Senior Sex: Joan Price Tells All

NOTE: In keeping with my theme of Healthy Again for June, July & August, I would be remiss if I do not include something about healthy sex. These books fit the bill perfectly!

Have you ever noticed how older people (over 60) rarely talk about sex except as a joke? Until Joan Price, Ruth Westheimer was the only person giving us advice regularly. But Joan takes it a couple of steps further. What I want to say about Joan’s books: It’s about time!

Two of her books, Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk About Sex After Sixty (2006) and Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud About Senior Sex (2011) are high on my recommended Books to Read list. (The third and most recent book, Ageless Erotica (2013) is edited by Joan, but she conceived the idea and the vision was her to have other people share their sexual experiences. I have not read this one.)

What I like about Joan’s two books is the flat-out honesty about her life with her late-in-life husband Robert, who died after only a few years of marriage. But Joan’s willingness to share the value of staying physically connected, even after 60, or maybe especially after 60, really moved me. The first one focuses mainly on her relationship with Robert, who actually suggested Joan write this book.



Joan writes, “Yes, I thought. I could write a book that presents the reality of sex after sixty with all its challenges and delights. A book that celebrates sensuality, intimacy, and out marvelous bodies— sources of deep pleasure that transcend wrinkles and dryness.” (p. 4).

The author goes on to say that her book is more about self-examination of our sexual selves rather than self-help. But, of course, just reading the book is helpful, especially if you have many of the feelings and ideas Joan reports and thought you were the only one with those ideas. Price explores her ageless sexuality without embarrassment or apologies. I like that!

 

 

For the second book, Naked at Our Age, Joan sent questionnaires to 150 people who responded to a call for input into her blog. (Here’s a link to her award-winning blog about sex & aging: http://www.NakedAtOurAge.com). They offer their experiences, which are quite graphic. (Stories are from both heterosexuals and gay couples.) For example, in one letter to Joan, Jed (age 66) writes about his relationship with wife:

“As we moved into our late fifties and sixties, sexuality settled into a new phase. For the first time in my life, I wasn’t driven by the need for intercourse. Our sexuality became more playful and less focused on orgasms.”                                  

The author also draws upon the wisdom of experts in the various fields relating to our bodies, minds, and spirits. These experts give us their studied opinions on many topics that again, women (and men) may be shy about discussing, such as erectile dysfunction in their mate, when your partner has Alzheimer’s, and dating while older (DWO). Joan herself could easily wear the title “sexual expert,” but the author considers the professional men and women who offer advice in her books as the true experts.

Both books (as well as Ageless Erotica, based on my leafing through it) are eye-openers to anyone who has not had the opportunity to discuss or explore sex after sixty. With Joan’s candid way of discussing her own sexuality, before and after the death of her beloved Robert, her ability to bring experts into the books to validate her findings, and the stories from the questionnaire, as well as emails to Joan, make the books helpful and interesting. Joan also has included information on the experts and resources.

For myself, I found information that validated my own feelings about sex after sixty, which often mirror Joan’s and also reinforces my feeling about the importance of staying physically close to your mate, even when your sexual relationship shifts as you grow older. I recommend these books to all of us over 60 who are looking for information, validation, and ideas about how sex after sixty can still be as wonderful and challenging as before sixty.

Joan Price’s books are published by from Seal Press, Emeryville, CA. and available through her website, http://www.joanprice.com, from Amazon and other online bookstores, and from independent booksellers. Better Than I Ever Expected is $17.00 (269 pages) & Naked at Our Age is $16.95(387 pages). These two books together would make a perfect gift for you and your partner to explore.




Here is an Internet photo of Joan Price. If she looks fit, she is! Before writing books on senior sex, she wrote books on fitness.

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