My friend and colleague Joan Price has done it again! I had thought that in her previous books she had said all there was to say about sex after 50 – but was I wrong! In her new book, THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SEX AFTER FIFTY: HOW TO MAINTAIN – OR REGAIN – A SPICY, SATISFYING SEX LIFE, she has expanded and expounded on this vital topic.
I know a little about this issue, having written about it myself in THE ETERNAL GARDEN: SEASONS OF OUR SEXUALITY, for which I interviewed sexually active people up to age 80. But I didn’t do the extensive research among older people and experts about older people that Joan has – so I clearly cede to her the title of the Guru of Senior Sex. It seems she has thought of everything.
What’s new in this book? So much – as you can glean just from a rundown of the chapter titles, including Busting the Myths about Sex and Aging, Sex with a Longtime Partner, Sex with a New Partner, Stretching Boundaries, and Sex without Erections. She talks about G-spots, P-spots, sex after widowhood, the impact of such health problems as cancer, heart trouble, arthritis, and joint disease.
She quotes a virtual army of experts, even including a phone sex operator, who says “I wish there was some way that I could reach out to the partners of my callers and tell them what amazing, loyal, giving, and loving husbands they have, and how they could do some very small things to reinstate closeness with these men.”
Joan’s chapter on The New Rules of Dating could be profitably read by a single person of any age, with its emphasis on being clear what you want in a date, how to put yourself forward to attract someone, how to stay safe and healthy, and to recognize the usefulness of bad dates, which are likely to outnumber the good ones. As sex columnist Dan Savage told Joan, “Every relationship fails – until one doesn’t.”
She also takes up the issue of sex after cognitive loss, a topic in the news last year, when a 79-year-old former Iowa state representative was criminally charged with third-degree sexual abuse for having sex with his wife. Spurred by her daughters from a previous marriage, the elder care center where the wife lived claimed that her Alzheimer’s disease made her incapable of giving consent to sexual activity. Fortunately, a jury found the husband not guilty, especially after it was established that the wife often initiated the activity. Joan suggests an addendum to your advance health care directive to assure a lifetime of good sex.
It’s hard to think of a topic relating to sex in the later years that’s not covered in this book. If you’re over 50 – partnered or single; straight, gay, or transgender; whether you want more sex, some sex, or better sex – you owe it to yourself to take a look at this warm, loving book. Published by Cleis Press, its $22.95 cover price can open the door to hours – even years – of happy sexuality, the birthright of everyone.
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