I CONFESS: Unsure I’m ready for sex at sixty
AS A CHILD growing up I always heard conflicting stories about life – for example, that it started at 40. Yet, for many at 40, it was virtually over.
I speak specifically of women and can attest to that reality in situations around me. My mother at 50 looked old and haggard, perhaps as a result of raising six children under very challenging circumstances.
She, like most women then, had no one to help, no babysitter, except for those occasions we stayed with our grandmother for short periods as she was not very well. The neighbours did pitch in on occasion but then we would be playing with their children, our friends.
On reflection, very few of the women in the district where I grew up looked appealing after 40. Of course, there were exceptions.
I remember an aunt of mine who dyed her hair in colours other than black, was fussy about her nails and kept up to date with the styles of the girls in their 20s and 30s. But she was generally considered an oddball whose head might not have been functioning too well.
Truth is, she was never concerned about what anyone said. Those of us close to her simply loved her, so when she migrated to North America it was a sad occasion.
My subsequent trips to her as well as hers back here on holiday were always very interesting. She remained constant: do your own thing and don’t worry about others.
However, it was not as easy to do as she made it seem. Living on this small rock and with a very close family network makes demands of you that may not obtain if you live in a big country far from relatives. You must be very strong-minded to steer away from the popular opinion. This is where I find myself.
I am not even confident to discuss it with all my relatives. Admittedly, I have spoken to two relatives with whom I share a very close relationship with and found out that my issue was theirs as well.
Unlike my mother and my aunts, I have gone through my 40s and 50s without feeling old and worn out and I certainly do not look in my early 60s the way they did when they were much younger.
I try to keep fashionable by wearing appropriate clothing and I do all the things I feel I deserve to enjoy – from spa treatments to pedicures and manicures as well as facials.
I go swimming at least three times a week and I go to the gym three times as well. I try to change my clothing on a regular basis so I do not have a closet full of clothing. I do not want a situation of smelly, outdated clothing.
I am an avid dancer and have joined at least three clubs. So I can do from Latin and ballroom to line dancing. I also like to eat well and follow a fairly rigid regime of fruits, vegetables and salads with primarily fish and chicken (without skin). This is all in my effort to maintain as good a physical appearance as possible, along with a healthy body. I believe I have achieved my objectives.
My problem, however, goes beyond those achievements. My husband died a few years ago and since then I have developed a relationship with a rather nice man whom I met at church. He is two years older than I and also carries himself well and has maintained a very good physique.
He is an independent individual and lives on his own, having been divorced for a number of years.
We have gone to dinner a number of times and he has now joined me at two of my dance clubs.
We are seeing more and more of each other and this is now eight months the relationship has been going.
I have been very cautious. But recently we have kissed on three occasions. I know he wants to go further. But he is patient and appears to be understanding.
I have been thinking about this development and also talking to those two very close relatives, who are also my age, about this turn in my life.
One has indicated she no longer has a sexual relationship with her husband, who has just turned 70, while the other does with her partner who, at 60, is two years younger than she is.
My children, all grown men and women, are aware of the relationship. One son has bluntly indicated his displeasure. He feels that my focus should be primarily on my grandchildren and the church. My daughters, on the other hand, see no issue.
The gentleman has asked me to go on a cruise with him later this year when I celebrate my birthday, which will be three weeks after his and just before Christmas.
He even wants us to vacation for a few days in the southern United States.
I am sure a sexual relationship will happen and nothing else bothers me except thinking about the experience. I have not had sex for over seven years and recognise that my libido may be a problem.