Orgasm at our age

May 9, 2016


If you think orgasm isn’t a big deal at midlife and thereafter, you’re mistaken. Having one, not having one–these are topics of interest in our age cohort, whether you realize it or not. And often, they’re topics of concern. Today, we’ll learn how to make the most out of sex at our age.  I say “our age” because we’ve had years to develop our thoughts and attitudes toward sex, whether they’re helpful or not. Age changes many things, and sex is one of them. But, that doesn’t mean we can’t have fulfilling intimate lives.

It’s a big day. My friend, Walker Thornton, the sex educator and blogger, is guesting. Sex is Walker’s business as well as her passion. She’s knowledgeable about sex at any age (but especially midlife and older)  and is generous enough to share what she knows on her website. You can also find her writing about sex in many other outlets. I really don’t know anyone else in our age cohort who writes so often and knowledgeably about sex.  Today, she shares a piece she blogged–and she’s updated her thoughts on orgasm to reflect the ongoing conversations and learning she’s done on the subject. So without further preamble, I give Walker the floor to address the subject of orgasm.

I wrote Talking About the Big O in 2013, which I want to share with you and update my thoughts on orgasms.

I still think an orgasm is like icing on the cake, but here’s what I want to emphasize—we put too much value on orgasms. The idea that non-orgasmic women aren’t complete is shaming women for being sexy/sexual enough. It is a very limited view of what sexual satisfaction is all about. When we connect with another person in a sexual way we want to be seen as a woman, a lover, and partner in that moment. We seek pleasure from and for our partner. We understand that giving and receiving are tied together.

Pleasure should be our goal.

What if we don’t orgasm? Do we negate the whole experience? Do we blame our lover or ourselves? Do we decide we’re a failure because we don’t orgasm? In the midst of all that worry we fail to focus on receiving pleasure.

Let go of the idea you must have an orgasm.

Relax. Savor each touch, each kiss.

Enjoy the feelings and sensations that wash over you as you explore and play.

Allow yourself to feel what is happening to your body—empty your mind and focus on the sensations in your body.

That’s where the pleasure lies.

Here are more of my thoughts on orgasm.

40 comments on “Orgasm at our age
  1. ryder ziebarth says:

    All I can say is: Thank you, I needed this.

    • Absolutely, and thank you for reading. I think we all need to take a new look at our sexual activity and preferences as we age…or as our relationships change.

  2. Carla says:

    Hearing Walker speak was one of the highlights of the BAM i’m prints for me so, it’s not surprising :-), I adored this post as well.

  3. I’ve followed you for years Walker. Your message of ‘love thy self’ is not only empowering but effective. Thank you for all you do.

  4. candy says:

    More men and women should read this. Excellent insight.

  5. Icing on the cake is a definite unless electronically induced. Great article.

  6. Anna Palmer says:

    I agree that sex can be lovely without orgasm…but I also want to make sure that women are giving themselves the best chance to get off. I hope that people are experimenting with vibrators during intercourse.

    • Anna, I think there are various paths to orgasms and if you read the full article (linked in this one) you’ll see that I offer lots of information about orgasms. The problem is that pressuring women to have an orgasm as some test of their, or their partner’s ability, is counterproductive–in my mind.
      I urge women to experiment with self-pleasuring–exploring various ways to stimulate themselves, in addition to adding sex toys. Thanks for joining in the conversation.

  7. Haha I you have to finish with a bang I always say. Thanks for sharing.

  8. First of all—love that sculpture. Beautiful. Walker, you are such an amazing advocate for our generation when it comes to a subject that many shy away from. Thank you for being bold and having the fabulous ability and expertise to share your insights and information in a tasteful and sometimes humorous way. Carol, thanks for sharing your blog with Walker today for those who have not had the opportunity to read her work. Middle age does not mean dead when it comes to our sexuality.

    • Beth Ann, thank you! The sculpture is great–we’ll have to get Carol to tell us where it’s from.

      As I approach age 62, I’m thinking that sex doesn’t end with ‘senior’ years either. I love being able to connect with this group of women who are open to exploring their sexuality at this fun time of life. So grateful that Carol gave me this opportunity!

    • The sculpture is in a gallery in Big Sur, Calif.

  9. Michelle says:

    Menopause certainly does change things a bit.Yet we can get help with those issues. It is a time that women feel a bit more free and have less worries with pregnancy, etc.

    • Michelle, yes. I was one of the ones we don’t hear about–an easy menopause. No problems! So, it’s useful to look at menopause as a change but not always a negative one!

  10. cori says:

    Very interesting post. Orgasms are very important.

  11. Cori, thanks for reading and replying. I’d have to say yes and no to that. Orgasms are nice, but not a requirement. Some women just can’t have them and there’s no shame in that. I have had lovely pleasurable sex that brought me right to the edge, where the sensations were wonderful–and then…no orgasm. I don’t want the absence of an orgasm to negate the fun and pleasure or make either of us feel bad that it didn’t happen. So, it’s important to look at it as one part of the ingredients that make for satisfying intimate moments.

  12. Well that was refreshing! I like your openness to share your thoughts on a subject so few want to open up about!

  13. sue says:

    HI Carol thanks for talking about a topic that I think some women our age find embarassing (which is a shame). I agree sex is not just about the orgasm. Although it is wonderful, as we age in particular it is more about being together, connecting and finding pleasure. If we orgasm that is icing on the cake but we shouldn’t beat ourselves up if we don’t.

  14. Sue, thank you.Sounds like you have thoughts along the same line as mine!

  15. All loving, consensual sex is great…whether or not the Big O happens.Though we all love the Big O!

  16. Leanne says:

    wow! lots of comments so it must be a subject close to a lot of women’s hearts. My 74yr old mother is in the middle of a torrid affair – she’s never orgasmed and yet seems to be having the time of her life!

    • This is so cool, in a number of ways–not the least being her willingness to discuss her sexual history with you. Congrats to your mother!!

    • Roxy says:

      It’s interesting to me that in 2016 it’s still hard for some to talk about orgasms. I firmly believe that orgasms are not the most important part of sexual encounters. In stead, I thing an emotional/spiritual connection is more important than a physical one.

      • Roxy, we are in agreement on that one. I also think it’s a shame how we see sex everywhere but can’t talk about real sex or the intimate connections in our lives!

  17. Amen! At this age, it’s more about the intimacy than the act (or the orgasm). Focusing on pleasurable sensation everywhere on the body (not just the genitals) is delightful, and takes the pressure off performing to get to a destination. Instead, we can just enjoy the journey, wherever it leads. Thanks for affirming that it’s okay to do so, Walker!

  18. Amber says:

    Loved your insight and I too agree that too much emphasis is placed on orgasms. In fact, it can create stress when it doesn’t always happen, as if something is ‘wrong’ with us or our partner.

    Hormones during the post part in period and breastfeeding really can throw you for a loop too.

  19. Carolann says:

    I totally agree. It’s the moments of bonding and being connected that are far more important than the big O. I guess some folks can’t see past the bigger picture here. Very important topic Carol. So glad you are talking about it!

  20. Kusum says:

    Interesting topic and love your viewpoint here, so agree! I wish more people really gave it importance too no matter what the age.
    xx, Kusum |

  21. Sex toys are safer than actual sex. You can not get pregnant or contract an STD from a sex toy. However, cleaning is still a must, as you can develop and infection from improperly cleaned sex toys.

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