LOVING YOUNGER MEN AT 66 REFRESHES ME. AM I DEPRAVED?
Q. My husband of twenty-one years died eight years ago. I loved him and mourned him.
I have found that since then, as I get older, I’m increasingly interested in younger men. I personally feel very vital, beautiful, alive and sexual, and most of the available men that I meet in my age range (66) bore me. They’re more conservative than younger men, less sexually interested, less open to life. I’ve had several flaming affairs with men thirty and forty years younger than me, and I feel absolutely refreshed by them. I seem to have more in common with younger men’s explorative approach to living and sex.
Recently a male acquaintance accused me of avoiding mature involvement. Specifically: illness; death; the loss of one you love; accepting the body’s decrepitude; the need for commitment, the fear of needing another (etc.). I have always detested older men who chase younger women in order to feel younger, to avoid confronting aging, and to flee the invested emotional responsibilities of a mature partnership. I’d feel like a real ass if I were doing this myself.
I don’t feel as if I’m avoiding involvement, however. I feel like I’m drinking sweet nectar and exploding sexually, creatively, emotionally into a realm of joy and consciousness. I’m happy, actually happy, all day long. Could this be a healthy phase and not a pathetic attempt not to grow old?
A. Of course it could, Gail. I’m so glad you’re having this lovely period of enlivenment, joy- in- life, and sexual gratification. Drink up!
There is such a thing as avoiding the awareness/acceptance of aging, and it can be destructive. But it sounds more like you are relishing life and replenishing your spirit, not deluding yourself. Tell your jealous friend to butt out if all he can do is try to make you second guess your’ happiness and piss on your’ parade!
It seems to me you already know what to watch out for in terms of avoidance, and that you’re just having a damn wonderful time. Go for it, have it all. You’re a grown woman.
Shain Stodt is the founder of Informed About Sex and the founder/moderator of the Facebook page Radical Women Talk Sex. A Sex Educator (IASHS), author, and community activist, Shain became involved in sex education with the New York Women's Center, where she worked with the pioneering Abortion and Birth Control Outreach project and lectured on sex education in the public school system. Shain also developed sexuality workshops for the Women's Center and other feminist organizations, and hosted a local cable program on sexual issues in New York City. She lives in North Carolina.
Questions for Shain? Click here.