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Old 08-25-2009, 07:35 PM   #1
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O.K. Ladies you knew this one was going to come from me. Do you think it is easier to be an older woman today(45 years old and up) than it was for our mothers? If that is the case. who has words of wisdom for women figuring out how to be an older woman and not become de-sexualized in the process. Does being fat an older make you feel more sensual.
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:56 PM   #2
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The older ladies around me don't seem to put much importance on sex, mind you these are women in their 70s and up. They have also had several husbands and Ph.Ds. They travel all over the world and constantly stay busy. I do know they feel they have more choices than they did when they were my age, partly because they are some of the women who helped to forge those changes. They are pretty well done with men and find our sexualized culture to be boring in some ways. I guess at their age sex has been demystified for them, so it is no longer as fascinating.

As someone who has always been fat and therefore desexualized by many, loosing my sexual power is not something I'm all that worried about because for all intents and purposes, I never had it to begin with. I've already learned how to cope with that. At 33 and the size I am, my only real concern is still being mobile enough at 65 to be able to do the things I like sexually, assuming I will still like doing them. At my age, I guess that menopausal stage is kinda far away for me right now. I hope I'd be well rounded enough to not really care all that much. But who knows. Sorry if I don't have anything more substantial to add.
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:40 PM   #3
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I don't think I'm very well placed to answer your question because the older women I know probably grew up and became adults and mothers in vastly different circumstances to yours but I'll give you my input anyway

Most of the older women I'm surrounded with don't prioritize their sexuality at all - I'm talking women in their 40s and older. The emphasis amongst them is on being attractive, beautifully dressed, materially comfortable, with prosperous children they can show off about. They actually sound a lot like the women Olwen described, (except that they aren't in the Ph.D, traveling the world circles - they tend to be nurses and teachers who still have to work pretty hard to get by). Also, nobody performs about menopause the way they do on TV. It's just not a big deal for the older women I know so I'd say in terms of improvements to their lives, education and just basic rights, life for them as older women is vastly better than it was for their mothers.

I do think however that the way older women are portrayed on mainstream American television and movies is often very, very offensive, and in that respect Katherine I think older women today have it harder. For instance I read yesterday that they want to make a movie of Susan Boyle's life and they've asked Robin William to play the role! It's almost like hollywood cannot bear the thought of seeing older women as even vaguely feminine - like they're some kind of threat to their penises I find that disempowering and I think its played a huge role in the general obsession with plastic surgery that seems to have mushroomed all over the place.
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Old 08-26-2009, 06:42 PM   #4
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I don't think I'm very well placed to answer your question because the older women I know probably grew up and became adults and mothers in vastly different circumstances to yours but I'll give you my input anyway

Most of the older women I'm surrounded with don't prioritize their sexuality at all - I'm talking women in their 40s and older. The emphasis amongst them is on being attractive, beautifully dressed, materially comfortable, with prosperous children they can show off about. They actually sound a lot like the women Olwen described, (except that they aren't in the Ph.D, traveling the world circles - they tend to be nurses and teachers who still have to work pretty hard to get by). Also, nobody performs about menopause the way they do on TV. It's just not a big deal for the older women I know so I'd say in terms of improvements to their lives, education and just basic rights, life for them as older women is vastly better than it was for their mothers.

I do think however that the way older women are portrayed on mainstream American television and movies is often very, very offensive, and in that respect Katherine I think older women today have it harder. For instance I read yesterday that they want to make a movie of Susan Boyle's life and they've asked Robin William to play the role! It's almost like hollywood cannot bear the thought of seeing older women as even vaguely feminine - like they're some kind of threat to their penises I find that disempowering and I think its played a huge role in the general obsession with plastic surgery that seems to have mushroomed all over the place.
Thanks for your interesting ideas.Tau. When you think about it being an older woman is a relatively new phenomena when you consider that women typically died in their 40s at the turn of the century in America. It may be in our life time that older women will be the majority age cohort. One question I wonder about is if younger women fear aging, view it as a loss of power?
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Old 08-27-2009, 12:30 AM   #5
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Thanks for your interesting ideas.Tau. When you think about it being an older woman is a relatively new phenomena when you consider that women typically died in their 40s at the turn of the century in America. It may be in our life time that older women will be the majority age cohort. One question I wonder about is if younger women fear aging, view it as a loss of power?
I've been asking myself this as well. I turned 27 in July and, I'm not trying to be facetious or anything, but I was seriously, seriously depressed about it. I spent a week before the date crying. For me aging doesn't mean a loss of power, it means a loss of time. I was heartbroken at the advent of my 27th birthday because I simply have not done as much, achieved as much as my 18 year old self had believed I would and having to face up to the fact that i still have a really, really long way to go to reaching those goals was very hard to do. Growing up only hurts when you have'nt done what you wanted to do. I wish our species got 300 years on the planet instead of just 80 or 90 because there's just so much to see and just so much to do and I can't stand the fact that because of that ticking clock I probably won't get to see and do it all *sigh*

I have very few vanities about my body - I think being a fatty all my life cured me of that. Also, being the fat girl means, like Olwen said, that my sexual power was not mine until quite recently and even though I own it now and love it, I wield it in a very, very different way than my thinner female peers do. Also, being the fat girl has made me understand that we never lose our sexual power,we either just don't know its there or we're too scared to use it. That power changes and grows with us and i honestly believe that at 77 I will be far more sexually powerful than I am at 27.
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:04 AM   #6
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I will be turning 46 on the 2nd and I have to say that I finally over the past ten years have come to like who I am. With that comes a certain confidence that while perhaps due to an aging body I might not like all the changes that are occurring, I can say that I own them. I get hit on my men here and there which is a great boost to the ego but in my area being fat meant being invisible to men my entire life so that hasn't really changed for me. I have been married for nearly 24 years and find that I have been able to enjoy sex more as I got older because I was less self conscious about my body, more in touch with my needs as a woman, and better able to communicate these things to my husband. It is frustrating that he has always had a lower sex drive than I and being in his fifties slowing down a little more now but hey when it happens

But where I have found the most growth is doing things I was always afraid to try. From doing art I didn't think I could do to tackling challenges in my career I have gone out and learned and bettered myself through education, experience, taking risks and speaking my mind more. So I like my forties because I could take the things I discovered about myself, the goals I set and the things I wanted to change in my thirties and see many of them being accomplished in my 40's. I have great friends, good kids both biological and adopted, my adopted grand babies, the respect of most of my staff, the great gift of my spirituality and medicine and a comfortable living. So rather happy to be an "old chick"
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Old 08-27-2009, 08:09 PM   #7
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One question I wonder about is if younger women fear aging, view it as a loss of power?
I'm terrified of it, actually.

In fact, I imagine it going down very much like that scene in Fellini's 8 1/2, where Jacqueline, having reached a certain age, must "go upstairs" to live with the older women...

...kicking, screaming, and covered in ridiculous feathers and cobwebs. LOL.

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Old 08-28-2009, 07:08 PM   #8
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I'm terrified of it, actually.

In fact, I imagine it going down very much like that scene in Fellini's 8 1/2, where Jacqueline, having reached a certain age, must "go upstairs" to live with the older women...

...kicking, screaming, and covered in ridiculous feathers and cobwebs. LOL.

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What do the older women signify to you, Tania? How do you not know that it may possibly be fun upstairs?
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Old 08-29-2009, 09:37 AM   #9
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One question I wonder about is if younger women fear aging, view it as a loss of power?
Its strange because many of my friends freaked out when they hit 30. I don't worry about aging actually although i hope to enjoy being in my 30's i know that when i am in my 40's, 50's (If the universe keeps me) i will have learned so much more and i think i will feel more useful to society as a whole somehow. I place much more importance on wisdom than sexual power. Though i worked as a phone actress and belive me, there are men who REALLY enjoy older women!
Part of me wonders if part of the fear of aging is a fear of death or of not fullfilling what you wanted to as each stage goes by. (Kinna like Eriksons stages). At the moment i don't really fear aging and i dont fear getting old..i suppose i only fear feeling old.
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Old 08-29-2009, 05:47 PM   #10
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Thanks for your interesting ideas.Tau. When you think about it being an older woman is a relatively new phenomena when you consider that women typically died in their 40s at the turn of the century in America. It may be in our life time that older women will be the majority age cohort. One question I wonder about is if younger women fear aging, view it as a loss of power?
I don't really fear aging. Maybe it's because in my family getting older is something that's really celebrated. All the women in my family get together and hold a big celebration for turning 50. It's something they have looked forward to and to quote my Mother, "She's getting better everyday." And to be honest, she truly is in her prime and everyone can tell. She's vibrant and glowing; she's still very curious about life so she takes classes here and there though being very accomplished in her career. She makes growing older look gooood, honey! My aunts are the same way.

So, I actually look forward to what turning another year or 10 can bring me. I think about all the wisdom and strength growing older brings, as well as just truly knowing who you are and being supremely comfortable in one's skin. I'm excited about my future; hell, I think I'm pretty damn amazing now so I'm sure the best is yet to come!
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Old 08-29-2009, 09:32 PM   #11
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Its strange because many of my friends freaked out when they hit 30. I don't worry about aging actually although i hope to enjoy being in my 30's i know that when i am in my 40's, 50's (If the universe keeps me) i will have learned so much more and i think i will feel more useful to society as a whole somehow. I place much more importance on wisdom than sexual power. Though i worked as a phone actress and belive me, there are men who REALLY enjoy older women!
Part of me wonders if part of the fear of aging is a fear of death or of not fullfilling what you wanted to as each stage goes by. (Kinna like Eriksons stages). At the moment i don't really fear aging and i dont fear getting old..i suppose i only fear feeling old.
It seems that you are comfortable with the notion of aging, and I hope you fulfill all you desire. What does feeling old mean and why would that feeling be necessarily attributed to age?
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Old 08-30-2009, 07:13 AM   #12
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I find it amusing whenever a coworker turns 30 and complains in my presence about getting old. As the resident wise ass, my usual reply is "So, you've passed me up, have you?" Despite all my heartaches growing up as a fat girl and a fatter woman, my experiences as a very round peg in a world of square holes have prepared me very well for life past the half-century mark. Long ago I rejected the media bombardment that women had to be "young, thin and beautiful" to be of any worth. After I rejected the "thin" part, it was easy to reject the "young" part. Fortunately, I'm just vain enough to consider myself beautiful, so 1 out of 3 is just fine with me.

Something else that helps: As a fat woman who needs to be mindful of travel logistics, my favorite vacations are on nice big comfy cruise ships, and my husband says he comes along "just to humor me". What do we see on many of thsse cruises, time after time? People in their 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s enjoying themselves, that's what! They might not have been frollicking around the tennis courts, and they certainly weren't getting rip-roaring drunk, but they sure knew how to LIVE. I wanna be like them! And the way life is going, we probably will be. On one cruise our dinner table mates included a couple in their 90s celebrating their 67th anniversary! They had some perfectly awesome tales to tell, and we loved it.

Unfortunately we still see plenty of inequality. When Art & I have been out with our friends the "Opulents", I've seen with my own eyes that many of Mr. O's friends and business associated have indeed traded in their first wives for young thin trophy wives. That really burns me up, and it makes Mrs. O (a fortysomething fat woman) very uncomfortable. Likewise on some of our cruises, Art & I see older men with much younger women. Once we saw a thirtysomething woman who looked like she was trying to kill her sixtysomething husband on the dance floor. Ha! Served him right! On the other hand, my hubby and Mr. O agree that they married their trophy wives the first time around, so there's some hope in the world.

In general methinx life is better for older women today. Despite media pressure to be young, thin and beautiful, we have so many more choices and options which simply didn't exist a generation or two ago. My mother and my mother-in-law seem to be doing just fine in their late 70s, they have plenty of friends around, and they seem go on bus trips and other activities. People in general and women in particular live longer healthier lives than men (I married a slightly younger man, so maybe it will even out for us ). My mother grew up in the 1930s and 1940s, when it was basically assumed that a women would get married and raise a family, like her own mother. If a woman did pursue a career, she would be a teacher or a secretary. Those are perfectly good careers, but just about everything else was considered off-limits to women. I remember a neighbor who told me she was a welder during World War II. She enjoyed it and made good money. After the war when the soldiers returned home, she was fired and told to "go back to being a homemaker like a good girl."

When I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, there were still some expectations that women would get married and raise a family. During my university years many girls were clearly there only to get their "MRS degree". But other doors were beginning to open. My mother nagged that I was "too fat ever to find a good husband, so I might as well get good grades and pursue a good career." That showed that my finding a husband and being a homemaker was still what mattered most to her, but I wouldn't be a complete failure if I followed a career path. And I didn't need a husband to make my life complete either. But when my Mr. Right practically fell into my lap, it was a terrific bonus.

A few years ago one of my first cousins once removed (daughter of a cousin) was married. At over 350lb she's the 2nd fattest member of my extended family after me, and it's interesting to compare both of our weddings. Before I was married in 1982 it was an almost Herculean (or should I say Amazonian) quest to find just one nice wedding gown in my size. My cousin still had limited options in 2007, and she ended up buying her wedding dress in St. Louis ( from Sydney's Closet - http://www.sydneyscloset.com ) but at least she had found more than enough really nice choices, and she looked fantastic. Some things never change though: after my cousin announced her engagement, several people assumed she would try to lose weight for her wedding, "so she would look her best on her wedding day." Huh? She already looked fabulous! Oh well, we can't expect progress everywhere. Incidentally my cousin turned 30 last month, and it didn't seem to bother her at all. She told me that her big fat Aunt Sue was one of her role models growing up. If it was okay to be fat, then it was okay to grow older too. Awwwww, I always knew the best form of activism was to set a good example. Nice to know I helped pave the way for at least one other woman in this world of ours.

Of course it's okay to grow older! We're living beings. Everybody grows older. What really matters is HOW we grow older, and in that respect I can't imagine a better place and time than here and now.
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Old 08-30-2009, 09:38 AM   #13
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[QUOTE=olwen;1261019]The older ladies around me don't seem to put much importance on sex, mind you these are women in their 70s and up. They have also had several husbands and Ph.Ds. They travel all over the world and constantly stay busy. I do know they feel they have more choices than they did when they were my age, partly because they are some of the women who helped to forge those changes. They are pretty well done with men and find our sexualized culture to be boring in some ways. I guess at their age sex has been demystified for them, so it is no longer as fascinating.

Do you think that they are "pretty well done with men" because they internalize a message from the culture that at their age they should be?
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Old 08-30-2009, 12:01 PM   #14
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The older ladies around me don't seem to put much importance on sex, mind you these are women in their 70s and up. They have also had several husbands and Ph.Ds. They travel all over the world and constantly stay busy. I do know they feel they have more choices than they did when they were my age, partly because they are some of the women who helped to forge those changes. They are pretty well done with men and find our sexualized culture to be boring in some ways. I guess at their age sex has been demystified for them, so it is no longer as fascinating.
Do you think that they are "pretty well done with men" because they internalize a message from the culture that at their age they should be?
No, trust me, they are done with men because they are just tired of bullshit. Many of them have been divorced so many times, they just don't want to be bothered anymore, and they all have kids and grandkids. These are literally The women who forged these changes for women in our culture. They are well aware of what those expectations are and they know they can choose to go with or against them.

They don't need men to be happy, and they are happy because they lead full active lives. More active than me and I'm more than half their age. I can't keep up with any of them and we all have arthritis. LOL I get tired just listening to whatever latest thing they did. They are so used to running around doing activist work that they don't know how to sit still. My mother is the same way regarding that attitude. She's going to be 65 this year and after my father died in 2005 I asked her if she was going to start dating again, and she said "Hell No!" She is too thru with men and wants to be left alone. She would much rather go to Atlantic City with her friends and have fun than go on a date. She gets offers too, and always says no. Sex just isn't as important to them anymore.

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Old 08-30-2009, 12:06 PM   #15
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The older ladies around me don't seem to put much importance on sex, mind you these are women in their 70s and up. They have also had several husbands and Ph.Ds. They travel all over the world and constantly stay busy. I do know they feel they have more choices than they did when they were my age, partly because they are some of the women who helped to forge those changes. They are pretty well done with men and find our sexualized culture to be boring in some ways. I guess at their age sex has been demystified for them, so it is no longer as fascinating.
Do you think that they are "pretty well done with men" because they internalize a message from the culture that at their age they should be?
My guess? As someone reaching the "ripe old age" of nearly 45, I think for a lot of us, we get to the point that we don't want to put up with the drama and shenanigans that having a relationship with a man can entail. I know that I put up with all KINDS of stuff in my teens and twenties because I had internalized that cultural norm that I needed to be with a "may-un" in order to have value and worth. Now? Yeah, I'm married but if I weren't, I'd happily fill my life with all the things I missed out on doing in my teens and twenties because I was following the interests of the man in my life.

Sure, Katherine, it could also because they've internalized that cultural message that women past childbearing age aren't sexy or attractive as well. But so many of the women I know who are older have active sex lives and pursuing their dreams and desires, without a man at their sides.
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Old 08-30-2009, 12:11 PM   #16
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No, trust me, they are done with men because they are just tired of bullshit.
*chuckle* Yeah. What you said.

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They don't need men to be happy, and they are happy because they lead full active lives.
If there was one thing I could teach my daughter it's this -- that you don't need a man to be happy. I watch her doing the same things I did at her age, obsessing over her boyfriend, her mood totally dependent on his availability, not hanging out with friends in order to be available, and it makes me CRAZY! She's doing JUST what I did and I know she's missing out. It makes me really sad for her.
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Old 08-31-2009, 03:06 AM   #17
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It seems that you are comfortable with the notion of aging, and I hope you fulfill all you desire. What does feeling old mean and why would that feeling be necessarily attributed to age?
I don't think feeling old has to be attrubuted to age. Old, is not new and it is stuck and stagnating. I think when you refuse to budge in your views, become set in your ways and never want to try new things, i think that is when you become old. I know many women in thier 30's who are old.
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Old 08-31-2009, 05:03 AM   #18
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I think what we all need to ask ourselves, no matter what age you are at, is what do i need and want to make me happy. I get the whole not needing a man, especially when you're older, but what if you do? What if you feel having a partner enhances you, even in your 50s, 60s or 70s? I had lunch with a colleague who has just turned 45. She was married but then when she turned 32 went through a truly ugly divorce. She told me at lunch that she has decided that she's just fine living alone and never being in a relationship...and she is. She leads an amazing life, runs her own business, has a great family, but just fine does not equal happy. There is no doubt in my mind that having somebody by her side would enhance her happiness. And I think that she's come to a point where she's almost resigned to not finding love again and doesn't think its ok for somebody her age to be asking for it. What I'm saying is that if you want love, if you want a man to curl up with and shag through the mattress and curse at and laugh with, no matter how many decades you've spent on this planet, you have every right to want one and should do everything in your power to find him.
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Old 08-31-2009, 04:17 PM   #19
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Years ago, there was a skin cream commercial on TV where the lady in it said "I'm not growing old gracefully, I'm fighting it every step of the way".

I remember that because....it's me. I have "raged against the dying of the light" and all that jazz. It's my life....my life is not over just because close-minded people told me to lay down and die at point XYZ.

We decide our own destinies. We live our own lives. Everything we are is not dependent/contingent upon the opinions of others.

"We grow not older with years but only newer every day" Emily Dickenson

I will enjoy each and every season left in my life........"When it's bitter at the start, then it's sweeter in the end".

I don't know....growing old doesn't frighten me. The thought of missing out on the things I love in life scares the hell out of me though. If you live it well...in your own way......you have done well. Stand proudly....you have a made a journey that a lot of people falter on and are done with way too early.....

I turn 41 on Wednesday. I enjoy all of my birthdays
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Old 08-31-2009, 04:23 PM   #20
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We have to stop using the formula for youth, as the thing we shoot for. Some things become....different....not worse. So many people are so for difference...except when a woman ages.
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Old 08-31-2009, 05:06 PM   #21
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We have to stop using the formula for youth, as the thing we shoot for. Some things become....different....not worse. So many people are so for difference...except when a woman ages.
Mossy, that is what I suspect that is why I started the thread. There are messages in the culture that say that a woman is "less than" once she ages. You are considered to be a fool if you desire to be sexual. There is youth, the behavior of youth and anything outside of it is something not worthy of attention. A man is considered seasoned, wise and still sexully desirable particularly if he has money. An older woman if she is considered at all is regarded as invisible at best.
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:42 PM   #22
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Mossy, that is what I suspect that is why I started the thread. There are messages in the culture that say that a woman is "less than" once she ages. You are considered to be a fool if you desire to be sexual. There is youth, the behavior of youth and anything outside of it is something not worthy of attention. A man is considered seasoned, wise and still sexully desirable particularly if he has money. An older woman if she is considered at all is regarded as invisible at best.
Katherine, I was thinking about this thread and your other one--on double standards--last night while I was doing laundry (it's good thinking time). I kept coming back to a question I'm curious about and this post stirs it up once again. You seem like a powerful woman and not someone easily pushed around, and we live in the same very liberal metro area. So I keep wondering--who is it that's stopping you from having these things? Sex, sexuality, sexual enjoyment at any age?

You aren't a ton older than me (I'm 44) but you seem to be viewing the world through social constraints from several decades past, rather than what's out there today. Outside of secular circles (and this is the most non-secular state in the nation) hooking up casually doesn't isn't viewed as much of a stamp of scarlet among people here my age. And certainly among younger crowds it's not an eyebrow-raiser. There may be some whispering and some might be put off by the disease risks, but for the most part most people really don't seem to care much unless there's some kind of infidelity involved.

The age thing makes me curious too. Other than the media, who says sex and love are off limits as an older adult? Just in the circle of my family's friends, I know several 60+ folks who after divorce or widowhood went out dating again, complete with sleepovers, and no one thought anything of it.

I'm not disputing that men and women are still frequently held to different standards. But, especially in this region, the social stigma for wandering outside those lines feels pretty mild and the tsking fairly low decible. Those are my impressions. But it's obvious from what you've written that you feel a lot differently pressured. So I'm curious where that pressure comes from.

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Old 08-31-2009, 10:03 PM   #23
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Rainy,I think I know where Katherine is coming from..Men our ages are thought to be distinguished and are revered..Women on the other hand are thought to be worn out and "past her prime" and most are not given a second look,not true about the older woman,but it does happen..Most people do not believe older women still enjoy sex because they have all heard these stories of women not enjoying it at all..

Where I live older women are treated badly and very few date older men..Most of the older men go for the younger women,of course those marriages do not last very long..When an older man is burned by a younger woman then he looks at women close to his age but by then he is just looking for a maid,nurse and cook..
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:14 PM   #24
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Katherine, I was thinking about this thread and your other one--on double standards--last night while I was doing laundry (it's good thinking time). I kept coming back to a question I'm curious about and this post stirs it up once again. You seem like a powerful woman and not someone easily pushed around, and we live in the same very liberal metro area. So I keep wondering--who is it that's stopping you from having these things? Sex, sexuality, sexual enjoyment at any age?

You aren't a ton older than me (I'm 44) but you seem to be viewing the world through social constraints from several decades past, rather than what's out there today. Outside of secular circles (and this is the most non-secular state in the nation) hooking up casually doesn't isn't viewed as much of a stamp of scarlet among people here my age. And certainly among younger crowds it's not an eyebrow-raiser. There may be some whispering and some might be put off by the disease risks, but for the most part most people really don't seem to care much unless there's some kind of infidelity involved.

The age thing makes me curious too. Other than the media, who says sex and love are off limits as an older adult? Just in the circle of my family's friends, I know several 60+ folks who after divorce or widowhood went out dating again, complete with sleepovers, and no one thought anything of it.

I'm not disputing that men and women are still frequently held to different standards. But, especially in this region, the social stigma for wandering outside those lines feels pretty mild and the tsking fairly low decible. Those are my impressions. But it's obvious from what you've written that you feel a lot differently pressured. So I'm curious where that pressure comes from.

Thanks for your response. I live in a city where the average age of someone is 35 years old. I love to go out, and I never see women my age out alone, either they are with their husbands or with other women. I love to go dancing - everyone in the dance clubs is in their 20s or 30s. I attended a BBW dance recently outside of Seattle'and I was the oldest woman in the room. In New York City it is different since there are a lot of single people who go out in New York. I rarely see women my age in Portland who look fashionable again it might be different in New York or LA where more women pay attention to fashion. I find this situation so depressing that I am going to move to a large city again where there is a greater mix of people - perhaps living here has skewed my perceptions.
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Old 09-01-2009, 01:14 PM   #25
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Thanks for your response. I live in a city where the average age of someone is 35 years old. I love to go out, and I never see women my age out alone, either they are with their husbands or with other women. I love to go dancing - everyone in the dance clubs is in their 20s or 30s. I attended a BBW dance recently outside of Seattle'and I was the oldest woman in the room. In New York City it is different since there are a lot of single people who go out in New York. I rarely see women my age in Portland who look fashionable again it might be different in New York or LA where more women pay attention to fashion. I find this situation so depressing that I am going to move to a large city again where there is a greater mix of people - perhaps living here has skewed my perceptions.
Appreciate the answer (you too, Bubble). I was interpreting what you'd said before as moral pressure but it sounds like it's more of an issue of availability and supply and sensibility. That makes a whole lot more sense.

I made the opposite journey--grew up here, then lived in NYC for the better part of a decade in my 20s/30s and eventually moved back--so I understand the dichotomies you're talking about. I don't see this area as quite as barren in the senses you describe, but I get what you're saying. When I first moved back I found a lot of things provincial and felt very unplugged. I've reverted since then and now its the urban mindset that feels out of touch to me, but I remember that feeling very strongly at first. There really is a hugely vibrant creative community and energy here, but it is vibrant in a different way than there.

Do you know about Meetup.com? There are tons of groups here in town, many oriented toward getting together, meeting new people, going out, common interests, etc. It's a great resource, and maybe worth a look while you're here. I'm sorry this area hasn't turned out to be the right fit.

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