Tag Archives: Sex

#72: C’mon, Tell Us All About Your Sex Life

How often do you have sex? Do you have orgasms? Only when you masturbate or during intercourse too? What exactly makes you come? How do you move, what do you think about, how long does it take?

What? What’s that you say? That information is too personal? Well, you must be over 40.

Which details about your sex life you’re willing to divulge to whom varies greatly depending on how old you are, a study conducted solely in my head shows. Here, my findings by age:

Under 21 — Happily share half-naked pictures of self and divulge all details of hookups — who, what, how big, how good, etc. — with several hundred Facebook “friends.” At least that’s my fear.

21-30 — No shame about strutting around naked at the gym or lifting up shirt to display boobs at party. Will freely discuss all aspects of sex life — including details on partners, habits, and problems — with friends, colleagues, and random strangers they encounter at a meetup. (What’s a meetup? That’s another post.)

30-40 — Will openly talk about everything from orgasms to waxing habits to porn viewership with anyone they’ve met more than, say, once.

40-50 — Most follow the Sex and the City model, sharing intimate details with closest friends but otherwise keeping it quiet.

50-60 –– People in their fifties, who came of age during the Sexual Revolution, may be open enough to experiment with sex toys, positions, and fantasies, but usually not to talk about it. Not even with their closest friends. Maybe not even with the person they’re doing it with.

60 plus — The door is firmly shut and they’ve thrown away the key.

My evidence: Watch how nervous Barbara Walters gets during this sex discussion on The View:

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#62: Don’t Be Shocked By A Touch of Girl-On-Girl

Hold onto your knickers, Grandma: Lots of girls kiss other girls these days. And I’m not talking air kisses. And I mean straight girls. I mean very straight girls, such as pledged virgins who are looking to explore the boundaries of their sexuality without crossing over that thin pink line.

Cue old people style reminiscence: I remember when I first heard about the straight girl-on-girl phenomenon. I was at a writers’ colony, working on my novel Younger, and left for the day to visit my twentysomething nieces Kimberly and Katie. Over dinner, I grilled them about what life was like for young women these days, and they told me about date rape drugs, and digital romance, and dressing professionally in the age of Paris Hilton.

And then one of them said, very casually, “Oh, and of course there’s the thing about girls making out with other girls.” That’s the point at which I spilled my Cosmo and my eyes popped out of my head and landed on the table. Yes, K & K informed me. It had become fairly standard for girlfriends to suck face (they didn’t use that term; I heard it in On Golden Pond) as part of the evening’s entertainment, to amuse onlooking guys as well as themselves.

Well, blow me down. When I went back to the writers’ institution colony and told this tale, the other middle-aged poetry scribblers were as shocked as I was. But a young woman who taught at a Southern college knew all about the new faux lesbians. “All my female students do it,” she said. “It’s especially popular among the pledged virgins.”

I wrote it into the book, and I’ve been on the lookout for casual girl-on-girl action ever since, though it still doesn’t seem to have hit my suburban New Jersey neighborhood. But if you’re in a bar in the city and you see two girls kissing passionately, don’t be shocked or assume they’re lesbians. And next time you’re feeling affectionate toward another mom in your book group or your BFF, you might consider forgoing the peck on the cheek and slipping her a little tongue.


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#38: Break That Saturday Night Sex Routine

I know what you do on Saturday nights. Or, if your kids are old enough to sleep in, Saturday or Sunday mornings. You have sex, or should I say, you fulfill your conjugal duty.

Let me just assure you that I agree there are lots of good reasons to corral sex into a regular, convenient time slot. I totally get it (totally, dude) that Tuesday mornings are too rushed, Thursday nights you’re too tired, that every other day is too often (it is, honey) yet you can’t let the frequency dwindle to once a month or you’d have to get d-i-v-o-r-c-e-d.

And yet, every-Saturday-night-whether-you-want-to-or-not sex has a way of making you not want to. Has a way of reducing what once was fun and thrilling and satisfying and relationship-building to just another duty, like taking out the recycling on Monday morning. It’s what you do when you’re too old and/or you’ve been married too long to listen to your body instead of the calendar.

Sorry, I was going to wind up with something pithy, but I have to go cry now.

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#31: Don’t Lust After The Lifeguard

When you were 13, you had the hugest crush on the lifeguard, who totally ignored you. Then, when you were 19 or 23, the lifeguard may have lusted after you, but you decided he or she was too immature to warrant your attention. When you were 35, you were too busy making sure the kids didn’t drown to notice.

It’s only now that you’re able to fully appreciate the lifeguard’s virtues, and to fantasize that maybe he or she appreciates yours in return. This is the point at which you have to imagine me slapping you across the face and crying, “Snap out of it!” And that directive isn’t even allowing for the possibility that the lifeguard is a minor.

Unless we’re talking about the world’s Oldest Living Lifeguard — you know, the guy whose skin is so weathered you could make a purse out of it — the lifeguard is too young for you.


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#25: Don’t Make Love

It’s not the act of copulation that’s the problem; it’s calling it “making love.” Or “sleeping with.” Or “getting it on.”

When young people “do it,” they usually come right out and say “having sex.” Or sometimes (see #6), “hooking up.”

Bone, jump, and play may be related words, but I only know that because I looked it up in the Online Slang Dictionary.


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#18: Don’t Hate Sex

hatesexOK, guys, I’m not talking to you. I’ve never encountered a male of any age who hated sex. It’s some women over a certain age who complain about sex, avoid having sex, and deep down just don’t like it.

Naturally, this is a bigger problem than acting old. It’s evidence of some heavy repression. Or maybe you hate your husband. Or perhaps you’re orgasmically challenged.

If you’re seeing yourself in this post, the solution may be to get yourself a vibrator and learn how to use it.

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#10: Don’t Lust After Paul McCartney

Sigh. I know, I know. I used to love Paul too. I lay on my bed with the radio pressed to my ear, singing along to “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” Wooo! I wrote Paul a letter trying to persuade him that the difference in our ages and circumstances wouldn’t and shouldn’t stand in the way of our love. And when Linda died, I was sad, but also, my heart rose in hope, just a little bit.

I still kinda think Paul is cute, jowls and all, but admitting you think so will get you branded as old. Why? Because, as my daughter says, Paul McCartney is “crusty.” Ew. Some male movie stars — think Sean Connery — can hold onto their sex appeal seemingly forever, but poor Paul doesn’t seem to be one of them.

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#6: Beware The Accidental Hookup

Admit it: You don’t really know what hookup (or hook-up or hook up) means. Is it meeting for coffee? Kissing? Having sex? Watching television together? Or getting engaged?

The point is that you should avoid doing or even saying anything if you’re not certain of the implications. As cool and casual as it may make you feel, it’s probably best not to suggest to your boss that you hook up later on this evening. Maybe not smart to ask your teenager whether they hooked up with any of their friends last night. Might not be wise to say wistfully to your neighbor that you wish you could hook up more often.

So what DOES hookup mean? Anything and everything, apparently. Maybe if we get under the covers and turn out the lights for long enough, the phrase and all its implications will just go away.

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