Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Pleasure yourself today

It's Valentine's Day 2017. If you don't have a partner today, you're not alone. But that doesn't mean you can't have sex with the person who knows you the best: yourself.

Self-pleasuring is delicious sex, and it doesn’t matter how old we are, whether or not we have a partner, if arousal and orgasms are easy for us, or we’ve grown up to think of masturbation as shameful. Staying sexual is within our own power.

I hope you'll read my "Senior's Guide to Solo Sex" for Senior Planet -- let me know if it gives you some new ideas.

Here are some of my favorite quotes about solo sex:

  • “We have reason to believe that man first walked upright to free his hands for masturbation.” — Lily Tomlin
  •  “Don't knock masturbation. It's sex with someone I love.” — Woody Allen, Annie Hall
  •  “Among all types of sexual activity, masturbation is, however, the one in which the female most frequently reaches orgasm.” — Alfred Charles Kinsey, Sexual Behavior in the Human Female, 1953
  • “We know that more than 70 to 80 percent of women masturbate, and 90 percent of men masturbate, and the rest lie.” — Joycelyn Elders, former Surgeon General of the United States
  • “How to have sex with friends, lovers, wives, husbands all begins and ends with Masturbation.” — Betty Dodson (dubbed “the Mother of Masturbation”), at age 87. 
If you haven't already, please subscribe to my new newsletter here -- the first issue is about to go out. Instead of having to chase me all over the Internet, or remember to check this blog, I'll come to your inbox occasionally with interesting senior sex news, views, practical tips, links to articles, announcements about my events and webinars, and special offers just for my mailing list. I value you and appreciate your interest in my work. I won't spam you, share your information with anyone, or do anything else that I suspect might annoy you.

Thanks for being a part of my community!


Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Senior Sex Research: Here's what I'd like to know

When I started writing about senior sex in 2005, it was difficult to find studies about sex and aging. It's somewhat better now, though still limited. Researchers are more open to including our age group, but I wonder if they're asking the right questions.

I'm not looking for statistics, such as how many of us are having sex. Doesn't that depend on (a) how the researchers and the subjects define "having sex" and (b) whether we have what we need (partner, privacy, physical ability, emotional intimacy) to have the kind of sex we want?

I'd like to see research into how we think about sex now, what determines quality of sex, what's missing in our sexual worlds, what we're learning about sex and about ourselves during our later years.

So while we're waiting for the right research to be done, here are some questions for you if you're over 50, 60, 70 and beyond:

1. If a researcher asked if you are "sexually active," how would you answer? What would you mean by that answer?

2. How has the definition of "what is sex?" changed or evolved for you over time? What did it used to mean? What does it mean now? What made your definition change (if it changed)?

3. If you could be in any kind of sexual relationship you wanted, what would it be? Never mind how you might be judged -- what would be ideal for the real you, maybe the secret you?

4. What would you like to tell our society about sex and aging?


I asked the good folks who follow my Naked at Our Age Facebook page, "If researchers wandered over here to learn what studies we'd like to see conducted about sex and aging, what would you suggest?" Here are some of their suggestions:

  • Studies toward normalizing serial monogamous relationships. As we age, the chances are that we will lose our partner. When that happens, it should be easier to establish new relationships without feeling that we are betraying the partner who has died. We don't have to give up our former love in order to love another person. I think we can keep the truth and warmth of the past love, have an additional love or two, without feeling that we have violated the truth of the first. 
  • I'd love to see more of an in-depth study on how illness/ disability/ aging affect our sexuality and sex lives.
  • How about a serious, non-judgmental look at the multi-faceted, complicated reasons for diminished libido as we age? (hormonal, psychological, physiological) Why it affects some and not others and methods - again multi-faceted - for those who indeed want to revitalize their libido.
  • Can ingrained sexual scripts be changed enough so that new ways of "having sex" aren't seen as less satisfying than former ways? 
  • What is the most effective way to help older adults get on board with safer sex? 
  • The best ways to empower older adults to set, communicate, and respect sexual boundaries.
  • I'm fascinated by what seems to be a growing popularity of open marriages or open relationships in the over 50 crowd. Is this just anecdotal or have others noticed it too? 
  • Re-defining what "satisfying sex" is to align better with how bodies change with age. This could go hand-in-hand with the ever-popular yet hardly discussed question, "What is sex?" It can be so many things. 
  • Seniors discovering and accepting polyamory.

I'm eager to hear from you, whether you'd like to answer one of my questions or add to the list of what researchers should study. Please post a comment and include your real age. You can choose any name you want when you comment, so be creative and please choose something other than "Anonymous"! (Choose "Name/URL" from the comment drop-down menu. You can then type the name of your choice, and you do not need to include a URL.)

Let's keep talking. The conversation has just begun!



P.S. When I invite you to comment, I'm inviting you -- real people -- to share your personal views. I'm not inviting ads for escort services, ED "cures," porn sites, or other commercial enterprises. And I don't need to be told to repent -- not gonna happen. I shouldn't have to say any of this, but the number of comments I have to delete indicates otherwise. [I know, the trolls and robots aren't even reading this, but I have to try.]  

Saturday, December 17, 2016

2016 Holiday Gift Guide for Sexy Seniors


Whether you're looking for a special gift for a loved one, for the two (or more) of you, or for your own private pleasure, here are some recommendations to put a sexy, satisfied smile on your or your giftee's face.

If you think your gift won't arrive in time, blame it on me for getting this Gift Guide out so late. Write a note about your intentions and welcome in the New Year when it arrives. (Or email me and I'll hand write the note for you, scan it, and email it back to you.)



Best of 2016

Two of our favorites have new updates:


The Pulse III for penis pleasure has arrived from Hot Octopuss, and it's better than ever. Now you can go from any level straight to "Turbo Mode." An anti-stall sensor prevents any pressure from interfering with the vibrations. The Duo partner's experience has been improved. And now it charges magnetically. Every penis owner that I know who has tried any version of the Pulse has loved it, especially because no erection is required. I appreciate that as good as it is, Hot Octopuss keeps improving this penis pleaser. Read this review of the Pulse I and II and this one of the Pulse Solo and Duo II from our contest winners. Order the new one here.



Do you own a Sybian? If you do, check out these two new silicone attachments to ride into orgasm: Triple Delight has soft clitoral and anal stimulating bumps at either end of a penetrative G-spotter. (Yes, you can have it all.) The Silky Smooth Flat Top is for you if you prefer your vibrations without penetration -- use it in either direction and put the bump wherever you want it. If you're unfamiliar with the glorious Sybian, read my review here (notice the discount code!) and learn about other silicone attachments here.


Rumble
Here are some special sex toys that I reviewed in 2016, with quotes from these reviews and links to the full reviews:


Rumble. "Do you want a vibrator that's well-designed, well-made, body-safe, and fairly strong -- with a truly ergonomic shape, size, and weight? A solution if you have wrist arthritis or any condition that makes it difficult to grip or hold up a wand vibrator for as long as it takes to get the job done."

Doxie Die Cast


Doxie Die Cast"Strong as in lie-back-and-it'll-happen strong, even if your orgasms usually take a lot of effort. If you like a high intensity clitoral vibrator, this power tool will sing to you in great, rumbly, throbby tones."
Prism V


L'Amourose Prism V. "A curvaceous work of art that happens to be a deep, strong, and rumbly g-spot vibrator. The shape and faceted design are lovely, and it's easy to hold." 


Womanizer
Womanizer W500. "It's the suction. It doesn't just vibrate (though it does do that) -- it gently pulls on the clitoris, bringing blood flow, engorgement, and increased sensation. It's not 'sucking' like a vacuum -- it's subtle, but oh so effective and pleasurable."  



New Kids in Town

Here are couple of new products that might strike your fancy. I haven't written full reviews of these, but they deserve mention here:

Funkit. (Yes, that's an "n," not a "c," though the logo with the "n" on its side makes you look twice.) This beautiful silicone dildo aims to please, whether you use it vaginally or anally. The end is a suction cup, so you have even more options for play. Check out Funkit's website for many more dildo designs that show you that sex and art can be a lovely couple. They also make butt plugs, spanking paddles, and textured rings for your pleasure-giving finger.



O-Wand. Big and heavy -- 1.6 pounds and 13 inches long -- this elegant, powerful, silicone vibrator is curved with an ergonomic handle so you can hold it in different ways and even rest it on your body. It comes in a huge (17"), fancy box, includes a nubby cap accessory and a set of charger adapters for different countries. There's no pouch, though, which is strange considering its high price. It's completely waterproof, so you can take it in the tub with you. (I recommend not taking it in the shower, because if you drop 1.6 pounds on your foot, it could be serious.) Get 15% off with the discount code "BETTER15" -- just for our readers.



Stocking Stuffers

Überlube: When you want to feel a gliding sensation of skin on skin, this luxurious silicone lubricant delivers. Long-lasting for our slow-burning older bodies, slick for our delicate tissues, and a clear favorite of mine. Available in an elegant glass bottle or a refillable travel case.

Wicked: Want to smell and taste like a candy apple, cinnamon bun, or salted caramel? Wicked has a delightful collection of flavored lubricants, most of then water-based. Buy them at SheVibe,

Lucky Bloke: For the best selection of condoms, Lucky Bloke has you covered -- so to speak. Take their simple test to make sure you're wearing the right size condom, then order some sampler kits and try different brands. Lucky Bloke also offers lubricant samplers.



And for that Big Sex Organ Between Your Ears...

Of course it would make me very happy if you got your giftee or yourself one of my senior sex books -- the gifts that keep on giving. A good choice for a holiday gift is Ageless Erotica, a ground-breaking anthology by talented writers over 50 featuring steamy, sexy characters over 50 (sometimes decades over 50). Ageless Erotica presents sexy seniors enjoying and sharing their erotic moments in short stories and memoir essays . And while you're looking at my books, how about giving your sweetie or yourself one of my self-help senior sex books for the new year?




Not for sale, but just to make you smile... 

This kitten is Bobby Joe, a new member of my household. He is trying very hard to take on the role of resident sex kitten.




Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Our Dumb [Lack of] Sex Education

High school
grad 1961


If you're over 60, 70 and beyond, how did sex misinformation and the lack of a decent sex education form your attitude about sex?  What did you have to learn or unlearn to become the person you are today?

I'll start. I was born in 1943. This was my sex education:

  • When I was in junior high, my school's gender-segregated sex education program was comprised of a filmstrip showing drawings of the reproductive system (no clitoris to be found) and a lecture about menstruation -- why it happens, what to expect. I recall nothing about why people might choose to have sex!

  • When I was a young teenager, my sex education was a pamphlet handed to me by my father, an obstetrician/gynecologist, explaining how the sperm fertilized the egg -- but nothing about how the sperm got to the egg, and nothing about arousal or pleasure.

  • When I was an older teenager, my father told me, "The best birth control is a dime -- held firmly between the knees." He did not want me to end up like some of my classmates who came to his office for a pregnancy test and later were shipped off to have the baby somewhere and give it up for adoption. These were the days before legal abortion.

  • The summer before I started college, my grandmother told me, "Don't ever let a boy have his way with you! If you do, he'll never marry you. After all, why buy the cow when you can get the milk free?" I was already having sex with my high school boyfriend.

  • During my freshman year in college, my father found out that I was having sex with my high school boyfriend. My parents declared that I was never to see him alone again, only supervised by my parents or his. So I learned how to lie to my parents.  

  • Home for the summer after my freshman year in college, I feared I was pregnant. Rather than risk going to a local doctor who would know my family and inform my father, my former boyfriend and I drove 50 miles so that I could use a fake name and not be recognized. I never told my parents about this.    

How did my lack of sex education inform my later attitudes and behavior? Fortunately, I was a rebel. You wouldn't have guessed that looking at me. I behaved in school, dressed like a "good girl," studied hard and got good grades, and mostly kept my divergent views to myself. But sexually, I rebelled. Thanks to my [lack of] sex education in high school, I thought I had discovered sexual passion -- surely no one else knew about this! I loved getting excited, even though I wouldn't have my first orgasm until sophomore year in college. That was one more casualty of my [lack of] sex education -- we didn't know anything about the clitoris and its role in female orgasm. Heck (I laugh to find myself falling into the language of the times!), we didn't know anything about female orgasm, except that some women were "frigid" and it was their own fault and they should fix it.

But enough about me. How about you? What are the things you were taught -- or not taught -- that make you shake your head in disbelief now? If you're over 60, please comment. Use whatever invented first name you want, but please include your real age. If you're under 50, please stay and read the comments -- this is the life we led. This is how we learned (or didn't learn) about sex. These are the barriers we had to overcome.

Speaking of barriers, who remembers the childhood game Red Rover? "Red Rover, Red Rover, we dare Joanie to come over!" -- is that how it went? The person who was summoned would race to the line of locked hands and try to break through. As tiny as I was (6th grade nickname: Mighty Mouse), I always succeeded because I barreled through any obstacle with little fear of consequence. I guess in my small way, I'm still doing that!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Pulse II Duo and Solo: Reviews from our contest winners


August 26, 2016: So here's how this contest happened. I have been a fan of the Pulse penis vibrator since late 2013, when I first learned how it enhances sex for penises, with or without an erection. Since that time, I've raved about it, along with my other favorites, at my presentations. During one of these, a man raised his hand and asked, “Do you need another Pulse tester?”

The audience and I laughed, but then I started thinking: At our age, especially, we have such divergent sexual needs and challenges. What if I did enlist the help of some carefully selected assistants to review the new Pulse II Solo and Duo? I asked Hot Octopuss, creator of the Pulse, whether they'd sponsor a contest. We were on!

The deal was that potential Pulse reviewers would enter my contest, describing why they wanted, needed, and deserved a free Pulse II. They would promise me an honest review if they won. I chose three winners out of many fine entries. Now that they've had time to test and retest their prizes (thanks, guys!), here are their reviews. Enjoy!



Boone


When erectile dysfunction struck me a few years ago I was in denial. I blamed stress, tiredness, just about anything I could think of. I finally had to admit to myself as well as to my partner of 10 years that what was happening was erectile dysfunction.

She took the threat to my heart health seriously and encouraged me go to the doctor. As difficult as it I found talking to someone about such a deeply personal issue. I am glad I went. The doctor informed me I had a high level of bad cholesterol and high blood pressure that needed to be controlled through medication. The good doctor also offered pharmaceutical options for my ED. I decided to pass on that, based on the adverse side effects.

My partner also went searching online for other alternatives to help my ED and found Joan Price’s book, Naked at Our Age. After reading the book and some of Joan’s blog, she decided to introduce sex toys into the bedroom. She also began encouraging me to view sex as not always having to lead to penetration.

Before the Pulse Duo I hadn’t tried a vibrating sex toy targeted specifically at men. I was a bit skeptical of this odd shaped silicone contraption. I had only used silicone c-rings and experimented with applying my partner’s electric vibrating wand to my soft penis. I found these pleasurable and helpful in my struggle with ED.

The Pulse II Duo was more than I could have hoped for. I love that I can easily enjoy sexual pleasure while not being fully erect. The design of the toy is key, open on one side and you can lay your flaccid penis within it. The Duo is equipped with a variety of speeds and oscillating patterns. The vibrating or oscillating circular part (the pulse plate) feels wonderful as you move it up and down the shaft. It feels exceptionally good on the sensitive glans head and its ridge. You or your partner can control the level of friction just by squeezing tightly or releasing. Using lube or going without also can change friction and sensation.

I found that most times I was quickly able to get fully erect from the pleasurable sensations I enjoyed from the Pulse II, and it always helped me achieve a powerful orgasm. The Pulse is a quality product that could be a Godsend to any man, but especially those who are struggling with ED. 

The Pulse II Duo is marketed as a couple’s toy and comes with a remote control for the vibrating underside. This extra vibration area stimulates the partner of the person wearing the Duo. The remote controls the strength of the vibrations. This is a nice and thoughtful touch.

My partner and I tried using the Pulse II Duo in the missionary position. Unfortunately, although she found the Duo’s vibrations enjoyable, they were just not powerful enough to bring her to orgasm. 

Neither one of us let this small disappointment take away from the high I was feeling from my new found confidence. We experimented with simultaneous masturbation. I use the Pulse Duo and she uses her wand. It’s a new aspect of our sexuality to watch the other self-pleasuring, and we both find it highly erotic.

I have a new confidence in the bedroom now. My partner and I have always enjoyed the sexual aspect of our relationship and I was so afraid of losing her to a man who could satisfy her. I now realize these fears were unfounded and just my insecurities at work. I am beginning to fully embrace the reality that sex does not have to equal penetration. There are so many other sensual pleasures to indulge in. I just wish it hadn’t taken me 52 years to figure this out.


Jeff


The Pulse II was designed for men like me. I have had low testosterone and taken hormone supplements since my mid-thirties. Now, at 55, I also have high blood pressure and high cholesterol. As a result, my erections are weaker and easily lost without the right kind of ongoing stimulation. Male stroker toys never worked well for me -- a sleeve of squishy artificial flesh didn’t keep me hard.
My first impression of the Pulse’s design was its alien yet elegant aesthetic. If I didn’t know it was a sex toy, I might expect to see it as a prop on Star Trek. It features black curved contours, expandable wings that wrap around the penis (whether soft or hard), and ridges that stimulate its underside. Most important is the pulse plate, roughly the diameter of a quarter, positioned to provide direct stimulation to the sensitive spot at the frenulum of the penis. The pulse plate generates an oscillating vibration to the frenulum in a way that both generates an erection and provokes a climax.
Two sets of controls operate the Pulse. On the left is a power button that also changes the pulse pattern. Holding that button for over a second toggles the power on or off. Shorter taps on that button change the stimulation from a simple steady vibration to one of five additional pulsing patterns. On the right side are + and – buttons that increase and decrease the vibration speed and intensity through nine levels. Unique to the Duo model is an additional vibrator on the underside of the unit, positioned to stimulate a partner. A small remote control disc activates that vibrator through three speed settings.
Use of the Pulse seems intuitively obvious. Just place your penis, whether erect or flaccid, in the Pulse, turn it on, and away you go. In practice, however, it does have its challenges. The Pulse is neither fish nor fowl. It is not a stroking sleeve that simulates the feel of human skin. Nor is it a vibrator that can be easily positioned to directly stimulate exactly where you want it to. It requires a bit of experimentation to find the right positioning, speed, and movement to provide satisfying stimulation.
The buttons require a frustrating amount of pressure to operate. Most settings for both pulse patterns and vibration speeds weren’t very arousing – more like a mild tickling sensation. In my first use, I was a bit disappointed until, like Goldilocks, I finally found that “just right” speed. The Pulse then rocketed me to a climax in just a couple of minutes, before my erection had even completely hardened.
The Pulse can be used with lube, but I prefer the more intense direct stimulation I get without. I tried the different pulse patterns, but for me none were as arousing as the default constant vibration. Some speed settings were too slow and mild, and others were too fast and numbing, but a few in between were “just right.”
The Pulse can also be a hands-free device, producing a climax with no manual stroking or additional stimulation needed. However, I found those orgasms less powerful and not very satisfying. I get a truly intense orgasm from slowing down just before crossing the finish line, and letting the energy and anticipation build for several seconds. Then, when I can’t hold back any more, the release is an explosive climax. When using the Pulse in a hands-off manner, though, there is no slowing to build anticipation and energy. Instead, it propels you constantly, inexorably, straight to the goal and across the line without any change in speed or intensity.
I prefer taking some hands-on control. Just a slight stroking motion, or a change in vibration speed at the right time (in spite of the hard-to-press buttons), can provide enough variation to generate a truly powerful climax.
As a toy for couples, my partner Christine found the Pulse less innovative. Its hard, smooth surface felt cold to her at first, and she was disappointed at the lack of options in the underside vibrator. It only cycles through three basic speeds, with no oscillation or pulsing patterns. We experimented with a few different positions. Most enjoyable was a pseudo-missionary position, with me kneeling between her legs and positioning the Pulse on top of her clitoris. I could take control of the speed of the underside vibrator with the remote control disc, while enjoying the separate oscillations of the pulse plate against my penis. With some foreplay for her before applying the Pulse, we were able to enjoy a near simultaneous orgasm.
In conclusion, the Pulse is not quite the ultimate male toy. But it is a very effective and stimulating solution for men who can’t always maintain a solid erection. At the right setting, it can quickly bring you from flaccid to climax in just a few minutes. With experimentation and practice, it can also be a gratifying, versatile toy for both solo and couple play.

Tom

I am 64 and my wife is 63. We have been together for over 40 years and enjoy our sex life. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009 and had my prostate removed with robotic laparoscopy. I have recovered well, however, I do need Levitra for intercourse. I find that even with an erection, it sometimes takes me a very long time to orgasm. This can be difficult for my wife trying to stimulate me.  Sometimes it takes so long that my erection is no longer firm, and I need an even greater level of stimulation.

The Pulse seemed like something we could use together to stimulate me to orgasm. Could it produce an erection and orgasm even without Levitra? We typically needed to plan our intimate times at least an hour in advance for Levitra to take full effect. If the Pulse worked without a pill, I hoped we could be more spontaneous – and it wouldn’t tire my wife!

I received the Pulse II Solo and easily understood the controls. The USB charger worked well and had a full charge in just a couple of hours.  

The first time using the Pulse, I took Levitra and allowed it to work. Then my wife and I tried using it to stimulate my erection. The vibration felt very good but was numbing after a few minutes. We then tried the pulsation patterns. These were better because the patterns of pulse and pause allowed for less numbing. The vibrations felt good, but did not lead to orgasm. However, we did continue and had intercourse after we played around with the Pulse II, so the stimulation was helpful.

One issue was that I needed to move the Pulse II around to keep the vibrations focused on the right area. I was hoping that it would provide vibrations and my wife could just hold it in a good position and it would work its magic, but it needed more repositioning. The other issue is that this unit is loud. I think that put us off a bit. We have vibrators, but they are much quieter.

The next time, I tried the Pulse II alone, without taking Levitra. It gave me a good erection. After a bit of trying different pulse patterns and moving it to keep it in the right spot, I had a satisfying orgasm. I find it easier to work holding it myself because I can more easily move it to control the response. I found that the pulsing patterns were very helpful with keeping it from numbing me the way continuous vibration did.

Based on the way the Pulse gave me an erection without Levitra, I feel confident that we’ll be able to use it for partner sex as a means of stimulating me to erection without medication. And it is definitely good for solo sex. We will continue to explore its capabilities!


* * *


Many thanks to  Hot Octopuss for the prizes! Please support them by checking out their website and ordering your Pulse II from them directly if you decide you want this guybrator on your team. Thank you, Boone, Jeff, and Tom, for your detailed and thoughtful reviews. I know you'll help others.  Pulse on!

12/18/16 update: Read about the new Pulse III on my 2016 Holiday Gift Guide for Seniors!



Notable 2016 Sex Books

Sex: there's so much to learn! These well-written, 2016 non-fiction books present new information, helpful tips, and provocative points of view that you'll find illuminating. These books make great holiday gifts -- buy them in time to read them first!



Inviting Desire: A guide for women who want to enhance their sex life by Walker J. Thornton, is a self-help book of tips, tools, questions, and exercises that help you understand and own your sexuality after the shifts you’ve experienced after menopause. It’s written as a 30-day process to invite desire and sexuality back into your life, and help you examine new ways to think about sexual desire, prepare for sex, understand your own arousal pattern, and accept yourself as a sexual being. Thornton's tone is soft-spoken and intimate, sharing the practices that she has learned along her own journey. "This is about you, your body, and your desire," writes Thornton.

Thornton covers many useful topics in her 30-day journey. You'll learn more about yourself as a sexual being as well as tools for making changes.  Although Thornton says, "it's for you, not you and a partner" and the exercises are done independently, the book is geared to women who have partners or partners-to-be. If you're solo, some of the practices won't apply, but you'll still learn new ways to think about your own body, your own desire, and your own pleasure.



 Future Sex: A New Kind of Free Love by Emily Witt. Single, in her thirties, and (sometimes) enjoying the hook-up culture, Emily Witt decides to observe and participate in other ways that people enjoy sex. She explores Orgasmic Meditation, the making of porn, sex parties, and Burning Man, for example. If you liked America Unzipped and Secret Sex Lives, you'll enjoy this one, too. Some of Witt's discoveries/conclusions:
  • "Some experiences you avoid not because you know you don't like them but because you don't want to like them...My aversion to pornography was not because the images didn't stimulate, but because i did not want to be turned on by sex that was not the kind of sex I wanted to have." 
  • "I think if someone were to draw a portrait of the people who were 'ruining Burning Man' it would have looked like us."
  • "I now understood the fabrication of my sexuality. I saw the seams of its construction and the arbitrary nature of its myths...Just as wanting to fall in love did not manifest love, proclaiming myself 'sexually free' would not liberate me from inhibition."


In Search of My Sexy Old Self: Re-discovering sex after sixty and beyond  by Cathy Thomas is a memoir + self-help guide on rediscovering sex with a partner after it has gone dormant. At 71 and 74, Cathy Thomas and her partner had been together 30 years, and for the last decade, sex had stopped for them. They rarely talked about it, and skittishly dropped the subject if it happened to come up. Then Thomas decided to go on a journey, researching whether people were really having sex at their age, and if so, what kind of sex, and why, and how. Her research led her to several authors (among them, me) and websites, and the new knowledge she gained culminated in a rebirth of sex and a new kind of communication and intimacy between Thomas and her partner. The end of each chapter includes "Discovery Tasks" to help you take this journey yourself.

I recommend this well-written and buoyant book especially for readers who want a gentler, more one-step-at-a-time pace in rediscovering their sex lives than I often promote. Whereas I may seem to push you into a "just do it" attitude whether talking to a partner or a doctor or self-pleasuring with sex toys, I know that many of you might appreciate a more gradual approach. This book may be just right for you.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Talking about Sex Without Intercourse


Let’s get one misconception out of the way. Sex without intercourse is still sex. Real sex. Satisfying sex. Hot sex. The idea that only intercourse constitutes “real sex” limits our creativity and our satisfaction.

Sex is any activity that arouses you and brings you sexual pleasure. 


So begins "A Senior's Guide to Sex Without Intercourse" which I wrote for Senior Planet. I spell out some reasons why you might want or need sex without penis-in-vagina (PIV), how you might want to explore sexual expression without vaginal penetration, activities to help you prepare for this change, and ways to communicate about it. I hope you'll read it and post your comments there. Let's make that Guide just the beginning of the discussion.

One of the topics I discuss is how to negotiate what you want sexually, whether you've been with your partner for decades or you're just starting to get intimate. I offer these opening statements if you're starting a new relationship and you want to become sexual in ways that do not involve PIV:

  • I’m very attracted to you. Intercourse is not possible for me, but I’d love to explore all the other ways we can enjoy each other. 
  • I’m excited about where this is leading. Can we explore how to make love to each other without the goal of intercourse? 
  • I have to tell you that we might not be able to have intercourse. But, if you’d enjoy it, I’d love to use my mouth and hand to satisfy you.
Have you negotiated sex without PIV with either a longtime or a new partner? What words did you use to open the conversation? I invite you to post your comments here. (I want everyone including readers in their seventies, eighties, nineties to feel comfortable with the language here, so express yourself candidly but in words that wouldn't get bleeped on network TV.)

As sex columnist Dan Savage explained in a recent podcast,

Straight people should take from gay people these four magic words: “What are you into?” That question, when two guys are going to have sex, is always asked. When it’s a man and a woman, all too often, consent is granted and then all communication ceases. What’s happening next is assumed: if it’s heterosexual sex, it’s penis in vagina.

We don’t have that default assumption in gay land. When two guys say yes to sex, it’s the beginning of a whole other conversation. Everything has to be discussed and negotiated. Asking “What are you into?” is so empowering, because at that moment, you can rule anything in and anything out. It’s a sexy negotiation. Straight people sometimes say to me, I wish I could have more sex. I say, "You could, if you had a broader definition of sex."

In the Resources section of "A Senior's Guide to Sex Without Intercourse", I recommend several books. To make them easy to find, here they are with direct links to their Amazon pages -- or your local independent bookstore can order them for you.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Older Women Wear Lingerie, age 72


Aging brings wisdom and experience -- and body image insecurity. Most of us, even if we glory in our sexuality, have misgivings about our ever-expanding wrinkles and sags. Sometimes it takes another pair of eyes -- whether a lover or a photographer -- to show us that our outer beauty matches our inner beauty.

At age 65, then again at age 68, I stripped to lingerie for photo shoots. I learned a lot about myself from these experiences and from viewing and sharing the results. People applauded, praised me for my courage, high-fived me for encouraging others to have their own lingerie shoots.

My  blog posts about these events quickly drew more viewers than any of my other posts, and they continue to place in the top four all time most popular posts. Many women shared their own experiences and photos, some privately. some publicly. I was happy that my experience had helped to empower others.

 I didn't know I would do it again. But in September 2016, I slipped (wrestled?) my 72-year-old body into lovely lingerie provided by Lovehoney.com and smiled at the renowned Los Angeles photographer, Perry Gallagher, who specializes in Boudoir, Fine Art Nude, Fashion, and Wedding photography.

How did this happen? Krista from Lovehoney knew Perry's work and mine. When she learned that I would be in LA for speaking events in September, she offered both the lingerie and the photo shoot.

Krista explained her involvement in the project this way:

Joan is a lovely timeless spirit and I was overjoyed to work with her on a photo shoot and check out some of Lovehoney's newest lingerie styles. I connected her with one of my favorite photographers, Perry Gallagher, to complete the vision. 

Joan is not only adorable, she is also breaking down stereotypes that women of a certain age are not considered sexy or sexual. I want people to see that lingerie isn’t just for the young and pert. Lingerie, and sex toys, can enhance your sex life and increase your self-confidence no matter your age, size, shape, or ability.

What was it like to work with Perry? A ton of fun. Perry is a true professional. He knew how to put me at ease with his humor and his appreciation of the female body whatever its shape, size, or age. He give me instructions -- where to turn, where to look, how to arrange various body parts -- including tucking myself back into my bra when breast spillage occurred. The whole time, he clicked away.



I felt completely comfortable with Perry -- except when I worried about him climbing on a ladder to shoot me from above. (I have a fear of heights -- he does not.) It was exciting to be at the center of his rapt attention, I admit that. Much of that excitement was the feeling, "I'm doing this. My 72-year-old body is fine with being photographed in skimpy bits of cloth." It was a truly empowering experience that I'll take with me anytime I fret about a new wrinkle or thigh puff.

Thank you, LoveHoney.com, for sending me the luscious undies and sponsoring this photo shoot. These are the products I'm modeling. Follow the links if you'd like to wear these yourself!
News flash: Lovehoney is offering my readers a 10% discount on everything -- not just lingerie! Follow this link.

Thank you, Perry Gallagher, for these amazing photos and for making the whole experience fun and full of laughter. View Perry's video here:




I would encourage other women of all ages to explore the opportunity to have just this type of experience for yourself: to be photographed and to see the inner beauty that is you, right now, no matter what age you are. Now is a good time.
-- Perry Gallagher

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Senior Sex Classes, no travel required -- Interested?


2/19/17 update: I just announced my first webinars:
  • "How the Heck Do I Date at This Age?" Sunday, March 5
  • "Ask Me, I'll Tell You: Talking Out Loud about Sex & Aging" Sat., March 18
 To receive info about these and future webinars, subscribe to my newsletter  here. Do it now so you don't miss anything! 

Let's talk sex by phone or computer! No, I'm not inviting you to have phone sex or webcam sex with me. I'm inviting you to hear a senior sex class and ask your questions -- via teleseminar or webinar.

Background: Many of you ask when I'll be in your area giving a speech or workshop. You want to learn my tips for sexy aging, or negotiate sex with a new partner, or spice up your long-time relationship, or figure out how to get back your desire for sex, or deal with online dating, for example.


I'm sorry, I get so many emails that I can't possibly answer every one. The answers are often in my books, but I know that many of you prefer a different way of learning, or you want more direct and personal answers to your questions. I do travel to give presentations in many cities (see my events schedule here), but I can't be everywhere.

If I'm not going to be in your area, would you be interested in attending a personalized class by phone or online?

That means you'd listen to my class on the phone or watch it on your computer and be able to ask questions and interact in a small group. You would pay a modest fee to attend, which would include a handout.

Here are some sample topics I'm considering offering:
·        Why don't I feel sexual desire and what can I do about it?
·        Great sex without erections – sex isn’t all about erections, what we and our partners need to understand about giving and receiving pleasure, no erection required.
·        Dating at my age – tips and insights for making it fun instead of scary and sad.
·        Online dating at my age – avoiding the mistakes that most people make.
·        Safer sex – why I need to care about this, tips for talking with a partner. 
·      Long-term relationships – how to spice it up again, recapturing desire and intimacy.
·        Non-monogamy/ polyamory/ friends with benefits – would this work for me?
·        Talking to my doctor about my sexual issues: when, why, how?
·        Solo sex is real sex – how to stay sexual without a partner.
·        Sex toys – do I need them? How do I choose?


Do some of these interest you? If so, here are some questions for you:

  1. Which topics would grab your interest? Examples above, or add your own. 
  2. Would you make time for an hour-long class, or would you prefer 30 or 45 minutes? 
  3. Would you prefer a teleseminar (via phone only, no computer required, audio only) or a webinar (via computer, audio and video -- you can see me speaking to you and view slides and images)?
  4. Would you be more likely to attend live, with the option of asking your questions, or listen to a recording on your own schedule?
  5. What country, state, time zone do you live in?

You can answer in the comments section here, or -- better -- email me so that I can contact you when I've finalized details. If you want to be on my mailing list for dates and topics, please email me with "online class" in the subject line. I look forward to hearing from you!


Update: Thank you for the emails I'm receiving! Clearly you're interested. If you've already emailed me, I'll be on touch. If not, please do! Let me know which topics interest you especially. Write to me here. Subject line: online class. -- Joan

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Rumble: Unique, Lightweight Vibrator from Tantus


Do you want a vibrator that's well-designed, well-made, body-safe, and fairly strong -- with a truly ergonomic shape, size, and weight? Impossible, you say? Check out The Rumble from Tantus, a solution if you have wrist arthritis or any condition that makes it difficult to grip or hold up a wand vibrator for as long as it takes to get the job done.

I couldn't believe how light the Rumble is to hold: just 6.6 ounces. (For comparison, the Doxy Die Cast, fabulous as it is, weighs almost two pounds.) Tantus describes the Rumble as "featherweight," and I agree. The shape is also unique -- you can hold it in several different ways and it remains easy on the wrist. The silicone head is removable for easy cleaning -- it's even dishwasher safe.

I love the size of the head. The shape is versatile: you can use it flat-headed for all-over vulva sensations, or, if/when you prefer, tilt it so that the edge pinpoints your clitoris. Either way (or changing it up as you go), the sensation is yummy. Although I'm speaking from the point of view of a vulva owner, its use is not restricted to a particular gender -- all Tantus products are gender neutral. (I'd love to hear from you about how your penis enjoys it.)

The controls are large, easy to see (they even light up), and even if your hand is closed over them, you're not likely to press a button accidentally. Some vibrators are annoying because either any light touch turns the darn thing off, or the opposite, you have to use uncomfortable pressure. The Rumble has it right -- you can touch or glide over the buttons while adjusting how you want to hold it, and you won't accidentally turn it off. When you do want to change the settings, a light, intentional pressure will do it. The power button is placed far away from the "-" and "+" buttons, good thinking.

Is it as strong as the monster king vibrators I tend to prefer, like the Doxy Die Cast, Magic Wand, or Sybian? No, not even close. But for those of you who don't require a turbo power tool to get your orgasm going, you'll prefer the lightweight Rumble for the ergonomic qualities I described. Even if you usually do require mondo stimulation, you might find -- as I did! -- that when you're especially in the mood, this works just dandy.

The Rumble is USB rechargeable and has seven settings -- three intensities and four additional patterns. The vibrations at the lower settings are deep and rumbly, which makes the sensations especially pleasurable, though they do get buzzier with higher speeds. The Rumble is quieter than most wand vibrators.

Tantus is a wonderful company for many reasons. It's owned by one of my favorite sex educators and innovators, Metis Black. Metis spearheaded the silicone sex toy movement in 1997, long before the rest of us were aware of the health repercussions of the materials used in sex toys at that time. Metis values the health of her customers as much as our pleasure, plus she's a delightful, warm person.

If you're into dildos or butt plugs of any size or shape, take a look at the original silicone products created by Tantus. And don't miss the sex ed articles -- pegging, spanking, and how to bring up that sexual itch that's been tickling your brain, for example. Now I've got your attention!

Thank you, Tantus, for the gift of the Rumble in return for an honest review.