Recently in my travels to promote my book and to support my campaign for fearless and fabulous aging I have met a number of women who are worried about the affect of aging on their sex drive.
I understand this concern because I think our sex drive does change post our 50th birthday.
I think it has changed many times as we have aged but like all the other changes this one because it is associated with age is treated with much greater gravity and I must say a fair amount of pessimism.
I sent one woman who expressed such a concern the excerpt below which is from my book Fifty & Fabulous: The Best Years of a Woman’s Life. She wrote back and said, “ this is gorgeous…you must share it with more people.”
Well I thought I had shared it when I put this finding in my book…
So here it is in a bite sized format…enjoy ladies… this too can be your 50+ reality
More Than Skin Deep
I did not discuss sex with every woman I interviewed. I let the topic come up naturally rather than leading the women to it. (I thought that in itself could be interesting to observe.) But the Women of the Harvest, my mentors, answered all my questions—some in their words and some between the lines of their stories. They taught me that if you do not own your sexuality by the time its biological purpose is outlived, you will be left trying desperately to play in today’s game using yesterday’s equipment—which, by the way, seems to have changed only for you. Do you think you could score with a primitive club in a modern baseball game? You can swing that baby but you are not going to knock one out of the park.
We cannot help the fact that our sexuality, at some level, is part of every interaction we have. It is part of what we are. But when it becomes tied to our self-esteem it starts to show up in places that it really just should not be, and as we age things will get even more difficult.
Do not despair; remember the perfect design of aging? Like the light in a woman’s eyes, as you age, your sex drive also turns 180 degrees and begins to pull you inward to a place where you are able to receive in a way you never dreamed you could.
You become a taker, not a pseudo-giver, and in this honesty you find ecstasy again. What’s more, in this honest vulnerability you are quite likely more capable than you ever have been of giving pleasure to your partner and engaging deeply with others without the static interference of sexual energy.
Desire arises, but it does not go “out there” to seek its validation; instead, somewhere deep inside you it stokes its own flame. The questions that arose before as your sexuality began to change now turn to knowing. It may be an unconscious knowing at the start, but in retrospect you will realize that you have answers from somewhere. You know you didn’t ask anyone, not even yourself, “Am I sexy with this tummy, am I sexy with these thighs?” But your tummy, your thighs, and even your jiggly upper arms now scream out in joy, “Yes, I am sexy in this body”!
If it seems that the sparkle in a Women of the Harvest deepens with age, perhaps it’s because her fire is fed in part by the internalization of sexual energy. This beauty is truly no longer skin deep. Instead, it radiates from some knowing place inside a woman who has ceased to need the outer world to know herself.
Excerpt from Fifty & Fabulous: The Best Years of a Woman’s Life by Jaki Scarcello, Watkins 2010
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