The Born-Again Virgin

Why is it so hard to find someone to sleep with now that I'm over 60?

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I've been divorced for about 15 years now. I'm single and unentangled. So, why is it so hard to find someone to fuck?

Gloria Steinem turned 80 and told the world she enjoys her lowered libido. "The brain cells that used to be obsessed [with sex] are now free for all kinds of great things," she said. You go, girl! It may, of course, happen to me—in another 20 years. Right now, though, I want what I want, and I want sex.

Bodies arching, trembling, sweating. And I don't mean Bikram yoga.

In my carefree college days, I sowed a great many wild oats. I had relationships, flings, nameless encounters, overseas adventures; they were erotic and fun. But when I finally got married, sex evolved. I loved him, he loved me and our sex life was, well, transplendent. (Thanks, "Annie Hall.")

It changed me.

I grew used to unbridled passion entwined with closeness, and it's hard to go back to those offhand, fleeting dalliances. I grew used to Valrhona chocolates; how can I go back to Tootsie Rolls?

Now that I'm over 60, I know myself better. Older, yes—and wiser, kinder, more integrated. More accepting of my less-than-perfect body—and theirs. No longer afraid of getting pregnant. More open. More adventurous. Orgasms are more intense. And, of course, I want to share them!

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But I'm also now more discriminating. I expect intimacy along with sex. Indulging in what author Scott Turow calls the "post-divorce fuck-fest," I quickly learned that the casual close encounters of my younger days no longer satisfy me.

Years of chastity passed. I've been divorced longer than I was married. My hymen grew back for lack of penetration. I'm a born-again virgin.

For a while, a quirky scientist I met via online dating offered the promise of something interesting. Our first date ended with an impromptu (though admittedly clichéd) walk on the beach after dark. Our first kiss was a sweet connection as a rare rain shower began.

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G. was a combination of smart and sexy, and it was easy to want to fall into bed with him. A few facts, however, had to be discussed first. Did I have to tell him how long it had been since I'd last had intercourse? Since I wasn't sure how I'd react, I decided honesty was best. Better than, say, bursting into tears afterward and scaring the bejeebus out of him.

This would also be my first relationship post-menopause. I'd read that women can have thinner, drier vaginal walls at this new stage of life. Copulation might hurt (and not in a good way). I wanted him—and my vagina—to be prepared. Plus, AIDS and STDs are still realities. Condoms were a must.

G. was not only low-key about my born-again status; he took it as a badge of pride that he was the one who would deflower me the second time around. But he was insulted when I suggested bringing lubrication into the bedroom. I secretly stashed a jar of coconut oil in my bedside table (my gynecologist swears by it) and The Big Event began.

The good news is that G. did prove that, without toys, gels, creams or coconut oil, I was every bit as capable of having well-lubricated sex as I had during my fertile years. And orgasms shared are every bit as wonderful as I remember.

The bad news is that G.'s rigid sense of machismo developed into a stumbling block to closeness and we soon parted.

After that relationship's end, I felt (and still feel) trapped in dating site hell. I receive scores of notes from hunky young men, 25-35, telling me how much they'd love to be with an "older woman." I'm buoyed by the compliments, but no longer interested in what they have to offer. And it's difficult to find an age-appropriate single hetero male with wit, intelligence and kindness. A man who likes women. A man who likes sex. A man who likes sex with women. (You'd be surprised how rare that is.)

Unfortunately, my sexual outlets are back to daydreams, denial and masturbation. Waiting, ever waiting, until I can get deflowered the third time around.

Tags: sex