This may end up being one of those posts that borders on being a little too personal. But if we never talk about the truly personal then how do we know we aren't alone, how do we let others know we've struggled with the same issues? So I'm gonna take that risk...
Lately I've been dealing with some issues regarding aging--dreams, responsibilities, letting go, holding on, the body, the emotions, the becoming...and yes, I'll admit it, one of the big issues I've been wrestling with is sex. Now those of you who are older are going to read this post and snicker at me and that's okay. But hey, remember when you were my age? It's hard to see into the future and get a clear image of how things will or will not be. Those of you who are closer to my age will hopefully read this post and will either feel encouraged or will offer me a bit of encouragement by letting me know you're on this journey as well. I've been having some extreme worries, bordering on near panic, about sex and the aging process. As silly as this may sound to some of you please know that for me this has been very real. I have been exploring the idea of aging and I've had moments when I've been scared that my time of having sex is coming to an end...slowly but surely. Sure I'm only 34 but you know as well as I do that you're 34 one day and 64 the next. It's only a matter of time. And at the end of that time line is a dried up, passionless, sexless me...and I haven't been dealing with that very well...not well at all. In fact it would probably be fair to say I've been downright depressed about it...and slightly bitchy because I tend to get bitchy when it comes to a lack of sex...or even just the idea of a lack of sex. I mean how do you begin to come to terms with the things you may be giving up as part of the aging process...especially if you really love those things and don't want to give them up?
Well, those were my thoughts before yesterday's episode of Oprah.
Monday morning I noticed that Tuesday's episode was titled 237 Reasons to Have Sex. I immediately knew I had to watch that episode. With everything I've been thinking about and tossing around lately I knew I needed anything and everything that would affirm and encourage my sexuality. A lovely girlfriend and I took the entire day off yesterday, doing fun girl things and eating delicious food, and we ended our day on my couch watching Oprah together. By the time the episode was over I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my chest, a weight that had been crushing my ribs, restricting my breathing (and my vision), and causing sheer panic. The episode was about current sexual trends in America. As part of the episode Oprah interviewed women, including a couple of sex therapists, who are in their 60s (and then some) who claim they are having the best sex of their lives, that their 20s had nothing on this. Hearing those women's stories and their laughter was exactly what I needed. And let me tell you those women sharing their stories were absolutely radiant and empowered and dare I say happy beyond belief. I may wish I hadn't said this tomorrow but here it is--I firmly believe that women who have good sex can change the world. Those gorgeous, radiant 60+ women on Oprah yesterday only strengthened that philosophy. Honey I have no doubt that every single woman Oprah talked with could rock this world...and are by agreeing to share their stories on national television so the rest of us who are scared and doubtful (like myself) can take heart and breathe easier and feel their hope restored.
I've thought long and hard about the philosophy I shared in the above paragraph--the one about good sex and changing the world. I believe this because one of the things tied into having good sex is connecting to yourself, listening to yourself, learning about yourself, being willing to ask for what you want, being brave enough to make yourself vulnerable, being strong enough to share all those parts and pieces with another human being, and being open enough to enter similar parts and pieces of another human being. There is something extremely empowering about being willing and able to take that journey into a healthy and satisfying sexuality. And if you can do that, and god knows it isn't easy, and there's rejections, and mistakes, and blunders, and bad judgment, and hits and misses, and dry spells, and all the other fun and not so fun stuff that comes with sexuality, if you can find that empowerment and ownership and pleasure, if you can embrace the strength that comes with that journey then you have not only learned valuable life skills but you feel the freedom, power, courage, self-assuredness, and raw audacity it takes to change the world one little step after another.
Yesterday's episode of Oprah was over before I knew it but I could have sat in front of the TV for hours and listened to more stories from these fabulous women because I love it when women are open enough to share the very private but real pieces of their lives. When the credits rolled I turned to my lovely friend and said, god I feel so good now. And I did. And I still do. There are little fears and worries (okay sometimes their actually pretty damn big) that come with aging but when other women who have already been there and done that share what it can be like if you choose to claim and create the life you want and need it can truly alleviate some of those fears and worries. And hey, if those women are right, if they really are having the best sex of their lives, then it could actually make you want to speed up the aging process just so you can get to the good stuff a little faster.
*i couldn't resist using the image above because today I am a much happier girl...