Archive for April, 2011

Another one bites the dust

April 21, 2011

My ability to meet a monthly deadline prevailed once more, and the 80s Ladies chapter is complete. To finish it, I wrote for about 8 hours the day before my Sunday meeting with Dr. Mo, a painful mistake I won’t make again. (Hello, Repetitive Stress Injury!)

I feel like this with every decade of the women I interview, but right now, the 80somethings are totally my faves. They were so dear, so revealing, so completely captivating as they shared the secrets and details of their sexuality. I feel such a responsibility to honor their candor in a respectful way.

“I can’t talk openly with people,” Catherine, 84, told me. “But it’s OK with you.” It was so OK that she even told me about her first orgasm, which she experienced at age 82 with the man who’s now her second husband. Her decades-long marriage to an alcoholic womanizer had failed to create passion, but she says she loved him despite his weaknesses. When he died from cirrhosis of the liver, she remained a widow for almost 20 years before meeting her second love. Today, Catherine says, “I feel free and I feel whole.”

Does she curse the fates that kept her from sexual passion for most of her life? Not a bit. She expresses only happiness and gratitude for her current good fortune. How many of us would be as philosophical?

For a few of the 80somethings, sex was behind them. Emma, a precocious woman with a strong libido who began having intercourse at 16 (and enjoyed perhaps 20 lovers over her lifetime), said her sex desire had died out around age 70. And Jane, a widow of nine years, said medications prevented her from having a sex drive — and besides, she’d never been interested in anyone except her husband.

But if you think 80-year-old women are sexless, you’re wrong. One 85-year-old widow, who enjoyed a tremendously satisfying sex life with her husband for 55 years, met a man down the hall in her seniors’ community and began having sex with him. She expresses some understandable disappointment, mentioning that he was very skinny and his bones were sharp when he climbed on top of her.

Within a few months, her lover was moved to a different building, one for assisted living, and though he’d like our widow to come visit, she can’t quite forget those sharp bones. “And he’s still losing weight,” she worries. For now, she’s keeping to her own room.

Honestly, I could go on and on about these women. In fact, their chapter is my longest one yet — 18 pages. But Dr. Mo said not to trim it. She read it and said even though she’s familiar with the subject matter, the stories still fascinated and entertained her.

Am I happy about that? You bet.

And now. On to the 20somethings. Can they top the 80s Ladies?

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