I was invited to write about Best Sex Writing of the Year as part of their launch. I am happy to support the publication of this book and help get the word out about sex-positive experiences and lifestyles.Here’s what the PR people at Cleis Press have to say about the 2015 Best Sex Writing of the Year.
“In Best Sex Writing of the Year, no topic is too small or too taboo for writer, radio personality, and sexual pundit Jon Pressick, who has compiled a compelling collection of nonfiction writings on sex. With a forward by pornography actress and feminist activist, Belle Knox, as well as writings from well known authors like Joan Price, Jiz Lee, Charlie Nox, and Cory Silverberg, this anthology open the doors wide to reveal the secretive and hidden side of sex. From heart-wrenching tales of sexual exploit to musings on sex toys and race relations, this book covers the sexual gamut.”
Given a selection of writers to feature, naturally I chose Joan Price. Joan is a friend and colleague, who writes about sex in a straightforward, no BS manner. Joan isn’t apologetic about aging nor is she unrealistic in her advice for older adults. Sex and desire is just as natural for adults over 60, or 70, as it is for those in their 20s and 30s, a message Joan embodies in her personal life. From Best Sex Writing of the Year (this is an affiliate link with Amazon), here’s a snippet of Joan’s story for your reading pleasure–a sad story but a pivotal one in her life.
Best Sex Writing of the Year, Volume 1, edited by Jon Pressick
Excerpt from “Sharing Body Heat” by Joan Price
August 2, 2008: I crawled into Robert’s bed and wrapped my body around his. If I could only get close enough to make the last hour, the last months, disappear. I hugged him tightly, desperately. I wailed his name and listened to his silence, remembering his murmurs, his words of love. I nuzzled my face into his neck as I had many times before, but there was no warmth now, no “I love you, sweetheart,” no kiss on the top of my head, no strong arms pulling me into him. I covered his thigh with mine, snaking my arm under his pajama top so that I could stroke the chest hair I had first touched seven years before.
I willed him to respond.
But he didn’t.
I willed him to come back to life.
But he didn’t.
“Do you need some time alone with your husband before the mortuary takes his body away?” the hospice nurse asked me gently. I nodded, shut the bedroom door, turned off the light, and crawled into bed with Robert’s dead body.
It was the first time in three months that I could wrap myself around my beloved and hold him tightly without causing him pain. Multiple myeloma—a blood cancer that affects the bone marrow’s ability to make healthy blood cells—had ripped Robert’s life from him while he still lived. His fragile bones broke, causing excruciating pain. His strong dancer’s body weakened and withered.
We could no longer make love—which had been our great joy—or even snuggle. Every touch was painful to him. All I could do towards the end was rest my hand or cheek lightly on his chest, or hold his hand. These little acts became making love.
Earlier that night I had held Robert’s hand—the hand that painted extraordinary works of art, that gestured gracefully as he talked, that rested on the air as he danced, that caressed me for seven years. I talked to him for hours, telling him how much I loved him and recounting memories. I reminisced about the afternoons that turned into evening as we gloried in the tactile paradise of each other’s bodies, the rhythm of our breath in sync. Now there was no breath at all. My tears spilled onto his hand. I lifted his hand and rubbed the wetness into my cheek.
“No-o-o-o!” I wailed.
Ours had been a later-life love affair—we met when I was fifty-seven and he was sixty-four. Robert Rice (yes, his name differed from mine by one letter) was a lifelong artist and a trained dancer from the age of two. He had recently moved to my area and was looking for a place to dance. He discovered my contemporary line-dance class.
The moment he walked into the room, my postmenopause-diminished hormones went into overdrive. I met his blue eyes and fell into them. I let my eyes travel to the tuft of chest hair that peeked from the V of his shirt, top two buttons undone, and I yearned to unbutton it the rest of the way down. Then when he moved his hips to the music, I pictured them moving under my hands and I lost my place in the dance I was teaching. It was lust at first sight.
My crush was one-sided, though. Robert kept coming to dance class, but he seemed oblivious to my interest, though it was obvious to all the other dancers, they told me later. Robert was there for dance, not romance.
Joan’s story of her life with Robert opened the door to a career in writing and speaking about sex for seniors. I have spent time with Joan at conferences and heard her speak on sex and sexuality. She’s a dynamo!
Best Sex Writing of the Year is full of stories from sex educators and writers across the country. Their stories are unique and represent all walks of life and ways of looking at sex and sexuality. I ordered my copy last week and I invite you to get your own copy.
To learn more about Joan Price, see her website, Naked At Our Age.