What makes an older woman sexy? I fell asleep the other night wondering this, having contemplated the subtle erosion of the various bodily bits which supposedly evoke sexual urges.
But before I launch into my exegesis, I must make a minor (and defensive) detour and query the same about older men. What do we find sexy about Jeremy Irons or Clint Eastwood? Isn't is their self-assurance? Their ease? Why is it considered that they look great when their hair turns silver and lines define their face, yet this doesn't apply to women? I know, this is a huge topic and a bit of an old saw, and frankly I'm really bored by it, as any self respecting woman of our generation should be, and yet the imbalance does persist. (Oh yes, I forgot -- and how could I, given contemporary media -- we are sex objects.) I know... Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem did the mindful on our behalf, yet that did little for the Australopithecus brain of our male counterparts. Hello Ladies, we need to, as they say, represent.
Of course traditionally women of a certain age went and did strange things to their hair: dyed it too dark, or tinged it violet, or permed it, or waved it, or essentially made it look seriously goofy. I mean really, do the same to a man and he'll look ridiculous too. Then of course, older dames insisted on wearing too much jewelry and makeup and floral print silks or absurd matching outfits a la Queen Mum. So really, we've been doing it to ourselves for years.
But let's get down to the nitty gritty. What is it that makes an older woman sexy? First of all, it's how a woman inhabits her body. No matter the size or shape -- is it her temple? Does she treasure it? Is she proud of it? Does she own it? A woman who owns her body, is just damn sexy. Every shape has its attendant curves and delights; a woman who knows how to display them just plain rocks. And let's not forget the structural elements, the bones, many of which, as the flesh shifts, gain more presence, more sculptural gravitas. Consider shoulders, consider hips, consider the back...
Add to that the way a woman moves her body, not simply in bed, but everywhere she goes. It's like a signature, maybe funny and abrupt, maybe languorous and full of grace. It's something every woman should contemplate -- how much is conveyed by the way she moves...
...as well as by the sound of her voice. A cultivated female voice is something which only grows more alluring with age. Don't forget how much sex occurs in the dark. A resonant voice, a voice modulated for allure, a 'come hither' voice, can unbutton any psyche. A woman who has control over the tone, the inflection and the colors, can float you on the oscillations, on the waves of her voice. Yes... Cougars purrrrrrr.
But a voice is rudderless without a mind. What in fact is the sexiest part of anyone? The mind -- for that is what creates the context, spins the tale. Knowing when to stroke, when to resist, when to yield, when to quicken, when to slow... when to submit, when to dominate, when to make a sudden volte-face... And, let's banish any doubt -- an older mind, or shall we say a sophisticated mind, filled with experience and stories and years of observation, can knock a younger one out of the ring.
Then there are the eyes. The power that emanates can cause spontaneous combustion. And of course, the mouth. It can hunt with agility at any age, and again, years of experience make it a formidable adversary to any prey that it targets.
Ah, and then there is her hair. I was just about to descend into my down dog at yoga this morning when a friend, well into her 60s, strode by, her honey blonde hair radiating outward like that of a Botticelli nymph gone Electric Ladyland. This woman looks positively archetypal on a yoga mat; she slides into her poses like a serpent, then holds them like a Tantric Rodin. Truly, an inspiration to get on your mat. However, maybe you've clipped your locks short, like Michelle Williams short. Since I sport that look, I happen to find it kind of hot as well. First of all, it's a truly liberating style (absolutely no maintenance) but it also projects a sort of boyish quality -- which can lead to some obstreperous behavior in the bedroom.
Of course the historic 'refuge' of the older woman is her style. Unquestionably some of the most wonderfully dressed females on the planet now are over 50. The reason is that they understand what works for them, what flatters them... so their style is unique, often above and beyond trends. And that is just plain sexy. Self-awareness is sexy.
But my favorite element is the laugh (which is of course linked to the voice). The way a woman laughs, how easily and how often, how hard she laughs, how lilting her laugh. Does she giggle, chuckle, chortle, guffaw; does she snort :)? To laugh is to open. As an English proverb states: "A maid that laughs is a maid half taken." Or as the dour St. John Chrysostom, an early Church Father, darkly opines: "Laughter does not seem to be a sin but it leads to sin."
And so let us laugh, Darlings, because the paramount quality that makes a woman sexy is her outlook on life. If she laughs without measure, you know she derives great joy from life, has the ability to transcend pain and grief and still find pleasure in the mere fact of her existence. And is this not the most appealing element of any human -- their ability to feel and express joy? To me, this is our single most captivating virtue and one which, in my mind at least, is infinitely sexy.