Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Solo Sex is Real Sex

"We need to acknowledge that solo sex is real sex," I asserted, and ten people in the audience quoted me on Twitter immediately. I was speaking at the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit in August 2015. This was my first time attending Woodhull, and it was an amazing experience:

The Sexual Freedom Summit features human rights activists, sexuality educators and researchers, professionals from the legal and medical fields, authors, sexual freedom movement leaders and organizational partners all working toward the time when sexual freedom is fully recognized as a fundamental human right.

It seems to me that "sexual freedom" includes freeing ourselves from our society's outdated notions, especially as they restrict us, as seniors, from full sexual expression.  No one is standing at our bedroom door proclaiming, "Thou shalt not masturbate" -- at least I hope not -- but many of us have internalized the idea that giving ourselves sexual pleasure is wrong, or a depressing substitute for "real" -- aka "partner" -- sex.

At our age, accepting self-pleasuring as "real" sex is even more important than it was in our youth. Here are some reasons:

  1. Many of us do not have a sexual partner at this time of our lives.
  2. Many of us who do have a partner are not able to have full sexual expression with that partner, due to medical or relationship issues.
  3. Our retreating hormones and decreased blood flow make it easy to forget about sex because there's less urgency. Yet the less we experience arousal and orgasm, the more difficult it is to get there when we want to.
  4. Our responses change as we age, and the most direct way to stay in tune with what we need for sexual pleasure is to experiment with our own hands -- and, of course, sex toys.
  5. Sexual arousal and orgasm are good for physical and emotional health. In The Ultimate Guide to Sex after 50, I list 33 reasons why sex is good for you -- and by sex, I mean with or without a partner.

For those of you who would tell me (as people do, surprisingly), "Hey, masturbation is inferior to sex with a loving partner," I would answer, "There's nothing inferior about sex with the person who knows you best." Plus the obvious -- "How nice that you have a loving partner. Many of us don't."

Whether we're pleasuring ourselves because it's sex with ourselves or no sex, or we enjoy private sex, or maybe we just want to have fantasy sex with Jeffrey Dean Morgan, let's agree that solo sex is not only real sex -- it's delightful sex.

Readers of my Naked at Our Age Facebook page (which I hope you'll "like"), had this to add:
  • We are 58 and 57 and we both enjoy solo sex. Sometimes, we do it together. Watching can be quite erotic but more often, we'll do it before bed (usually separately in that case) to help us sleep. Mrs. has a variety of vibrators and we're both definitely in favor. - Mr. and Mrs. Average Joe, erotica authors

  • I'm a 67 y.o. man, and in the famous words of Woody Allen, I'm good at sex (with women) because I practice a lot when I 'm alone. (;-). Seriously, it has a lot to do with why I'm still so erotically alive. And yes, incorporating mutual self-stimulation into play with partners is really exciting, and in some ways can feel even more emotionally intimate than PIV [penis in vagina].

  • I'm 53. I have been going solo for.the past 11 years (not by choice), now that I am single I am looking forward to having a partner once again. The solo sex has been a necessity!

  • I am 50. In my community sex is forbidden to singles and there is controversy about whether masturbation, therefore, is 'sinful.' My stance is masturbation is not sinful and not forbidden to those of us who are unmarried. I think "Solo Sex is Real Sex" but my Christian community may not accept such a statement. 

  • I am 58 and flown solo for quite a few years. On the one hand, it's nice because I know all the best places and the exact technique. On the other, it's obviously not as much fun as having a partner. However, that's not always possible and I much prefer it over climbing into bed with a jerk. I wish I had more money for some of the great toys you've shown. I might never want a partner again if I did.
As Valentine's Day approaches and we're bombarded with commercial messages about how to make the day more romantic with our loved one (soft lighting, mellow music, gifts of chocolate and roses included), let's remember this:

Love starts with how we feel about ourselves, how giving and patient and accepting and loving we can be with the person who's been in our life the longest. Let's celebrate that with our own special touch (so to speak).

As always, I invite you to comment.*

*But please don't try to spam my blog by promoting products, vendors, or escorts. And please, don't try to use this blog as a hook-up opportunity by posting your phone number and an offer to my readers. Enough of that, folks! That's why I moderate comments. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

22-year-old man: "How to approach older women?"

Jan. 23, 2016 update: I'm bringing this older post up to the top again because of all the questions I'm getting on this subject. I get more emails from younger men -- mostly age 18 to 30ish -- who are attracted to older women (usually 60+) than any other topic!

So I'm resurrecting this post and inviting comments from both young men about what attracts them to older women and from older women about how a younger man can find them and make contact. Are any of the online dating sites especially good to help younger/older connect?

Note: I am NOT matchmaking here, though many young men have begged me to post their email addresses or phone numbers. No, I won't do that. And guys, please don't ask me personally to hook up with you! That kind of request -- yes, I do get them -- feels creepy, and I won't even answer to tell you to stop it. Just stop it. And no, I don't want to know how big or hard your penis is or how long it can perform -- and I really don't want to see a photo of it. Just. Stop. It.

So, that said -- most of the people who ask for help are sincere, respectful, and sensitive to their partner's desires and pleasure. Realize that our age and experience has not turned us into an alien species -- treat us like valued human beings, interesting for more than sex. And please see other posts on this topic here.


Leopardy is a 22-year-old male in Australia who likes older women. He emailed this story to me:

I've had 2 women in my life (sexually only). Great fun, I must admit, but it tears you apart when the bad has to come up. I like older women for their maturity and for their gorgeous features, such as lips, hips, legs, and fragrance, mmmmmmm. I admit I find it rather hard to find the perfect older woman as they all tend to lead me on then shoot me off which hurts like hell.

I met a woman online back in 2004. After 3 months chatting I gave her my details and she came up here. We had sex, and then she really got abusive and threatened me with police threats etc. She told her so-called friends about me and said what a pathetic useless peice of shit I was.

I'd like to know how to approach older women. I just want a woman that can understand me, one that takes me for who I am and NOT degrade me in any way.

Thank you for been so supportive and having a wonderful site. I can't even recall how I got hold of your site, but I was amazed and immediately added it to my favourites.


Leopardy, I encourage you to get to know the older women who attract you before you jump into bed with them. Those who are looking for quick fun probably won't value you the way you want. It's fine to seek a match online, but if you seem to connect, please take some time dating and becoming friends so that you know who she is and she knows you.

That might mean you don't get the instant pleasure and excitement of sex with a stranger who seems to fit your fantasy, but if what you're looking for is a respectful relationship, that takes time to unfold and nurture.

That doesn't answer your question about how to approach older women. I'll repeat the suggestions I gave Sean:

1. Converse, listen (very important!), and flirt as you would with a woman of any age. Yes, she'll recognize the signs. She might be shy about letting you see her signs, in case she fears she's misreading yours, so keep her talking.

2. Don't rush things along -- she wants to know that she interests you as a person, not just a potential bed partner.

3. Look into her eyes a lot. Really listen and respond to what she's saying.

4. Lean towards her to give the body signal that you're interested. Watch for these signs from her: eye contact; leaning towards you; arms relaxed (not crossed in front of chest); playing with hair, clothing, or jewelry.

5. After a nice, long conversation, where you feel there's a connection, you might ask her outright: "I wonder if there's any reason I should not ask you out."

6. If she says, "I'm old enough to be your mother," you can ask, "I really like the maturity and intelligence of older women. The question is, am I too young to interest you?"

7. If you're really brave, carry a copy of one of my books. When she asks about the book, say something like, "I find older women very attractive, and I hope this book will help me understand them better -- in all ways."


I'd love to hear from readers about this topic. I know many readers come to my blog seeking information about older women/younger men relationships, so please contribute yours.

-- Joan

Sunday, January 17, 2016

How to Tell Your Partner What You Want: guest post by Esther Perel


How can I tell my man what I want? If I get even slightly turned on, he takes it as a sign that he can simply proceed straight to the gate for take-off. He’ll stimulate me for 30 seconds and get inside me. And in my mind I’m thinking: ‘I wish he would move a little gently, have his hands all over my body. Then I might ask him to kiss me in a certain spot, so I’ll give him a sort of hint of what would feel good.’ Sometimes he gets it, and he responds. But other times – he doesn’t seem to hear me. 

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Esther Perel
Amy, age 43, sent this question to therapist and author Esther Perel. Although Amy is a little younger than our age group, both the question and Perel's answer are so relevant to the readers of this blog that I asked Perel for permission to republish her blog post here. She graciously agreed. Here's what she told Amy:

If everyone communicates their needs openly, everyone gains.

Women are constantly told that they need to tell their partner what feels good to them sexually, to be proactive with their desire, to be more assertive and bold. For many people, this is easier said than done. It can feel safer to remain passive and take from our sexual encounters what we can get. Women often tell me that they really like to linger in the pleasures of the preliminaries, that they like them as much, if not more, than the act itself, yet they tend to accommodate their partner and abdicate their wants. They tend to go along with a more stereotypically male definition of sex, where foreplay is the mere introduction to the ‘real’ thing.

However, it is precisely the anticipation, the seduction, the playful touch, the kissing, stroking, and gazing into each other’s eyes – all the stuff that fuels desire and excitement – that make them feel desired. It is those exquisite aspects of foreplay that, for women, often make up the real thing.

Many of the women I work with in my practice worry that they take too long to climax, that their partner will be bored. Once he reaches orgasm, they give up theirs as if his rhythm defines hers. They fake their orgasms, they pretend. They tell me: ‘His ego is too fragile’. ‘I don’t think he can hear me’. ‘I don’t want to hurt him.’ Or: ‘I don’t want him to be angry and to reject me.’ Or even, sometimes, ‘I don’t know what I want, all I know is that I don’t want what I have.’ Men like to hear the guidance, but they can’t stand the criticism. It eats away at their sexual confidence. ‘No sooner do I touch her than she starts dictating to me what to do. I feel so tense following instructions. This tickles, this rubs. Here, she is too dry; there, she is too wet. Slower, faster, harder, softer, it doesn’t stop.’

Obviously, it’s tough on the partners too — these sorts of requests can come across as commands at a time when both people in the room are at their most vulnerable.

Talk about your preferences and desires before and after intimate moments, not only during them. For women and for men, when we feel sexually frustrated we are likely to be irritable, less patient, more aggressive and tactless. Instead of saying ‘I would like more stroking’, we say: ‘Why do you always go straight for my breasts?’ or ‘You never kiss me’ or the crowning put-down: ‘I never had this problem with my previous girlfriend.’ As a rule, sexual communication around what we want and how we want it is better discussed outside the bedroom, not while we are engaging with each other. Expressing appreciation for having your partner in your life is critical to helping him or her feel confident to take in all your needs, without seeing your complaint as a diminishment of his masculinity or her femininity.

Utilize non-verbal communication. I am a therapist, so I obviously value talking, but I also challenge the insistence of the verbal as the superior way to communicate. We speak with our bodies, with actions, with a gaze. The body, as a matter of fact, is our mother tongue; we express so much in the physical language long before we can utter one word. While I think that talking is important for couples, we are facing a situation where sharing is not a choice but a mandate. There is this perceived wisdom that if you don’t share or talk, you are not close. That is a false assumption and one that puts a lot of pressure on men in particular. There’s a lot to gain from showing your partner, non-verbally, what you like. Gently take his or her hand, guide it, move around so that you have got it where you like it.

Although this is a heterosexual example, I also see examples of a similar dynamic in same sex couples — where one partner capitulates to the other’s needs, or simply does not feel comfortable communicating what he or she wants to experience. Both men and women fall in the trap of believing that if you need to discuss methods, it means there is not a good sexual connection. How about rethinking that? Doesn’t it make more sense that if you feel you can communicate your wants openly, that’s the ‘real’ sign of a good sexual vibe?

Do you effectively communicate your physical and emotional needs to your partner(s)? If not, what’s holding you back? What tactics have been most successful to getting what you want? Leave your comments below and join the conversation.




cover_us_2Esther Perel is recognized as one of the most insightful and provocative voices on personal and professional relationships and the complex science behind human interaction. Perel is a practicing psychotherapist, celebrated speaker, and the best­-selling author of Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence, translated into 25 languages. The New York Times, in a cover story, named her the most important game changer on sexuality and relationships since Dr. Ruth.

Perel is a two-time TED speaker: Her critically acclaimed viral first TED talk reached nearly 5 million viewers in the first year and recently released second one, on the topic of infidelity, was viewed nearly 2 million times in the first month. Watch her here:




 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Consensual Non-Monogamy: A Relationship Choice


I'm recovering from ankle-replacement surgery* and watching far too much TV and far too many films. Why is it that mainstream TV shows and films never show ethical, consensual non-monogamy as a relationship choice that works for many? We only see sexual exclusivity as the gold star of relationships, and when someone strays from the monogamy agreement, love turns into hurt and hate -- almost never into a renegotiation of what the couple wants the relationship to be going forward. (Showtime's "Masters of Sex" is the only exception that I can think of, and it's not mainstream.)

Don't get me started on how rarely we see older-age relationships portrayed in any way other than traditional, if they're portrayed at all! Even the new Netflix series "Grace and Frankie"  made me cringe at the stereotypical portrayal of older people and relationships. Yes, the men came out as gay and in love with each other instead of their long-time wives, but even they lapsed into spats and pain when it came out that one of them had either a past one-night stand or a last-night tryst with his ex-wife. Why not just say, "Yeah, these things happen and will happen and because I love you, I'll work to understand and accept -- let's talk"?

And the sweet, vulnerable, free-spirited, hippie Frankie played by Lily Tomlin?  Why isn't one of those cute, ex-convict artists emerging from her bedroom from time to time? (I have to say that as much as I'm dumping on this series, Frank Waterston is wonderful and adorable and the sexiest person on the show. He'd be welcome in my house anytime.)


Back to reality: sex therapists, researchers, and educators know that the sexual exclusivity model works for some but not for all. For others, ethical and consensual non-monogamy (which isn't cheating, because both partners agree to it) keeps many relationships strong. Pioneers like Esther Perel, author of Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence and TED talk speaker on "Rethinking Infidelity," and Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha, authors of Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships, have done brilliant work demystifying the causes and effects of infidelity and whether human beings are monogamous creatures.

My favorite podcaster, Dan Savage, talks about this often. He coined the term "monogamish" to describe couples who are committed, intimately bonded, and who sometimes have sex with others. The partner might want to know all the details or might not want to know anything, depending on the couple's agreement. Savage also says that when a couple has a monogamy agreement -- no sex with anyone else -- and one of them strays once in a while, the strayer is doing "a pretty good job at monogamy."

Please don't misunderstand me -- I'm not "promoting" non-monogamy or any sexual lifestyle. I'm just saying that I know many couples who stay together happily and intimately because they acknowledge that sexual exclusivity is not right for them. Let's not judge them or say (as I've heard some people righteously insist) that they "don't know how to be committed to another person."  

Those of you who are in consensually non-exclusive relationships, especially after age 50, I invite your thoughts here. Was this always the kind of relationship you wanted? Or did you come to it because you tried to embrace monogamy and it didn't work? I hope you'll share your views and experiences. (If you have trouble posting a comment, please email me and I'll post it for you.)


* In case you're curious about my surgery:I was in a near-fatal auto accident in 1979, which, among many other injuries, shattered my right heel and crushed my ankle. For the past 36 years, I've walked and danced on an ankle that barely moved and often caused pain. I sometimes described my foot as "a block of wood with nerve endings." I am extremely fortunate that now a reliable procedure is available that replaces a damaged ankle with a new, mobile one! I had the surgery in November, and I expect to be back on the dance floor in February! 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Talking sex toys on Dan Savage's podcast

Dec. 12, 2015: I am moving this post from July 2015 to the top, because I have many new readers and some of you might need holiday tips for sure-to-please sex toy gifts for a lover or for yourself. Enjoy! 

And if you don't have my latest book yet, The Ultimate Guide to Sex after 50 is a gift that will give you information and resources after the holidays are just a memory.  -- Joan

I had the pleasure of recording a guest segment on Dan Savage's Savage Love podcast, answering two caller questions.  It's live here: Episode 456. I'm on the Micro (free) version for 10 minutes and on the Magnum (paid subscription) for more than 20 minutes.

At the end of our Magnum segment, Dan asked me for some quick vibrator recommendations for the over-50 crowd. Here are the ones I mentioned, with links to my reviews so that you can learn more about them:
Magic Wand


Magic Wand (rechargeable): It has everything we loved about the Original Magic Wand plus new attributes that make it the ideal sex tool for those of us who need really strong vibrations.


Sybian
 Sybian: Can I call a 22-pound, vibrating, mountable, power tool a "vibrator"? That's like calling the Sydney Opera House a music device. Straddle the Sybian, turn the dial to control the sensations, and enjoy.


The Pulse


The Pulse: A pulsing, oscillating, amazing vibrator for penises that does not require an erection for his pleasure!




Here are some more favorites that I would have added if we had more time:
Eroscillator


Eroscillator: Especially fabulous for clitoral stimulation during partner sex because it doesn't get in the way of two bodies.
Private Gym



Private Gym: A penis workout for stronger erections -- including weights. This is no gimmick!


Womanizer

Womanizer: A sex toy that sucks your clitoris -- and that's a rock-your-world sensation!
Palm Power



Palm Power:  A lightweight, travel-friendly, ergonomically designed vibrator that packs incredible power into a small, silicone topped sex toy.



If you're new to my blog, it isn't just sex toys all the time, but yes, I do review sex toys a lot, and always from a "senior perspective."


What's a "senior perspective" and why do we need it?
  • Our need for long, slow arousal requires a vibrator that doesn't overheat, run out of battery charge, or burst into flames if we need to use it for a long time. 
  • We want sex toys that don't strain arthritic wrists. 
  • They must be made of body safe materials, especially with our thinning genital tissues.
  • We want to be able to see the controls without having to put on our reading glasses. 
  • Above all, we need intensity: strong vibrations. We're battling our (lack of) hormones. And we're winning!

If you're new to Dan Savage, he's super smart and sex-savvy. Check out the free mini-version of his weekly Savage Lovecast. Even better, in my opinion, is the paid Magnum version that's twice as long and ad-free. If you don't yet subscribe to the Magnum version, it's well worth the small amount of money to hear the longer version each week. Plus when you subscribe, you get to listen to ALL the past episodes -- years of them! You can read Dan's sex advice columns here. Dan is over 50 now -- welcome to our world, Dan!

Joan and Dan, showing actual height difference


Monday, November 23, 2015

"Friends with benefits" -- do we need a new term?


Question to readers: I know that many people in our age group have "friends with benefits," or would like to. Do we need a new term for it?

I'm talking about a relationship that is sexual but also a solid friendship -- we like each other in and out of bed -- yet it's not a committed relationship and will not become one.

We're not partners and we're not dating exactly -- we just get together when we both want to, and sex is usually part of the package. We stay in touch in between times together. We're both free to pursue and explore other relationships. We don't have goals of our FWB becoming more (or different) than the way we're enjoying each other right now. It is what it is, and we like that.

It's not the same as a "hookup" or "bootie call" because we share an emotional closeness -- yet without any expectations or restrictions about what we do when we're not together.

What do you think? Is "friends with benefits" a good enough term? Or does that sound too casual or non-caring? One person suggested "limited relationship" as opposed to "committed" or "primary" relationship, but that seems to emphasize what it isn't rather than what it is. I suggested "lover-friends." I hope you'll add your point of view.

I hope you'll post a comment using a first name of your choice (choose something other than "anonymous"), plus your age, please, so we can see how our generation thinks.

Feel free to add your FWB experience after age 50, if you care to share. I think this kind of relationship is far more common than we know!





Notes about comments:

Thank you in advance for commenting! Some people have reported problems commenting. If this happens to you, please email me your comment (with the name under which you want it posted and your real age) and I'll post it for you. I delete comments that attempt to spam my blog or hijack my readers to a commercial site that I do not endorse. 

Friday, November 06, 2015

This Thing We Call Sex by David Steinberg: book review


David Steinberg has compiled a brilliant book of essays and erotic photographs in This Thing We Call Sex: A Radically Sensible Look at Sex in America.

Steinberg, now 71, has been writing about sex since 1985 and photographing couples being sexual at home since 1999. In This Thing We Call Sex, he describes many types of sexual awakenings and insights: his first swing party; his first sexual encounter with a trans woman, where he discovered how much he's turned on by a woman possessing both feminine energy and a penis; the gift of a gang bang for his partner's 52nd birthday; learning to slap a woman he loved because it excited her; and much more. Through Steinberg's candor and beautifully crafted writing, I felt I was getting more than a window into his views and activities -- I was experiencing them myself.

Steinberg grew up in the same era I did. We came of age when sexual repression was the norm, and we were foot soldiers in the sexual revolution (though I was far less adventurous, even in what I considered my wilder days). In 1963, when both he and I were in college, "rumblings of sexual change could be heard on the cultural landscape if you listened really hard, but they were distinctly muted to say the least."

David Steinberg
Steinberg puts his experiences and reflections in the context of discovering our sexuality despite our society's sex-negative view. Sexual acceptance has improved greatly since we were growing up, but sex negativity still persists. We're shamed for wanting what we want, called perverts and worse if what we like is outside the very small box of what society condones. Here, I'll let him say it his own way:

  • "Who are we. really, when it comes to sex? Do we ever really get to know the full range and depth of our sexual desires and possibilities for pleasure? If we could strip away the rules, the moralizing, the early antisexual childhood training, the internalized raised eyebrows, what might we find of ourselves underneath?"

  • "Sex is such a powerful and unpredictable arena for psychic discovery; it's no wonder it scares us to death. When we let the proprieties drift out the window, when we face our individual menageries of urges and desires without the referees of reason and reasonability, we are apt to uncover the most surprising and disconcerting things about ourselves -- things we don't even begin to understand, things we may well not want to acknowledge."

  • "We are told repeatedly, and we come to believe ... that if we acknowledge, honor, and embrace the erotic impulses of our sensual selves we will destroy the order in our world and be cast into chaos. This terrifies us. We turn against desire itself, against our erotic impulses and feelings, as well as the erotic expressions of others. we set ourselves the task of keeping the erotic down at all cost."

Copyright (c) David Steinberg, 2000

And the photos! Deliciously erotic and intensely personal photos of faces smiling, grimacing, laughing in ecstasy; intimate gazes; entwined bodies. The diversity of the people in the photos is startling because it's so rare. As David told me in an email interview,

One of the core statements that I hope my photographs of people being sexual makes is that we all can be vibrant, alive, sexy, sexual people, despite the cultural biases that would restrict that appreciation to people who are young, thin, physically fit, etc. I make a point of including as wide a range of subjects as possible, including people of all ages, body types, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender identities, and sexual proclivities. I have photographed people ranging in age from 19 to 75, from 90 to 300 pounds, and over a dozen couples that include someone with a physical disability.

Hopefully, when people see my photographs they think, "Oh, look, this is someone like me being wonderfully sexual," rather than seeing someone whose sexuality confirms all the insecurities and self-doubts that we are encouraged to have about ourselves almost from birth.
Copyright (c) David Steinberg, 2007




I'm a sex geek -- I'm fascinated by all things sexual, and I love learning about how people think and express themselves sexually. In this book, Steinberg educates and fascinates me. I wholeheartedly recommend This Thing We Call Sex to my fellow sex geeks.















Thursday, November 05, 2015

L'Amourose Rosa Rouge: a heated vibrator for hot solo sex



There's much to love about the  L'Amourose Rosa Rouge Heat Up G-Spot Vibrator, a sex toy from LoveHoney.com that warms up as you use it!

I don't mean that it absorbs your body heat -- better than that: it has an internal "Thermal Regulation System" that gradually heats it to 40-42 degrees Celsius/ 104-107.6 degrees Fahrenheit. I didn't know whether I'd like this -- I feared that the heat would be irritating. Was I wrong! The warmth feels really good, and as important, it increases blood flow to the genitals, which our aging bodies need.

The versatile design lets you use it several ways:

1. Insert the long part vaginally. (1.5" diameter at widest part). This felt good to me as long as I wasn't trying to make the base add clitoral stimulation. Supposedly, the base can rest on your vulva, stimulating your clitoris while the longer part is penetrating vaginally. My body didn't work that way. If the inserted part was comfortable and in contact with my g-spot, the base hovered in the air above and didn't come close to contacting my vulva. If I forced the base down, the end of the inserted part hit painfully. We're all different, and since it's called a g-spot vibrator, I have to assume this may work for many of you.

2. Use the base as a handle and rub or nestle the long part over your clitoris. This worked really well for me. You can get pinpoint stimulation with the tip if you like, but I preferred letting the Rosa Rouge curve around my vulva, stimulating the largest area possible. The narrowest part of the neck has a bit of flexibility, so you can make its curve adjust to your own.

3. You can also use it anally, though I didn't try it that way.

The vibrations are rumbly rather than buzzy, and although they aren't Magic Wand intensity, they're strong enough to win me over. I'm about to turn 72, and intense vibrations are key for me, as I know they are for many of you in my age group. There are two motors and nine functions, including running one motor and not the other, or both, and several patterns as well as intensities.

Charging is easy -- you perch the vibrator in its elegant charging base, plug it in, and let it recharge. After you charge it and take it off its base, it's waterproof!


Cons:

Good luck trying to see the practically invisible controls. You'll need both your reading glasses and a bright light. You won't be able to feel the difference between "+" and "-" either, especially when your fingers are lubed up. I suggest you memorize where the controls are, re-memorize them after you get it in position, and hope that you don't accidentally turn it down or off when you're ready for extra intensity for the Big Moment.

Yes, it's expensive, $259.99. It's a classy, luxury vibrator, and the heat adds to the price. If you like the design and don't care about it heating up, there are two other, less expensive versions: 


I first discovered L'Amourose Rosa Rouge after reading unusually gushing (so to speak) reviews from several sex toy reviewers whom I enjoy and trust to be as critical as a toy deserves: Dangerous Lilly, The Redhead Bedhead, and Epiphora, among others. In fact, a couple of these reviewers recommended it to me, and the good folks at LoveHoney.com made sure I had my own. Thank you!

And if you don't love  L'Amourose Rosa Rouge Heat Up G-Spot VibratorLoveHoney.com is that rare sex toy retailer that offers your money back, whatever your reason for returning it, as long as it's within the first year. Read their return policy here.



[Aaarggh, I'm frustrated that although I've re-positioned all the photos a half dozen times, as soon as I save the post, the photos pop back to where I didn't want them. Blogspot, what are you doing to me? I'll try again tomorrow. ]

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Book Roundup #1: Interviews with Arlene Schindler, Lynn Brown Rosenberg, and J.F. Silver

I receive review copies of many books that the authors and publishers hope I find of interest to you. Even restricting my choices to those that treat older-age sexuality specifically and positively, I'm unable to keep up. So instead of reviewing these books singly, I'm going to do a series of roundups of books aimed at our age group by authors who understand us. This is the first in this series of mini interviews with the authors. Enjoy, and please support these authors who are writing with candor and fire about sex and aging.



Arlene, describe your book and what led you to write it:

Midlife was freeing for me. My novel explores relationship possibilities for single women past 50. I used to say, “My dating pool is so small, soon it will be a shot glass.” If I was lucky, a love connection would last about as long as a good haircut. I knew others felt the same. I wanted to shout out the absurdities of these experiences with a madcap, defiantly spirited outlook. 

Why would my readers want to read The Last Place She’d Look?

Arlene Schindler
Women of a certain age become invisible in our culture. In reality this is the time of life when we become bolder, braver and more adventurous. We’re peaking, and no one is looking. Exploring why we should be noticed, my novel exposes our desires, passions and relationships. 

What drew you to write a story about a woman finding herself attracted to other women on her fiftieth birthday?

Too many women think that if they are not with a man, their life is incomplete. Yet friendships we have with other women grow deeper with maturity. A possible alternative for a world of lonely women who’ve been influenced by outmoded values and religious beliefs, but hungry for appreciation, is being responsive and open to deeper, intimate experiences with women whom we know, love, and admire.





Lynn, describe your book and what led you to write it:

My Sexual Awakening at 70 is about my search for sexual freedom at a later age, and at the same time an exploration of my past and the effect that decades of repression had on me. Despite that upbringing, midway through my journey, I was having the best, most exciting time! I realized I couldn’t be the only woman who had a distressing sexual education or no sexual education, and I thought it could help others.

Why would my readers want to read your book?

Lynn Brown Rosenberg
It is a roller-coaster life about my search for love, self-confidence, creative expression and sexual expression that will resonate with other women of our age. Men also enjoy my book because it gives them hope for the future, and helps them understand women better. Plus, it has erotic stories in it that both men and women can get pleasure from, individually or together!

How has your life changed after writing this book?

It has opened up a whole new world for me. I am now speaking about my journey, writing articles, doing podcasts, writing a monthly column for XBiz.com, and most of all, I love that I'm connecting with people who tell me they've been inspired and empowered by hearing me speak or reading My Sexual Awakening at 70




 J.F., describe the Mr. and Mrs. Average Joe series:

Mr. and Mrs. Average Joe is an erotic series about discovering new pleasures later in life. Joe and Elaine are baby boomers and empty nesters with a healthy sexual appetite. They had fantasized about inviting others into their bed, and one night the scenario presents itself in a ménage with another woman. From here it becomes a polyamorous tale of two sexually adventurous couples. There are three books available and a fourth releases in November 2015.

What led you to begin writing erotica?

I didn’t start writing until I turned 50, nine years ago, when I wrote my first erotic story as a birthday gift for my wife of 30 years. After receiving that first story, my wife began feeding me plot lines and to this day remains my inspiration and muse. Writing hot, arousing tales for my wife turned into a crazy and secret hobby!

How did this “secret hobby” develop into a published series?

J.F. Silver
About three years ago, we decided to try publishing them. It was a challenge to find a publisher interested in an erotic story about a couple in their fifties, but we did it. Before we'll write it, it has to work for us. Being a male author in a field dominated by women, my wife helps me keep the stories "women friendly." 

Friday, October 02, 2015

Maia Twistty Wand: Yes!

The Maia Twistty Wand from LoveHoney.com is an unusual two-in-one sex toy, with two independent motors. Use the "head" end on your clitoris for strong, rumbly, widespread vibrations, or use the "tail" end for buzzier, pinpoint vibrations either on the clitoris or shallowly inserted in the vagina to target the G-spot.

You get quite a variety of possibilities in one lovely vibrator! Each motor offers three vibration intensities and seven patterns. Both head and tail are ridged for extra sensation.


Pros:

1. It's powerful! You know how discerning I am about intense vibrations, and I found the rumbly head strong enough for me on its highest setting. (The motor at the head is stronger than the tail.)

2. The ergonomic design and light weight make it easy to hold, even for those of us with arthritic wrists.

3. It's rechargeable via USB -- no cords while you use it.


4. It's completely waterproof.

5. The material is body-safe silicone with a matte finish, very smooth and comfortable. (Of course you're using water-based lubricant with it.)

6. It's pretty! Mine is a lovely shade of purple, and the controls glow with a soft backlight so you can find them in the dark.


Cons:

1. It's difficult to avoid pressing one of the control buttons accidentally while you're using it, unless you hold it at the end instead of the middle, which defeats the ergonomic benefits. But I don't know where those control buttons could go instead, so I guess we just need to be careful and use a light grip.

2. The so-called instructions are worthless. They tell you how to clean and recharge it and how to turn on 6 different Maia products, but nothing specific to this one. See below for a problem I resolved on my own.


Problem I Resolved On My Own:

Image result for photo of power button
It was obvious from the familiar power icon that the middle control button turns the power on. Press and hold for a couple of seconds and the light flashes. Then it took a minute of experimentation. We're used to the top control button being "+" and the bottom one "-" -- but not this one. The control with a wavy line nearest the head turns on the head's vibrations, and the control nearest the tail turns on the tail's. Of course.

But what if you want to use the head for a while, then switch to the tail? When I did that, the head was still vibrating in my arthritic hand. Ouch. Aha, I needed to power off the vibrator entirely to turn off the head, and then power it on and press the tail's button, right? Although that works, it's a buzz kill to turn it off and start over.

Then through experimentation, I discovered the secret: if you're using the head and you want to switch to the tail, start the tail's motor going then press the head's control for two seconds and only the head's motor turns off -- no need to power everything off, no break in the action.

I know, you only save about 5-10 seconds by knowing the trick, but when our aging bodies make arousal slow and often difficult, keeping the momentum going without a "stop action" is important. So why aren't these steps in the instructions?


Overall Evaluation:

Applause! I get to test a lot of vibrators (I know, tough job, but somebody's got to do it), and I leave many saying, "Eh. It's ok, but nothing special." I don't even bother to review many of those for you, figuring that your time and mine are better spent with the exceptionally good or bad ones. The Maia Twistty Wand, however, is a winner. I look forward to using it often.

And if you don't love it, LoveHoney.com is that rare sex toy retailer that offers your money back, whatever your reason for returning it, as long as it's within the first year. Read their return policy here. Thank you, LoveHoney.com, for sending me the Maia Twistty Wand!