Our Hot Octopuss Senior Sex Hub usually aims to answer your questions and help you fix your sex and relationship problems. But the sexual experiences of seniors are not always problematic. One of the delights of my work is hearing from people who have overcome physical, emotional, and relationship challenges by redefining sex and reinventing how they express themselves sexually.
In my “News and Views from Joan Price” newsletter a while back, I asked: How do you define sex? What is “having sex” to you? If I asked, "How do you express yourself sexually?" would the answer be different?
I received many varied, illuminating, articulate responses. Here are some, with the respondent’s age in parentheses. Which do you resonate with the most?
“A beautiful, loving, satisfying way to give and reciprocate sensual pleasure. It is my way to give all of myself to my partner.” (80)
“The mutual exploration of our bodies, fueled by the desire for intimacy and connection.” (60)
“Any number of physical, sensual, and erotic stimuli, ranging from that special tingle that comes with thinking about a special moment, erotica, sexting, to whatever triggers an orgasm.” (65)
“The mutual and consensual interaction that results in physical pleasure for one or both of us. It’s not a particular action with specific body parts — it’s much bigger and all-encompassing. It may mean masturbating together, or being naked and kissing, touching, embracing, and writhing together. Or we might softly cuddle and caress each other’s breasts — and that’s it.” (64)
“Sensory pleasure involving touch, sight, taste, smell, and sound. It also engages with the emotional senses of anticipation, excitement, happiness, satisfaction, and relaxation. Sex usually involves the genitals, or it may address other bodily areas and vision and imagination.” (77)
“Sometimes a look in the eyes, at my partner or, more intriguingly, at someone else. It is also all out, lusty, dirty sex, which is so much fun. It is talk, touch, innuendo. It is, most of all, honesty and candor and intimacy.” (70)
Notice that none of our respondents said, “Sex is intercourse” or “sex is orgasms.” They’ve all expanded — not limited! — their idea of sex and their enjoyment of it. If you’re stuck on what doesn’t work anymore, how can you redefine sex to celebrate the sensual delights that turn you on now?
“I am bisexual, single, HIV+ for 20 years. My sexual expression leans towards ‘self-loving’ with the aim of maintaining healthy functioning, pleasurable release, and relaxation.” (69)
“I enjoy the highly charged eroticism of non-penetrative sex, and I also enjoy intercourse. I open to my body’s senses to give and receive pleasure. I enjoy oral sex, massage, sensations, and toys. We talk to each other while making love. I open myself to him and he gives and gives.” (60)
“We do everything we can to bring each other the highest level of excitement, pleasure, and satisfaction. We are having more sex than ever before in our lives. Being desired by our partner gives us feelings of confidence and excitement.” (67)
“Many ways — alone, with my partner as observer, with my partner as limited participant, and with my partner as full participant. I am more openly sexual now than ever before. We have some sexual contact almost every day — deep kisses in the shower, luxurious massage, masturbation, rubbing or touching each other’s body parts, or going for the full Monty!” (64)
Notice the emphasis on pleasure — giving it to ourselves and to a lover, if partnered. There’s nothing about needing rock-hard erections (or erections at all) or simultaneous orgasms, or any goal-oriented sexual expectations. Sex at our age is freeing!
~Read Seniors Speak about Sex, Part 2 here~