In a society that chases youth, slowing down can be revolutionary.
Once upon an article, I promised I would write about sex in the golden years. Back then, I had come across a book that I had assumed would inspire me with my mission: Sex after Sixty: A French Guide to Loving Intimacy by Marie De Hennezel.
Instead of feeling inspired, the book made me feel uncomfortable. I found every excuse in the world to not write the article.
It’s not because there was anything wrong with the book. But I reckon it made a 40-something-year-old (namely, me) feel old.
The book described many sexual issues people in their golden years experience and the most common solution.
All the issues could be summed up as one: not being able to enjoy sex in the way it had been enjoyed in their younger years.
The solution, according to the book, was to shift our understanding of what sex is all about. From sex focused on performance and orgasms to sex focused on intimacy and sensuality.
Reading this book threw me.
On one hand, I thought the solution they offered was too obvious to be worth mentioning. After all, I have been practicing sex in this way since my early 30’s. I’ve written about it so many times I’m starting to feel like a broken record.
On the other hand, I felt like someone has judged my preferred style of sex to be geriatric.
Procrastination seemed like the perfect strategy.
I mean, I don’t want people to think I’m doing it like an 80-year-old.
Why having sex like you’re 80 is so powerful.
Yesterday, I changed my mind.
I had an epiphany and realized that having sex like an 80-year-old is nothing to be ashamed of. On the contrary.
As a society we admire youth. The fountain of youth is the holy grail we search for, praising the physical attributes of the young body. When it comes to sex, being young is synonymous with attractiveness, stamina, and fertility.
Conventional thinking says good sex is dependant on these elements.
However, my experience is quite different.
The sex I enjoy best is mindful sex, which can be described as a leisurely stroll in nature, as opposed to a hot pursuit of an end goal. I don’t need my partner to look a certain way, perform specific moves, or be able to hold it together for a lengthy period of time. I only need my partner to stay connected. To his body, to mine, and to our shared togetherness.
Yesterday, while enjoying some delicate sexy times with my man, I had this thought. Wouldn’t it be nice to be doing this when we’re 80?
Slow, sensual, intimate, communicative, gentle, considerate, blissful. This sexual experience can be enjoyed at any age. We don’t have to wait.
When we hold up youth as something to aspire to, the positive qualities of old age, such as wisdom and patience, can easily be dismissed.
When you get older, you might have no option but to have slow sex.
And it might seem as if you’re losing something. But according to the book Sex After Sixty, many people find this type of sex so rewarding they feel disheartened they didn’t stumble upon it earlier in their lives.
Goal-less sex is quite different from what we usually think sex is. And people who start practicing it are sometimes surprised at how fulfilling and exhilarating it feels. Some say it is superior to conventional sex and has the potential to deepen and enhance relationships.
One such person is Marnia Robinson. As a proponent of Karezza, an approach where intercourse is practiced without any push for orgasm, Marnia Robinson claims it’s strengthening the bond between the couples who practice it.
So why not start practicing slow sex as soon as possible?
If we start while we’re young, we won’t have to feel frustrated when we get older and the only thing we know about sex is how to go at it conventionally.