24 Apr Where a Sex Writer and Educator Reveals Herself to a Prospective Date
So what happens when a 59-year-old woman starts online dating—again? More specifically when said woman has an unusual name and an unusual job? She doesn’t share her name initially for one thing. And, when she does, she holds her breath waiting for him to do a google search and discover that she writes about S-E-X.
So, it’s a Sunday morning and I’m meandering around an online dating site and a guy pops up asking to chat. I’m bored, so I say yes. We chatted for close to 2 hours—lots of fun and as he lived relatively far away I had no real thoughts that we would meet.
The conversation eventually got to the ‘what do you do for a living’ place. Followed by, “Oh you’re a writer. What do you write about?”
“I write about sex for midlife women.”
At that point the conversation took a distinct turn in direction. It was fascinating to observe his process as he started asking if he could ask questions…and then asking some pretty direct, explicit ones. When he suggested we talk on the phone I said no. I knew where that was headed—Phone Sex!
I get it. It wasn’t what most guys expect to find in a over-the-hill woman and he was flabbergasted at how open I was in answering questions. It’s not your everyday conversation.
I’m not your typical divorced over-the-hill woman.
The second time it happened the story went the exact opposite way. I had been anticipating this! Guys are either hot and bothered by my sexuality or put off by it. There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground. This one was a nice, intelligent man who didn’t want to date a woman who wrote about sex. He assumed that maybe I hadn’t anticipated this reaction. Of course I had. But I wasn’t going to lie–I’m not ashamed of what I do. And the disclosure is a great way to assess sexual compatibility at some level. It reveals how comfortable he’s going to be with my work and my history.
I was talking to the sexological bodyworker I worked with at my retreat last November and we discussed the idea of finding one’s erotic peer. It’s an intriguing notion, that we have a peer in that arena. And a challenging one at this age. Lots of people want and like to have sex; fewer people have studied sexuality or made an intentional practice of developing sexual intimacy. Factor in age, concerns about performance, traditional views of sex, and the complication factor rises.
Ideally we chose a potential partner or date for basic levels of compatibility. If we’re anti-tobacco we won’t date a smoker. Or maybe the rabid Republican won’t talk to a liberal Democrat? But how do we find our sexual match if that is important to us? How does one talk about sexual desires and habits in the early online dating process? I want to find a way to convey my sexuality, but to do so in a dating profile is to open oneself up to all sorts of guys. The ones who just want sex.
The hangups about sex we had at earlier ages in our life are still with us, maybe more so. Add in a dash of insecurity about body image, physical performance and health issues and you might have a situation where one person feels too uncomfortable, or threatened, by someone with unconventional (if conventional means straight intercourse once in a blue moon, with the lights out) sexual interests.
Here’s what I tried to explain to this guy I never got to meet. I want a man who places a value on ‘us’ and works to keep lines of communication open. A man who is willing to be vulnerable and work through challenges with me—understanding that we share those challenges together. I explained that the ‘professional’ me isn’t always the ‘personal’ me.
So, maybe sharing my work and how I view sex and sexuality should be placed out there really quickly. It could be a good way to weed out the timid…though it might bring on some unwelcome attention.
What did I learn from these two encounters?
- Truth is always the best policy when it comes to dating.
- Timing is everything!
- If openness and strong sexual interest/desire/experience is important then one has to bring that into the conversation.
- Toys are a girl’s best friend! Just teasing…sorta.
Photo by Wallyir, Morguefile