Sex After 50? Yes, Please!
There is this giant void in the culture about women in that
age group as heroines, as romantic beings, as sexual beings
& as creative beings, & there’s not that void for men.
Women don’t stop being all those things as their lives
continue into those decades. — Naomi Wolf
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Remember back when you were a kid? If you were like me, you assumed your parents had only had sex one time for each kid in your family. People in midlife having sex seemed unthinkable, and that was that. Sex for procreation–end of subject.
Things change once you become the parent, of course. I now view intimacy as a basic human need. And I am pleased to say there are some powerful advocates of the sexual revolution for those of us in midlife.
In 2015, Erica Jong wrote her novel, Fear of Dying, which many view as a “spiritual sequel” to her classic Fear of Flying. This novel boldly proclaims sex in midlife and beyond is healthy and, yes, can even be fulfilling. Imagine that.
“Women were not allowed to have passion at 60,” Erica writes in Fear of Dying. “We were supposed to become grandmothers and retreat into serene sexlessness.”
Erica Jong is making sex in midlife sound sexy, and that is an important concept in normalizing healthy intimacy for those of us who are beyond 50.
Fear of Dying is a daring and delightful look at what it really takes to be human and female in the 21st century. Wildly funny and searingly honest, it is a story for everyone who has ever been shaken and changed by love. *I recommend reading the reviews on this novel–they are pretty evenly dispersed across the board!
I found a compelling article, The New Sexual Revolution Begins At 50, written by Erica Jagger and Jack Anderson for Huffington Post. The authors provide a strong defense for not accepting a life of celibacy just because one surpasses a certain age.
I chose three of their discussion points to share–you can read the full article here: The New Sexual Revolution Begins at 50
The article begins with Erica explaining how she ended up collaborating with Jack:
Along with a healthy dose of wisdom acquired after years of unpacking our baggage — middle age, we realized in our chats, actually unlocks a psychological and sexual renaissance. So we decided to share with you our revelation — that the new Sexual Revolution begins at 50. Here’s why:
Erica and Jack discuss a sexual bucket list–I love this idea. This is one step toward keeping sex a healthy priority in midlife.
Jack: “If not now, when?” That’s the perennial question many couples ask themselves as they enter their fifth decade of life. This becomes an even truer statement after going through the extreme emotional roller coaster ride of a separation and divorce. After that world of crazy, how scary can experimental be? Exactly. Let it ride.
Erica: Do you really want to reach the end of your life regretting that you didn’t take that trip to the dungeon, or whatever else your groin desired? As long it’s safe, fun, and yes, sometimes crazy — and of course consensual — then, seize the day.
I’m NOT tired.
Jack: Most folks in their 50s have settled into their careers, and a fortunate few have stepped off the career platform thanks to early retirement. Their kids are grown, so the late night feedings, ear aches, and projectile vomiting are ancient memories. There’s a lot more time then, to explore, on a sexual anthropological level, the ultimate quest of “the birds and the bees.”
Erica: The last thing I wanted when I had a child latched on to my breast was my husband reaching for the other one. Now, post-divorce and with my job as personal assistant to my children nearing its end, I have more time to think about sex, more energy to act on it, and more opportunities to discover what turns me on.
I can’t get pregnant.
Jack: If you’ve had kids already, the greatest thing of all about being with a woman, post menopause, is she can’t get pregnant. Period. Oh, yeah, that’s gone too. So there is no down time. That means, all things being equal, every night is a go night for a couple at this age. How hot is that?
Erica: Once women stop worrying about getting pregnant — or not getting pregnant — they start enjoying sex purely for the sake of sex, often for the first time.
How true–and why not?
This book leads readers through each stage of the process, offering sophisticated advice and sharing insightful stories about women like you, who have experienced relationship loss and are successfully pursuing new romance.
Ready to embark on your midlife sexual transformation? I recommend a video to launch your quest:
Explore midlife sexuality–make it a healthy and pleasurable part of your world. Let’s get past the stigma lingering in society and start living a passionate life!
Check out my post Midlife Dating: What Really Matters.
“Despite a lifetime of service to the cause of sexual liberation,
I have never caught venereal disease, which makes me feel rather
like an Arctic explorer who has never had frostbite. “
— 76-year-old feminist writer Germaine Greer
Till next time, Sandra
I would love to hear your thoughts on sexuality in midlife and beyond.