Professionals over 40 tend to have one thing in common: We tend to be independent and confident. As a result, when we are not in a relationship, we don’t struggle as much as those who are more dependent on a partner. We rely on ourselves for happiness, and though lunch is always more enjoyable with a partner, we won’t starve without!
But what about sex?
Try as we may, women of my generation and older just aren’t quite as comfortable with the more promiscuous sexual mores of our younger sisters and daughters. Mature and respectable men, too, it seems, have a more gentlemanly approach to sex than the younger generations.
While there certainly are folks our age who play as hard as the current 20-somethings, most of us take a different approach. But most of us have also spent the last few decades with the same partner, enjoying sex on a regular basis. And we miss it.
Let’s face it: Being single and celibate is not fun! Finding a “friends-with-benefits” relationship may be a good alternative, but that requires an emotional disconnect that can be extraordinarily difficult, especially for women. And no matter how skilled one may be at self-stimulation, it can’t adequately replace the satisfaction enjoyed with the right partner.
To add insult to a complicated situation, we may have “body issues” with which we did not have to contend in earlier decades. Our one-time-spouses, to whom we thought we’d forever be married, grew accustomed to the stretch marks, surgical scars, and drooping body parts as these things developed over the years.
But someone new, someone experiencing your body for the first time, can only now dream of what you may have looked like in your youth! He or she will be hit with all of the imperfections at once, and we know it. Regardless of our level of confidence, stripping down to bare for the first time can be daunting.
I Googled the phrase “sex over 40 and single” and, amid the plethora of dating sites for the mature single, I found a nice little website that looked like it might be worthwhile. Clicking on the link, my screen exploded with pop-up ads for arthritis medication! If that doesn’t speak volumes, I don’t know what will.
You won’t find an answer here to the problem of fulfilling your sex life while you’re single. But it begs the questions: How do we find a suitable life partner at this age, whether or not we ever intend to marry again? And just what are the rules nowadays, when it comes to acceptable sexual behavior?
Keeping in mind that many of us are also balancing less private matters concerning being single at mid-life, what strategies are there for taking care of this very basic, very human need? How long do you wait before engaging in a sexual relationship with someone you are newly dating? What is the man’s perspective when a woman is seemingly as eager — or more so — than he is to crawl under the sheets?
For each generation, the answers seem to be different.
It’s Your Turn:
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~ Lynda C. Watts