How do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?
When I started doing this work almost 13 years ago, I felt like a voice in the wilderness advocating for and educating about older-age sexuality. People didn’t know whether to listen attentively, laugh derisively, or go “ewww, wrinkly people having sex? That’s icky!” Now there’s a whole movement of older-adult sex education and advocacy, and I’m proud to be a part of it. I write books and articles, I give talks and webinars globally, and I review sex toys from a senior perspective at NakedAtOurAge.com. At age 73, I can’t imagine any work that would bring me more joy than what I do!
Who or what was a catalyst for you?
The catalyst for me originally was a negative one – I couldn’t find any good books about aging and sexuality that were relevant, contemporary, comprehensive, and other than doom and gloom. So I decided to write my own.
What do you feel are some of the most important/valuable changes that have been made in our current society and the field of sexuality?
I love the way people in many different sexuality-based fields come together these days to exchange information and support each other, whether it’s on Facebook or at conferences like CatalystCon and Woodhull. There’s a respect and willingness to help each other. I feel part of a warm, welcoming cadre of diverse people united by their sex positivity and open-mindedness.
What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges or concerns facing us in society and the field of sexuality today?
The current political climate is our biggest challenge, concern, and fear. I’m sure I don’t need to say more.
Why is your CatalystCon presentation topic important to you?
I’m giving two new presentations this year: 12 Steps to Sexy Aging – Starting Now! is relevant for all ages, not just the over-50 crowd that I usually speak to. I’ve learned some things about ways to stay sexy through the decades that I’m delighted to share. I’m also giving a pre-con workshop: ALL WRITE! All You Need to Know to Turn Your Idea into a Polished Piece of Writing. I’ve been earning my living as a professional writer for more than 30 years, and I taught writing at the high school level for 22 years before that. The practical tools I’ll teach will help people in any field who want to write with more skill and confidence and enjoy the process more — and yes, I can teach that in a 3-hour workshop!
Share one unknown (or little known) fact about yourself.
I almost died in an automobile accident in 1979. I decided to live. Every year, every day, is a gift I might have missed.