Most readers of this blog or my work are aware, I imagine, that sex interests me. I don’t just mean engagement in it (though that is included!), but the topic itself: the vast, glorious, and fascinating subject of sexuality with its myriad psychological, spiritual, personal, social, and energetic implications. Whenever I have encountered another in the personal or public realm who seems similarly oriented, I have tended to take notice and go out of my way to discover said person’s perspectives and offerings on this subject of mutual fascination.
Joan Price is one of these people. And her latest book, The Ultimate Guide to Sex After 50: How to Maintain—or Regain—a Spicy, Satisfying Sex Life, published by Cleis Press, is a shining example of why I would seek out this kind of luminosity. I’m delighted to participate today in the official blog tour celebrating this brand new release—please visit here to see the rest of the schedule and follow along!
It is a beautiful book. If I were to describe it in one word, I think it would be “inspiring.”
I perceive this word from multiple angles. As a reader who hasn’t even experienced many of the things the book talks about, I could feel the energy of kindness, generosity, and encouragement with which it was written. I find that inspiring in and of itself. In addition, I saw inspiration in the following messages (explicit or implicit):You Are Not Alone
As a baseline, this book will let readers know they are not alone in almost all of their situations, concerns, or challenges. Running the gamut from issues of seemingly lost intimacy, changes in desire, the occurrence of widowhood, health challenges, medicinal side effects, and much more, what is presented in these pages lets those facing any of these circumstances know that many, many other people have and are too. I don’t underestimate the profound value of this.
Mainstream Social Messages About Older Sexuality Are (Generally) Bullshit
I have experienced mainstream culture as dismissing or denigrating the existence or appropriateness of sexual desire, expression, and health among older people. I find this nonsensical and unconscionable. So, it seems, does the author.
There Are Many Practical Solutions Available
The author devotes much pagination to addressing numerous practical matters, from medicinal side effects to the potential benefits of different kinds of sex toys. Personally, I could feel the caring and reassurance with which this was written, which it seems to me will be of particular support to readers who may experience a defeated relationship with their bodies or health challenges. Joan not only offers information to help readers understand the array of options and potential solutions that are available, she has also compiled an extensive “Recommended Resources” section at the end of the book and consistently reminds the reader to check them out if they seem relevant.
You Have a Right to Have Sexual Concerns Addressed in Professional Medical Care
There is a whole chapter devoted to speaking with medical professionals about issues related to sexuality, particularly in the context of health challenges. This chapter encompasses information on everything from finding a doctor willing to address this topic (and ceasing to see one who doesn’t) to how to convey to your health care providers that you find your sexuality an important part of life and want to attend to any concerns about it.
While the World—and You—Have Changed, the Very Fact That You’re Still Here Means You Are Capable of Adapting
I also saw a continual emphasis on openness and awareness of shifts in ourselves and our relationships. The straightforward assertion that things shift in our bodies and beings as we age and that this does not necessarily mean the “end” of something but rather an opportunity for something different struck me as a linchpin of the overall positive, caring, and encouraging note this book consistently sounds.
Not surprisingly (to me anyway), there were certainly things in The Ultimate Guide to Sex After 50 that it seems to me adults of all ages would do well to consider. Certainly I appreciated the emphasis throughout on expanding our view and definition of sex to mean things in addition to penis-in-vagina (PIV) intercourse. And, of course, there was a general inclusivity essential to any comprehensive book on sexuality that addressed populations such as the LGBT communities. There were also timeless offerings related to self-awareness, such as the recommendation to discern, articulate, and prioritize what one is specifically looking for in a sexual or long-term committed partner.
Joan also shares generously of herself in these pages. This did not surprise me, as I have seen her offer openly about her (sometimes quite intimate) experiences and how they have impacted her life and sexuality. I have experienced her as doing this at least in part with the earnest aspiration of supporting others in developing and living their own authentic sexualities. Again—inspiring.
Never for a second did I see this book as not relevant to me because I’m not (yet) in the target age group. (Really, how self-defeating would such a perspective be, since it seems likely I someday will be!) I actually love having had the opportunity to read this at this time; it prepares me with so much information for what to perhaps expect and how to address my own experience as I get older. Encouraging and practical, accessible and informative, The Ultimate Guide to Sex After 50 is a book I recommend without hesitation not only to the targeted age group but also to all of us who care about sexuality and want to support both ourselves and others in authentically appreciating it throughout the human life span.
-Michael Buble “Feeling Good”
I have been quiet during December. As I have mentioned here before, in Five-Element acupuncture, Winter is a time for stillness, silence, depth, and mystery. Our culture seems to throw that for a bit of a loop, but I personally aspire to do my best to respect the season’s offerings. At this time, that manifested as stepping away a bit from online promotion and interaction.
Of course, I was remiss in not getting a post up about the annual International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers on December 17. I absolutely did not forget about the day; I just (for the first time since I started blogging) did not manage to get a post written about it in a timely manner. I regret that.
Writing-wise, 2014 was a huge year for me, of course, with the release in September and October of my first single-author books. I found it big for me in other ways, too, and I can hardly believe 2014 is already coming to a close. To me, the year seemed to fly by. On that note, I’m a bit late in mentioning that I have an author interview about If… Then up on the Marketing for Romance Writers (MFRW) Author Blog that went live this past Sunday, December 28.
Before I close out the year here, I want to give a shout-out to two people I love dearly. The first is my colleague Alana Noel Voth, whose birthday I appeared to miss on December 27 (I say “appeared” because I actually didn’t forget about that either but just didn’t manage to publicly wish her a happy birthday like I meant to!). Alana released her first single-author short story collection this year as well: the extraordinary Dog Men is available now through its publisher, Tiny Hardcore Press. If you’re not familiar with Alana’s writing, all I know to say is that I have consistently found it breathtaking in its scope, depth, and capacity to move. I highly recommend checking her collection out.
The second is Ms. Donna George Storey, whose birthday is today! Donna is the author of Amorous Woman, one of my all-time favorite novels, and it has so been my pleasure and privilege to get to know her, mostly via our online communications, over the last several years.
Wishing all a beautiful new year (and always!) and transition into 2015.
-Jason Aldean “Just Gettin’ Started”
First, I truly could not be more honored to have received the Top Blogger Award from Romance Lives Forever for the month of November. I had an interview featured there November 10, and the award means that post received more page views than any other of the month (with the exception of the Top Blogger post itself, posted on the first of the month, and the post for a unique blog event in November that was in honor of Veterans’ Day). I really can hardly believe my post gleaned this honor, and I feel so truly, profoundly grateful to everyone who visited and/or shared it. Thank you.In addition, I also have a guest post up today at the remarkable Brit Babes blog, a site run by eight magnificent UK-based authors: Lily Harlem, Victoria Blisse, Lexie Bay, Tabitha Rayne, Sarah Masters, Lucy Felthouse, Kay Jaybee, and K D Grace. I am delighted to have the chance to
As I mention in the post itself, the topic I chose to write about is not new (either its existence or a response to it). But I’d found the topic in my consciousness recently and felt compelled to muse on what I saw as its implications. The result was “The Art of Perception: Sexuality, Society, and Realness”—and what better place to offer it, it seems to me, than Brit Babes? :)
In case I’ve seemed coy about the actual topic, my post deals with the response to the claim that erotic writing is not “real” writing. A very thoughtful friend of mine postulated the question to me in a theoretical sense—as in, how would I respond to it were someone to seriously ask me—and this post is, for now at least, my answer. :)
-from “The Art of Perception: Sexuality, Society, and Realness”
It is truly my honor to be appearing today at Beyond Romance, the blog of legendary Lisabet Sarai. Lisabet’s was one of the very first names I ever learned in the realm of contemporary erotica, as I ran across it in short order when I first discovered the Erotica Readers and Writers Association website, which could be considered a catalyst into my long-dreamed-of foray of publishing work as an author.
Speaking of catalysts, my post today on Beyond Romance is titled, “Conflicts and Catalysts: Exploring Self-Awareness in Story and Life,” and it includes a giveaway—all you have to do is comment, and you’ll be entered to win a $10 gift card to Barnes & Noble. :) (I’ll draw the winner Tuesday.) I am so grateful to Lisabet for graciously inviting me to be a guest on her blog today, (truly, I’m a bit awestruck to be there), and it was a pleasure to ruminate on the topic I did—namely, how almost all the stories in my two new collections, If… Then and Safe, have a “conflict” with the self at their core.
Hope to see you there!
-from “Conflicts and Catalysts: Exploring Self-Awareness in Story and Life”
I keep thinking I’ve posted this here when in fact I’ve only done so in my head. :) Regular readers may have noticed that I have been remiss in neglecting to post Recommended Reading for the past few weeks. Apologies! I, again, knew that I was planning to make a schedule change over the last several weeks and managed to forget to actually post my plan to do so.
So, with the addition of actions related to promoting my new books to my general to-do list, as well as a few other things, I am feeling that gathering my themed Recommended Reading posts has become something I have not quite had the wherewithal to organize each week. I certainly don’t want to stop doing RR, as it’s something I’ve really appreciated and enjoyed (and thank you so much to those who have followed and appreciated the feature!), but I am going to release the commitment of posting it regularly each week on Wednesdays. I will now go to posting it…well, whenever I want to (lol).
In all seriousness, Recommended Reading will no longer have a regular post time/day but will rather be posted whenever I feel inclined to prioritize doing so. As such, I will announce on social media when I do post RR since it will no longer seem predictable/regular. :)
Thank you again so much for reading, and be well!