Sex, Is too for Fifty PlusWritten by Dr. Dorree Lynn
“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace As I have seen in one autumnal face … If we love things long sought, age is a thing Which we are 50 years in compassing.”
When she was young enough to know some, but not all, about adult world with its mysteries of sexuality, my daughter, in midst of a seemingly unrelated conversation about pets asked: “Mom, can old people still do ‘it?’ You know they are smelly and their skin sags. How can they?” Her nose wrinkled with disgust and horror of whole idea.
Moms need to be quick on their feet in response to their kid’s questions. I took a long deep breath, I needed time to think. Understanding her dilemma, I answered, “Well, “God or nature, or universe is very smart. As we age, our eyesight goes, and our touch sort of slows, and body shapes don’t matter quite as much. Some how it all works — it does work a little differently, though — but it does work. She looked at me quizzically, tucking information away to be considered another time. And, she just as quickly returned to our discussion of pets. She seemed at peace with my response---for time being.
Frank, at 21, is savvy, tall, sexy, a “hunk” who knows all about sex’s magic elixir. At 21, he struts his stuff when he enters a room, testosterone-sure, confident that he can attract a girl to bed that night, or any night he wishes. No one has to tell him he is in his sexual prime; his healthy body and heads that turn as he walks down street are constant affirmations of his self-image. Deep down, he believes that he is very first to have discovered that awesome magnetic force that has, in fact, drawn sexes together since beginning of time.
Frank, son of a friend of mine, is a thoughtful and fun loving college student. As is true of other young people, he cannot talk about, nor even think about, anyone over fifty having sex. One day as we were lunching together, I directly raised topic: What do you think of people over fifty having sex? Eyes instantly averted and nervous laughter, much feet shuffling, lots of coughing and a sudden need to get away. Like his peers, he’ll avoid topic if he possibly can.
I ask him about his obvious discomfort. Blushing, but with guts that come from knowing and trusting me, he answers as directly as he can a question he has never before even pondered. "My parents? I don't want to think of them, you know, doing it. And, you say even my grandparents may be — Dr. D. You are too much, I really don't want to think of them that way.”
Real Families Have Fights - How to Keep the Holidays HappyWritten by Dr. Dorree Lynn
Due to complexity of our new normalcy, achieving wonderful holiday cheer may take a little extra work this year. For many people, Thanksgiving heralds a month of myths often culminating in January depression. Newspapers, magazines, big and little screens and our own childhood wishes propel us towards dreams of wonderful Thanksgiving dinners, Chanukah gelt, Christmas gifts and New Year's revelry replete with resolutions almost surely broken within month.
Dreams of perfect family dinners with everyone sitting down delighting in each other's company remain with us as we go “brain dead” and forget fight we had with Uncle Joe two years ago and reality that we can't stand Aunt Liz's two bratty kids. We try to ignore or we harbor resentment about events such as year dog bit your cousin and you remembered all too late that you were allergic to cats and that your grandmother had two.
December is often a very stressful and sad month, when all while we hear jingle bells and are told how happy we will be. Real families are complex, composed of different personalities and values. Sometimes they really are able to get along for extended periods of time. Other times, differences are too pronounced and being “flesh and blood” isn't enough to make everyone get along or even like each other.
Additionally, there are so many divorced families, single families and blended families that longed for image of Norman Rockwell's traditional family is rapidly fading. Children have to be shared and shunted between households. Families splinter and new mates appear. Religious and political beliefs differ and all while everyone gets exhausted from working so hard to get along.
Some families actually do get along but, even in best of families, there is usually a point where someone has to get away and breathe their own bit of fresh air. The best gatherings are usually those where there is enough space to get away to be by oneself for a while and those that don't tend to go on endlessly for days. At times, a seemingly wonderful event can end with an unexplained hurt feeling or sudden eruption. Someone, usually innocently, says that one word or opinion too many and what had been a wonderful warm sense of eternal bliss flares into overt or covert chaos. If a version of this has happened in your family, don't feel guilty or badly about it. You are not alone or unique. Real families do fight.