The Pleasure Diaries – Sex After 60

I JUST FOLLOW MY TIMELINE… of feeling more alive after having survived some tough years, enjoying sex even more in older age, becoming convinced that ethical non-monogamy is my thing, and how this all unfolded.

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CHEEX and The Pleasure Society have invited a series of writers to share their experiences, thoughts and feelings about the connection between their sexuality and age—or how it doesn’t exist at all. Our sexuality constantly changes and transforms itself in many different ways. Dive deep into the lives of four different writers who will take you on a journey through some of the experiences that have shaped their sexuality today.

Polyamory

At 61, I find myself thinking about sex every day—risky business, but undeniably fun. Has this always been the case? Maybe. Many real-life reasons have given shape to the contours of my sexuality and polyamory. That in itself is an interesting story, but it also feels like an excuse. Why should engaging in sex at an older age, with multiple men, and enjoying it more than ever be considered an exception needing justification? But let’s say I like to tilt the general perception.

Hormones

Of course, I would like to take you along several picket posts. Let’s begin with the fact that I consider myself quite lucky—not just in terms of my looks and high energy but also my high testosterone! If you don’t believe it, my ring finger is longer than my index finger, which was once scientific evidence for a having lot of testosterone. The glass is always half full for me. Another hormone issue, I think. Lastly, I proudly identify as a true oxytocin spreader, with all the pros and cons that come with that. Everyone understands the advantages. As for the disadvantages—being that I get addicted to everything and everyone—I just take that as part of the bargain.

Sex addict

As a young girl I was a striking figure: a Venus type, straight out of a Botticelli painting, with long, red hair. The transformation from a tall, thin “ugly duckling” to a “beautiful swan” coincided with the years in which I became aware of my effect on my environment (though according to my mother, I had already mastered the art of seduction at the age of two). At 15, I was initiated into love by a man six years my senior, which opened up a whole new world for me. But at the same time, this awakening was met with concern from my family, particularly my “lord uncle”—a Catholic priest who assumed the role of the paterfamilias after my father’s early passing. I was labelled a sex addict label and regularly called out. It didn’t have much effect on me.

Life happens to you...

During a wonderful student time in which I really worked hard – on a professional level I know what I want and I am willing to invest – I tried out a lot. Men, women, androgynous types who would now identify as non-binary. In the end I married a lovely man who has the wonderful ability to give me complete freedom, even at times when things get quite tense for him. Already in the beginning of my marriage I was not monogamous. It is almost impossible in my profession, with all those cute artists. My sex drive was larger than my partner’s, which became a thing later in life. After the kids came, everything changed. Not because of the appropriate pattern, or the mother and father roles we took on, but because our worries would never end. My oldest son, with his autism and profound learning disability, was differently wired in a neurological sense. A beautiful boy, with enormous charisma – which is his helpline – but almost without language and a lot of behaviour issues that are difficult to understand.

Circles on the parking lot

When he was 13 or 14 and hormones were raging through his body, my son found his way to bring his regular state of excitement to a good end. I remember that I was already working on possible alternative scenarios, including seeking advice on methods for my son’s self-satisfaction. Fortunately, he had mastered that himself, but the unpredictable timing of his horniness presented an issue. On the way to our half-hour swim on Saturday morning, it was time again, and I didn’t know how to sail with it if I would force him out of his daze. So I drove a few extra circles around the parking lot until he was done. I recently told this anecdote to a sexuality and care expert at Rutgers Stichting. The expert responded with a big smile and called my handling of the situation unique. For me this is normal, but that may say something about the way I approach myself and others, broadly and in terms of sexuality.

After 45

Coming back to dating from childcare—raising three children, two of whom have autism, epilepsy and learning disabilities—took a considerable amount of time. There were moments in my life when I felt asexual. The demands of caregiving created a small, insular world focused solely on the children. During this time, I was so absorbed in the caring role that I didn’t even recognise flirting men and women around me. I sometimes feared this phase would be perpetual, and I worried that my professional life in the arts and my sexual pleasures were gone for good.However, everything returned after I turned 45. Trembling with happiness, I found myself waiting for the train again, on my way to work, after so many years of training people to guarantee the right learning environment for my sons. While many people encounter a midlife crisis or fall into a rut, I embarked on a second career with the same lust for life. I now revel in both my professional and sexual freedom which extends well into the realm of non-monogamy.

Never say never

I just follow my timeline and know one thing for sure: Never say never! Enjoy what life brings, including setbacks and traumas. By experiencing life and enduring the pain, I can now reach even greater heights and climaxes. One never goes without the other. My advice: Take the risk of living, and share this journey with as many others as possible.

Ine Gevers is director of the Niet Normaal Foundation and curator of the COME ALIVE exhibition, currently on show at the Muntgebouw Utrecht, together with Morgan Catalina.

COME ALIVE celebrates eroticism as a life force in our precarious times. Through touch, image, scent, sound, performance and play, more than 45 artists pull out all the stops to give our bodies a voice as the first and most important gatekeeper. Sharing ‘love without reason’ abundantly allows new insights and helps us to unlearn inherited behaviors.

Visit COME ALIVE and embrace the vitality we share with each and everyone.

The Pleasure Society is your sexuality curator in helping you explore your sexuality in the form of pleasure products, services, stories and experiences. They aim to help people open up the conversation around sexuality and believe that art is a fun, expressive and accessible tool to do just that. The artists, writers and content creators of The Pleasure Society all aim to open up the conversation around sexuality in a creative way.

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