The actress Jane Fonda has a new book out called Prime Time and a big chunk of it is devoted to sex for older people. She writes about masturbation, sex toys, Viagra, porn films, hormone replacement and especially testosterone for women who have lost their libido. At 73 Jane is still bonking away. Good for her.
Contrast Jane’s attitude with that of another icon Germaine Greer who, in her book The Change, astonishingly wrote: ‘Some women, the lucky ones, I shall argue, lose interest in sex after the menopause.’ She went on to suggest that many older women might wish to ‘opt out’ if their partners are no longer very virile and take ‘a good deal longer about it’ than they used to. I suspect the difference between Jane and Germaine has to do with love. Germaine had a lot of sex with men she barely knew. When you love someone you think in a different way.
My top advice to older couples is this. Buy an artificial lubricant and use it as a matter of course. If you’ve never used one before, I suggest you buy two or three different kinds and see which you prefer. The advantage of silicone lubricants is that they remain very slippery for a long time. The disadvantage is that they don’t actually feel wet. For that reason I recommend water-based lubricants, which are more natural.
A good, fun tip is to fill an indoor plant sprayer with warm water and keep it by the bed. When the water-based lubricant dries out, refresh it by squirting a little warm water over your genitals.