Thursday, June 25, 2009

If Not Now, When Do We Live Fully?

"Putting your own life/needs/emotions on hold can’t be healthy for you," I told someone yesterday, and it reminds me of how often I find myself saying that.

A reader writes that she has a sexless and even touchless marriage, but can't support herself financially so she's staying. A male friend of mine in his sixties can't decide whether his current relationship is right for him, so he doesn't decide, he just goes along. A reader in his fifties will start exploring relationships after he moves. A woman says she will feel sexier after she loses weight. A couple hasn't had sex for years but won't see a therapist because they think they should figure it out on their own.

I often ask people of our age who have put their own happiness and passions on hold, “If not now, when?”

If you’ve read much of my blog, you know that I lost my beloved husband, Robert Rice, to cancer last August. He was an artist, a dancer, a thinker, and a teacher to all who knew him. As long as he could stand upright, he painted in his studio every day, creating amazing art, yet always striving for that elusive best painting -- maybe his next. He painted some of his most magnificent work in his last two years.

“Do you feel like you’re living on borrowed time,” I asked Robert one morning as he pulled on his paint-splattered jeans and sweater.

“I AM living on borrowed time,” he told me. Then he kissed me and rushed off to tend his garden for a couple of hours before heading to the studio.

I’m making myself cry writing this, but I admired him (and admire him still) for always going towards his goals, his love for life and creativity, and his passion for love itself, even when he knew he was dying.

We all have a death sentence, we just don’t know when it is. As we age, though, we get many reminders of our mortality, some subtle (aches in new places, parts that don’t work 100% like they used to), some not subtle at all (a cancer diagnosis, a spinal or hip fracture, parts that don't work at all).

It seems to me that we have a responsibility to ourselves and to life itself to live fully, productively, and lovingly -- as long as we can.

As I reread this post, I realize that it's a lesson I have to relearn in my own life now as I emerge from the dark place of grief and make my way back to life, work, sunshine, and joy.

Thank you, Robert, for the lessons you taught me so well.

Blowguard: A New Kind of Safe Sex?

Disclaimer: The following is NOT my usual "I've tried it and it's good" review -- it's not a review at all. I have never used the Blowguard or seen it (except in Web photos). I am NOT promoting this product and have no idea if it's good, or if anyone needs it in the first place, or even if it's for real. So why am I writing about it? If I don't, who will?

Fellatio without teeth. I know, if that's one of your sex acts of choice, you've had decades of experience learning how NOT to use your teeth while giving a man the pleasures of oral sex. But pretend for a moment that you haven't learned how to control your dental attributes (or you've been watching True Blood on HBO before sex), and your guy scoots into a corner of the bed and hides under the covers when your mouth approaches his nether regions. The Blowguard, apparently, was invented to address the problem of enamel (or fangs) meeting penis. It also holds dentures in place during oral sex play, if you read the website carefully.

Now here's the scary part: The Blowguard has a mini-vibrator in it. That may appeal to the fellatio recipient, but I can't imagine it would feel good (or safe) to the giver who now has a mouthful of vibrating plastic. If you've tried this product, I hope you'll leave a comment. (No advertising, just user comments, please.)

I'd love to hear from you with your tales of teeth + penis, if this is indeed a big problem out there. I'd also like your suggestions for more weird sex devices to tell all of you about -- either odd devices that are available now, or some that ought to be invented... or not.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

SF Bay Area Man, 62, seeks compatible woman

I get emails from both men and women of our age, wondering if the partners they seek exist, and if so, where to find them. Sometimes their emails to me sound like enticing personals ads or online dating profiles, like this one from Ron:

Transplanted New Yawker now living in the San Francisco Bay Area - youthful, intelligent, energetic, 62-year-old product of the '60s who finds himself alone and both emotionally and sexually frustrated.

I'm looking for a woman compatible with my philosophy and lifestyle: vegetarian, environmental/animal advocate, non-materialistic though not ascetic, nature lover, low-tech. I have many interests and possess an irreverent, warped, at times bawdy sense of humor. A good conversationalist/listener, playful and mature for my age (LOL). Still some hair left on my head, diminutive in stature but in proportion to my weight, free of facial follicles, metal implants or body art (prefer women who can say the same). Have become a rather serious birder and am involved with the local Audubon chapter. Enjoy movies, walks, live music, travel, photography, among other activities.

My libido is very much intact, even if the machinery does not work as it once did. My imagination, creativity and desire to please and be pleased in the erotic realm, however, have not abated one bit.

My ideal woman would be intelligent, mature, funny, affectionate, compassionate, easygoing, down to earth, love the outdoors and animals, have a good head on her shoulders, serious when warranted but able to find the humor in almost anything. Maybe an earth mother type who has retained the best of traditional hippie values but with some seasoning and wisdom that comes with age and experience. Someone who has the time and inclination to literally and figuratively stop to smell the roses, listen to the birds sing and share the simple pleasures of life.

I have not clicked with anyone for quite some time and no longer even know where to find potentially appropriate partners. What's a boy to do?

I generally refuse to do matchmaking, but over several emails, Ron has struck me as someone who has a lot to give. If you live in the SF Bay Area and you're a great fit for Ron, email me and I'll see what I can do to put you together -- just this once, though!

For the rest of you, can you help me advise Ron where he will meet women with like interests in the SF Bay Area? I have a few ideas where women who fit Ron's wish list might be hanging out, and I invite you to lengthen my list:
  • Join Sierra Singles.
  • Set up a birding singles group.
  • Spend this weekend at the Kate Wolf Festival .
  • Spend time in Berkeley, West Marin, and Sebastopol.
  • Take my line dancing class in Sebastopol or Santa Rosa. (80-90% of line dancers are women, very friendly and welcoming, and most have single women friends.)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Younger Men Seeking Older Women

I get frequent emails from men age 19-40+ who are attracted to women age 50-70+. They ask me how to meet women who might be open to a relationship with a much younger man.

I also hear from women who are surprised by -- and welcome! -- a younger man's interest, and others who would rather not date someone younger than their son. An example in that last camp is "Granny B" who describes her blog this way:

GrannyBoogies on the highway of life!
The life and adventures of a senior woman looking for her last Love. Is there sex after 70? Do senior dating services work? Will Granny find her soul mate?

Granny B recently posted about being pursued by a younger man via an online dating site. I posted this comment on her blog:

On my blog about sex and aging, I hear from younger men all the time who are attracted to older women and ask how to connect with them. These men say they value the woman's experience, self-knowledge, ease of communication in and out of bed. If you're honestly not attracted to a man younger than your son (every man is somebody's son!), then you're right to send him on his way gently. But if you're intrigued, you might get to know him!

Many of the younger men who write me describe warm memories about being introduced to sex by an older woman. Others tell me they respond to the wisdom and maturity of an older woman.

Check out my other posts on this subject.

Note to the men who want to talk about this. Yes, I welcome your comments here and your emails to me, but please -- we're talking about this subject with dignity. Do not send me your masturbatory fantasies or make me the object of them! (Please don't be insulted by this request -- I'm only saying this because it has happened a few times and that's not what this blog is about.)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Speaking Up for "Pro-Aging"

Being pro-age is the antidote to anti-age marketing, proclaims Debra D. Bass in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 06/06/2009.

"Aging is not optional, so forgive me if I'm a little annoyed by the 'anti-age' marketing bandwagon," writes Ms. Bass. "...In response to the ridiculousness, I've adopted a pro-aging policy."

So have I! I relish aging, because -- let's face it -- the alternative is dying. Let's see, aging... dying... aging... dying -- is it even a fair fight to select the winner?

When Robert died -- far too young, just 71, and in the prime of his emotional life, his creativity, and his ability to love fully -- I wished he had been able to get old. Why do we fight it?

I knew a young (by my standards) man who was devastated by his oncoming 40th birthday. Loving his youth, good looks, and physical prowess, he kept saying, "I can't turn 40!" He died in a motorcycle crash right before turning 40.

Be careful what you say and believe, and instead of fearing and hating aging, embrace it.

I grew up always looking years younger than I was, a real problem in my childhood and adolescence, but not so bad as the decades swiftly passed. Now, at 65, I do believe I look my age (remind me to post a current photo), and I'm happily settled into this aging process and the emotional growth that goes with it.

Don't think I'm sitting back and letting my body fall apart: I dance nine or more hours a week, do an hour of Pilates twice a week, and aim for 10,000+ steps every day. (I wear an Omron pedometer everywhere, to the amusement of my friends.) I'm trying to redefine what aging looks like and feels like by staying physically and mentally fit and focused.

This blog is about sex and aging, and I firmly believe that how we feel about our own aging process affects everything else, including sex, relationships, the love we have to give, and our enjoyment of life. Robert and I gloried in our aging bodies. We saw wrinkles as badges of experience, and every tingly sensation we experienced together or apart was reason to exalt the joy (and face the challenges) of living in aging bodies.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Heating Up with Emotional Bliss

What a lovely day when my special package of solo sex accoutrements from Emotional Bliss arrived from England! From the moment I opened the box, I was impressed by the elegant design of these vibrators -- I mean "intimate massagers" -- designed for women.

Emotional Bliss knows women. The Womolia and the Femblossom are both contoured to touch and surround a woman's most erotic nerve endings, not only the clitoris, but also the sensitive labia. The tapered tip can be inserted to stimulate the sensitive entrance to the vagina, or, if you prefer, it doesn't need to penetrate at all for more direct clitoral stimulation. Put it over your erotic contours and it will stay there, hands-free, or press or rock it with your hand for added intensity.

Speaking of intensity! The Womolia and the Femblossom tease you with nine vibrational speeds and intensities. Press the easily accessible button to make the vibrations stronger, milder, pulsing, steady, or surprising (some settings ramp the intensity up and down). One setting amps up in a way that reminds me of singing the scale -- Do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-DO!

Besides the shape, the Womolia and the Femblossom are unique because they heat up! I mean literally. After about 15 minutes, they get deliciously hot. I don't mean they're overheating like some vibrators in our past that came with instructions to turn off after 20 minutes of use (at our age, 20 minutes may be just getting started). No, these erotic helpers are designed to get hot. The brochure suggests leaving the massager turned on for 10-15 minutes before use, but you might enjoy letting the warm-up happen while you're using it instead.

The difference between the two massagers is shape. The Femblossom stimulates the clitoris and a large area of the vulva, while the Womolia aims itself more directly at the clitoris and/or inserts readily into the first two inches of the vagina, the most sensitive area.

Want something small and subtle that you can use either solo or with a partner instead? The Isis and the Chandra are like vibrating fingers. Slide one on your(or a partner's)finger, push the button, and it becomes a vibrating extension of the finger wearing it. The Chandra is slightly larger and more intense then the Isis.

All of these vibrators are medical-grade silicone and come with a charger (you never have to deal with batteries), lubricant, and a blue storage box. The instruction booklet is detailed and dignified in text and photos, and even a first timer will learn exactly what to do and how. After that, experiment and enjoy!

Emotional Bliss is based in England and ships to the UK, Europe, and the USA. For other locations, contact them.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Changing society's view of senior sex

I'm delighted that this blog has been selected by several sites for their "best of the web" list! Here are some honors we've received in the past few months:

Ultrasound Technician Schools lists Better Than I Ever Expected as one of the "50 Best Blogs for Your Anti-Aging Toolbelt" -- and the only blog dealing with sexuality.

Seniors for Living includes us in their Top 100 Senior Blogs & Web Sites, noting, "Joan Price offers straight talk about sex after 60, aiming to prove that older women are not sexless."

RN Central, a resource for nurses and nursing students, recommends our blog in its "Top 100 Health and Wellness Sites for Seniors."

It warms my heart that senior sex is finally becoming accepted in society as we struggle to talk out loud about it. When my book, Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty first came out at the end of 2005, it attracted media attention, partly because it made mainstream America go "Eeeeuuu, ick!" But now, so many books and magazine articles deal with senior sex that it's starting to be accepted as "normal," even trendy.

We're also listed on sex-positive sites that address all age groups. This is important, too, because we need to show young people that we sexy seniors/boomers/elders aren't alien creatures, and that our juniors have plenty to look forward to as they age.

Thank you to the forward-thinking people who selected this blog as worthy of their "best of" listings and blog rolls -- I appreciate it tremenously. And if you've just happened on this blog, welcome. Please stay a while and read past blog posts and comments. See the "labels" list at the right, or just sample at will.

As I like to say, we're changing society's view of sex and aging -- one mind at a time.

Wedded at 93 and 89

"Each of us is living a lonely life. Why not get married?" Ebenezer Rose, 93, asked as he proposed to Monica Hayden, 89, reports Michael Laforgia in the Miami Herald. So they did.

Rose had been widowed for four years after 58 years of marriage; Hayden had survived two husbands. They had known each other through their church for 20 years, but only recently started keeping company.

As I start to heal after losing Robert ten months ago, I am struck by this story as a testament to the remarkable ability of the heart to heal after tremendous loss and open itself again to love. The story of Ebenezer Rose and Monica Hayden illustrates the power of love, whatever the age of the lovers, and the basic, human need for affection and intimacy.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Love and Lust with Bill and Desiree

Bill and Desiree: Love is Timeless is a remarkably tender and realistic erotic documentary about senior sex from Comstock Films. Bill and Desiree are in love, and as erotic as their lovemaking are the heart-to-heart gazes they give each other, the intertwined fingers, the way Bill's hand lightly grazes Desiree's breast as they talk to the camera, the gentle corrections they make to each other's stories.

She looks in her 50s, he in his 60s, and their love is fresh and tender after 3-1/2 years together. They are buoyantly, joyously, agelessly sexual together, laughing as they make love, reveling in their connection. Much of the documentary is interview -- we hear how they met, where they first made love, why they love each other, and how important sex is to both of them. The commentary is interspersed with flashes of their sexual activity.

Then, done talking, they make love... for a long time. The lovemaking is clearly genuine, no "money shots" for the camera or fake screams or bouncing boobs. Instead, we see Bill give Desiree several orgasms with fingers, mouth, and toys before getting to the main course. Although we see every body part close up, we tend to focus on the love and joy in their faces (or at least I did) more than their delightfully frisky genitals.

I liked how unlike traditional porn this film is. This is an aging couple -- sexy, playful, and in love. They have body hair. They use lubricant. They make eye contact. He is dashing with his salt-and-pepper hair and fit body, and the softness of his caresses matters much more than the age spots on his hands. (She looks great, too, but I confess I spent most of my time watching him.)

Have you viewed this film or others like it? I hope you'll comment.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Man, 41, attracted to women, 60-70+

I hear from men frequently who want to date older women and ask how to find/ attract/ approach the women they desire. I hear from very young men (teens and 20s) who had their first -- and wonderful! -- sexual experience with a much older woman and want to recapture the joy. I hear from men in their 30s and 40s who are drawn to the wisdom, experience, and beauty in women decades older. For example, TW wrote me recently:

I am a 41-year-old male. I don't have any problem attracting women around my own age. That is fairly easy for me. But, I do have great difficulties attracting women who are much older than I am.

I am mostly attracted to older women who are in their 60s and 70s. I am not looking for a serious relationship. Just casual dating with someone I can see occasionally with the possibility of intimacy or sex. I don't where to go to meet older women. I've tried some internet dating sites. The women on those sites respond by sending me an email telling me that I am too young or that they have a problem with the age difference.

I welcome anyone's ideas and suggestions. Especially from men who have had successful experiences with older women. Also, I greatly welcome any suggestions from older women themselves.

Personally, I advise TW to get out and do the social activities he enjoys, where he'll meet women who enjoy the same activities. That way, it's easy to strart a conversation with a stranger because you already have something in common to talk about. Someone like TW would meet someone like me, for example, social dancing or at bookstores, coffee shops, gyms, walking trails, and vegetarian restaurants.

Once TW spies a woman who attracts him, I would NOT suggest the "Hey, you're hot and I love older women, wanna go to my place?" approach. Instead, open the conversation with comments on the activity you're sharing or ask her for advice, e.g., depending on where you are and what you're doing,
"You're a really good dancer -- would you dance the next one with me?"
"Have you read any books by this author?"
"Your workout is obviously working for you -- you look terrific. Do you recommend the aerobics classes here?"

And so on. You may be hoping to share the sheets with her, but you still need to show her that you appreciate more than her genitals. Remember that her most vital sex organ is her brain.

Readers, I invite you to add your own experiences and tips for TW. If you are a 60+-year-old woman who would delight in a fling with a man 2+ decades younger than you, how would you suggest that someone like TW find someone like you? (I'm not offering to play matchmaker, realize, just wanting to help TW know where to look.) If you're a man who has had experience dating older women, please share your experiences.

You can post a comment here, or email me and I'll post it for you. (Try to ride the thin line, please, between candor, which my readers like, and graphic details/street language, which they do not!)