SENIORS AND SEXUALITY

 

ZebraJacket_4_SeniorStyleBible_DorrieJacobson copy copy

 

I was sitting around chatting to some friends the other day, when it dawned on me that I was invited to four “sex toy” parties last year.  Now this wouldn’t be so surprising if I hung out with a bunch of swingers or a group of very liberal minded ladies, but I don’t. My friends are your run of the mill, every day seniors. A few are married, a few are divorced, a few are dating, a few are happily not dating, but they all find these parties a hoot and use them as a way of getting together to shop for things that they would never buy in public and talk about their sex lives, or lack thereof.

I like these parties because they are a great opportunity for me to chat about mature sexuality in a nurturing, comfortable environment with ladies I both like and trust. I mean let’s face it, sex is not an easy topic for women to broach, even with the closest of friends. It’s personal. These are intimate details, and for many women it’s an embarrassing topic to bring up, especially sitting in some restaurant over a cobb salad, where anyone could hear. That kind of stress is enough to put anyone off their lunch.

So these kinds of get-togethers are a great way to have some fun and also talk about real life issues at the same time.  Senior sexuality is an important subject because post-menopausal women are usually faced with an array of physical and emotional changes that not only effect our bodies, but our  sexuality as well. These changes can be unpleasant, frustrating and can really do a number on our sex drive. So it’s good to get together and compare notes with other women to see how this aspect of aging has affected others, and what they are doing to deal with some of these changes and challenges.

Whether you are in a relationship or not, I think that it is important to keep your “sexual self” healthy. Contrary to what many of us were raised to believe, sexual gratification does not necessarily require a partner. Yes, we are talking about “solo sex” and giving yourself permission to enjoy your own sexuality and your body’s ability to give you pleasure. Not only does masturbation give us pleasure, but many experts insist that it is important to our health. Regular orgasms actually reduce the risk of depression, incontinence, heart disease and boost the immune system. So, for those of you who find this embarrassing, you can think of it as preventive medicine.

Indulging in solo sex is also a great way to get to know your changing body. What once worked for us in the boudoir, may no longer trigger our arousal. So I think it’s important to get back in touch with our own bodies to discover what does turn us on. For some women, that’s a real challenge. Masturbation is a healthy and normal part of human sexuality, but that is not something our generation was taught. If it was discussed, it was usually something we were told to be ashamed of and to avoid. Well, that was then and this is now. Times have changed, and we have the ability to move beyond that repressed way of thinking, and embrace our mature sexuality in an open, honest and accepting way without carrying that burden of guilt or shame.

I think a lot of older women have never truly given themselves permission to explore their sexual needs and desires because in our day, nice girls didn’t do that. As a result, many of us married with very little sexual experience and then proceeded to develop a long term sexual relationship with one partner. For some, this was fulfilling, for others less so. Either way, it’s not surprising that many of us have not had the opportunity to consider what we really like or desire, and attempting to figure it out now, at this late date, can seem a bit daunting, which is why I’m writing about it. Where do you start when you aren’t sure how? My suggestion is to go online and do some reading about masturbation and senior sexuality.  You will discover that there are also many sex toys on the market specifically designed for seniors. Yes, they make specific sexual aids for the mature woman! Who knew? Sex toys are big business, so there’s really no reason to feel embarrassed or ashamed about buying, owning and using them! It’s not something deviant or naughty, it’s simply a part of modern sexuality and something you can explore if you’re curious to find out what all the fuss is about.

Sadly, many senior women simply eliminate sex from their lives when they loose a partner, because they aren’t sure how to get back into the swing of things. I think that getting acquainted with our bodies again is an important first step, especially for those looking to resume a physical relationship after a period of celibacy. There has been a sexual revolution and older women now have the freedom to embrace their sexuality without embarrassment!  So let’s start talking about it….go out and throw a party for your girlfriends. If you get nothing else out of it, I promise you will all have a great laugh together.

~ Dorrie

Senior Style Bible

 

For more information on senior sexuality