I was recently recognized as one of the Top 100 Sex Blogging Superheroes of 2014 by Kinkly, a website dedicated to sex and sexuality. I’m sharing this with you because my #5 spot given to me as a writer for midlife adults. The people who voted for me were mostly midlife women and men. Winning this honor is all about acknowledging the power and validity of older adults as sexual beings in a youth-oriented culture. I see this award as recognition that older adults are enjoying sex, and have a need for age-appropriate sex education.
I remember one of my sons asking me years ago if his father and I were ‘still having sex’. We were sitting at the breakfast table on a Sunday morning and he was looking at Parade magazine. There was an article about the 10 things kids want to ask their parents. He was in middle school which means I was in my early 40s. It was all I could do not to laugh when he asked. I simply said yes and that was the end of the conversation. He was probably grossed out at the thought of two older geezers having sex. I remember having similar thoughts when my mother got pregnant at the age of 35. I was a teen and horrified that everyone knew my parents had sex. So I have to be a little forgiving when I’m met with a raised eyebrow about the topic of Old Folks having sex.
And older adults are having sex. And they have questions, which I get in emails on a regular basis. These readers don’t have any place else to go and they want the anonymity that comes with writing a stranger. Here are some of the questions and comments (paraphrased) I've gotten in the last year, from men and women ranging in age from 45 to 65:
- I am 65 and I have herpes but don’t know exactly when to tell a perspective date. Should I tell him before we meet or on our first or second date?
- I’m 50 and have never had an orgasm. I’d like to buy a vibrator to see if it would help, what should I buy?
- My doctor suggested I buy a vibrator but I’m not sure what kind or exactly how the Dr. wanted me to use it.
- I want to want to have sex but my libido has disappeared. I had breast cancer and wonder if the drugs are doing this.
- I don’t have much desire and neither does my husband. I want him to have desire and to initiate sex, what do I do?
The fears, the concerns, the lack of information we face as older adults can be daunting in a world where sex is considered a playground for the young. Yet, the level of pleasure and satisfaction we receive through our sexual relationships as mature adults far exceeds the awkward fumbling and often-perfunctory sex we had in our youth—at least that’s true for me.
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My hope is that by writing about sex I help to normalize our experiences—for us and for the world. By offering a glimpse of the joys of midlife sex and by answering questions I help to reinforce the universality of sexuality expression—regardless of age. Our desires may wax and wane. We may experience sheer bliss or an absence of sex at various junctures in our life. But we never fully divest ourselves of our sexuality. At all stages of life we deserve access to helpful information about our sex drives, our sexual health, and resources on sex and aging. I’m pleased and honored to be one of the voices working in this field.
If you have questions you would like me to address message me here or directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Walker Thornton is a writer, sex educator and public speaker, with a Masters in Educational Psychology and over 10 years experience in the field of sexual violence against women. She is a strong advocate for midlife women’s sexuality, encouraging women to ‘step into their desire’. Kinkly.com ranked her blog, WalkerThornton.com, #17 in their top 100 Sex Blogging Superheroes of 2013. Walker is the Sexual Health columnist for Midlife Boulevard and writes about sex and the older adult for Kinkly.com. You can connect with her on her website (www.walkerthornton.com ), Facebook (https://facebook.com/AWomansPage ) Twitter (http://twitter.com/WalkerThornton) and Google+ (https://plus.google.com/u/0/+WalkerThornton/posts ).