Do you have Facebook friends you’ve never met? I do. Mostly they’re friends of friends I’ve met through writing, specifically at Erma Bombeck Humor Writers workshops. Usually I read something funny, laugh and comment, connect, and there you go. I also have some “friends” who I honestly don’t remember at all. It may be time to weed out the list, I’m thinking.
If I were a better writer, or one trying to sell this essay, I would know better than to start out writing about something that seems irrelevant to the headline. You’re supposed to go in strong, not wimp along for several paragraphs until you get to the point. I’ll get there eventually, I promise. While many bloggers have moved on to other media, like Twitter and Instagram, I’m still here. I kind of think of it as exercising my writing muscles now and then. Or keyboard masturbation for the mind.
Anyway, one Erma acquaintance suggested I might have something in common with a friend of hers and due to the sensitive nature of this post, I’ll try to be vague enough that no one will figure out who I’m talking about.
So I “friended” the woman, who I’m going to guess is in her mid 50’s, had split from her husband, moved overseas, and is having what seems to be a pretty steamy romance with a lovely-looking man. Lovely-looking, as in, someone an oldster like myself would consider attractive.
It’s clear that they are having sex. Not that there’s anything salacious being posted, mind you. It’s all very tasteful and kind of sweet. They are positively beaming in the selfies she shares. Her friends (presumably women who, unlike me, actually know her) comment that they’re so happy for her and oo-la-la and “you deserve it,” etc.
I’ve become a kind of hanger-onner (I know that’s not a word – zip it) who was supposed to have something in common with this lady totally unrelated to her new middle-age-to-elderly sex and semi-geriatric love. I think I need to unfriend her because I’m beginning to feel like a voyeur. If she notices my name at all (I occasionally “like” a post – but not the ones about her dating life), she’s probably wondering how I ended up following her and why.
But here’s the thing – every once in a while, when I read or hear about someone in my generation starting a brand new love affair, I can’t help but wonder if that’s something I should consider, too. Should I admit that I’ve finally called it quits FOREVER? Do I care?
The fact is, for every December love affair I hear of, there are a few dozen long-married friends who say, who needs it? They haven’t had sex in nearly as long as my own lengthy period of circumstantial celibacy – and they have a partner sprawled next to them in the California King every night. They may humor their husbands a couple of times a year, but to hear them tell it, it’s with a yawn and the desire to get it over with and go to sleep or at least back to watching whatever movie’s on the Hallmark Channel.
Now, I am NOT writing this to instigate an informal online poll. Spare me if you and your husband are still “active” and think Viagra is the best thing since the creation of floppy discs. You go, girl. Yay. But there is no need to weigh in here for or against old people sex. Please.
I’m going to get very honest with you here and admit that I’ve been celibate for 26 years. I think some people may wonder if I’ve decided to play for the other team, but that’s not the case. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, as the Seinfeld crew would say.
No, I decided to stop dating – to halt my quest for Mr. Right – to give up kissing frogs in the vain search for my prince – at age 41. At the time, it was not my intent to never date or have sex again. My son was about 15 and at an age where the mere thought of his mother being kissed (forget the rest of it) was alternately enraging, disgusting, and ultimately embarrassing. It seemed wise to go on hiatus. It’s hard enough raising a teenager without throwing that mess into the mix.
I certainly don’t miss being in a relationship (see previous post outing myself as an introvert). After living alone for so many years, I honestly can no more imagine someone living in my house – let alone hogging the covers on my bed – than me putting on a tutu and fright wig to launch a new career as a rodeo clown.
It’s not that I miss sex, especially. If you do without it long enough, the urge does pass. Maybe menopause played a big role in that, as well. And on the odd occasion, I can be the queen of my domain. I do miss Seinfeld.
Here’s one more thing about my generation that doesn’t get much air play, but I’m going to say it anyway: who wants to fuck an old person? I guess if that old person is someone you knew when he/she was young and pliable, perhaps the wrinkles, sagging, pouching, etc., comes on gradually enough that you don’t notice too much (especially in the dark). But taking off your clothes in front of some old guy who also is going to get nekkid with you and you’ve pretty much only just met? Man. That takes guts, IMO.
The plus side of giving up sex at a relatively young age is that the last man I slept with was gorgeous. Big, strong, handsome, old enough to know exactly what he was doing – and still able to do so for an extended period of time. He eventually broke my heart, but thank you, T, wherever you are. Nice job!
And why wouldn’t he do a good job? I looked like this!
So, good luck and best wishes to the Facebook lady with the white-haired honey. May he make your toes curl, even yet. But as I reflect on the fact that I am 99% certain I’ll never be in love or have sex again, at least I find comfort in knowing that my memories are pretty ones. And hot. Smooth-skinned, pretty, and hot indeed.
18 thoughts on “Why I’m not sad about sex”
#1. I hope I don’t get weeded out from your list of FB friends.
#2. Oh, bravo, brava, happy day and good for you. My non-scientific poll reveals that there are two kinds of women of a certain age (!): those who think sex is still the be all and end all and those who don’t. The former get a lot of play proferring advice on how and why we should all be like them; the latter are pretty much silent. Until you. I applaud you. And I hope the naysayers don’t give you a hard time (yes, several mixed something or others there).
Jane, I will never remove you from my list! Thanks for commenting and here’s to the contentment of geriatric celibacy! I’d rather eat cake . . . .
This is hilarious Kate. Love it. I will alert my friends down under to your blog (which I have just rediscovered!). Read the piece about your dental work in January 17 (?) and it mirrors my own experience. It left me chortling even though at the time, of course, I was mortified. If only we could sit together over a wine and compare work done….
Meanwhile feel comforted knowing dental insurance covers only the basics here (in Australia) too. x Susan M
Thanks so much, Susan! So glad to hear from you — I think of you often and hope you, Tim, and the girls and their families are doing well. Love to you all! XOXO
This is absolutely my favorite post you’ve ever written. It was beautifully crafted, laugh-out-loud funny in several places, poignant, wise, honest, and brave. I am sure you speak for many of us old gals. Will be sharing with many women “of a certain age.”
Thanks so much, Sandy!
Is there anything better than an honest woman! This was great.
Love your blog Kate ! This one hit the mark and made me laugh 😂 I know I am not your bestie, but I hope you keep me as a friend because I so enjoy reading about your trips and ,again, love your blog
Lea, you are my bestie Canadian friend! Somehow I think, or at least hope, our paths will cross again. Thanks for your hilarious FB posts!
I’m with you 100%. Especially the part about eating cake.
Thanks, Tina! Yes, replacing sex with cake has done nothing for my waistline, but – yum.
This is my favorite post yet! And now that you put this into words, you are going to meet a George Clooney type and fall madly in love!
Thanks, Ellen! George Clooney type, huh? I must admit, that could be tempting! 🙂
I loved this post, Kate. Best yet!! ❤
Thanks so much, Suzanne!
I’m starting a podcast for us Over-60s and I’m counting on you to be a guest!
That’s amazing, Jane! I can’t wait to hear more and I’d be honored to participate!