Monday, October 27, 2008

Women, are you sour on men?

A man who has taken one of my workshops -- I'll call him Tanner -- is 61 years old, looks a good decade younger than that, and is handsome, fit, smart, communicative, and in harmony with feminist ideals. He would love to connect with a woman of his age, but he tells me that although younger women are attracted to him, the women he meets of his age seem to have a "gender bias" against men. He tells me,

I keep hearing about how men can't relate on a deep level, or how we seek younger women, but that is not happening with many of us who can't get past a barrier that so many of us feel. Far too often I encounter gender bias among older women, and am at a loss to explain that. I can tell you that I have zero tolerance for it. I am not exaggerating the effect of wisecracks against men I hear. It cuts deep.

All I can offer is that men read about what we've done wrong for many years and made a good effort to change. Many of us didn't have to change much to begin with, as we truly did not have gender bias and just needed some fine tuning about misconceptions or sensitivity. But sometimes it seems that nothing we could possibly do could be enough. These are not political or economic relations, but very emotional and close. A level of trust has to be achieved or the relationship will fail. Gender bias precludes that, so many relationships that should succeed don't. I suspect this revolution, that of gender liberation on a personal level, will take far longer than we thought.

I'd like to get some feedback from both men and women about this. Personally, I don't feel it -- I love men, especially the men who work hard to destroy the gender and age stereotypes that I and many women of my generation find so frustrating, and I don't even know any women who feel the way that Tanner experiences. But this is what he experiences -- I'm not questioning the truth he describes.

Tanner is one of the good ones! Yet he finds himself shot down by women for failings they ascribe to men in general that have nothing to do with him.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Dr. Ruth at 80 still talking sex

I'm listening to Dr. Ruth Westheimer on the Ronn Owens show on KGO radio, San Francisco. The podcast is here, and I recommend listening to it -- it's a combination of great advice and very funny interaction between the two. Dr. Ruth is 80 now, and she tells us that she doesn't do everything that she talks about these days.

A woman called to ask her advice: she's a widow who had enjoyed a fabulous sex life with her husband (until the day he died, in fact) and turned to a vibrator after he died. She called because her heart raced fast enough to concern her whenever she used the vibrator. Dr. Ruth advised her to talk to her doctor before using the vibrator again and get checked out.

This made my mind go in a couple of directions. First, and we've discussed this before, how many of you would feel comfortable asking your doctor about vibrator use? Dr. Ruth said, "Don't be shy," but that's easier said than done.

Second, have any of you experienced a racing heart (more than what you'd consider usual) due to sexual stimulation (with or without a sex toy), and if you did consult a doctor, what did you learn?

Dr. Ruth now has a brief section of her website for "50 and Over" consisting of a few Q&A. Here are some of her books:

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Solo Sex: Hot Tip Contest

What's your best tip for hot solo senior sex? I've published my 10 Tips for Hot Sex after Sixty that apply mainly to couples (and I've been criticized for that), and now I'm asking your help in compiling the best tips for pleasuring yourself solo after age 60 (or 50, or 70, or 80).

Here's how to enter the Solo Sex Hot Tip Contest:

  1. Email me with "contest tip" as your header.
  2. In your email, describe in about 100 words your Solo Sex Hot Tip, including an anecdote from your personal story about how this tip improved your sexual pleasure. (I'm not looking for porn or even erotica -- just the nuts & bolts how this tip worked to enhance your pleasure.)
  3. Be sure to include your full name, mailing address (so that I can send you a book if you win!), and email address in your email. This information will NOT be shared.
  4. You're welcome to post tips anonymously as a comment here, but realize that I can't give you an award if I don't know who you are.
Prizes: One entry per month will receive a free copy of Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty, and the best entry of 2008 also will receive a free copy of Getting Off: A Woman's Guide to Masturbation by Jamye Waxman. (No, you don't have to be a woman to enter the contest.)

And then what? All entries may be posted on this blog and/or used in a follow-up book or article, at my discretion, without your name (I promise!) or any identifying info that could cause you embarrassment. I'll ask you for a code name to use if I decide to post your tip. Entries may be edited.

I don't know how many entries this contest will attract, so I'll give awards as the best ones strike my fancy, rather than by a certain deadline. This could be an ongoing contest.

Enter soon and enter often!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sex is Booming Despite (Because of?) Money Woes

Having trouble making ends meet? Oops, I should have specified that I meant financially. Retail sales at high-end stores like New York's Bergdorf-Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue are way down (15.8 percent and 10.9 percent, respectively), and the Mervyn's chain of budget department stores is closing its doors. However, I learned today from Bonnie Fuller's guest post on the New York Times' The Moment blog (and repeated on Babeland's Blog) that there's one retail area where business is booming: specialty sex shops!

According to Fuller, people are making the most of needing to cut back on shopping and dining out by enjoying "recession sex."

I guess if you add up the price of a romantic dinner date or a sexy new dress versus a sex toy that, ahem, keeps giving and giving, it's clear that not only are we budget-conscious, but making some wise choices!

Fuller quotes Claire Cavanah, a co-founder of Babeland, an erotic toy and lingerie business with three New York City boutiques:
Our sales were up 25 percent over last year the week of September 29th and up 12 percent last week. The same thing happened after 9/11, when our business also soared. I think we’re recession-proof because sex accessories are an inexpensive luxury.

So enjoy yourself this weekend, whether you're partnered or solo, by indulging in the best stress reliever and least expensive entertainment, and know that by "accessorizing" your love nest, you're helping the economy... or something like that!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cloris Leachman, take a bow

When I first heard that 82-year-old Cloris Leachman would be a celebrity contestant on Dancing With the Stars, I was elated.

Then I saw her dance the first two weeks.

I became, in turn, embarrassed and then angry. Was she chosen for the show because she, in fact, could not dance? Were we supposed to -- yet again! -- laugh at an old person trying to do something that she was too old, too stiff, too brittle to do well? Was she chosen as a caricature?

Then in weeks 3 and 4, something seemed to change. Cloris seemed to make a decision to be the train rather than the track. She took charge, playing to the hilt her sensuality, flaunting her overflowing cleavage, putting her leg up on the judges' table for the world to ogle and for Bruno to kiss. She got a standing ovation for her tango, not because it could compete with a young, svelte, limber, hormone-driven couple's tango, but because she conveyed self-confidence, sex appeal, and being totally at home in her 82-year-old body. She didn't just talk back to the judges (probably saltier than we were permitted to hear), but she didn't care what they said. She was doing her best, and her best meant entertaining the public on her terms, not theirs.

I have a true respect for the grace, aesthetics and atheticism of dance, none of which Cloris displays, but I give her the "I'm in this sensual body, I love it, and if you don't get me, you can go bleep yourself" award for attitude!

Were you troubled by her appearance on the show at first, when it looked like we were supposed to laugh at her, rather than with her? What do you think now?