'It takes intention to keep
movement and sexuality in our lives.'
Happy Birthday to Joan Price, author of Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex and Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty. You are like a sister. And, sister, you make me proud.
It’s your birthday on Nov. 10 and you are at the top of your game. You work it like no one else I know. At 68 you live more in a day than most people do in a week.
How is that? How can someone who once was in such a serious automobile accident she shocked doctors merely by surviving, who suffered injuries that plague her still, how can that person go on to teach aerobics six days a week and, later in life, teach line dancing three and four nights a week for hours at a time, walk for one or two hours a couple of times a week, lift weights when time allows and do advanced Pilates with a personal trainer every week? That was a long sentence with few pauses because that is the kind of life you lead. Then there are the speaking engagements, the workshops and television appearances, the writing of books, the social media updates and maintenance — you have 774 friends on Facebook, the blog, the testing of sex toys for their makers and for the readers who buy them. What have I forgotten? You review books, you’re compiling a book of erotica for Seal Press, you respond to emails in a timely fashion. I’m sure there’s more.
Your answer is that you exercise so that you can exercise, if that makes sense. You move to stay mobile is another way to put it. You are a vegan and you eat delicious, nutritional foods. You say you don’t want to be bored so you commit to doing what you are passionate about. And because nothing beats boredom like acquiring knowledge, you’ve made learning a priority. And you teach others what you’ve learned. Because of you, because you talk out loud about senior sex, we know how to maintain our vaginas to keep them in good working order. That’s just for starters. Recently one of your readers said you helped save her marriage.
When you had a reading in early July at a Barnes & Noble in Manhattan, you were a guest in the NYC apartment where I spend time with Jim. We gave you the couch, a blanket and a space at the table for computing. In the mornings Jim made you strong hot coffee the way you like it, without cream or sugar. The only time you weren’t working or making connections with others throughout the city was when I was talking or when you were sleeping. You are a marvel. You model the way it should be done.
You had a profound loving relationship later in life. Robert Rice, your husband, died just as you had begun working on Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex. How hard that must have been but you got through it, found ways to grieve, work and carry on. Because of you and your book Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty, we got to see for ourselves how true love and sexual intimacy are bound by no rules and heed no expectations.
Here, for those who are interested, are excerpts from a conversation I had with Joan over the telephone in mid-October. I wanted to present the woman behind her two most recent books.
The “ick factor”
“I found that people didn’t want to look at senior sexuality, face it or address the problems in a positive way. It isn’t just the youth-oriented culture that has stereotypes about sex. We seniors have them about ourselves. We think we lose enjoyment, we lose function, we lose our appeal. For every problem, there is a solution.”
“I think of myself as a hard worker. I thrive on challenges and sometimes on confrontation. Ninety percent of the people I speak with say thank you for the information. Ten percent say, ‘Tell me no more’ or they make fun of it. That just spurs me on even more. Bring it on, I say.”
People are shy
“I spoke at my 50th high school reunion recently. People listened attentively but no one asked me a single question. I know why. The last time we saw each other was when we were 17. So I told them if they had any questions, I’d consult with them in the corner of the room. People came up to me throughout the reunion saying, ‘I want my consultation in the corner.’ Every time I speak, I learn something.”
“With regard to enjoying the pleasures of our bodies, it’s not just line dancing or having sex or walking in the sun. We need to be in relationship with our bodies.”
“People ask me: What’s the best exercise? I tell them: The one that you’ll do!”
“Exercise should be a treat, not a treatment.”
“One way to get started is to do something physical together like dancing in the living room. Walk or bike ride together. This lets you enjoy your bodies together and lets the blood flow. By the time you begin making love together, you’ve already started. Part of what makes us pull away from sex is the depletion of blood flow to our muscles, our brains and our genitals. Exercise reverses that.”
“People aren’t aware that it’s happening little by little, week by week, year by year. Athletic people I knew at 17 are now 75 pounds overweight.”
“It takes intention to keep movement and sexuality in our lives.”
“Make a date with yourself.”
Joan Price’s contact information
Blog: http://www.NakedAtOurAge.com <http://www.nakedatourage.com/>
YouTube: http://youtu.be/MN6_HVD-Jdg <http://youtu.be/MN6_HVD-Jdg>
Naked At Our Age Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/JoanPriceAuthor <http://www.facebook.com/JoanPriceAuthor>
Twitter: http://twitter.com/JoanPrice <http://twitter.com/JoanPrice>
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read my book, “Free Fall: A Late-in-Life Love Affair,” available online or in bookstores.