Pamela Madsen

Shameless Woman

Sex

Ecstatic, Sexy, Orgasmic Mid-Life Sexuality: Anyone?

Perhaps mid-life is our second adolescence!

Posted Nov 28, 2010

There is this study making the rounds - it's popping up on blogs all over the internet. It's the latest poll on sex with the famous Dr. Ruth Westheimer bringing some celebrity to the findings—you can read all about it on LifeGoesStrong. The big take away is that if you are between the ages of 45 and 65 years old - chances are you are giving a thumbs down to your sex life (24%). So what else is new? I don't mean to be glib—but franky this is not news to me—or perhaps you. 

I am not shy—I will admit it. I not only lived it—I wrote about my own mid life sexual dissatisfaction, and confusion that led to my own wonky journey to personal rediscovery in my soon to be released memoir Shameless: How I Ditched The Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure and Somehow Got Home in Time to Cook Dinner While my path of re-awakening and relighting my own fire—may not be yours—the desire to get there may be. I was 43 when I could no longer hide from the fact that my sexuality was on hold. A little younger that the 45 year olds in the study—but I have always been ahead of myself!

I guess what got me about the poll is that people both younger and older than mid lifers are doing better than mid-lifers! Only 12 percent of 18-29 year olds say they are frustrated with their sex lives and just 17 percent of the 66-plus  seniors are complaining.

Perhaps mid life is our second adolescence—that time of uncertainty and un-named hunger. I don't know if it is the shifting of hormones, kids leaving the nest, job changes, or sexual boredom in either long term monogamy or recent divorces that is creating the sexual blues  But mid lifers seem more often than they are not - disconnected when it comes their sex. lives. I think it is time to let go of the woulda's, shoulda's and coulda's- and start living fully again.

Dr. Ruth Westheimer says that the poll's under lying message is that mid-lifers are not communicating enough about sex. That may be true—but as a woman in has been in trenches—I think that we are not helping both men and women to reconnect first to their own bodies. Get rid of the awful messages in our heads that we are not enough.

Perhaps we need to re-learn sexual pleasure again our own bodies—and we can do that with our partners by learning to give and receive pleasure—perhaps in a different way—by showing up as our partner's sexual healer for lack of better language.

Imagine asking your partner to simply receive pleasure one night—and don't do anything back. Make that night all about them—what would that do to your sex life? And then on a different night—trade.

What if you spent time giving and receiving sensual massage with your partner—have you done that lately? Played with sexual fantasies? Bought some new sex toys—and even watched some sexy videos together?  Let's face it—if we are in mid-life and in a long term relationship—our hearts may be totally committed to each other. But sometimes our bodies get bored. Reach for whatever could perk things up—I wrote about my "Zestra Experience" —about how reaching for something new to bring into my bedroom really enlivened the experience for not only me—but for my husband.

Let's face it lots of things change over time—our bodies—and our desires. We live in a world that tells us that sexuality should be spontaneous—and "natural." Yet we watch cooking shows to learn new recipes - get personal trainers—and sit on a sofa talking about our troubles. What if we put just a little bit of that attention onto our sex lives? Do something different—shake it up and go on a little sexual exploration either with your partner or if you don't have one—by yourself.  There is so much out there - seminars, workshops and even get a ways! And what is so cool is that where ever I travel on my own sexual journey—I am met by other mid lifers—just like me.

So what about it? How are you going to create the kind of sex life you want to have?