On Senior sex and dating Letters

22 Mar 2016 | 10:50

    Marcia Epstein’s “Graying New York” column in the March 17 issue, about sex and dating among seniors, prompted a number of letters from readers. Here’s a sample:

    To the Editor:

    Firstly, the “fact” that (woman) friends found it awful for women of our age group...The men, no prizes themselves, were dismissive and sometimes even rude. There were no call-backs. These women soon went back to their single lives, determined to make them even better than before.....and the overall theme is they want attractiveness ... and the wish for women to cater to their desire and wishes. Needless to say, these men get my hackles up.”

    My reaction is, Why? Why do these men get your hackles up? What is wrong with men - even older gentlemen - wanting attractiveness? (I’m an old lady, almost 80, and into the fifth year of my widowhood, after a beautiful half century marriage to an incredibly wonderful husband.) My mantra is ‘The older you get, the harder you have to work at your appearance.’ Today, with all the makeup and beauty care tips out there, there is no need for a ‘mature’ woman to be anything but easy to look at. After all, aren’t we hoping for/looking for a pleasant-looking man who obviously takes care of himself? Why, in our search, would we even consider men ‘who are no prizes themselves’?

    For those of us who have used the ‘dating scene, Internet or otherwise’ why do they find it awful? For the Internet, you compose your own personality profile, and if you’re honest, and consider your intended ‘audience’, then you simply have to work at projecting your ‘wonderfulness.’ An honest, humble, sensitive statement can be either an irresistible attractant or an insurmountable turn-off to a man.

    And, what is so terrible or unacceptable about a man’s ‘wish for women to cater to their desire and wishes’? (I know that there are legions of widows, like myself, who would give anything to have our man back to cater to his desires and wishes.) Love and kindness and caring engender love and kindness and caring, and, if we are honest with ourselves, isn’t that what we all yearn for?

    The line in ‘Graying New York’ that concerned me most, and made me saddest, was ‘....[they] soon went back to their single lives, determined to make them even better than before ...’ What does that really mean? Do these women not want, need, yearn for the company, the male-female yin and yang? Men are quite different from women, and, in my honest opinion, the difference, the dynamic, the ‘sexiness’ is exciting and beautiful and life-affirming, at any age. (My adored late husband was significantly older than I but his general ‘maleness’ was always there: from his attitudes, his quirks, his opinions and his world views, there was never any doubt that my life’s companion, was quite different and thus fascinating to me. The company of women is a wondrous thing, but the company of a man makes everything so much better.)

    As for sex ... when you show love, nurturance, appreciation and kindness to even a very old partner, you receive, in turn, love, nurturance, appreciation, kindness, and, should you both be so inclined and interested, sex. (No person wants to touch, or be touched by, someone who doesn’t like or love them.)

    Humans wither and die without love. We ladies are still the same inside - it’s just our ‘gift-wrap’ that is missing. Inside we are still the same wonderful, kind, nurturing, wise, caring - and yes, sexy. My response to the senior dating scene would be, ‘Take a chance, get out there, showcase your wonderfulness, make use of all the good instincts that your happy marriages - and lives - have taught you and go out there and try again ... The man you meet might not be Mr. Wonderful, but you will probably not ‘make [your years] even better than before’ by spending them in cruises to foreign ports and Book Clubs with the girls.

    Lisa

    To the Editor:

    Every man no matter what age wants an attractive woman to date. If he’s going to invest his time/money and possibly get intimate{sex}he has to be attracted to her. Now a friendship/companionship is a different story. And as far as women taking care of men ... a lot of these men came from a different time when the roles of the sexes were not as confusing as they are today. If a man had a wife who passed away and she always took care of him it would only be natural for him to want that again. Maybe we should put an age limit on dating ... say 70. LOL. No dating after 70. But like everything else in this life, sometimes people get lucky at any age. Thank you for the article. (BTW, I’m only in my 50s and I have a lot of problems with dating, too.) Michael