SENIOR SEX: INTIMACY & BODY IMAGE

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Body image is big business. Everywhere you look there are images of young, physically fit women telling us that we must live up to their perfect standard of beauty. The level of physical perfection that the media perpetuates as the “new ideal” is simply unobtainable for the majority of women to achieve. So it’s no wonder that we judge ourselves so critically and harshly, often hating our bodies for the slightest imperfection. No matter how much we exercise, diet and take care of our bodies, time and gravity take a toll on everyone. Bodies change. Yes, we can remain strong, agile and physically fit as we age, but we can only do so much to preserve the figures that we had in our prime. The loss of perfection is mourned more by some, than others, but all women take a self-esteem hit when those once pert bits start to jiggle. We tend to feel less attractive in our older, less than perfect bodies, and at some point we look around to discover that our self-confidence has taken a major nose dive. It’s not a sexy feeling.

So what impact does this have on our lives? For some women, not much, but for others, it’s a game changer. I think many mature women still crave passion and intimacy with a significant other, but are hesitant to invite it back into their lives because of their negative body image, and the fear that they are no longer sexually attractive to others. I think most women over 50 have some body issues, but the question is, how much do they effect the way we live our lives and the choices we make?

My experience as a Playboy Bunny and a model made me very aware of my body and the value that is placed on women’s physical assets. As someone who was defined by my looks for many years, I am hyper aware of the insecurities that come crashing in as our bodies age. So while keeping your weight in check, exercising and wearing Spanx can give the illusion of a great body when dressed, we all have to come to terms with the imperfect image we see in the mirror when naked. That’s our truth and there is no hiding it from others or ourselves, because it will get in the way of creating and sustaining truly intimate connections.

So, if you’re feeling insecure about your body, and think that a fear of rejection may be what’s holding you back from dating again, then it’s time to resolve those body image issues. I think that it’s important to remember that the women with the greatest sex appeal are often not shapely or beautiful at all, but they do project an air of self-confidence that is alluring and sexually enticing to men. They know how to flirt, and they are confident in the use of their sex appeal.  They know how to make that man feel special and desirable and that’s what makes them attractive. It’s not always the most beautiful women who are the most seductive.

No doubt dim lights, soft music, sexy lingerie, and a glass of bubbly will set the mood, but the key word is attitude. Sex should be fun and you can’t be in the moment if you’re hiding under the covers.

When I mustered up the courage to discuss this topic with a few sexually active senior men, I did not get the response that I was expecting. They told me that yes, of course they are turned on by beautiful young bodies, BUT the passion, warmth, tenderness, and understanding they got from a partner closer to their own age was much more important than their physical appearance. I think it’s also important to remember that men have body image and performance anxiety as well. So, if we love ourselves and feel sexy then that is what we are and how we are seen.

I know it can be challenging to embrace your body and sexuality at this late date, but it can be done, and I say this from personal experience. At 80 years old I began dating again. Not only that, but I put aside my fears and became sexually active again, because I think physical intimacy keeps us connected to our own bodies as well as other people. It’s not an essential ingredient in everyone’s later years, but if it’s something that you are missing out on, and want back in your life, let me assure you that it is never too late to get your mojo back, or your groove on!

~ Dorrie

Senior Style Bible