If you’re embarrassed just after reading the title of this post, you may want to stop here – to navigate away and read something about caregiving or baby boomers or intergenerational households.
But you’d be missing out.
Because then you wouldn’t know about Joan Price, author and self-proclaimed senior sexpert, who just published a book that is making some people blush. Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud About Senior Sex hit shelves this June, and I’m thrilled to have a copy of it in my personal library.
Ok, so maybe it’s not the best thing to read in front of curious young children or grandchildren…but it is a book about adults, for adults, and therefore covers adult topics (positions, lubricants, divorce, betrayal, vibrators, etc.).
Since most people are too afraid to talk about it in public or in private, what better way to become more informed and enlightened about these matters?
And enlightened is exactly what you’ll be after reading Joan’s book, covering everything from elder booty calls, swinging and multipartner sex, sex toys for seniors, sex after losing a life partner, erectile dysfunction (from both gender’s points of view), to dealing with pain in sex. There’s even a section on BDSM (bondage and discipline, sadism and masochism).
Price’s book turns on all the lights, opens all the closets, releases all the skeletons from under the beds. Woven throughout Naked at Our Age are helpful tips & checklists, intimate personal anecdotes from Joan, informed opinions from respected professionals, practical advice from physicians and therapists, and tons of no-holds-barred “case studies” from a wide range of sexually-active seniors.
Whether you’re 53 or 83, you’re likely to find many of the things that you have secretly wondered about in some of these short excerpts from people across the country who have willingly shared their stories to educate and empower others. Your curiosity about sex/sexuality will certainly be satisfied, and I guarantee you’ll learn something completely new about senior sex.
Here’s something I learned from Jed, a 66-year-old psychotherapist specializing in later-life issues (particularly men), on his relationship with his wife:
“As I’ve gotten older, sex has changed…We became like shy, pimply-faced teenagers again. We seemed to have totally forgotten the ease of sexual intimacy and pleasure. We couldn’t seem to kiss without our noses getting in the way.”
Lesson for me: even men, notoriously known for thinking about sex every second of the day, struggle with different phases in their sex lives.
Margaret, age 74, confronts the unrivaled challenge of having a partner with Alzheimer’s disease with these poignant words:
“My sex life is alive only in my dreams…I grieve the loss of sex and the loss of a man I love to Alzheimer’s disease. My husband is still a handsome man, but I wouldn’t want to have sex with him now, even if he were able. It just doesn’t seem right, being his caregiver.”
See, the topic of sex shouldn’t always make us giggle. There are many people like Margaret who are dealing with the same deep pain, and it’s crucial that they reach out for support and encouragement in these extremely delicate circumstances.
I love the pure unabashedness of this book. There really is no way to sugar-coat some of these sensitive issues, so Joan doesn’t do it. She and her diverse, dynamic network of contributors boldly go forward with resolute honesty, encouraging healthy discussions about senior sexuality and unbounded explorations in finding the most fulfilling sex life possible, age aside.
So ditch your discomfiture and recognize the reality that seniors do have – and enjoy – sex, as well they should.
I applaud Joan for putting this book together and strongly encourage you to get your hands on a copy, even if it raises a few eyebrows. Talk out loud about senior sex, and let Joan Price’s book lead the way.