So I’m standing in CVS after a workout (flushed and sweaty from kickboxing class) taking a look at More magazine, my favorite magazine for mature thinking women, and I flip through and notice a full-page ad for Premarin, a vaginal cream. The ad says something to the effect of, “No one tells you this will happen after menopause.” Premarin promises to ease pain during sex. The last line of the ad copy strikes me. The ad says this cream will help make intercourse more “comfortable.” Not pleasurable. Comfortable.
Comfortable sounds like a contrast to all the ads for Viagra, which are about taking charge. Virility. Masculinity. Theoretically, one takes Viagra for comfort (to feel more at ease knowing you can get an erection) but also because you have a desire to have sex. Comfortable sounds more like an accommodation to someone else’s desire to have sex rather than a desire the woman would have herself. Comfortable doesn’t sound like a very high goal to aim for in sex.
This ad sparked my interest because the title of my new book will be Wet. The literal definition of Wet when it comes to women is juicy down there (not dry or painful). I’m thinking about Wet on a metaphorical level, about what it means to have a quenched, intuitive, and turned-on life rather than a dry, dessicated, totally planned life.
In the many conversations I’m having with women and men, especially with women in their fifties, sixties, and seventies, the literal distinctions of wet vs. dry are popping up in conversation. It’s quite the topic–staying wet.
In Colorado at CU-Boulder, where I gave a talk Sex: Just Do It or Not earlier this year, I met J., a 71-year-old woman who told me she was in a very dry 27-year marriage, but now, with her new boyfriend, she is discovering a new level of sexual connection and turn-on that she never knew in two marriages.
She went from totally dry to wetter than ever.
This sense of wetness shows up in her verve for life too, which is one of the connections I’m drawing out in this book–authentic sensual energy fuels our desire and energy for life in general.
I loved meeting and J. and her story because it provides a counterpoint to the dominant message we hear about sex and getting older–that it’s all downhill, and that dryness is inevitable. And certainly she’s aiming for and discovering something for beyond comfort in sex. She’s discovering herself, a new vitality. Sex that turn her on as a woman, vs. just doing sex to please.
Sex that is “pleasurable” and “life-giving” and not just “comfortable.”
That’s something that women and men of all ages can aspire to.
From the wet point of view, that Premarin ad should be a little more aspirational.
P.S. In the Quirkyalone Labs we will dedicate time to discovering wetness. You can check out the details here.
P.P.S. You can also read about my Wet coaching here!
This one is for the ladies. . . sorry male readers. We will get you next time!
I have an invitation for the lady quirkyfolk. 🙂
I am participating as a guest expert for my friend and fellow coach Michelle Lisenbury Christensen’s 21-day ooo boot camp. The “o” stands for orgasm!
If you are interested in getting to know your body better and learning about the possibilities of orgasm in your life (all kinds, not just climax) then come join us. It’s totally free and will be lots of fun–you’ll learn a lot. Female sensuality is one of these areas that has been underresearched and there’s so much that all of us can learn about our bodies. Michele is an awesome quirky lady and she’s dedicated to helping women bring more pleasure into daily life.
My next book is about sex and sensuality and I am super excited to participate as a guest expert.
You can be single or partnered–no partner required.
Click HERE to learn more and sign up!
The ooo boot camp starts Friday, November 1, so you will need to hop on this opportunity! Like many good things in life, this is a spontaneous kinda thing.
See you there!
P.S. One of the participants in my recent GetQuirky class Paula White defines quirky this way, “To me, quirky means *whatever* brings you pure joy. It seems we live in a day and age where discontent is largely accepted and easily passed around. To find what gives you true pleasure and remain focused in that place of contentment is necessary. So to find joy and express it is actually quite quirky, but in a very good way. It is needed and required for a richly fulfilling life.” I totally agree–there is a major connection between being quirky and taking pleasure.
There must be something about my “energy” that is radiating out in the world, “I want a Tantric lover.”
I have a completely bizarre (or amazing) tendency to attract Argentine men who on our first meeting sit across from the table from me and tell me–at length–about their knowledge of Tantra. This has now happened twice in a row in one month. I hardly know what to say. “Great!” “We just met!” I know they are trying to impress me but it feels fast. They want me to know I know they are not like all the other Argentine men. Typical Argentines, they say, want to score with as many women as possible to prove their masculinity.
A male tango teacher used the word “horny” to describe Buenos Aires. “Sexy” would be nice, but “horny”? “Horny” sounds like a city of teenage boys. Everyone is on the prowl for sex, but I get the sense (especially from talking to these chaps) that the norm for sex is traditional and fast. It’s a macho culture.
These non-macho men tell me about how most heterosexuals orient sex toward men’s needs. Until men realize that women have more sexual energy then men, and orient sex around women (learning how to make sex slower and more sensual, and to delay ejaculation), women will not be satisfied and men will have a cheaper version of sex than what’s possible. Read More
Dating is not for the faint of heart. Inevitably, dating means putting your heart out there on the line for people you are just getting to know. Along the way, we may get rejected. Or we may reject. The whole experience can make you want to retreat and watch Netflix for the rest of your life. What does it take to stay upbeat, treat dating as a way to expand your life, and even fall—and stay—in love with yourself while you look for love?
I’m doing a series of profiles and interviews of Quirky Characters. For Quirky Character Number 2, I want to introduce you to Carolyn. Carolyn, 61, is a social scientist. We met in a memoir-writing class taught by Laura Fraser earlier this year and since then I’ve been giving Carolyn feedback about an exciting writing project–so exciting I want to share it with you here.
Carolyn is writing a memoir about her Fifty First Dates Project. When she was in her late 50s, Carolyn decided to go on 50 dates to find her next partner. I’ve loved getting to know Carolyn giving her feedback on her writing; I’ve gotten to absorb her philosophy and it’s helped me to be wiser and more positive in my own approach to dating. So I want to share her with you.
Here’s our interview on what it takes to stay in love with yourself while you look for love.
What made you decide to go on 50 First Dates to find your next partner?
I was in a relationship with a wonderful man for eight years during my fifties, and I thought he was perfect for me but there were also limitations and were we growing apart. He lived in Hawaii, and I lived in the Bay Area, California; we had a long-distance relationship and he did not want to commit to a long-term relationship. I wanted someone who lived closer and to have a deeper relationship.
I thought, How am I going to get over him and find someone else when he still seems like the perfect partner for me? I decided I would need to go out with a lot of men, and I decided 50, not just as a way to find a partner but also to break open my idea of the perfect man. We all have a type, sometimes we can’t think beyond that type. My goal was to experience lots of different types of men, in terms of personality, lifestyle, life plan, jobs, ways of living.
Where did you get the idea of fifty?
There was a movie 50 First Dates that I saw on an airplane without sound. The number just stuck in my mind. I’m a statistician; fifty is a significant number for results. In real estate you look at 100 houses before buying. I thought 50 would be a good start. Read More
Demonstrating a figure (though still with connection)
Such a great little speech in tango class today at the Dinzel Studio from Camelo, a Colombian tango teacher who is the son of one of my first tango teachers, Leyda, who lives in Cali (Colombia).
Here it goes. “If you have a lover, which of these two lovers do you want? Do you want the lover who knows all the positions from the Kama Sutra? Or do you want the lover who has a real sense of quality connection, who tunes into sensation, in the moment, with a real quality?” Everyone in the class chose the second option. “Maybe if you were a teenager you would want the Kama Sutra lover, but as you get older you know that you want the second kind. So it is with tango. You waste energy on all these figures. You lose out on the essence of tango if you don’t cultivate the connection.”
Figures are fancy dance steps. What matters most in tango is the connection. People get bored and try out more fancy figures in tango (or positions in sex) because they have not actually just tuned into the connection of the moment. To drop in. Breathe. And actually feel the connection. Which is what makes both things delicious.
Bravo! We don’t get speeches like that from our tango teachers in the States.
I will be speaking on a Commonwealth Club panel called “The State of Sex and Dating in San Francisco” on Thursday, 3/31. The topic of online dating is sure to come up in this online-dating-drenched, tech-obsessed city. So will the “slow sex movement” as I will be sharing the panel with Nicole Daedone, creator of “the fifteen minute orgasm” (which *I think* has something to do what what she calls “orgasmic meditation”) and the founder of One Taste, a center focused on female sexuality. Ethan Watters author of Urban Tribes will also be part of the conversation. Come on down! The program will also be broadcast on KALW, one of our NPR affiliates, and posted on YouTube.
Update: Here is an SFWeekly writeup where I am described as the sweet counterpoint to a sexpert and someone “who probably won’t be holding up lube.” Is that a dare?
Where is the sexual energy in San Francisco? I am frustrated. I have recently come back from Rio, which is perhaps the sexiest place on the planet, and now I feel like I am living in a sexless universe. I am not talking about hoochie mamas dressed like Janet Jackson at the SuperBowl or random hookups or even on-the-street-make-out-sessions, though those are nice and there are plenty of those to see while you drive around Rio. I am talking about a sexual energy crisis.