Monday, August 27, 2012

Hope Springs: a springboard for discussion

Let's talk about the film Hope Springs. It's an excellent springboard for talking abut senior sex and communication. If you've seen it and you're part of our boomer/ senior/ elder generation, would you help me get the discussion going right here on this blog?

I hope you'll read my discussion with writer David Templeton about the film in the Pacific Sun. Here are excerpts -- and click here for the complete article.  (Warning: spoiler alert.)

"What bothered me, at first," Price says, "was that the filmmakers seemed to be making fun of something that is an enormous issue for seniors, something that isn't really a laughing matter. I couldn't see what Kay [Streep] saw in Arnold [Jones], and I couldn't understand how two people in their 60s, in 2012, ended up with this 1950s-style marriage. They sleep in separate rooms, they never talk, she does all the cooking and cleaning even though they both have full-time jobs, they don't talk about anything except his job and golf, and they never do anything together—and by anything I especially"

..."What was wonderful about the film," Price says, "once it got to Hope Springs and the therapy sessions, was that it settled down and took its time to flesh out some very real concerns and fears that older people have. At first we think that Arnold is the one who turned away from Kay, but then she admits that it was she who stopped having sex with him. But by then, after she started to miss it, there were so many hurt feelings and misunderstandings between them, that it was just a big mess."

..."It actually bothered me a little," says Price, "that Dr. Feld didn't suggest that they get a medical opinion. If something changes in a man's sex drive, there is often a medical reason. Men don't stop wanting sex overnight, even if their wife did turn them down one or two times too often. That might happen gradually, but if it's sudden, then a man really needs to see a doctor. In this movie, we learn that he's having erectile problems, and is afraid to put it to the test, so he avoids sex. But erectile problems could be an indication of heart disease, or diabetes, or any number of other treatable diseases. That message was never put into the movie, and it should have been, by the therapist, if no one else."

..."I wonder," asks Price, "if, at any point in this couple's history, there was ever any sex between them that was for her pleasure? The therapist even—and this completely shocked me—asked if she'd ever had orgasms...'vaginal or otherwise.' Excuse me? Orgasms come from the clitoris. Was this guy trained in the 1940s? 

What are your views about the movie, the sex education in it, the realism? Please comment. It's great if you use a first name (it doesn't have to be your own) when you comment instead of "Anonymous" -- just so we can address each other if we want to bounce off each other's ideas. I look forward to reading your comments.

I also encourage you to talk about it with your partner if you have one, with your friends, with anyone who will participate. That's my mission after all -- to talk out loud about senior sex -- and this film lubricates the topic, so to speak.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Attn: Dynamic New Yorkers Age 50+

UPDATE: Thank you to the eleven lively people who partipated in my NYC workshop, Ask Me, I'll Tell You: Women and Men Talk Out Loud about Sex and Aging, talking candidly about your sexuality in front of strangers, a TV crew, and cameras. You were wonderful!

Excerpts from this workshop will be part of a TV documentary on sexuality in the U.S. airing on a major cable network in October or November. Once the air date is set, I'll be able to tell you the details -- right now I can't reveal more.

We had such a good time with the abbreviated version of this workshop that the participants requested that I return to NYC to give the full workshop. I'd love to! If you want to be on my NYC mailing list for news of a workshop there (without cameras or a TV crew!), please email me with "NYC workshop info" in the subject line, and tell me a bit about yourself.

We're also seeking sponsors who can provide a venue and/or cover my travel costs. Let's make this happen!

If you live in the Santa Rosa/ Marin/ San Francisco area of California, I offer this workshop frequently here. Email me with "local workshop info" in the subject line. I'm about to schedule another one in Santa Rosa in the next couple of months.

If you're landing on this post for the first time, here's the background -- the original 8/17/12 post about the first NYC workshop event:

Are you:
  • In or near New York City?
  • Age 50+?
  • Energetic, articulate, communicative?
  • Interested in enriching your knowledge of senior sexuality?
  • Willing to share your views about sexual topics candidly -- on camera?
  • Available Thursday morning, August 23?

If so, Please email me immediately! You might be invited to appear on a national cable network television special with me on the topic of senior sex! Here's the scoop:

On Thursday morning, Aug. 23 (venue TBD in New York City), I'm doing a one-hour, abbreviated version of my workshop, Ask Me, I'll Tell You: Women and Men Talk Out Loud about Sex and Aging (description below). The workshop will be free to you and filmed -- you'll be on camera the whole time. Excerpts will appear as one segment of a national cable television special about senior sex.

If you are enthusiastic about speaking candidly about senior sex as part of a workshop discussion, which I'll facilitate, please email me right away! If you and a partner want to participate, please submit separate emails, but indicate that you are partnered with [name]. Singles are encouraged to participate.

Please include this information in your email:
  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Age
  • 2 or 3 burning questions* you would like to hear men discuss about senior sex
  • 2 or 3 burning questions* you would like to hear women discuss about senior sex

Workshop description:

Ask Me, I'll Tell You: Women and Men Talk Out Loud about Sex and Aging . We’re talking about senior sex—the challenges, the pleasures, and all the questions we didn’t think we could ask out loud. What arouses us now, when the old ways aren’t working like they used to? What do we wish we understood and could communicate better about our changing bodies and responses? How do we spice up our sexual repertoire? What if we don't have a partner? What if we don't feel desire for sex any more? In this eye opening, interactive, mixed-gender workshop, you’ll get to voice your questions and get answers. Joan Price, author of Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty and Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex, guides the conversation and discovery, and offers tips for putting the zest back into later-life sexuality. For couples and singles, men and women. 

(*In the full-length version of this workshop, we arrive together at the "burning questions" we want to hear our own and the other gender discuss, but since we're limited to one hour of this workshop, I'm speeding it along by collecting your questions ahead of time.)

This show will air in the last quarter of this year -- more details to come. I'm really excited about this opportunity to share what I do on a national television special, and I hope you'll be part of it! I'll turn over the information you send me to the producer, who has the final word on attendees -- space is limited and we won't be able to accommodate everyone.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Unabashed Request for Nomination: Best Sex Bloggers List 2012

Help put me on the 2012 list, too, please!

  If you read and enjoy my blog, would you do me a big favor-- Nominate me for the 2012 Top Sex Bloggers list?

This annual list is determined by sex-savvy and blog-savvy Rori of Between My Sheets. Go here, and comment that you nominate Joan Price's sex and aging blog, (AKA http://betterthanieverex ), and say why. I've been on this list for three years in a row -- can we make it four?

Mine is the only blog specifically about sex and aging that's ever made the list, as far as I know, though there are several other delightful blogs that don't shy away from the topic.

Mine is also one of the few that offers sex education rather than erotic entertainment and titillation. Not that there's anything wrong with that -- it's just not what I do here, despite the efforts of a few men who send me requests for naked photos and/or send their own! (No, no, no, that is NOT a request.) Rori's own blog, you'll see, is starkly graphic (complete with moving parts), so be warned to click in private -- not at work or in front of the grandkids.

So if you enjoy reading the senior sex news, views and reviews you find here, and you want senior sex to have its place on the Top Sex Bloggers list, I hope you'll take a moment and nominate me. Feel free to copy your nomination comment below so my blog readers and I can enjoy it, if you like!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Tenga Egg reviewed by David Pittle

I invited David M. Pittle, Ph.D. to give us a senior male perspective on a sex toy designed for men. Here he reviews the Tenga Egg.

Tenga Egg Male Masturbation Sleeve
reviewed by David M. Pittle, Ph.D.

One of the perks of working in sex therapy is that I get to discover a lot about the various toys that come to market. Tenga is a small Japanese company which has made a big entry into sex toys for men. They have several products. One quite innovative is the Tenga Egg. The Egg comes in a package of half-dozen. 
The Egg is a complete kit for a single use. Packaged within an egg-shaped shell is a very stretchable elastomer “stimulator” with ribbing designs to give a variety of sensations. To make this a complete, one-use kit, it includes a packet of lubricant, as well as the “stimulator” itself. The stimulator expands to fit almost any normal penis length and diameter to give a very good sensation.

While sold as a one-use device, it will actually last up to about 10 uses. You can flip it inside out for cleaning and then add your own lubricant to use it again. At about $8.50 each, that makes the Tenga Egg a real bargain.

If there was one weakness in the egg that I tried, it was the lack of instructions in English. The only instructions were printed in Japanese on the lubricant package. One would think that instructions were not needed for such a simple device, but applying the lubricant to the inside of the stimulator is done with an included funnel device and the method of doing all this preparation is not self-evident. Actually there is a video instruction on the Tenga website (see below) but it would be better to have it in the Egg.

However, aside from the lack of instructions, this is an excellent product. It provides marvelous sensations, comes in a wide variety of interior ribbing designs and as a bonus, is usable even by men suffering from erectile dysfunction. The penis does not have to be hard to get the benefit of the Egg. I certainly could feel that there was ridging, but I doubt I would feel the differences between the different egg designs. Maybe someone who has a more sensitive penis might. I really liked this Egg and will probably buy them in the future.
Tenga Egg inside out to show texture

 Notes from Joan:

The Tenga Egg comes in a variety of textures and designs. Dr. Pittle reviewed the "Wavy" design, pictured here inside out so you can see the texture.

The Tenga Eggs are available from our friends at Good Vibrations or get a variety pack from Amazon. (You can even sign up for "Subscribe & Save" to receive regular deliveries!

You might enjoy the "official" Tenga Egg video:

David Pittle
David M. Pittle, Ph.D., is a therapist in San Rafael, CA, who has been helping people with sexual issues for over thirty years. Many of his clients are age 50-80, when good sex is important, and dissatisfaction may lead to loss of shared intimacy that can threaten the total relationship. David specializes in helping women who are not experiencing sexual satisfaction and men with non-medical and medically-related erectile dysfunction or other issues. Visit his website herePlease see Dr. Pittle's review of the Hitachi Magic Wand here.

(I am sad to tell you that my friend, sex therapist David Pittle died December 2017. We value his sex toy reviews. Read his other reviews here.)

Note from Joan: Please see my other vibrator reviews by clicking here. Keep scrolling down -- there are many! I love to hear from you and welcome your comments about any sex toys reviewed here, because our experiences are all different, and your experience will help other readers decide which toy is right for them. (However, if you're a sex toy retailer, I don't permit links that compete with the retailers I endorse -- spammy, highjacking comments and links won't see the light of day.)