1. How do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?
By writing and talking about midlife sex I am able to help women feel more comfortable about sex. There’s so much misinformation out there, or lack of information, about sex for the over 50 woman that women don’t really know where to turn. I write openly about sex in an accessible way, including my own experiences when appropriate, and I encourage women to reach out with questions.
2. Who or what was a catalyst for you?
Divorce and dating was the catalyst for me—I began to look at how I approached sex as an older woman and decided to embrace my own sexuality. Once I started reading and writing about sex I’d have to say Betty Dodson has been and continues to be one of my main catalysts.
3. What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges or concerns facing us in the field of sexuality right now?
One of the biggest challenges for all of us, particularly young women, is the current political atmosphere. Shaming and the lack of sex education is damaging to women’s self-esteem, hampers the ability to disseminate information and creates a negative attitude towards sexual freedom. Challenges for older women are more ingrained and subtle. Midlife women are products of an environment that denied women’s ability to experience sexual pleasure. There aren’t enough resources or professionals who are sex-positive and knowledgeable about aging and sexuality.
4. 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?
There seems to be more literature and information about sex in the mainstream media. We’re seeing prominent public speakers talking about sex in venues like TedTalks. The conversation about older people and sex is seeping into the media, even if it’s something as foolish as Miley Cyrus saying that no one has sex after age 40.
5. Why do you feel it is important to bring this topic The White Picket Fence and Midlife Sex to CatalystCon East?
The women I write for and work with are mothers and grandmothers—they are often overlooked in sex education and in conversations about sexuality. By encouraging this age group to embrace their sexuality, learn more about their bodies and how to ask for what they want we are also helping to ensure sex education for younger people. The older woman can be a strong role model and offer political, financial and emotional support to the work of promoting a healthy sexuality. And, imagine a world where orgasms and sexual pleasure become the norm regardless of age!
6. Share one unknown (or little known) fact about yourself.
When I was in college my part time job was driving a transit bus for the University. And, I’m pretty proud of the fact that my 6-year old granddaughter asked me how to spell vagina.
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