A little while ago I wrote about aspects of this article on Sexual Bereavement. Written by Dr Alice Radosh, it documents events in her own life as well as research conducted in conjunction with co-author Lisa Simkin. Radosh, who is in her 70’s talks at length about the death of a loved partner and the sexual contact which accompanied this loss.
One aspect of bereavement that is mentioned in the article is that of touch. And here Radosh calls out the whitewashed assumption that touch needs can be adequately handled by taking opportunities to have “massages, cuddle grandchildren, and even go to hair salons to get shampoos.” As she acerbically observes: “Really? I didn’t think my own sexual bereavement could be handled by a hairdresser.”
Despite the dazzling array of implements (but no old-fashioned hairbrushes anymore) the modern hairdresser has at their disposal, I can’t help but consider she’s right.
While I never say no to a relaxation massage, one of the reasons I chose John Oh for my birthday bonanza last year was because he does erotic massages. I didn’t want my masseur to skirt around my erogenous zones. I wanted my breasts massaged, wanted hands moving stealthily up my thighs, and fingers delving into my cunt. But unfortunately funds for such delights are limited, so in the absence of a partner (paid or otherwise) I have had to find other ways to meet some of my own sexual bereavement.
In the process I’m starting to sort out more clearly some of my sexual and intimate needs, wants and emerging interests, many of which have been buried under the conflicting desires of previous partners. Although I’m still coming up against social expectations and ethical boundaries. One thing is fairly clear – dating; on-line or otherwise, doesn’t interest me, and I have no desire to enter into a live-in or even a serious monogamous relationship any more. I’ve finally come to the realisation that all my needs are unlikely to be met by one person, although given that no such mythical creature exists in my world it’s immaterial anyway.
Now I have to admit there are some pretty fabulous role models for monogamous D/s relationships out there in the on-line community I hang out with – especially when it comes to sleep in’s and delicious orgasmic finger fucking. But, I’m still not convinced. And the clock is ticking.
I’ve certainly gained some sexual independence in the last little while, I’ve learned a lot more about what arouses me. (Slow learner). Memories, fantasy and imaginative writing (my own and other peoples) are a huge turn on. Visual material (apart from Shunga) not so much. Mainstream porn, not at all. My toys provide regular sexual release and my on-line activities sometimes provide an odd sense of intimacy, as well as a slow growing “wank bank”. My return to modelling in company of one or two photographers has been a boost, creatively, intellectually and erotically, although working with a man to whom I have a certain attraction has also bought a few of the old body insecurities to the fore again. And then there is my growing interest in kink.
I know I’m not the first mature woman to connect to a desire to explore their kinky sexuality at this point in life, but it still seems a little odd to me – even though I’m loving the idea of it. The idea of (limited) impact, sensual and rope play, alone or with a trusted other, are immensely appealing, but since I haven’t really tested these properly, apart from what were largely playful encounters between Ryan and myself, this is effectively still on my bucket list – subject, of course, to the abilities of an aging body. I would also love to re-engage in anal play, and pegging – the toys available now are so much more sophisticated than the leather dildo I made for Ryan. There have been a couple of other things that have piqued my interest in conversation recently, and I’m currently reading a series of e-books which may or may not take me in another direction (spoilers ’nuff said).
I’ve rediscovered that I love flirtatious exchanges either on-line or in person, they make me feel young and sexy and hopeful. These exchanges also hook into my enjoyment of the idea of playful dalliance – although eligible partners for this are also hard to come by, and it is probably more of a vanilla thing than a kink thing. Maybe it’s a coffee thing. You know – not warm milk but not expresso either? (Grins delightedly at getting the prompt in).
Sometimes I find myself craving the erotic build up of anticipation, of the need for touch, the flash of shared passion and spontaneity along with a strong sense of mutual concordance. When I was a young, wanton wench I readily found ways to light amatory fires, make or seize snatched opportunities. Then, as now, I wanted to be whisked into the bushes for a quick fumble; be kissed passionately and repeatedly and fondled with my back against the door, finger fucked in the rear seat of a car, pinned against a tree, a brick wall or a bed by someone else with whom I have an electrifying connection, while they do their utmost to discover what drives all conscious thought from my brain in a relatively short period of time. And I want to return the payment in kind.
While some of these activities seem a little absurd on paper for my soon to be 65 year old self, the desire for dalliance also seems to be colouring my erotic writing (and reading – thanks Cousin Pons, and Cimmerian Sentiment!) at the moment. My writing is also becoming more about delayed gratification, rather than actual consummation. And so now I’m wondering – both as writer and as a sexual woman to what extent does a sexual encounter always need to involve PIV?
My generation were very good at ‘heavy petting’ (and no I’m not talking about oral sex) we had to be, sex before marriage was still frowned upon in the circles my family moved in. My boyfriends and I spent hours with our hands all over each other. On at least two occasions that I recall, the kissing alone was so intense that we ventured into orgasmic territory (thanks Paolo xxx). So dalliance sounds wonderful…
Finally while I’m not overly interested in fucking for fucking’s sake (but don’t take my word on that – some days I may have a different stance) I do like the idea of non-monogamous, kinky, companionate relationships.
By this I mean something along the lines of friends with benefits – shallow though that name might seem. The idea of “playdates” to borrow from the early years parenting language is also appealing. My ideal would perhaps be someone with who I could go places and do creative or fun things with on a fairly regular basis, have kinky sex when we are so moved, enjoy cuddles on demand and caring contact via text or email in between. The caring bit is important – I like to feel that I could yell for help if needed, trust that they would be mindful of my feelings, and honour my need to talk about anything and everything without fear of being put down. I’m fortunate that these creative and caring needs are now being met by my photographer friend CM and we also talk about aspects of sexuality and kink.
As Meatloaf once famously sang ‘Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad’.
I missed #SoSS this week so this is a catch up as well as a double up with Wicked Wednesday.