MYTH: Passion Always Fades

We hear it all the time. Passion fades with age. Marriage is the death knell of passion. Old married couples always get stuck in sexless ruts. Old people lose interest in sex.

These stereotypes are not only completely overstated, but they can actually be dangerous to the self-concepts of our aging population. Unfortunately, talking openly about sex in the United States is still fairly frowned upon and discussing sex among seniors is particularly taboo. Apparently no one wants to talk about grandma and grandpa being frisky, happy sexual beings. Fortunately as Baby Boomers become the largest part of our population, the topic is becoming more accepted — but the discussion is largely clinical and disparaging (i.e., erectile dysfunction, decrease in hormones, etc.). And, that’s too bad.

Especially considering the fact that, according to research from The University of Manchester and NatCen Social Research¹, “Older people are continuing to enjoy active sex lives well into their seventies and eighties.” And, the American Association of Retired Persons², the nation’s leading organization for people age fifty and older, maintains “Despite the changes that aging invariably brings, couples open to erotic alternatives will discover that they can still attain sexual satisfaction together.”

Older people are continuing to enjoy active sex lives well into their seventies and eighties.

Medical science has long since proven that maintaining healthy sex lives is a great way to maintain physical and emotional health. Although our aging bodies may present new challenges to sexuality, when we use our God-given wit and wisdom we can come up with some pretty ingenious ways to make sex really good … sometimes even greater than the awkward fumblings of our youth. The key is keeping in tune with your body’s changing needs and experimenting with inventive ways to circumvent any challenges. Of course, as with any healthy sexual relationship, maintaining honest, open communication is crucial.

Though my spice and I aren’t seniors yet, we’ve been married for nearly twenty-five years and live with the challenge of my chronic arthritis. Throughout our marriage, we’ve truly discovered what it means to “become one flesh” in it’s deepest meaning. In our experience, as couples learn more and more about each other’s bodies and what makes them tick, making love becomes even more and more intimate — something we hardly thought possible ten years ago. We are looking forward to continuing our “frisky business” for decades to come. And, I hope you are too!

 

¹ “Love and intimacy in later life: study reveals active sex lives of over-70s” University of Manchester

² “Great Sex Without Intercourse” by Michael Castleman, AARP

3 Things Every Man Should Know About Sex With His Woman

Three-fourths of men reach consistent orgasms during penetrative sex. Care to guess how many women do? Less than one-third. That means two out of three women are being denied the pleasure of sexual release during vaginal penetration. Do you know which third your woman is in? And, do you know why?

Because men and women are wired differently, men (fairly or not) can achieve arousal and release much more easily than women. For some men it only takes two minutes of arousal before he’s ready to go. But women? Some studies have shown that foreplay for a woman takes up to 72 hours. What the…? That’s right. Most women, despite the crap Cosmo has to say, need to feel safe and desired to be aroused. Very few women are sated by the “wham-bam” techniques of “modern-day” sex.

In all of my research from the most established professionals when it comes to happy, healthy sexual relationships between men and women, the number one thing I’ve learned is that men are terribly misinformed (by magazine articles, by songs, movies, television commercials, well meaning friends, and locker room talk) when it comes to pleasing their woman. Here are just three of the most surprising things I’ve learned that men need to know.

 

1. You Should Touch Her Without Expecting Sex.

Hopefully this is not a novel idea to you, but you’d be surprised to learn just how many women stop kissing and touching their spouses because they’re actually afraid they’re sending the wrong signals to their men. When a woman offers a kiss on the lips or tap on her man’s butt, she’s likely offering a playful gesture of love, but men may wrongly see it as an actual invitation to the bedroom. So, over time, women who are fretful of having to say “no” to sex, prefer to keep their playful gestures to a minimum. Which is pretty sad considering the fact that playful, romantic gesture can really keep intimacy alive; not to mention they can just make both partners’ day a little brighter. But, the truth is, all of those touches will add up. They will make her feel loved, wanted, and special. They may even keep the spark of intimacy between the two of you robust, increasing your libido and hers … and you may be pleasantly surprised by her offer of an actual invitation to the bedroom.

2. Compliment Her.

Don’t google this subject. Seriously. In today’s current social politics of male-female relationships, you’re likely to read that complimenting a woman will sound “creepy.” Not so. Of course, I’m not referring to random women — I mean your woman– the same woman who is bombarded with body-shaming messages all day every day by the society in which she resides. Trust me on this one, she’s probably harder on herself than you could ever be. Everything she encounters tells her she should dress better, be thinner, blonder, prettier, and have bigger breasts. She can hardly live up to her own expectations of beauty, conformity, and success, much less the world’s. You should be her safe place where she can be honored for just being herself. Nothing is quite as arousing for a woman as feeling secure with the man she loves. If she feels admired and emotionally supported by you, she will want to take refuge in your arms; and more likely, in your bed. And, speaking of bed…

3. Get “Clitorit.” Find out where her clitoris is and learn how to treat it.

Forget everything you think you know about having sex with a woman because “I banged her so hard…” will very rarely please a woman. In fact, very few women are able to climax through vaginal penetration alone. A woman’s orgasm is always clitoral. To be fair, it’s no wonder men are so misinformed. It wasn’t until the 1990s that science actually learned the full anatomy of the clitoris. What? That’s right. The 20th century. Turns out that her “love button” isn’t really a button at all. It’s just the tip of the iceberg for female arousal. For more amazing facts about the clitoris and how to treat it, I recommend the seminal offering (pun intended) on oral sex written by Ian Kerner, entitled She Comes First: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pleasuring a Woman.  You can get to it by visiting my research section. It will knock your socks off and curl her toes.

 

You’re Not a Freak.

Are you ever worried that your most secret thoughts and fantasies aren’t normal? Let me tell you a little secret, Girlfriends. Working in an adult toy boutique has taught me more about human sexuality than most of the articles and books I’ve read over the past thirty-odd years on the subject; and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it is that there is no such thing as “normal” when it comes to libidos. If “normal” libido equals “the average” libido, I still haven’t found one. The variety of desires and expectations are practically limitless. I’ve witnessed a gaggle of giggly school teachers make a beeline for the BDSM wall at work … and not leave empty-handed. I’ve seen a tatted-up biker actually blush at the sight of a realistic vibrator.

If “a normal” libido equals “the average” libido, I still haven’t found one. 

Please trust me on this one. I’ve discussed sex with people of all adult life stages, races, religions, genders, orientations, occupations, identities, and proclivities. And while quite a few of the men, women, and couples that I meet are already educated about the products and gizmos they want (thank you, Google), the majority are overwhelmed by all of their choices and earnestly want to be more informed about the specifics of toy options, lubrication options, sexual positions, arousal enhancements, erotic massage, which how-to books are most informative, and on and on the list goes.

I’ve discussed sex with people of all adult life stages, races, religions, genders, orientations, occupations, identities, and proclivities.

When I was only fifteen years old, I was desperately struggling with guilt and anxiety about my own level of sexual awareness. Especially as a girl. Especially as a not-grown-up girl. I was terribly afraid of being labeled as a weirdo, or even worse, as a sex freak. I was even more desperate to know that these labels wouldn’t turn out to be true. That’s a truly terrifying place to be.

Thanks be to God, the first truly informative literature on sexuality that I was able to slyly get my hands on was my own mother’s copy of Nancy Friday’s  My Secret Garden: Women’s Sexual Fantasies. It was a compilation filled with the thoughts and fantasies of a vast array of women, both young and old, presented with neither shame nor blame.

When I was only fifteen years old  … I was awfully afraid of being labeled as a weirdo, or even worse, as a sex freak. I was even more desperate to know that these labels wouldn’t turn out to be true. That’s a truly terrifying place to be.

The fantasies therein ranged from innocuous Earth Mother scenarios (well, these fantasies were collected in the late sixties and early seventies after all) to stories of seduction with a zoo as its backdrop — which I recall completely threw me for a loop as it conjured in my mind’s eye the dank and curious smells of our local zoo’s claustrophobic snake house. This perplexity notwithstanding, reading about this plethora from regular ol’ Janes given without shame or blame made me realize that my thoughts weren’t any more fanciful or all that different from lots of other women’s sexual thoughts. What a relief! It would not be hyperbolic to declare that this groundbreaking compilation rescued my emotional well-being.

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You’re not a freak. But if you wanna be, Girl, let it fly!

Happily years later, I no longer struggle with guilt or anxiety about my sexual awareness. Well actually, I pretty much no longer struggle with guilt or anxiety about sexual anything. As a natural extrovert inclined to wear my heart on my sleeve, I’ve not taken this journey alone. I’ve consulted with friends, professionals, pastors, and priests whom I’ve admired and trusted. I’ve learned to fully embrace my female sexuality and grown to love my body and the God-given pleasure it brings me and my beloved spice …  in all of its wonder and freakishness. Because as they say, knowledge is power. 

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If sex for you is complicated by feelings of guilt or anxiety, please do not struggle alone. I encourage you to reach out to your most trusted friend and test the waters about sharing your concerns with them. If you’ve no one to confide in, please consider contacting an objective, professional personal confidante or an adult sexuality and pleasure educator such as myself to speak with. All sessions are completely confidential and a Confidentiality Agreement is available upon request.