My long-time, 60-something, married friend (I’m calling her M, not her real name) met a new man about six years ago. Within two years, she left her emotionally abusive husband (she’d been married 37 years), found a full-time job (she hadn’t worked during most of her marriage, while she raised four children), and moved into a one-bedroom apartment (after living in a big, beautiful house for decades).
M was happy in her new life. She loved her boyfriend, her work and her new home. But, unexpectedly, she lost her job about seven weeks ago at the struggling company. Still unemployed, she feels like she’s losing the footing she’s worked hard to establish during the last few years.
M was inspired by a New York Times article she recently read about author Julia Cameron, who wrote The Artist’s Way, A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity in 1992, which has sold over 4 million copies. One of the seminal “self-help” books, The Artist’s Way proposes that absolutely everyone is creative and gives us the tools to release our “inner artist” in 12 weeks. That’s how long “it takes for people to cook,” Julia told The New York Times.
An avid reader, M couldn’t wait to read the book and start following Julia’s central advice to write three pages, by hand, the first thing every morning about absolutely anything that pops into your mind. The exercise is called “Morning Pages,” and I asked M to share some of hers with me. She generously agreed.
I admire M’s determination to put her intimate thoughts on paper, especially during this stressful period in her life. Too many of us are so busy running around we don’t take the time to think about what we’re really about.
M’s Morning Pages: Dreamy Sex at 60 Something
By the time you can have unprotected, carefree sex, you’re in a stale and unhappy marriage. All the baggage you’ve been lugging around becomes so heavy, you don’t care about sex. Your menopausal body doesn’t want it. You go through the motions to please a spouse you can’t stand. And, eventually the marriage becomes a quiet life of desperation. With no sex. A convenience rather than a life. Stay married, financially secure, have a partner for those events that pop up and inwardly be miserable, unfulfilled and numb. This, I wrote on the train yesterday because I had to write it as soon as I thought it. I was thinking about the exuberant sex I have with C. We go at it like teenagers, with mutual abandon and love. We have fun, laugh, and try new ways of pleasing each other. It’s not an obligation or requirement.
We’re not trying to become pregnant or to avoid it. It’s sex, purely to satisfy each other. Most women know sex goes hand in hand with emotions and mental state of mind. If those two components aren’t in sync, the body doesn’t respond. Sex is dry and can be painful. But husbands want sex. They need it. The guilt is heaped upon a wife for not being a willing partner. I’m not saying this is true for all married couples – most women won’t share their sexual lives with their friends. My husband wanted sex all the time, even after not speaking to me for weeks. No apology, just move forward like nothing happened. I was a complacent wife and went along with his agenda to keep the peace.
The first time I had sex with C, my head was screaming, What are you doing? And my vagina was singing. This wasn’t young sex with a boyfriend who you wanted to please and hoped to marry, a one-night stand or, as the kids today say, “a hookup.” The young people I worked with have “hookups.” They meet guys online or in bars, go home and have sex, never to meet again. The girls tell me they’re horny and need to get laid. When I was in my twenties, I didn’t feel so horny that I’d have sex with anyone that came along. I had to have a connection and attraction. There had to be a relationship.
I love having sex with C more than I’ve ever enjoyed sex in my life. I’m the one who wants it all the time. Just being near him gets me aroused. I’m on a bioidentical hormone pellet, which is implanted every four to six months. C calls the pellet a stick of dynamite! I just turned 65. He’s 61. Men have physical sexual issues as much as women do. We have found ways, without drugs, to have great sex. When there is no pressure to perform and an understanding of each other’s needs, beautiful lovemaking is the result. Frequently, I wonder where I would be if we hadn’t met. I felt 100 percent sure I’d be stuck in my “mansion,” unhappy and waiting for the day I would be happy.