Aging-Spinning Wisdom into Gold

Aging-Spinning Wisdom into Gold

aging, maturity, inner beautyWhich is more beautiful? The unblemished, untested, shiny new product or the slightly ‘broken’, delicately marred vessel we become with age? Which offers us greater richness and value?

I love the metaphor of gold, the most precious of metals, delicately filling our cracks–solidifying our parts together with strength and lustrous beauty.

And yet we live in a culture that worships youth and creates a false image of the “sexy woman”. Just think about all the young stars in the news talking about or acting out their sexuality. This proliferation of ‘sexy’ in the media has shaped our impression of what sexy should look like.

And, that’s where the problem arises, this definition is extremely limited and based on male driven, male-created (presuming that most ad agencies are still run by men), oversexualized characteristics. Scantily clad, big boobs or big pouty lips may fit the current cultural definition of sexy, but it’s purely subjective, not to mention superficial. The Victoria’s Secret models look to be about 14 years old–they’ve already had breast implants and are stick-figure thin. They have been taught to pout and thrust as they strut across the stage. They are ‘actresses’ portraying sensuous women.

Do you really think that any one of those young women understands the power of her body, beyond the visual appeal? Can she fully relate to a partner in intimate moments and show up as a woman who is comfortable in her sexuality? Probably not. Yet we are told that’s what men crave. We are encouraged to distort our bodies and deny our age to reflect these images.

We get so hung up on someone else’s definition of sexy or handsome or powerful. And, we forget that it’s not all about good photography and makeup, stylists and push-up bras.

The Cinderella of “Sexy”.  All an illusion.

If you spend much time in front of a television, movie, magazine or billboard you’ve seen these sexualized images. And, you’ve probably had a moment or two of envy–quickly followed by shame, sorrow or frustration that your own body doesn’t look that way. Followed by concerns that your partner will judge you in comparison.

I’ve been there. And, I’ve seen men notice those women, men who are entranced by the firm curve of breasts, the thrusting pelvis. And, then I think about my own aging body and soft breasts. I see the alluring photos of ultra-thin girl-women posing in thongs, high-heels and pearls. I used to judge my body by theirs. Now, I know where my strength lies and it’s not, necessarily, in how my body looks. It’s about how I inhabit my body and my knowledge of my sexual self.

Beauty always promises, but never gives anything. – Simone Weil

You can find hundreds of ‘sexy’ quotes on Pinterest–all paired with impossibly thin, sexy-looking bodies. No faces, no heads, just torsos. Youthful torsos. You may have noticed that I don’t use many images of women. I made a vow to only show real women over the age of 50. And, I try not to use sexualized photos of women because they don’t really reflect who we are–even if we are in great physical form we are more than our bodies.

You and I are over 45, I’m approaching 60. We are aging. We are no longer young in years. Our bodies are no longer taut and glistening. Yet our beauty is like that of heirloom silver—possessing a beautiful shine and patina. Burnished, polished, gently marked by time in a way that increases our worth. We feel good to the touch and our time on the planet has given us a depth of knowledge not seen by the naked eye.

An 82-year-old man paid me a huge compliment on Facebook the other day, “btw…looking thru your page, I do so love the gray hair and soft cleavage, this picture is so much more sexy, a pure sex, than pinups with their phony bodies…I do love the soft body of an older woman.” This is the kind of appreciation of older women we need to see and hear more of.  

We cannot be defined by our age or the size of our breasts. we are unique sexual individuals. Each of us approaches our body, our relationships, our pursuit of pleasure in our own individual way. We look inward for validation of our worth as sexual beings, not outward. And, we are rewarded when we tap into our own wisdom. Those who seek us out are rewarded with a richness that goes far beyond the superficial. Even if we are melded together with the finest of gold.


Image from Word Porn, Facebook.


  • Linda Crowe
    Posted at 13:37h, 23 June Reply

    Superb pot! signed, potter’s wife

    • Walker
      Posted at 16:03h, 23 June Reply

      Isn’t it gorgeous. I saw it months ago and when it popped up again I knew I had to have it, even it’s only a photo. If I have a cracked pot can Kevin do that for me?

  • Carol Cassara
    Posted at 14:20h, 23 June Reply

    This is beautiful, sensitive and thought-provoking.A girlfriend & I saw a beautiful woman in her late 20s jogging yesterday–with a great body that included 4 pack abs. “If only…” I said… and we both knew that it was not that we found her sexy but that we saw the discipline it took to be that fit. Yes, not everything has to be about sexy. We can be about discipline. Or we can be about intelligence. Or we can be about laughter. I love your post!

    • Walker
      Posted at 16:04h, 23 June Reply

      I can admire the discipline and I have an admiration for the human form but….. Thanks so much for always reading and offering such lovely compliments and support.

  • Cathy Chester
    Posted at 07:19h, 24 June Reply

    This is beautifully written, poignant and spot-on, Walker. We all need to realize that, like the gold lacquer, we are more beautiful with age, and should continue to remind ourselves that every single day.


    PS I wish that 82 year old man were a little younger. What a lovely thing to say – I’d say snatch him up!

    • Walker
      Posted at 07:38h, 24 June Reply

      Thanks. As for the 82 year old gentleman–me too. He is in a delightful relationship, fully sexual, with a 73 year old woman. He seems very happy. His radiance and contentment is a powerful witness to healthy aging and sexuality.

  • Lisha Fink
    Posted at 11:48h, 24 June Reply

    I have a new metaphor now for the cancer scars on my face. I will forever see them as fractures, repaired in gold. Thank you.

    • Walker
      Posted at 22:10h, 24 June Reply

      Lisha, how wonderful. Thank you for sharing that, it makes me feel good (and more) to know how this fits in with your life.

  • Penny
    Posted at 11:03h, 28 June Reply

    I am a 71 year old married woman who has not had sex for 20 years due to the fact that my husband (now 78) had surgery for prostate cancer at age 58, and sex has been pretty much impossible since then, or at least only possible with aids that take away all spontaneity and fun, and even sensation. Other physical conditions have developed that now make it pretty much impossible.

    I have certainly taken on pleasuring myself, but especially lately, I find myself longing for intimacy with a man. I miss terribly the feeling of lying naked next to someone who has the capacity to be both tender and assertive, with whom I can have shared orgasms once again.

    My husband was a wonderful lover before his illness. I remember our loving with both gratitude and wistfulness. I am not the type to have an affair. Yet I can’t stop thinking about what it would be like to meet a man who could bring this beautiful thing back into my life. I don’t feel that I’m a bad person for having these longings. I just don’t know what to do with them. Any thoughts?

    • Walker
      Posted at 16:15h, 28 June Reply

      Have you and your husband explored oral sex or using toys to bring you, and him, to climax? Rethinking sex beyond intercourse is pleasurable regardless of one’s physical capacity. And it sounds like that may not be an option at this point.

      I certainly understand your desire for intimacy–I think many of us are wired to want touch and closeness…as well as the delights of sex. I don’t know if you’ve talked to your husband about this and the idea of you taking a lover? It is challenging when one partner is ill or otherwise compromised in some fashion. I applaud you for being in touch with your sexuality and knowing what you want.

      I wish I had a simple answer for you. When I was separating from my husband I began getting massages on a regular basis–it was a way for me to have touch–obviously not as satisfying as I might have liked. You might see if there are sexological bodyworkers in your city- I think you have every right to pursue something that feels missing in your life, the challenge is to figure out how to do that without disrupting the marriage.

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