There is so much to wrap your brain around when, at 67 years old, you finally work up the nerve to create as honest and compelling a profile as possible for an online dating site, eventually find someone you are interested in meeting face-to-face, and realize you want to do more than just have a cup of coffee with him. You might actually want SEX with him. Egads.
Don’t let the kids read this.
Yes, it is wonderful to feel you found more than “just a quick date” – to find someone you feel a connection with. It is a wonderful bonus to realize he feels the same way about you. And then WHAM-O! You both feel the urge to move forward to the next step. Doing more than just kissing opens the door to a possibly scary new world: sexual intimacy. On the other hand, it was more likely for the door to open to a marvelous new world! Perhaps wonderful to the Nth degree?!?
And so I was faced with the natural progression of things – at least in MY mind and in his. We are old enough to know what we want and to go ahead and open that door, right?
As a reminder: I am 67. It has been 3 years since I was sexually intimate. During that time I was still a woman who embraced her sexuality, but the embracing involved occasional vibrators and my active imagination. Solo, behind closed doors.
Now our relationship was at the point of wanting to confirm we were compatible in a sexual way too.
If we found ourselves disappointed in the sexual experience then we might not have any future together at all.
That felt like a lot of pressure. It was scary. We did not really expect any let-down, but recognized the possibility existed.
Yes, we discussed it.
So, I think I look pretty good when dressed – even in jeans, which is my normal mode.
But underneath it all… well, my skin is more saggy than firm, it just looks old (because it sorta is), various parts jiggle when they did not in the past. I worried about whether he would still be pleased with me.
Time for another talk, Julie…
I reminded myself that men of my age also have aging body parts, that most men are simply happy to see a naked woman, and convinced myself to get over it. I recognized that the only relationship I wanted to pursue was one in which I was fully comfortable being myself. My naked self is part of who I am, you know?
Really, I did not seriously think he would dislike me naked. I did not seriously think he would make me feel embarrassed or nervous. In all ways he already made me feel appreciated and cherished. Feeling sexy was already within me but established a foothold due to this one special man. The only problem had been in my head, but it was no longer the only voice I heard. So just as I learned from the marvelous book “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”…
…I decided to do it anyway. I followed my heart. I wanted to. I trusted him and I trusted in what we knew we already had. We wanted more, of course. And that is exactly what we got!
We planned to spend New Year’s Eve together at his home, which meant I would be sharing a bed – overnight – with another person after too many years of sleeping alone.
LO AND BEHOLD: Everything turned out much better than I ever imagined…but of course I could not imagine something I’d never before experienced. It was the stuff movies and novels expose us to, but was stuff I’d begun to doubt was real life. We discussed how nice it was to be old enough to have learned a few life lessons and to grant ourselves the right to do what we want. We recognized the value of having the time to fully explore each other. We repeated over and over how lucky we were to have found each other.
And oh my – what a delicious discovery to realize the books and movies did not all lie afterall.
At the last minute I found myself fretting over small stuff, warning him that my family claimed I snored, that since I was recovering from a cold was still subject to periodic coughing spells and worried I would keep him awake, etc. Random and nagging concerns. He seemed unconcerned. I kicked myself in the rear again and proceeded with more confidence. How could I not?
We had a full day and night of enjoying each other in all the ways that drew us together to begin with. Together, we set ourselves to the task of making the ending of 2013 and the beginning 2014 memorable and special to the two of us. We succeeded. We connected in all ways. We kept repeating how lucky we were to have found each other. We smiled so much it is miraculous our facial muscles did call for a time out.
Early in the morning of January 1st he brought me freshly brewed coffee in bed. HAPPY NEW YEAR! He opened the blinds so we could watch the world come to light. Yes, we are both early morning people.
At one point he looked at me rather solemly and said very kindly, “Yes, you do snore, but in a very cute way”.
What I have confirmed: The Universe can present you with the one you seek if you believe it can and will happen. Recognize and grab it when it happens. Search. Be ready. Don’t fret. Do not give up hope. Do not sweat the small stuff like saggy skin, scars, snoring, and all those niggly thoughts that fear plants in your head. Recognize and embrace your body and your sexuality. Believe in it. Focus on what is important: the ways you connect, the appreciation and joy you experience together, the love that begins to invade your bones.
It is never too late – And for sure, you are never too old.
Embrace yourself and live your life fully – whatever that means to you.
Note: I recently read a book by Francois Roland, “Being French! A Frenchman’s Guide to a More Sensual Life”. Reading it might help you appreciate and adopt a distinctly French point of view. That point of view might serve as food for rethinking and possibly rejecting attitudes that prevent sexual enjoyment.