Wednesday, September 29, 2010

10 Tips for Hot Sex after Sixty

This blog has welcomed thousands of new readers since I first posted these tips in April 2006, so I'm posting them again for your pleasure. If you'd like a pretty, print-worthy, colorful page of these tips in .pdf format, email me and I'll send them to you.

1. Slo-o-o-w-w down. Yes, it takes longer to warm us up. Fortunately, one of the best things about mid-life and later-life sex is the absence of urgency for our partners, also. They enjoy slow sex as much as we do! Make sex play last hours... or days.

2. Kiss and kiss. Kiss sweetly, passionately, quickly, slowly, contentedly, hungrily, lightly, sloppily. All kinds of kisses help you bond with your partner, warm up, and enjoy the moment.

3. Appreciate, decorate, and celebrate your own and your partner's bodies. Jewelry, lingerie, feathers, fringe, silk, velvet, massage oil, candlelight--whatever looks good, feels good,

4. Do sexy things together long before you hit the sheets. Dance together. Visit lingerie or sex toy shops. Leave sexy notes in each other's pockets. Give each other little gifts.

5. Do sexy things on your own to get yourself in the mood. Wear sexy lingerie under your everyday clothes. Work out. Swim. Dance. Fantasize. Write in your journal all the sexy things you want to do together. Spend some time humming with your vibrator.

6. Make love during high energy times. Midnight sex after a romantic meal may work for young folks, but we're more likely to feel full, bloated, and ready to sleep. Instead, make sex dates in the morning or afternoon. (Why do you think they call it "afternoon delight"?)

7. Explore sex toys and other erotic helpers. Our hormonally challenged bodies may need extra help to reach orgasm these days. Lucky for us that sex toys are easy to find, fun to try, and wow, do they work!

8. Use a silky lubricant. We don't have the natural moisture we used to, but there are many different lubricants that feel great and bring back the joy of friction. When your partner applies it, it becomes an erotic part of sex play.

9. Enjoy quality snuggle time before, during, and afterwards. Holding each other, feeling the warmth and texture of each other's skin, is one of the sweetest and sexiest parts of making love.
10. Laugh a lot. Play silly games, invent special words, tease each other, rediscover your childhood together. Laughter is bonding, joyful, ageless--and sexy.

(These tips are copyright 2006 by Joan Price and may not be reprinted without permission from Joan Price. Thank you!)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Online Profiles--would you date these people?

Online dating -- it works for many of us, not so well for others. Sometimes you just have to laugh at the profiles some people post. Lucky for us, two women, Tonya and Michele, who aren't yet 50 but are close enough to love this blog, assemble the funniest lines from men's online dating profiles. Their "WTF Dating Profiles"  are posted weekly at, which is otherwise a site for "adult product reviews," FYI.

Here's a sampling of their finds and their commentary -- do read them all when you need to laugh.

“Last girlfriends from here weren’t good so I’m doing things very differnt this time. This time I’m looking for a very honest girl who is really down to earth.”

T&M: This makes us wonder what he was looking for before. A compulsive liar who was a space cadet?

“I guess I am a middle aged man looking for a long term relationship, but until I find it I am looking for whatever I can get. Not really into the one night stand thing but it has been too long.”

T&M: Well that’s comforting. If he doesn’t like you he’ll still screw you since it’s been so long since he got laid.

“I am a man! A real man, I burp I fart and if it itches I scratch it!!!”

T&M: How fascinating. We’re wondering how many dates that gets him?

“I don’t mind a woman who has no goals since I don’t have any either.”

T&M: Now what lady *wouldn’t* want this guy? He’s 38 years old, so you could spend the rest of your life going nowhere with him.

I'm sure Tonya & Michele have a lot to do viewing men's profiles and choosing their weekly picks without roaming into our age group to help us choose, so let's help each other. If you're over 50 and you've viewed either men's or women's  (let's not leave out the other half of the population) profiles online,  share your favorite line from your least-favorite non-match. Use the "comments" below or email me and I'll post it for you. (No fair identifying either the profile's handle or the name of the site, ok?)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Betty Dodson at 81: "out loud and sex-proud"

Betty Dodson has influenced my thinking and my sexual self-acceptance for decades. Her 1974 book, Liberating Masturbation: A Meditation on Self-Love, morphed into Sex for One: The Joy of Selfloving. At 69, Betty met a young man of 22 who arrived for a weekend and stayed ten years, inspiring Orgasms for Two: The Joy of Partnersex. Her most recent book is her memoir, Betty Dodson: My Sexual Revolution, available as a Kindle edition.

Betty, with sidekick and business partner Carlin Ross, runs a website where she answers sex questions  from readers, posts articles and videos, and displays the famous Genital Art Gallery, which aims to show all of us that we're just perfect the way we are, "a research project where both women and men can share as well as appreciate the vast diversity of our magnificent sex organs."

I am deliriously happy that this icon of candid sexuality wrote the foreword to my new book, Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex! In it, she talks about how her sexuality changed through the decades, and how, at 81, she's still "out loud and sex-proud."

I have to admit it -- I got shivers when I read the latest email from Betty, where she addressed me as "Sister Warrior." It doesn't get much better than that!

(To be notified when Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex is available, please email me and I'll put you on the notification list. I will not spam you, sell or share your information, or in any way abuse your trust.)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Olive Kitteridge

I loved reading Olive Kitteridge, winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The book is a masterful anthology of short stories, linked together so that they become a novel. Characters from one story reappear in another at a different time of life, and as we learn more about Olive, her husband Henry, their son Christopher, and other people who weave through their lives, we piece together a patchwork of lives, dreams, pivotal moments, and regrets. The book is deeply engrossing, insightful, and often disturbing.

I'm always looking for literary fiction with strong older characters for whom sexuality is an accepted part of their emotional lives. Their sexual feelings or activities don't have to be blatent, just acknowledged (by the author if not by the character) as normal and expected. Olive Kitteridge delivers, especially in the final story, "River," where Strout narrates the feelings of the now widowed, 74-year-old Olive who is about to go to bed with a new man:

Oh, what young people did not know. They did not know that lumpy, aged, and wrinkled bodies were as needy as their own young, firm ones... [I]f love was available, one chose it, or didn't choose it... But here they were, and Olive pictured two slices of Swiss cheese presssed together, such holes they brought to this union--what pieces life took out of you. Her eyes were closed, and throughout her tired self swept waves of gratitude--and regret.

I loved Olive Kitteridge so much that as soon as I'd finished, I wanted to start reading it again, now that I knew more about the characters. I also wrote a fan email to the author, Elizabeth Strout, which she graciously answered. (As an author, I know what a solitary endeavor it is to write books, and I always appreciate hearing from readers, so I hoped Ms. Strout felt the same.)

I was thrilled to learn that two of the stories from this book would be performed at Z Space in San Francisco as part of the Word for Word series, and I rushed to see it on opening night. The script was not an adaptation but a staged, dramatic performance of the stories verbatim (hence the name, "Word for Word"). 

The actors were strong, especially Patricia Silver as Olive, and the staging innovative. I applaud Word for Word for choosing stories that portrayed Olive and Henry (and then Olive and Jack) in the later parts of their lives, rather than the younger characters earlier in the book. I especially applaud W4W for choosing "River," the story I quoted above.

If you're in the San Francisco area, I hope you'll catch this play, now playing through September 26, 2010, then read the book.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

All I Really Love About Life, I Learned After Age 50

All I Really Love About Life, I Learned After Age 50

(with apologies to Robert Fulghum, who learned it all in kindergarten)

By Joan Price

Before age 50, I had a pretty good life. I loved my job teaching high school. I had discovered the joy of exercise, which eluded me before age 30. After a near-fatal automobile accident at 34, I turned life’s lemons into lemonade by morphing the fitness habit that had saved my life into new careers: writing magazine articles about health and fitness and teaching aerobic dance. By age 47, I had written a book.

I wasn’t so lucky in love. I had been married and unmarried to a very good man, who remains a close friend, then had a 25-year string (string? more like a giant ball of yarn!) of involvements – long-term, short-term, and casual. All warm and joyful, but not the love I sought.

At menopause, overheated and haggard from sleep deprivation, I switched from teaching sweaty aerobics at the crack of dawn to contemporary line dancing at dusk. That switch turned out to change my life… more about that in a moment.

Before age 50, I struggled to figure out who I was and wanted to be, and battled my way there. After age 50, that became easy. Rather than needing emotional kung fu to battle my way to authenticity, I could use a softer aikido approach and let what I didn’t want flow away.

After age 50, I understood that joy blossomed through living fully, whether I was single or coupled at the moment – learning new things, teaching (now in health clubs, dance halls and speaking engagements instead of high schools), keeping my own body fit and strong, interacting honestly and helpfully with others, and writing professionally. I wrote six more books after age 50!

I still hoped I’d find that special man to love, but I wasn’t putting my life on hold waiting. I realized I had to be the person I was looking for.

And then the love of my life -- artist Robert Rice -- danced into my line dance class and into my heart. I was 57 and he 64. We fell in love, and our joy-filled, spicy love affair propelled me to switch my writing and speaking topic from health and fitness to senior sex!

After five years of loving each other, Robert and I married. We knew he had cancer. We didn’t know we’d have only two more years together. I learned after 50 that we must treasure our loved ones while we have them, because at our age, we will lose them, or they will lose us. We must love fully and joyfully while we can.

I also learned how fragile we are, even when we do everything possible to keep our bodies and minds strong. On June 20, I tripped, slammed to the floor, and shattered my shoulder in ten places. My new book, Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex, was due to Seal Press five weeks later. I had put the book on hold for a year after losing Robert, when grief was my day job. Then I had spent the next year writing it. Darned if I would blow off my deadline for a broken shoulder! I finished the book – on time! – typing with my arm in a sling, measuring out pain killers so that I could focus.

Resilience: that’s the major lesson I learned after 50 and continue to learn at age 66. Life continues to amaze me. What delights are next?

Note from Joan Price: I'm trying to blog my way to the AARP Orlando@50 conference. This blog post is an entry in their competition to find the official blogger to travel to and cover the event. Find out more about the conference here.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

“I’m Going to Make You Coffee….”

If you ask me if I still miss Robert, two years after his death, I answer, “Only when I breathe in or out.”

I still start each morning recapturing a memory. Today it was the way he opened his ocean-blue eyes in the morning and smiled, his face melting with love. “Let’s snuggle,” he would say. Then one of us would decide, “I’ll snuggle you,” and we would shift to our sides, the snuggler wrapped around the back of the snuglee.

I loved when Robert snuggled me, enveloping me, so close that we couldn’t tell where he ended and I began, if indeed there was a distinction. I would take his hand in both of mine, push my nose into his palm, and inhale deeply. His palm smelled of sleep, a warm, enticing smell that was totally Robert. I can still smell his hand, still taste his skin as I kissed him everywhere my mouth would reach.

Other mornings he woke ready to meet the day, his garden or art studio beckoning, no time for snuggling. He announced, “I’m going to make you coffee,” and I always responded, “I love it when you make me coffee.” He padded out to the kitchen to grind beans, boil water, and arrange the filter cone over a metal coffee pot that had journeyed with him for decades.

In a while he brought me coffee in bed with the newspaper and arranged both lovingly on a tray. Before bringing me my coffee, he told me once, he held the cup to his cheek to make sure it was just the right temperature.

He liked me to stay in bed while he had some quiet, private time in the morning to contemplate his latest painting or tend his garden, so he gave me a cowbell that he had decorated with a heart made of Japanese paper. I was to ring it when I desired a coffee refill.

The “make you coffee” ritual started early in our seven-year love affair, and persisted wherever we were, home or hotel, and whatever else was happening in our lives. Towards the end, when his body started succumbing to cancer, he told me, “As long as I can make you coffee in the morning, I know I’ll be all right.”

Then one morning, he tried to get up, and he couldn’t. He stumbled, his legs trembling, his back stabbing with pain, his brain unable to emerge from sleep. He sat back on the bed. “I can’t do it,” he told me, and we both cried, as I’m crying now, remembering the day that everything changed.

…Now I make my own coffee in his special coffee pot and carry it to the living room where I’m surrounded by Robert’s paintings. I write memories in my journal—snippets of sweet conversation, playful games we invented, afternoons that turned into evening as we made love as if life depended on it. Maybe it did.

Even though I write for a living, using a computer and all the tech tools available to me, I write my memory journal in longhand. Somehow writing longhand comes from the heart more than the brain, and I rediscover memories I had forgotten.

My hand lingers over the page, and I picture Robert’s hand –the artist’s hand making love to the canvas, the gardener’s hand making love to the dirt, the dancer’s hand making love to the music, and my lover’s hand--making love to me.

During Robert’s last ten days, I held and kissed his limp hand. I told him of my love, narrated memories from our seven years together, sometimes not knowing if he was asleep or unconscious or moving from this world to the next. “Squeeze my hand if you can hear me,” I would say, and sometimes he would. Over the last week his squeeze became weak, then just a twitch, and then… nothing. I continued to hold his hand and talk to him, not knowing if he could hear me.

I still talk to him, and sometimes his words come to me in response. “Are you really answering me, or am I making this up?” I asked him. He replied, “It doesn’t matter.”

What does matter, at this point in my life, is that I’m taking with me the best of what Robert and I shared. That’s what he’d want for me, and what I want for myself. I find joy in my writing, in dance, in close friends, in physical and mental exercise, in learning, and yes, in my memories of Robert.

I hold my coffee cup to my cheek. It’s just the right temperature.