If you landed on earth from outer space and decided to learn about humans from reading magazines and newspapers, your giant alien brain would almost certainly make the assumption that only young, fit people have sex.
Whether in print, on television or in films, when hot sex is portrayed it is invariably being indulged in by people with few age lines or saggy bits. When older people are shown actually getting down to it, it’s often in a patronisingly twee manner – as if a switch goes off when you hit forty that turns all your kinky desires into a pastel pink sea of ear nuzzling and gentle lovemaking.
Which is fine if that’s what floats your boat. But here’s the thing – a lot of older people are having absolutely brilliant and downright filthy sex. They’ve had years to decide what they like and to perfect their techniques. They’re old enough to have (hopefully) unshackled themselves from the internal guilt that often comes with having less mainstream sexual tastes and they may even have decided that conventional relationships are not for them, choosing to having multiple partners or possibly even none at all.
They’re happier in themselves, however kinky or vanilla their personal tastes might be. Maybe they realised long ago that they could only find sexual satisfaction via their own basement dungeon, or perhaps they really do just like nothing more than spooning and nuzzling and holding hands. All of this is perfectly okay - and many older people know this. They are confident both with themselves and with their intimate lives
But what if you yourself are older but haven’t yet reached this pinnacle of sexual satisfaction? Or maybe you’re still in your youthful prime but beset by angst because you’re not quite getting the satisfaction you want and what if you run out of time and get – gasp – old before you’ve worked it all out?
Age is just a number, and an irrelevant one at that. Take heed from badass oldies such as Jane Fonda, who recently spoke enthusiastically about her love of vibrators on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Her sheer, unashamed glee at brandishing a purple vibrator live on air (which Ellen frantically tried to hide) was a delight.
I’ve so often heard people say ‘Oh well the sex drive drops as you age, of course’ and it’s all I can do not to butt in and announce, ‘Well no one told my sex drive that, because I’m 47 and it’s getting higher by the year, oh and by the way did you know that the more you get it the more you want it?’
Seriously - I’m now at the tail end of my fifth decade on this planet and my sex life is more energetic than it’s ever been. Don’t get me wrong – I’m no super-confident, yoga-fit MILF. I’m at least a dress size bigger than I’d like to be and dear god no one tells you just how many random bits of your body start wobbling once you get past your mid thirties. But I also know that most blokes are more than happy to cope with the extra flesh, especially when it’s accompanied by the sort of enthusiasm that only comes with years of practice (and yes, from learning by making mistakes).
If you’re really bothered about what you look like, then get some good underwear that will disguise/hold in the relevant annoying bits whilst still allowing you to get physical. A good quality, ‘deep-cut’ suspender belt, for example, will cover your tum and make you look ridiculously hot at the same time.
Men, stop worrying. By the time us women hit middle age we’re just happy to get naked with someone who’s not going to whine when they’re asked to make their fair share of effort in the oral stakes. The fact that you’ve got a little pot belly and those weird white hairs that only sprout out of one ear is not going to put us off so long as you hop on and make the required effort, believe me.
Obviously, there can be other, more practical issues with getting older – the most common one (seriously, people mention this to me all the time) is lack of lubrication. Get over yourself, buy a good lube and get on with it (water-based lubes are really good, because they don’t damage toys or condoms).
If you have erectile issues, then try using cock rings (obviously if the issue persists then get it checked out by your GP, to be on the safe side). In short – work with any physical issues rather than letting them interfere with your fun. I’ll be talking about the impact of chronic illness on sex in a future article, but assuming that you are basically healthy, there is no reason why you can’t go on having a fulfilling intimate life well into your dotage.
After all, it’s much more fun to grow old (dis)gracefully!
Violet Fenn is Simply Pleasure's very own guest blogger - she's a UK-based lifestyle and sexual happiness blogger and is also the founder of the fantastic blog Sex, Death, Rock 'n' Roll, where you can read awesome articles about Sex, Death and yes you guessed it - Rock 'n Roll! (We love her latest sex post on Why Sexual Happiness is a Right, Not a Privilege.'