When I go through the messages on WhatsApp chat groups comprising of 50+ women, I must say, they make me pause and think. About sexuality and the older woman. In fact, there are many thoughts that crowd my head...would our mothers also have had such conversations?
I know very well that we are a limited edition in the fact that we are the last generation that listened to our parents and also the first which has to listen to our children. This has been established long ago. But are we also the first generation of women who still own up to our sexuality (among other girlfriends at least) and revel in it?
I used to be close to my mother and was around when her girlfriends visited her. But somehow I just don’t have any memory of them having any “juicy” talk coz that would have surely registered on a twenty something’s mind. Or maybe, it was because the younger generation, by default, thinks that parents are asexual beings.
The kind of jokes and memes we share and continue to generally discuss about sex with such unbridled joy that I get the feeling that our daughters would die of shame even reading them. Or say “Gosh! What the fuck is wrong with you middle aged women??”
Middle aged women......that’s the term I need to analyze a bit to be able to understand ourselves better. I won’t get into the clichéd “Fifty is the new thirty” blah blah. We are the generation that grew up with Erica Jong and Simone De Beauvoir scattered among our staple diet of Mills and Boon and many other books that dealt with love, sex and passion.
We are the generation that wasn’t allowed (generally) to openly discuss about sex at home or have boyfriends to make out with before we got married. (What some of the bold ones among us did clandestinely is a different matter altogether) We couldn’t own up to our sexuality let alone think of avenues to satiate our physical urges (let’s face it....at times they were unbearable). Then we were mostly married off and for most of us our sexual careers started with the blessings of our elders.
Then, as we were busy keeping homes and raising kids, the internet God crept into our lives. Suddenly we had access to all the things that were taboo like watching porn. One click after a long day of juggling household chores and work, and we were transported to a world of good looking people doing things with such acrobatic ease that they left us spellbound.
Suddenly sex didn’t seem like it was something that was meant to be done to have kids or as a chore. Magazines and all other media were buzzing with the new magic word. Our teenage children were openly expressing their desires, films and series were showing lust and passion in abundance, there was e-porn literature at our fingertips for those who need words to be stimulated.
I remember well that when we discussed “Sex and the City” among girlfriends, most expressed a desire to be Samantha more than Carrie. The way she lived her life on her own terms, the way she enjoyed sex with fervor and owned up to it guilt-free...these were things that were new to us. And these were all women our age living in our times.
What was also happening is that we realized we don’t think or look like our mothers. We dress and talk different. We are active mentally, physically and sexually. We are more body conscious and are not in a hurry to be labelled an asexual “auntyji”. Like sex begins in the head, feeling sexy and desirable also begins in the head. And we still feel incredibly desirable and lustful, guilt-free.
I must also mention here that at 50, one does begin to question our desirability factor slowly. There’s a latent fear that it’s all going to end soon and that even though we feel horny (let me use the word finally!), men might not find us attractive anymore. This often results in a physical attraction towards younger and virile men (if we can admit to it) as if getting attention from them is going to be a reaffirmation of our dwindling desirability quotients.
And then we have glorious girlfriends with whom we can shed our other identities of mother, wife, boss at work etc. for some time and revel in our sexual identity. We know we are all in the same boat and that in itself is a great feeling. Let’s be honest....there’s a volcano of sexual energy inside us that’s waiting to erupt. So when girlfriends get together, in real or in the virtual worlds, one mention of the three letter word and it all comes spewing out. The raw jokes, the raucous laughter, the juicy discussions...and we are young, agile and desirable all over again. Our menopausal ailments, those backaches, the sagging boobs are all forgotten for some time.
We can now go back to our lives of being whatever we need to be to function in society after basking in our own sexuality for some time. Unabashedly and unapologetically.
- Certified fitness Trainer