(s) that you and your partner prefer. Rather than being embarrassed about needing lubricant, make it part of your sex play by letting your partner apply it gently with caresses.

2) What are some of the relationship changes that people going through menopause might be dealing with? How might they choose to address them?

The hardest part is talking about it. If you feel less sexy, or more self-conscious about your aging body, or frustrated with your changing sexual responses, talk to your partner and plan ways that your new needs can be incorporated into your love play. For example, you may need to communicate that you need longer foreplay, with more whole-body touching before your lover arrives at your hot spots. You may need to change the time of day that you have sex to times that you feel a combination of relaxed and alert – maybe morning, maybe late afternoon.

It’s also helpful to do other physical activities together, such as dancing, hiking, working out or even walking the dog. Being physical together – even when the activity is not specifically sexual – can lead to a enhanced body awareness and closeness. Exercise also increases blood circulation, which – ahem! – sends more blood to your genitals and brain as well as to your muscles! You may find that you feel sexier after exercise, more open to sensual exploration, so make use of it!

Realize that as our biological drive gets less urgent, we may find that leisurely sex is more satisfying than the frantic sex that was so exciting in our youth. Even something as simple as making love in the daytime instead of after dinner (I find I can’t digest and have satisfying sex at the same time!) may make a huge difference.

Juicy is an attitude, I’ve come to realize, based not on the flow of our vaginal secretions but on physical well-being, emotional state, mental attitude, and love of sex. Here’s to post-menopausal zest – and understanding lovers!

"Better Than I Ever Expected": Top 100 Seniors Site

What an honor! This blog made's Top 100 Seniors Sites -- one of only six sites in the sex/dating category.

Seniors for Living helps seniors and their families research, evaluate, contact, and compare Senior Housing options. How refreshing that this website realizes the important of intimacy and sexuality at all stages of our lives by including the category in its search for the most interesting and helpful sites for its readership. Thank you, Seniors for Living!