The anthology that became Ageless Erotica (Seal Press, 2013) had been a gleam in my eye for years. The older I got and the more erotica I read, the more I wished for erotica that reflected my age, my experiences, my challenges, my sexuality living in an aging body. I wanted erotica that acknowledged the challenges, the liveliness, and the creativity of older-age sex. Twenty-nine erotica writers ages 50 to 70+ came through with stories that amazed and delighted me.
Do people over age 50 need or want erotica about our age group? Personally, at 69, I enjoy sexy writing, but I don't respond to youth-focused erotica with its quick arousal and inevitable orgasms. When I read about a couple slamming each other against a wall or onto a kitchen counter because their drive is impossibly urgent, my reaction is "ouch," not "ohhh." I want to identify with the characters, and I'm most stimulated by writers who write from an older perspective, using characters of our age, experiencing our challenges.
Many -- most? -- people don't feel this way at all. They're aroused by characters and scenes that fill a fantasy that is unrelated to age and that takes them away from the realities of their own lives. They don't want to be reminded of arthritic knees or undependable orgasms when they're reading erotica.
Even among my own Ageless Erotica writers, there was no agreement when I asked them about the importance of "senior erotica." Here's a sampling of their comments:
- "Good erotica is never about what the characters look like. It's about sensations, sexy thoughts, hot words, how the partners give each other pleasure," says Donna George Storey, author of Amorous Woman, a semi-autobiographical tale of an American woman's erotic adventures in Japan. "For me it was deliciously naughty, a treat for my inner rebel, to write a true story about a juicy afternoon tryst with my husband of 27 years for Ageless Erotica. That story was very, very satisfying to tell."
Is "senior erotica" a trend? We may never know, because we don't talk much about our erotica appetite or preferences. But we can make it a trend just by buying, reading, and talking about erotica that acknowledges our age group.
You'll be surprised and, I hope, delighted, to expand your fantasy life to see what is possible at our age!
Ageless sexuality advocate Joan Price is the author of Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex and Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty. Naked at Our Age won Outstanding Self-Help Book 2012 from the American Society of Journalists and Authors and Best Book 2012 from the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists. Joan edited the steamy senior sex anthology, Ageless Erotica. Visit her zesty, award-winning blog about sex and aging at http://www.NakedAtOurAge.com, where Joan continues to talk out loud about Boomer/ senior sex, partnered or solo.