Let's talk a little about sex writing and why we're still seeking knowledge as boomers. I started thinking about the various types of sex writing—porn, erotica, how-to, and educational—after conversing with a reader who said he preferred my "informative writing" over porn. I steer away from writing sensational material because it's not my style and it's not what I think most mature readers want. At least not on a non-erotica website. There are lots of places to go if you want hardcore erotica or extremely explicit stories and articles about sex. That's not what I'm all about.
What are you looking for when you seek out sex-related materials?
There is an abundance of sex content on the web and I'm not sure how useful most of it is for older adults. Where does that leave us if everything is written for the under 35 demographic? Haven't most of us figured out our sexual orientation by the time we hit 50? Do we really need to know sperm count and the average length/size/diameter of genitals? Does comparing our number of orgasms or response time help or does it create feelings of inadequacy? Can we sustain a sex position that requires standing on one leg? I know I can't.
The man I was conversing with has a good sex life with his similarly aged partner, both in their early 60s. He doesn't really need porn or other overtly explicit reading materials—he wants information about sexuality and desire that will benefit his and his partner's sexual experience. He wants, like you, content that is relevant to the needs of older adults.
We all have some basic knowledge of sex and after years of experience we may feel pretty competent in the bed—but often we're doing what we've always done. And it may not have been all that great. Or we discover a technique that worked with our previous partner doesn't work the same way with a new one. We are always on a quest for knowledge, and sex education is just as important for 50 year olds (and older) as it is for teenagers. Women who have lived a lifetime with no orgasms may be ready to speak up and address their need for greater satisfaction. The loss of a loved one or a divorce leaves people in a place they hadn't anticipated—how to approach sex with a new partner? The aches and pains of aging or the side effects of medications may hamper our ability to have the sex we've always had. What positions might work better? Are there ways to have satisfying levels of intimacy when certain sexual acts no longer feel as good as they once did?
Pornography, erotic literature and memoir serve to arouse but they shouldn't be considered as reliably informative. 50 Shades of Grey is a good example of a glimpse into the world of BDSM that may not be completely accurate. Fiction isn't obligated to tell the truth or impart a factual 'how-to'; it's fantasy, a creative story that serves to spark our imaginations.
Intimacy in the real world involves the occasional awkward moment, moments when things don't work as we envisioned, giggles and tears. We may find ourselves suddenly facing 'equipment malfunction' or discover that a chronic illness or other malady makes sexual enjoyment more elusive. The best relationships mix communication and experimentation with mutual respect for one's partner. You don't get that from watching porn (well maybe the experimenting bit). If you want to have more satisfying sexual pleasure take some time to read well-informed materials, books or blogs, and talk to your partner about what you want. Share ideas, discuss what turns you on, and set mutual goals. Be willing to be a little vulnerable and open to new ways of defining pleasure. You'll find far more satisfaction with your lover or partner by being honest and in the moment.
Are there situations unique to boomers that you think should be addressed? I'd love to hear from you. You can comment here, or message me directly.
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 ).