The average age of becoming a grandparent is only 47, and that's still prime time, sexually speaking. But time only marches one way, and that means that all grandparents, if they are lucky and long-lived, will face the challenge of senior sex. It's true that some grandparents will opt out of any type of sexual activity, but Joan Price has some good reasons why you should not and some equally good strategies for handling senior sex, which comes with its own set of challenges.
How This Book Came to Be
Joan Price, a health and fitness writer, fell in love at the age of 57 with a man of 64. Delighted to find herself in a warmly sexual relationship, she realized that it was time for senior sex to come out of the closet. Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk About Sex After Sixty was the result.
As she put her resolution into action, talking about her book and her experiences in varied venues, she concluded that she needed to write a second book. Better Than I Ever Expected focuses almost exclusively on the female's point of view and on the positive aspects of sex after sixty. The second book would need to give equal time to male sexual satisfaction and extra attention to the challenges of senior sex. She sent out questionnaires via the contacts she had made with her earlier book and was soon deluged with information and questions.
She uses excerpts from these personal stories to focus on specific issues, soliciting responses from educators, therapists and medical experts, as well as offering her own take on sexual issues.
Besides writing books, Price maintains an active blog about senior sex.
Who Should Not Read This Book
Price does not limit her discussion of senior sex to that which takes place between married heterosexual partners. If that is the only variety of sexual expression that you want to think about, then you should not read this book.
If you are willing to learn about variations, whether you are personally interested or not, or if you are willing to skip over portions of the book, then forge ahead!
While most of the book emphasizes sex as part of a loving relationship, there is some discussion of sex as pure enjoyment. The sixth chapter, titled "Off the Beaten Path," contains the most nontraditional material. Other chapters deal with sex toys and self-pleasuring. Price's contributors include some in same-sex relationships. Those responses are found throughout the book, along with responses from heterosexual individuals.
Why Stay Sexually Active?
We've all been warned to use it or lose it, but some seniors feel that losing it would be no big loss. Even if seniors suffer from low libido, they may want to investigate ways to wake up their sex drive. Sexual activity can improve the lives of seniors in a number of ways:
- It offers the benefits of other physical activity.
- It boosts the immune system.
- It promotes sound sleep.
- It reduces stress and depression.
- It can ease chronic pain, even from migraines.
- It releases beneficial hormones.
- Sexual activity may even increase longevity.
It's true that physical ailments and their treatment can wreak havoc with sexual function, but Price and her experts offer common-sense strategies for dealing with many of them, including erectile dysfunction (ED), which, according to one of Price's experts, is more likely erectile dissatisfaction (EDis) than true ED.
Whether it is ED or EDis, sexual satisfaction is still possible, according to a number of enthusiastic correspondents.
Involving Soul and Body
If you are interested in the topic of senior sex, this book will probably increase your interest, although it's unlikely to turn you into a sexual Olympian. As one contributor writes, "If you've been Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm for twenty years, you probably won't want to jump out of the closet wrapped in Saran Wrap and with a vibrator in each hand." Still, this book may make you more hopeful about your sexual future, as well as more active in the present.
Another plus is that Price does not ignore the emotional side of sex. Her ideal is a relationship that is soul-satisfying as well as sexually gratifying. The mere possibility of such a relationship "at our age" makes senior sex well worth talking about.
Not ready to buy? Read this sample of Price's advice. Then get out your charge card!