How do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?
I’m an advocate for ageless sexuality. My mission is to talk out loud about older-age sex – to help normalize it in our society, and to encourage my generation to maintain or reclaim sexual pleasure. When my book, Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex, won the 2012 book awards from both the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, I realized that my work really is becoming a catalyst for change.
Who or what was a catalyst for you?
Falling in love at age 57 with artist Robert Rice, then 64, was my catalyst. We had seven exhilarating and passionate years together until I lost him to cancer. It was because of our relationship that I switched my writing topic from health and fitness to senior sex.
What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges or concerns facing us in the field of sexuality right now?
We tend to think all’s right with the world when we’re together in an environment like CatalystCon, but out in the real world, there’s still a lot of ignorance and prejudice. I wish we could just celebrate whatever consensual form our sexuality takes and not judge each other.
What do you feel are some of the most important/valuable positive changes that have been made in the world of sexuality in the past year?
Each year gets better as we talk and write about sex and insist on our right to be exactly who we are. The Internet and conferences like CatalystCon make it easier for sex educators, sex activists, and sex-positive individuals to find each other.
Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, Senior Sex, to CatalystCon East?
Society tends to view seniors as sexless or as laughable if they are sexually active (or wanting to be). I want to lend my loud voice to counteract that view.
Share one unknown (or little known) fact about yourself.
I’m 69. People seem nervous about asking my age, as if I should be embarrassed about it. I assure you I’m not! (They’re also nervous about asking my height for some reason – I’m 4’10” on a good day. This only bothers me when I’m trying to reach something on the top shelf at the grocery store.)