Several years ago, Diane Keaton starred in a romantic comedy called “Baby Boom.”
In one early scene, she and Hubs were sitting in bed together, side by side and both reading, with the bedside clock showing 11 p.m. Diane looks over at Hubs and asks, “Do you want to have sex?” “Sure,” he replies. The next scene shows the two of them exactly like they were earlier, but both wearing smiles and the clock showing 11:03.
This scene cracks me up every time, and I love how it captures middle-age sex. Not because it only took three minutes, which was hilarious (Where do we think the word “quickie” came from?), but because they were both smiling and obviously satisfied with their recent adult play date. One of the best things about middle-age sex is the freedom and confidence to have it the way you want it.
If you think back to your 20s and 30s, reliving epic prank stories from your college days, sentimental memories of your wedding, and endless tales about raising your uber-amazing offspring, you’ll probably also remember personal insecurities, financial struggles, new babies and months of sleep deprivation, and career anxieties (honestly, would you be 25 again??), none of which lends itself to freestyle sex on demand, despite the enthusiasm and willingness of youth.
But by the time we’re in our 50s and beyond, our kids are grown and out the door, our careers are established, we’re reasonably financially stable, and life isn’t such a struggle. Simply put, we’re more relaxed about most things and sex is often more fun.
On that note, I’ve compiled my personal list of the 12 Reasons Sex is Better After 50. (Anything I’ve missed? Add yours in the Comments section!)
1. No one expects thongs and thigh-highs under everything you wear. TV starlets are invariably wearing tiny lace bras with matching thongs and thigh-high stockings under everything from yoga pants to suits. Who goes to work like that?? If we choose to bust out the lacy dental floss, we can change into it when the time is right. We don’t need to be “alert and always prepared” like trampy Girl Scouts at summer camp.
2. We can finally put 4″ stilettos where they belong. In the bedroom. And we’re putting them on in bed, because limping to the bedroom, yelling “Ouch, ouch, ouch” is not foreplay.
3. We no longer have to invent sudden migraines or imaginary menstrual cramps if we’re not in the mood. Some days, we’d rather watch a movie in our one-size-fits-all, pink leopard print Snuggie (don’t judge), preferably on separate couches. No explanations necessary.
4. We worry less about having a perfect body. Yep, boobs are swaying like palm fronds in a tropical windstorm and cellulite makes our thighs look like 5-pound bags of rice , but he hasn’t seen the 6-pack abs of his youth for at least two decades. Ain’t nobody pointing any fingers. So WTH, turn the lights back on and have fun.
5. The journey becomes as important as the destination. ‘Nuf said.
6. We can’t get pregnant. Let’s face it. In our fertile years, no birth control (abstinence excluded) is 100% guaranteed, so that possibility, however slim, hovers over every late night booty call. There’s a fabulous freedom in knowing there’s not even the tiniest chance that today’s hay romp will result in 427,000 repetitive choruses of Little Bunny Foo Foo over the next several years.
7. Nobody has to ask “Was it good for you?” By this age, we can pretty much figure that out without asking. And if you don’t know what to look for, you weren’t paying attention in your earlier years (which, ironically, pretty much answers the question).
8. We can leave the Kama Sutra to the young. Most of those positions are stupid and/or impossible unless you’re both 12-year-old Romanian gymnasts. Variety can be fun, but pulled hamstrings and strained backs (usually accompanied by shouts of “Get off, get off!”) tend to kill the mood faster than a drunken phone call from your ex. We recognize our limitations and leave the Indian Headstand to the young. They’re more bendy, and they heal faster.
9. We can have sex in any room of the house. The kids are gone. As in “not home now, not coming home later, and we’ve turned his bedroom into an office” type gone. We don’t have to lock any doors or stay in the bedroom. If we have neighbors, we may (or may not…you showboats) close the blinds, but other than that, we get to explore the house from a whole different perspective.
10. We learn to work around small distractions. The dog scratching at the door and whining to get in to see what Daddy is doing to Mommy? Don’t even hear it. And if Fido somehow manages to get in and tries to stare us down in the act? What the hell. We carry on.
11. We tend to go to bed earlier, which also means earlier sex. After years of youthful and often alcohol-induced “Oh my God, it’s 2 a.m. and I’ve got to work tomorrow” sex, we’ve discovered that 8 p.m. and sober is great too. Who knew?
12. We’ve discovered that laughter during sex can be a good thing. Got a foot cramp? A touch of gastrointestinal distress? Fell off the bed trying something new? Admit it, people. Sex can be funny. So unless you’re staring at your partner’s junk while doubled over in uncontrolled merriment (virtually guaranteeing no sex with that person again ever), spontaneous, joyful laughter can be the most erotic sound in the world.
So to our children, who think they invented great sex (or any sex, for that matter), and our grandchildren, who will believe the same thing in 20 or so years, carry on with your randy selves. Some day you’ll be our age, and then the sex will really be great.