by Laura Pegado
You’re a single female, over 50, and still have the urge for romance and passion. Your hormones often remind you of how human and desirous you still want to be. You feel sexy, yet the cards just haven’t dealt you a man of your dreams. Self-doubt begins to creep in: Am I too old? Is there a man out there for me? Am I still attractive? You begin to ponder: What can I do with these feelings that still arouse me? Should I just resist them? Are my best days over?
Listen up, girlfriend. Your sexual life doesn’t have to be put on the shelf just because you’re single and over 50. Start with some healthy self-love, in every sense of the word… and let your inner light shine. You were perfect and complete before he came into your life, and you’re perfect and complete now!
I was 44 when my marriage ended. He was (is) a great guy, just not the right one for me, and although I still occasionally beat myself up with “what if?” questions, each time, I recognize that the divorce was ultimately the best thing for both of us.
At 44, I was in my prime. I was a competitive athlete, mother of pre-teens, confident, mostly happy, full of life. And although we’d been together for 24 years, I just couldn’t deal with the thought of another quarter century with someone I felt so distant from.
I had no idea how I was going to find love again after the divorce. I had literally never dated! But before I even got out on the scene, I fell into a relationship with a coworker. We both knew it was doomed from the start but we ended up lasting almost 10 years. This one truly awakened me sexually – I finally got to know the meaning of “earthshaking” passion, and when that ended, I had to wonder, would it ever be that good again?
So I hit the internet dating scene. Where else, I reasoned, does an introvert actively find love?
The “Wrong” Side Of 50?
Honestly, I was starting to get a little scared of ending up alone. I was on the “wrong” side of 50 to be dating – I thought – and I figured the odds weren’t stacked in my favor.
Our society doesn’t exactly make 50-something women feel like we’re still “hot”! The overriding emphasis is on “looking younger,” isn’t it? All those wrinkle creams, hair dyes, botox, laser peels, plastic surgery, makeup and push-up bras only exist because our culture is obsessed with youth! And for mature women, that just leads to a whole lot of frustration, dissatisfaction, diminishing confidence, and in many cases, a self-fulfilling prophecy of being “too old to be a sexual woman anymore.”
So here I was, trying Internet dating for the first time.
Tinder, Bumble, Our Time, Match, Fitness Singles, OK Cupid, Plenty of Fish…
What IS it with men my age, I wondered? Geez, most have let themselves go. Or they’re complete horn-dogs just out to get their rocks off. The rest? They put it right on their profile: they want younger chicks. 55-year old looking for a 30-year old. Classic, right?
After a bunch of dismal first dates and almost getting sucked in to one of those dating scams, I called it quits with dating and got busy with my career. I needed a break.
And Along Comes…
Enter “the roommate.”
I rented a room to a friend of a friend, a much younger man (19-½ years younger!) and, well, things happened, we clicked, crossed the line, and we had a lot of fun for a couple of months.
Now, I had to laugh. Here I was, with a much younger guy!
I never thought that would happen, but it did. Isn’t life funny, sometimes? This revitalized me, to say the least! I gained a bit of an understanding of the attraction for youth.
Tragically, he was killed in an auto accident and I was alone again.
By now I was 55 and I had lost three great loves. Each loss had taken its toll and I was really starting to feel my age. A part of me started wondering in earnest if the saying was true and all the “good” guys of my vintage were truly taken. Or gay.
I had a good long talk with myself about dating and sex. Is it ME? Is it impossible to find a man who appreciates me for who I am, regardless of my calendar age? And is it even necessary to get into the dating game, or will we find each other in some random manner, like before? A couple of girlfriends insisted that I “put myself out there” but what does that even mean? For an introvert like me, that’s a terrifying and off-putting idea. And besides… what’s wrong with being single? Why is it that people assume that just because you’re not hitched, you’re miserable and lonely?
Don’t get me wrong, there are times I wish I had a partner to share life’s “things” with and I’m totally open to that again… but I’m at a place where I’ve decided to skip the meat market of dating apps and simply live my life: do what I love, with friends and family… and most of all, enjoy NOW, instead of making myself miserable with the delusion of thinking, “I’ll be happy when (if?) I meet a great guy.”
Nope. Life has to be lived now, because there are no guarantees of a tomorrow.
Like my three loves, each of whom I found by chance and not through dating, I am confident another great love will come into my life. And if not, then life goes on, with a different twist. My focus these days is on ME and what I want out of life.
So in this new normal, what about sexuality? My 10 years of mind-blowing sex have yet to be matched so meantime…
Being sexual is a need for humans. Withdrawing from that need has physical, emotional, and psychological ramifications.
So here you are. Here I am. 50+ women who have lost a lover, have a need to be loved, want to give love, and want a sexual relationship. How do we take care of our sexual needs?
The mere notion that women over 50 can – and should – have sex, seems to be an uncomfortable subject for many.
Well, to put it in the most ladylike way I can… FUCK that.
Sex is a normal and wonderful part of being a woman and just because a woman reaches “a certain age” doesn’t mean the desire isn’t there, it doesn’t mean she should put away the lingerie and forget about her desires. It certainly doesn’t mean she should stop thinking of herself as a sexual being. Or talking about sex.
Our society has unfortunately sexualized young women and completely thrown mature women under the bus as dried up old crones. Sure, we have “personality” but God forbid we should express any hint of sexual desire. It’s up to us to push that bus off and rekindle our sexuality.
For any woman without a sexual partner, there are two choices: withdraw and be nonsexual; or, turn to self-satisfaction.
Personally, option A is about as appealing to me as spending my days doing taxes and getting my teeth drilled. And so, I’ve learned the fine art of self-satisfaction. I experience pleasure when I want it, when I need it. When I’m in the mood. It makes me happy, helps me focus (yes, we ladies can become just as obsessed with sex as the guys), and it makes me think, “I’ve still got it.” The oxytocin and dopamine released during orgasm sure help adjust my attitude!
I sometimes wonder… does self-satisfaction better the odds of having another “Mr. Right” come along in life? I believe it does.
Knowing that I can still push my own buttons so to speak, means that someone else can, too. I’ve still got it, and I still want to give it, and that’s a vibe that gets noticed. It’s not about going around flaunting my sexuality, it’s about being confident in my sexuality, and confident in who I am. Confidence is sexy!
I’ve discovered that taking extra good care of myself after a great loss is vital.
It’s not about making myself attractive for someone else, it’s about making myself awesome for me. It’s about feeling my best and looking my best… so that I can enjoy my life now, not as “bait” for another relationship. I’m working on myself, letting my inner light shine, doing things my way and being arms-wide-open to whatever comes.
If the extent of my sexual life right now is an occasional fling interspersed with many months of self-satisfaction… okay! I’m not going to shut off the sexual part of me just because I’m not “with” someone.
My post-divorce lover and I used to joke that most people are miserable because they’re not having great sex. There’s a grain of truth to that! Something happens when you shut down from sex, as I did for a time after each of my big losses. It’s almost as if you shut yourself down from vitality, and push away your need for sensual pleasures (ALL of them, not just sexual). Sex is just one way we get to experience and enjoy life with our senses, and when we give up sex, life just doesn’t have the same electric vibe. When you lose the hunger for sex, in my experience anyway, you lose the hunger for life.
So what do you do, if you find yourself suddenly single but you feel too old, too unattractive, or too scared to put yourself out there?
Start with becoming friends with your sexuality. Be okay with the fact that you still want sex! Get some toys. Have fun. Become confident in your ability to take care of your needs in every way. Nourish your mind, body and soul with great food, plenty of exercise, enough sleep and sexual pleasure. When you feel good, you look good – your inner light shines – and that kind of inner light is sexy!
When it comes to toys, it’s a huge, huge market with zillions of options. Start with the basics and have some good old fashioned fun!
Amazon best-sellers include:
A wearable vibrator (intriguing, isn’t it, and just a little naughty), a vibrator with bunny ears for extra stimulation, and even a travel-sized vaginal stimulator that’ll put a smile on your face wherever you are.
You’ll need lube, too, as unfortunately, dryness is often an issue among post-menopausal women. Shibari Personal Lubricant is an Amazon bestseller that people love for its silky feel.
Remember girlfriend…your best days don’t need to be behind you! Give yourself a healthy dose of self-love, recognize how perfect and complete you are right here-and-now, and let that inner light shine on!!