Sex Shaming Has No Age Limits: Guest Post by Walker Thornton

Posted by on Aug 8, 2014 in aging, sexuality | 5 comments

A few weeks ago I wrote a piece in response to a Huff Post article about aging and cloaking and sex in midlife.  That topic reared its head again this week in a Facebook group and I was fortunate to be turned onto a brilliant post by fellow writer, Walker Thornton. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Walker or her work, she is a writer, sex educator and public speaker, and is entrenched in midlife women’s sexuality. I encourage you to visit her website. And please, show some love; this is an important topic that deserves attention and dialogue. I am honored to feature it on Flashfree.

Jean_Metzinger,_1911,_Nu_(Nu_debout),_oil_on_carton,_52_x_35_cm._Reproduced_in_Du_-Cubisme-,_1912

[Nu (Nu debut). Artist: Jean Metzinger, 1911]

Why is it that some women feel compelled to shame other women? To label their activities as slutty and dismiss their stories? It has happened to me and other women writers I know; it seems to occur when we choose to be open about our sex lives.  There will always be some self-appointed know-it-all ready to shame, judge or blame and then tell women what they “should” do.  There are no shoulds when it comes to sex…unless we’re talking about protection from disease and safety. And, even then, who invested me or you with the power to force our opinions on someone else?

I’m fuming this morning over some of the conversations spurred on by an article Robin Korth wrote about a dating encounter. Things were going well until they got to the sex part and then 55 yr old Dave (she doesn’t share what he looks like) became completely turned off by the body of the similarly aged woman he was about to have sex with. Dave clearly has issues. He wanted her hair to be longer, he wanted her to wear the little black dress, he had to have sex with her in the dark so he could pretend she was young. A man with issues. She chose not to give into his demands and her story has provoked many people. Some people were irritated by her description of her size 6 body. One older woman said that mature women should never show their naked bodies to a man…we’ll never have sex again (what Kool Aid is she drinking?).  And of course there was male-bashing.

We live in an ageist culture, surrounded by myths, put-downs and advertising promises all designed to make us feel dissatisfied with ourselves at a given age.  This is really on my mind as I approach 60 in a matter of days–single and on a dating site. I’m not going to lie about my age and I’m not going to reach out for pills and injections or surgery to try to erase the years. Admittedly it’s hard to look in the mirror sometimes and see the changes in my body but I consider myself blessed to have made it this far in life, relatively unscathed.

I don’t intend to let anyone dictate how I show up for sex or work or walking down the street. And, I hope you won’t either.

We bring ourselves to every situation, every relationship just as we are. And, we’re accepted for that or we’re not. Those who can’t see our true beauty aren’t worthy of being in our lives. Isn’t it that simple? If any one person is judging us or telling us what we have to wear, or how to ‘show up’ they aren’t really seeing us. And clearly that person isn’t the least bit interested in true engagement. That’s where we get to exercise our choice–to pursue a fuller life, to find a more compatible partner, to let go of a ‘friend’ who no longer supports us. We can choose who comes into our life.  We can invite or deny access to our bed.

One of the conversations that got under my skin had to do with letting men see our naked bodies. It was suggested that mature women shouldn’t let a man see them naked. Why on earth would a woman want to have sex with a man who couldn’t bear to see her body? Should she hide in the dark, keeping her beautiful, aging body cloaked as if it were a thing of shame?

The best sex you’ll ever have is Naked Sex.

Naked Sex is sex where both parties are willing to drop their protective armor and allow themselves to become fully immersed in the experience. There is no subjugating our own desires to make sure he’s happy. No hiding because you fear he/she won’t like your body. No manipulation, no coercion.

Naked Sex is about showing the real you. You can be naked or sensuously draped in lingerie that excites your senses. Both of you take ownership of your own desires and needs. You are able to communicate with each other and willingly enter into a moment of sexual pleasure.  It’s when we find each other to be equally engaged and desirous that we have the most satisfying experiences.

Feel free to share your thoughts in a civil, sex-positive manner. No sex shaming here!

About Walker Thornton…

Walker Thornton is a writer, sex educator and public speaker.  She is a strong advocate for midlife women’s sexuality, encouraging women to ‘step into their desire’. Kinkly.com ranked her blog, WalkerThornton.com, #17 in their top 100 Sex Blogging Superheroes of 2013. Walker is the Sexual Health columnist for Midlife Boulevard and writes about sex and the older adult for Kinkly.com. You can connect with her on her website (www.walkerthornton.com ), Facebook (https://facebook.com/AWomansPage )  Twitter  (http://twitter.com/WalkerThornton)  and Google+ (https://plus.google.com/u/0/+WalkerThornton/posts ).

 

5 Comments

  1. 8-8-2014

    I’m a big fan of Walker’s and have been following her writing for some time now.

    This particular post made me think about several things. First, I just wanted to note in passing that older men — like me, I’m 76 — also tend to be ashamed of their bodies. I’m tall, straight, and not overweight and look just fine in clothes. But I sure hate to see myself naked — all the sagging, wrinkling, and lax skin makes me go ugh when I see myself in the mirror after showering. As Walker herself says: “Admittedly it’s hard to look in the mirror sometimes and see the changes in my body . . .”

    On the other hand, for men like me who are conscious of their own aging as well as that of their wives, there’s a great deal of comfort in seeing that your wife is aging just as you are.

    But the important thing is that where there’s love, there is no aging nor ugly bodies. When I met my wife 40 years ago (though we’ve only been married about 7 years now), she was so beautiful that she stopped traffic. Now she’s almost 66 years old. I still feel proud to be seen with her just as I did the first time we went out way back then and every guy in the place looked at me jealously.

    I think nothing sums up the question of looks and age where love is concerned the way the lyrics of Silver Threads Among the Gold does:

    Darling, I am growing old,
    Silver threads among the gold,
    Shine upon my brow today,
    Life is fading fast away.
    But, my darling, you will be,
    Always young and fair to me,
    Yes, my darling, you will be
    Always young and fair to me.
    Chorus:
    Darling, I am growing old,
    Silver threads among the gold,
    Shine upon my brow today;
    Life is fading fast away.

    When your hair is silver white,
    And your cheeks no longer bright,
    With the roses of the May,
    I will kiss your lips and say,
    Oh! My darling, mine alone, alone,
    You have never older grown!
    Yes, my darling, mine alone,
    You have never older grown!
    chorus
    Love can never more grow old,
    Locks may lose their brown and gold;
    Cheeks may fade and hollow grow,
    But the hearts that love will know,
    Never, never winter’s frost and chill;
    Summer warmth is in them still;
    Never winter’s frost and chill,
    Summer warmth is in them still.

    • 8-8-2014

      Martin – I am so glad that you commented; it’s important to have the male perspective on this and perhaps we’ll devote a Guyside to this very topic from the male POV. Your wife is quite lucky to have you.

    • 8-12-2014

      Martin,
      You are so sweet! I agree, in the midst of love and emotional intimacy we don’t see bodies with a critical eye. It is a very freeing experience. Thank you for your support.

  2. 8-13-2014

    Great post. It’s impossible for a woman or a man to enjoy sex if they don’t feel good about themselves. You and your partner should make each other feel desirable and special. If you not going to approach it that way, why bother at all?

    • 8-15-2014

      Scott- I totally agree. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

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