She's gettin' it more than you ... and she's loving it!
Move over 20 somethings! You like to think you're hot to trot, but it turns out, you're NOT the ones having the most (or best) casual sex out there.
Curious to know who is? Well, let's just say that the next time you're at your grandma's house and notice a secret little smile on her face, now you'll know why. (Yep, seriously!) It turns out, Grandma isn't sitting in the church basement crocheting scarves and baking cookies ... she's out prowling like a pro!
According to biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, in her acclaimed book "The Anatomy of Love," "58 percent of men and 50 percent of women reported having a friends-with-benefits relationship, including one out of three people ... in their 70s!
It is certainly true for me. As a single grandmother in my 60s, I'm having the best sex of my life! I'm exploring erotic pleasure like never before, but have been living undercover about it up until now, not knowing if other grannies were finding sex as much fun as I do. Little did I know, I have so many sexually empowered sisters out there.
In fact, I call myself an "Accidental Cougar."
Two years ago I was divorcing, with no interest in dating, when I met a younger man. He was funny, persistent, and charismatic. We crossed paths several times over the span of a few months. Because he was younger, I didn’t recognize his attraction ... but only at first. When we finally did find ourselves in the backseat of his car making out like a couple of high school seniors, something in me resurrected.
Thrill bumps, chills, delicious waves of pleasure deeper and more fulfilling than I had enjoyed for a long time. Well removed from the fear of pregnancy and out of range of my dad who would have chased him off with a shotgun back in my teens years, I reveled in the delicious tasting, teasing and tantalizing that was going on in that car, with my clothes on!
I found myself melting, as if years of cultural and religious imposed rules and regulations were steadily falling away.
At first, I only told two good friends what was going on. I mean, a grandmother having fabulous make-out sessions in dark parking lots with a much younger man? Was it scandalous? I was glad for those friends. I made them swear to question me if they thought I was losing my mind.
But guess what, I started that friends with benefits relationship over two years ago and it is still an arrangement that works today.
Speaking as a woman over 60, I'm mature enough to know that my sexual needs are my responsibility. Orgasms are a regular part of my life and some of them I share with my lover. I have a regular self pleasure practice (I prefer not to use the word 'masturbation') and I can promise you it is self-soothing, self-healing and unimaginably self-empowering.
But in, Dr. Fisher’s book, I found my tribe! Turns out there are quite a few other sexual secrets that Grandma's keeping. (I assure you, she's having way more fun than she did when she was younger!) According to research:
- 50 percent of people over 60 have had a one-night stand
- Seniors were the most likely to experience orgasm an impressive 91 to 100 percent of the time
- People over 60 were the happiest, least anxious, least lonely, and least desperate to fall in love
- Most seniors were also unwilling to make a long-term commitment to someone whom they did not find sexually attractive, even if this person had everything else they were looking for in a partner.
- Our Time, a dating site serving men and women over 50, is the 3rd largest paid dating site in America
So, not only is Grandma gettin' some, she's enjoying sex far more than the average 20 something when she has it, she's stressing less about life in general, and she's also maintaining high standards regarding whom she'll ultimately settle down with. Plus, she's not Instagramming her sexual escapades for the world to see either! Go, Grandma!
Brady Bunch mom Florence Henderson, now 81, says "There is no age limit on the enjoyment of sex. It keeps getting better. I think no matter how old you are — and I am pretty up there in terms of numbers — I think you should do whatever makes you happy. As long as you’re not hurting yourself or anybody else, I say do it. If you want to go out and have a romantic sexy affair, do it."
So what can YOU learn from your Grandma to keep your sex life vibrant (now, and in the future)? Here's the down and dirty on what you need to know:
1. A woman's body was built to feel pleasure.
A woman has as much erectile tissue as a man does in his penis. But most of this tissue is inside her body underneath the labia. I didn’t know this until I was over 60. And it turns out, there is a lot more I didn't know about my own anatomy and how pleasure is layered for full orgasmic potential.
"Pound for pound, inch for inch, female genitals contain just as much of this wonderful, sensitive, expandable, engorgeable equipment as male genitalia," says "Succulent Sexcraft" author, Sheri Winston. "Women have an erector set all their own."
I also highly recommend videos by Adina Rivers on YouTube (great Sex Ed in short, sizzling videos). Bottom line, educate yourself about your own body and pleasure zones.
2. A man doesn't care how your body looks when he's touching you.
I spent most of my life self-conscious, ashamed of parts of my body that I judged ugly, fat or unattractive. It was excruciating for me to ever be naked with the lights on. That's because I didn't know how much a man loves the curves and softness of the female form. Countless men have told me this over the years in my own research; they truly don’t get it when we reject our own bodies.
In "Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk About Sex After Sixty," Joan Price encourages all women to "appreciate and even rejoice in the parts of your body that work well and learn to accept, with humor and dignity, the parts that are not so lovely."
When you allow a man you're with to enjoy you fully, without worrying about what you look like, his desire multiplies. He will fall even more deeply in love with you when you accept yourself. So don't wait to make peace with your appearance. Stop the self-judgment now.
3. Your man wants to please you.
Men love how a woman smells and tastes. Really. It took me a long time to accept that my lover actually enjoys going down on me. Early in my life, my lovers were not patient enough to melt through my resistance to receiving pleasure that way, and I always felt they only went down on me so I would return the favor. My latest friend with benefits does not have that problem. He was relentless in a most delicious way. He seemed to know what my body was capable of and he eventually won me over and convinced me.
I am a natural introvert and a bit of a perfectionist. Maybe that has something to do with it, but it took me until I was over 60 to relax enough to orgasm fully and oh-so-sweetly with a man’s mouth on my most private parts.
Nina Camp wrapped it up perfectly in an article for Cosmopolitan, "Now that I'm older, things separate out more easily, and I know that oral sex isn't love. Or passion. Or friendship. It's oral sex. It benefits both of you if you can own up to your needs and, if need be, hold their hand and guide them along."
4. A little kink or naughtiness can be an amazing turn on.
Some men have wild and crazy ideas. But why is it that these same men always seem to suggest acting out these fantasies on a night when you have three presentations the next day, a kid with the flu, and his mother visiting in a couple of days? It's easy to build resentment about his "unreasonable demands," but the truth is, sometimes he wants to just wants to have some fun with you and maybe his timing is lousy.
Whatever it is that he asks you for, find a version that works for you. Negotiate a little outside the box action that you feel comfortable with.
"Every good girl I have ever known wishes somewhere in her heart that she could be just a little bit bad," says Barbara Keesling, author of "The Good Girl's Guide to Bad Girl Sex." "Bad girls have sex on the brain."
Simply allow yourself to daydream about what would be naughty for you. (Men have wild and crazy sexual fantasies, but guess what ... women do, too!) Indulge you imagination. Thinking about sex more often sets your brain into action, signaling to your body to respond.
5. An orgasm is not required to have great sex.
Of course orgasms rock, and who doesn’t love them? The problem is that many women don’t know how to direct men to arouse them. That's because most women don’t even know how to arouse themselves. But the truth is, every cell in the body is capable of pleasure.
"There is no one 'type' of sex that is better than any other, and even the smallest touch in a certain spot can cause us to get the shivers," Bustle's Lakin Howard reports.
Being touched and stroked sensually (avoiding the intimate body areas altogether) is intoxicating. Lakin recommends these unexpected hot spots: ears, neck, fingers, back, shoulders and head. Having make-out sessions with no agenda and even a promise not to have sex can become so hot it's ridiculous. If you take orgasm off the table (even for just one night) and simply explore experiencing pleasure regularly, your capacity for orgasm increases.
Ladies, women of ALL ages should be enjoying a fun, healthy, vibrant sex life. So learn a few tips on gettin' it good from Grandma. She's very wise.
Catherine Behan is a Dating, Sex and Intimacy Coach practicing in San Diego, CA. For a free 20 minute chat to explore your Sexual Confidence or lack thereof, click here: Talk to Catherine.