Saturday, October 31, 2009

Vibratex Japanese Butterfly review

It's a Rabbit. No, it's a Butterfly. Actually, it's both. The Vibratex Japanese Butterfly is a dual-action vibrator, meaning that it accomplishes both clitoral and vaginal stimulation simultaneously with its connected parts.

This type of vibrator achieved fame when the gals on Sex and the City shared their enthusiasm for their Rabbit, and "Rabbit" has become the catch-all term for this kind of vibrator, whatever the shape.

In this case, the "rabbit" part is a butterfly. It's cute and playful and yes, it vibrates like crazy. The Vibratex Japanese Butterfly has a rotating shaft full of vibrating beads and a rounded head plus an external, fluttering piece in the shape of a butterfly, designed to tickle the clitoris.

Thank you, TabuToys adult toys, for providing my Butterfly and being such a good sport while helping me decide which Rabbit to try! I requested a really strong Rabbit, and Vibratex Japanese Butterfly is considered top of the line.

I really wanted to love it. Yes, it's strong. Yes, its many attributes vibrate in a sexy, enticing way with the promise to rock my world. It even puts on a light show, great for giggles in the dark.

But -- for me, personally -- the shaft felt too thick (1.5") and hard, and I had trouble positioning it so that the butterfly actually fluttered where it was supposed to. It must be built for larger women (I am petite), because the butterfly landed a smidgen too far forward, and if I tried to bend and press it where I wanted it, the shaft ended up at an odd and not entirely comfortable angle. I also had trouble holding it at that angle with my short arms, until I discovered that I could just hold the part where the butterfly connects to the shaft, and that worked well.

It's a good, solid, well-made and well-designed toy, and I'll bet you'll love it if you have even slightly larger proportions than I do (and most women do). The vibrations are wonderfully strong and delightfully surprising as the shaft and beads roll around. It's just the size that isn't quite for me, darn it. I guess I haven't found my ideal Rabbit yet.

I'd love to hear from other users who declared this vibrator their dream toy -- I'm sure there are many of you!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Roger, 32: how to talk to older woman on train?

Two years ago, Roger, age 32, took the subway to his job everyday. He was attracted to a woman he guessed to be in her fifties who took the same train. "We used to flirt," he writes me, "Which was easy to do on a crowded train with a lot of bumps and turns, especially when we stood/sat shoulder to shoulder."

They never spoke a word but always found themselves next to each other for the trip. "In such public places it was hard to approach and communicate and the attraction never went beyond that," he writes. "I'm sure we were both hesitant because of the age difference. Also, I was a virgin at the time and somewhat timid." (He has since had sex -- once! -- with a woman his age.)

Then he left that job and no longer took that train. However, two years later, he is working downtown again, and he writes:

The dance on the subway has once again begun. Aside from the physical attraction, we seem to have a genuine interest in each other and I feel like I'm mature enough for her. I'd like to get to know her, but I don't know how to gauge her interest in getting to know me.

Is she looking for a relationship? Am I? If we're both looking for mostly intimacy, is that ok? I'm concerned about being seen in public, but how do I know if she would also want to keep it discreet?

I know the first step is to talk to her, but I don't know how. Do I talk to her on the subway, or might that make her uncomfortable? Should I slip her a note? I only had sex with my girlfriend once and found it mediocre. I'll admit I'm very attracted to this woman and love the idea of her 'teaching me' but I'm worried that she's interested in much more and would think I just want sex. Any advice you can get will be greatly appreciated.

I don't think you could manage to find yourselves shoulder-to-shoulder every day on the way to work if she weren't as interested as you are. The way to talk to her is, well, simply to talk to her!

You could start by bringing up the coincidence that you're taking the same train again, two years after you "met." It almost doesn't matter what you say first, just talk to her. If you need an opening line, how about "It's the high point of my day when you're on the same train. You must work downtown, too."

One point you make is a red flag for me. You worry about being seen in public. Why ever would that be an issue? If you'd be ashamed or embarrassed to be seen with her, then please, for her sake, don't approach her at all.

It's one thing to hope for an intimate, no strings relationship where she "teaches" you -- a young man's fantasy that can come true! But it's another to be worrying about hiding the relationship before it even exists.

Roger, you seem like a very nice young man, but I don't think you can claim "maturity" as your best asset -- not because of your age, but because you're so shy about saying a word to this woman. Get to know her. Let her get to know you.

If she's interested in just taking you to bed and then switching trains and never seeing you again, she'll take that initiative. But if she'll find you interesting, funny, or sweet, then do open your mouth and let her know who you are.

Otherwise the years could roll by along with the train.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Grief and Loss in Joan's New Book

I'm working on my new book, Naked at Our Age, and I'm realizing the importance of including grief and loss in this book. Besides the fact that it abruptly changes then halts (temporarily or permanently) our senior sexual expression, loss is a part of love, especially at our age. Unless we're lucky (lucky?) enough to die at the same time, one of us will experience the heart-breaking, gut-wrenching, life-altering loss of the other.

Many people have asked me questions about my grief journey: other seniors and elders who have experienced loss of their beloved recently, counseling students who want to understand the raw truth of what it feels like, and friends and family who want to know how to help. My willingness to talk out loud and on the page about this, I see now, makes me a resource for others.

I never would have imagined that experiencing this grief would have some good come from it, but this is one more experience we have to learn to share. We're really not prepared for the emotional, mental, and physical changes we go through after our beloved dies. We don't know where to find help. Many of us are immobilized and don't ask for help. Our loved ones don't understand why "How are you?" is the wrong question.

So yes, I'll write a chapter or more about this in my new book, sharing my story and others' stories, with tips from grief counselors.

I'd like your help. If you have experienced loss of your beloved, either recently or in the past, and you're willing to be interviewed by email and share your experiences -- what it was like with your loved one, what it was like to lose him or her, and what has helped you reclaim your life and, if pertinent, your sexuality (because that's the theme of this book), would you please email me with "grief story" in your header, and I'll send you some questions.

Thank you.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Put your toys away (for grownups)

Thank you, Tunti Toy Store for sending me a Tunti Illuminating Boudoir Toybox! Why do we grownups need a toybox in the boudoir? To store our toys in, of course.

I've seen other cases for sex toys, but this one is unique because it lights up when you open it, so that you can choose your pleasure in the dark. The case is well cushioned, with removable dividers to accommodate different size toys, and a large, mesh pocket in the top section for oversized toys (e.g. the Magic Wand).

Although the case itself doesn't seem large -- 12"×10"x5" -- look how much fits inside! And yes, it still closes.

There's a plexiglass cover for the lower section which I didn't photograph so that you could see the toys more easily, and plenty of nooks and crannies for anything you could want to keep handy. A clever and useful toybox!

(For reviews of the toys you see here and more, click here.)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Teaching counseling students about older adults & sex

Update 10/20: Wonderful experience talking to counseling students yesterday at San Francisco State with fabulous instructor Rebekah Skoor. Once the counselors-in-training realized I really would discuss anything they asked, we covered an array of topics about ageless sexuality, many of them very personal. They were also interested in understanding grief after loss of a spouse, and I talked openly about that, too. It was beautiful to be in a crowded room of mostly young people who were eager to understand and support the older person's experience. I came away with more ideas about topics I'll want to bring into focus in my new book, Naked At Our Age.

I've been invited to speak about sex & aging to graduate students of counseling at San Francisco State University in their one-and-only sexuality course. When the instructor, Rebekah Skoor, invited me, she told me, "This class has historically skipped over the lives of older adults in the curriculum and I am working to correct this critical oversight." Kudos!

I want to help these future counselors understand senior sexuality, and also help them understand how to talk about it with clients who may be three times their age. Would you help me by commenting here about how you would like a counselor to talk to you about sex, and what issues you'd like help bringing up in the first place? Specifically, please comment on any or all of these questions:

What issues in your sex life -- or, perhaps, lack of sex life -- would you like a counselor to help you resolve?

How difficult would it be to speak to a younger counselor about your sex life?

How could a younger counselor help you feel more comfortable about opening up? Would you like her/him to initiate discussion of sex, or wait for you to bring it up?

What else would you like me to tell these counselors-in-training?

I suspect we'll get lots of divergent points of view here, and that's fine. Just because we're seniors and elders doesn't mean we feel the same way about anything! I'd like to collect these points of view to share with the counselors-in-training. Please post your comment, or email me and include permission to post it for you.

If you're one of the students I'll be talking to at SF State, please add your questions and comments -- I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sex with 92-yr-old man

A 30-something blogger/swinger/ sex worker who calls herself and her blog The Beautiful Kind ("TBK") posted a two-part story of her sexual adventure with Leonard, a 92-year-old man who hadn't had sex in 30 years: Robbing the Graveyard and Robbing the Graveyard Update. At first I worried, because of her post titles, that she was making fun of Leonard, but she writes with respect, concern, and kindness.

I won't give away the ending to this true story, except to say that it's sad and disturbing. Read the two entries in order. I encourage you to discuss them here once you've read it.

Caveat: TBK's blog lives on the wild and raunchy side, as does TBK herself, so visit with caution if you're not accustomed to blogs that are more explicitly sexual than this one. If this caveat makes you laugh rather than wince, go for it!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Over 50 and victim of dating cyberpath?

Needed for my new book, Naked at Our Age:

Have you, as a senior, been a victim -- or narrowly avoided being a victim -- of a cyberpath when you were seeking love or sex (or both!) online?

Cyberpath: a psychopath who finds victims online and stalks and exploits them either online or in person.

Would you be willing to tell your story (cloaking your identity, of course) to help my blog and book readers avoid what you went through?

Also needed: Experts who can help seniors avoid becoming a victim of these predators and/or deal with the aftermath. I'd also like to hear from a spokesperson in law enforcement about what to do if an online relationship is escalating in a scary way. Please email me if you have a story or helpful tips to share.

Information will be shared on this blog and in more detail in my upcoming book, Naked at Our Age.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sex educator Q&A Good Vibrations Magazine

Thank you, Charlie Glickman at Good Vibrations Magazine, for profiling me in the sex educator series. Here are some excerpts from the Q&A:

What do you love about giving sex advice?

I love the instant connection with people who trust me with their candid stories and questions. I love knowing that by passing along the information I’ve learned, I can help others improve their sex lives and intimate relationships.

What is the most difficult or hard-to-answer question you’ve ever received?

I guess the question that distresses me every time I hear it is, “My partner doesn’t want to have sex anymore and won’t talk about it.” I always recommend seeing a therapist — going alone if the partner won’t go – to figure out options for coping with this, but I certainly don’t know the answer. It’s a heartbreaking question.

What was the most interesting thing you learned in your exploration of sex?

It’s all interesting! Goodness, what could be dull about exploring sex?

What do you think is the biggest misconception about sex?

That we lose our zest for sex at a certain age. Certainly sex changes – it becomes more emotionally driven instead of biologically driven, our body parts and erotic responses aren’t as dependable as they used to be. But the desire for touch, for skin contact, for bonding with a partner, for soaring to sexual heights remain strong. These needs and desires are part of being human, and they’re lifelong.

Good Vibrations

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Hitachi Magic Wand: strong enough for seniors

Good Vibrations Best Selling Sex Toys Hitachi Magic Wand Vibrator MassagerThe Hitachi Magic Wand is exactly that: magic. I discovered its gift-that-keeps-on-giving qualities at least thirty years ago and enjoyed it often. It lasted for decades, but finally its head hardened and a rough ridge appeared, and I had to say goodbye.

Thank you, Good Vibrations, for sending me a new Hitachi Magic Wand for review. It's not just as good as I remembered -- at this time of my life, it's better. I've been complaining throughout my vibrator reviews that I wished they were stronger. This one is!

When I used the Magic Wand as a young woman, I remember I had to cushion it with a washcloth to diffuse the sensations and temper the intensity just enough. At age 65 (one month to 66, hardly seems possible), I no longer need the washcloth. The wand is comfortable with just lubricant for cushioning, and the intensity is exactly right for flying to the moon.

I found it hilarious that the instructions that come with the Magic Wand have a diagram with numbers indicating the safe and effective places to "massage" -- however the pelvic area is devoid of numbers! I guess we have to number our own....

(FYI, as I proofread this review, I discovered I twice mistyped "Magic Want" instead of "Magic Wand." Now what does that tell you?)

If you googled "Hitachi Magic Wand review" you'd get 70,000 hits -- but I'll bet this is the only one you'll read aimed at the senior/elder user. The Hitachi is the best-known (and best-loved) vibrator ever made, but I realize that many women in our age group grew up without sex toys being part of their experience.

Now that we've reached our age, an extra boost of intensity is really important for the stimulation our homone-depleted bodies require to fire. If you haven't incorporated sex toys into love play -- with a partner or solo -- I hope you'll open your mind to it. Simply put, it's far easier to reach an orgasm with the buzz from a clitoral vibrator than on our own. That's just fact, at this stage of our lives. If you're a woman who no longer reaches an orgasm easily -- or at all -- realize that you can recapture the sensation with some help -- a Magic Wand, so to speak. (If you're new to the idea of sex-toy-assisted stimulation, please read Senior Sex & Vibrators: Myths & Facts.)

Hitachi Magic Wand at

Good Vibrations

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Remembering Robert's last tomato plant, with love

Eating a sweet, tiny tomato, I flashed on the dear, spindly plant Robert grew for me Spring 2008. He knew how much I enjoyed sweet cherry tomatoes, but our yard didn't have enough sun, so he planted it in a large pot in the sunniest spot and moved the pot as the sun moved. We were enjoying a wonderful early spring together and anticipating summer.

After Robert broke his back, I insisted that he let me move the tomato pot, which had become very heavy. He still "directed" where it should go.

Robert's plant bore fruit, a tomato or two at a time at first, then several. He would feed the delicious tomatoes to me by hand, lovingly -- until he became too sick and pained to go outside, and finally too sick and pained to care.

The plant outlived my beloved Robert, although it always struggled for life. I cried every time I tasted its tiny, exquisitely sweet fruit. I ate Robert's tomatoes until October, when the plant gave up, and I left the house we had shared.

I ate an amazing, tiny, tomato yesterday, sweet as sugar, and I cried.