“Older Women Take on the Challenges of
Life, Love and Sex”
Marcia G. Yerman
Three books that fall on this continuum which overlap, while still standing solidly in their own sphere are:
- Naked At Our Age: Talking Out Loud About Senior Sex by Joan Price
- How We Love Now: Sex and the New Intimacy in Second Adulthood by Suzanne Braun Levine
- Prime Time by Jane Fonda
Price drills down on sexuality after 60, leaving no stone unturned. Solitary sex, nontraditional practices and relationships, moving forward after divorce and breakup, sex after illness, and painful sex are some of the topics covered. Encompassing the concerns of men and women, straight and gay, she informs readers early on that “sex might not feel or look the way it did when our hormone rush propelled us into jet-stream sex, but it can be highly arousing and satisfactory.”
Having communicated via a questionnaire with readers of her books and blog, Price chose the recurrent themes as her subjects. She then interspersed individual stories culled from her correspondence with advice and facts from specialists.
One of Price’s key takeaways is that it’s important to revive desire and to make time for sex. Top on her list is getting over not looking the same as when you were a 20-something. She cites research pointing out the health benefits to sexual activity (solo or coupled), including:
- Hormones released during sex decreases the rate of breast cancer
- Sex can alleviate chronic pain, including migraines
- Protection against heart attack and stroke
- Immune system bolstered
- Sex can protect against depression
- Sex can reduce stress and increase self-esteem
Price explains the physiological aspects of achieving orgasm as women age stating, “We get less blood flow to the clitoris and vagina, and the vaginal walls get thinner.” For this reason she is a strong proponent of sex toys for women, single or partnered, as they “can mean the difference between orgasm or not.” Price is also definitive about taking responsibility for your own sexual health through masturbation, applying the “use it or lose it” philosophy to pleasure and comfort.
MARCIA G. YERMAN – Reporting. Reviewing. Reflecting. Writer on women’s issues and Co-founder CultureID in 2009, a social community with the stated mission of “creating a nexus between activism and the arts.” Has been writing for The Huffington Post since 2007; involved with the Women’s Media Center and many other projects.