In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, sex lies at the bottom level, the foundation of the pyramid, alongside food and shelter. It’s down there with the basics. Interesting then that my main and consistent focus, my life-long obsession if you like, has remained with sex. Despite having cruised some Maslow’s luxury levels like ‘personal development’.
In my teens, hungry for new experiences and curious about connecting (with myself and others) I had lots, and I mean lots of wild, irresponsible, unattached sex. In my twenties, I had some fantastic married sex. Then I had children and it all stopped for a while. Mercifully, it was a short while, but it took a love affair after the birth of my second child to light the pilot flame again. I’m forever grateful to the man-angel who swept me off my postpartum feet and got me interested once again in my sensual self.
In my late thirties, I discovered tantra. Hours and hours, months and years were spent exploring that enchanting wonderland. Tantra holds the key to awaken the senses – each sense a doorway into deeper pleasure, even spiritual expansion. I had so much tantric sex I became an expert, and even wrote a book on the subject. I can say with absolute certainty that after all that carnal (and spiritual) activity, sex in my fifties – post-menopausal I might add – is better, more exciting and engaging than ever. This is quite a claim, I know.
As I share some of the insights I’ve gained along the way, know that these are not prescriptions – this was my own path to journey on. One must always choose what is right for their body, heart and soul. The trick is to take the time to tune in and see what’s happening for you in each and every moment.
One important factor: I’ve made an effort to look after my health, primarily paying attention to how my body feels – its needs and responses. A year ago when the symptoms of menopause unexpectedly hit me hard, I eliminated the foods I suspected I was allergic to. Within two weeks the chronic aches and pains disappeared and my mood swings leveled out. Since then, I’ve religiously stuck to a wheat-free, sugar-free diet, and seem to be circumnavigating the main problems associated with the change. What’s more, I haven’t been forced to succumb to HRT like many of my girlfriends.
Over the years I’ve experimented with detoxes and colonic hydrotherapy sessions. Dancing and sex are closely related activities, and I’ve danced a lot! To counteract my tendency towards hyper-activity and over-achieving, I’ve also spent a fair bit of time floating mindlessly in sensory deprivation tanks. I’ve gone to therapy and looked inside, practiced meditation and realised we are all One. There’s very little I haven’t tried when it comes to self-development. It may all sound a tad indulgent, but my goal, primarily has been to make the most of the short time I have on this planet. My reasoning was that if I found ways to keep myself filled to overflowing with positivity if not downright joy, I wouldn’t resort to energy-vamping on other people. Thus, anyone who rubbed up against me would benefit from the significant investment in my general and sexual wellbeing. I would simply be a nicer person to be around.
A positive aspect of living life to the full, taking risks and weathering the occasional battering, is that by the time you’re in your forties or fifties, the old ego isn’t quite so fragile. Humility is a gift and one, which can allow you to become more devotional to your sexual partner/s. Devotion is a spiritual practice in itself and can be the fast track to expansion – particularly in the bedroom!
Early on in life, taking our first tentative, steps into intimate connection with other people, one can’t help but have agendas around sex, finding a suitable partner, discovering in the mirror of ‘another’, who you are as a human being, perhaps even creating another human being in the process! It all seems rather complicated when you’re in the tornado of youth. As we transition through the teenage years into young adulthood we also begin to care more about what other people think; Is this appropriate behaviour? Is my body normal? Am I a freak for wanting to try that kinky thing?
On and on the mind chatters, sabotaging our pleasure. There’s often guilt and shame related to sex, unwittingly inherited from family and society. We’re plagued with questions: ‘What is sex? If sex is an ‘act’, does it have a beginning, a middle and an end? Should I even be having sex with this person? – maybe this is a mistake!…’ Until we learn how to put the mind in its rightful place, it fucks with us, restricting our freedom of expression and stinting our spontaneity. We gather a huge pile of mental debris, which we dump on what should ideally be an organic and natural activity.
The wonderful thing about growing older is that all of those personal fears and societal concerns that seemed to matter to us then are irrelevant now. We can love more freely and unconditionally without fear of losing ourselves in all those tedious head-games we used to play when we were working out how to ‘do’ relationships. We’re not so afraid of making fools of ourselves, there’s less embarrassment over showing who we really are, in our nakedness and vulnerability.
I find older men are more patient and less goal-orientated. They’re interested in what turns their partner on, not what they can get. Men who have journeyed through some life experience are more able to be ‘present’ – and they’ve (hopefully) learned how to give and receive. These are crucial qualities in a fulfilling sexual encounter. They enjoy each moment for what it is – a very tantric approach. Young men tend to be more acquisitive in every sense, materially and sexually. If guys pay attention along the way, they might find out, for example, that although it generally takes men about three minutes from the piquing of interest to the point of being able to fuck; women take at least twenty minutes of good, all-over body foreplay to be fully aroused and ready for penetrative sex.
On the purely physical level, because most people don’t talk openly about sex they don’t realise that there’s a solution for almost every conceivable sexual problem. For example, I’m asked from time to time – ‘has your vagina stopped lubricating as effectively as it used to?’. The answer is no – firstly, because I set about learning how to ejaculate and secondly, I found a miraculous product called Secret Ceres. Ask the internet where you can buy one – trust me, it works! Also, along with my daily Pilates programme, which keeps my body fit and flexible, I practice tantric breathing and vaginal squeezing techniques, similar to Kegels, which have strengthened my vagina to an incredible degree over the years. These exercises support bigger, stronger, longer orgasms. Who wouldn’t want those? Through constant research and inquiry, I’ve found solutions to a raft of sexual issues affecting women and men.
My own sex life is as important to me as it was thirty five years ago and the attention I’ve given it over the years has paid off. Fundamentally, I’m happy. Whoever I’m having sex with is happy. I figure this is good energy to be putting out into the cosmos. So here’s a positive affirmation worth reciting – I will be having hot, horny and ridiculously eccentric sex until the day I die.