You may feel that the best years are behind you, but actually they are just the beginning. Taken from her personal experience, Kari Miles. shows us how aging can be an advantage when it comes to confidence and sex.
I was born in 1968, the pinnacle of the vibrant hippie movement and sexual revolution. It was a time of liberation, experimentation and freedom and the beginning of happier, healthier times, or so we thought.
Somewhere between my birth and my teenage years, the world regressed into a dark, close-minded place. The eighties saw the acceptance of the new romantic males in ruffled shirts and eyeliner, but the age of carefree sexual expression had faded to grey.
My early experiences were awkward and, for want of a better adjective, vanilla. People always say that when you’re young the sex is amazing, enhanced by your firm, pre-pregnancy pertness and flexibility. But flexibility refers only to your body and not your mind, which at this stage remains rigid and arthritic.
Everyone you encounter when you’re young is ‘great‘ in bed. This is based solely on the fact that your experience and expectations are pitifully limited.
Anything lasting more than ten minutes is to be considered a successful sexual experience, and as for orgasms? Elusive and non-important. After all, how can you miss something you’ve never had?
As you progress through life, and find permanent partners your experiences in the bedroom change. If you’re lucky you marry someone who at least has a decent knowledge of where everything is and how everything works, more or less. With time you gain an understanding of each other and more confidence to express yourself a little. Then the children come along and your body changes forever. Your reflection in the mirror causes anxiety, the sculptured curves of before turn to undefined shapes and you struggle to see yourself as sexy or desirable.
Your own vagina is no longer a focus of pleasure and eroticism but rather a portal bringing your children into the world.
As the children grow and, maybe if you’re lucky, you can regain some of your former shape, but your adolescent form has been lost forever. Some of your libido comes back and you find yourself alone, daring to spend a few stolen moments pleasuring yourself between washing the dishes and preparing the lunches for the next day or a quickie with your partner before the kids get back from their sports activities.
Sex inevitably becomes infrequent and mundane.
By the time the children are old enough to spend time alone out of the house you’ve almost given up on sex altogether, preferring instead to be curled up on the sofa with a good book or film.
They say every cloud has a silver lining, and when I found myself divorced and alone at forty-eight I feared I would never have sex again. My already fragile self-confidence and despair at approaching fifty were strongly enhanced by being left.
But the stress of the divorce meant that I found myself a few kilos lighter, and thanks to my friends dragging me back out into the land of the living, I started to notice that I was being noticed. The more attention I got the more I wanted. Soon my confidence had reached an all-time high, and it was time for my first post-divorce sexual experience.
I was almost transported back in time to when I carelessly and clumsily gave away my virginity. So shy and nervous, no one except my husband had seen me naked for so long. As with the first time, it wasn’t a great experience, but it showed me that I was still desirable and slowly but surely I learnt to embrace, with real passion, the joys of sex.
It had taken me more than 35 years but I was liberated. Being fifty gives you a level of self-esteem that you have never had before. It gives you the strength to express yourself, to say what you want and don’t want. The confidence to experiment and break down your barriers and to look at yourself in the mirror and be happy with what you see.
It’s true that I was lucky to find a man at this critical time who was mind-blowingly great in bed, you see, being in your fifties has a similar effect on men. Two liberated and confident human beings in one bed can only lead to good things. With him, I learnt how to get the best out of every single aspect of my sexuality. I had always thought that sexual chemistry was like the G spot, an urban myth. But I realized I was wrong, so wrong, they are both very real and it’s never too late to discover either.
I’m living the best sexual experience of my life and would encourage every woman not to fall into the stereotypical trap of post-menopausal numb, unsatisfying, infrequent sex.
Whether you have been married for 25 years or find yourself single, sex in your fifties can be the hottest, most satisfying of your life. You have all the tools you need to make it so; confidence, determination, experience, imagination and time. Not to mention the countless mental and physical benefits to our health.
And although it’s true our bodies are not as flexible as they once were, our minds are most definitely more so.