In a recent New Yorker cartoon, a fiftyish woman in a bathrobe looks down on a naked man in bed. “I am proud of my body,” she tells him. “Just not in this light.” He has already brought in two glasses of wine and undressed. Now it’s her turn. What will break the impasse?
Perhaps she will feel better about herself after reading Ageless Erotica, a new anthology edited by Joan Price, a prize-winning author who has made “senior sex” her specialty. Filled with 29 stories about the pleasures that never grow old, the book is aimed at sexually active readers over fifty who are coping with the realities of aging. Most of the characters in these stories suffer from creaky knees, aching shoulders, weak bladders, dim eyes or bad spines—not to mention the usual jowls, sags and wrinkles. But you can bet they take their bathrobes off—and they do it ecstatically. Sex trumps self-consciousness every time.