I've recently started re-examining my life and the choices I've made. I don't know if you can relate at all because you are young and much more experienced than I, but I admire the way you throw yourself into life. Plus, I know you won't tell me to join the singles group at church.
In the '60s, I was married to a successful, charismatic guy in the arts, who eventually dumped me for another woman. After that, I did the whole displaced-homemaker thing—naive as could be—having affairs with guys I was too ashamed to introduce to my children. It wasn't all bad, though; I finally got a glimmer of what sex was all about—and it wasn't the five minutes of unvarying foreplay, then position/lunge/release routine that I'd come to expect from my husband.
I learned a lot from these guys, not only about sex, but about emotional abuse and how much of it I would take in order to fill the loneliness and physical longing inside me. By the early '90s, I decided to go without men and have a peaceful life.
But lately, I've been thinking a lot about how short life is and all the time I've wasted. I realize that I've paid a very high price for contentment.
So here I am, in my early 60s, seeking an outlet for passion . . . looking for that feeling of intensity and aliveness, but hoping to find something that will not leave me feeling ashamed, degraded, infected, and lonelier than before.
Can you help me here?
You're right about one thing, E—I'm definitely not going to send you to church. With one caveat; my dad started a widow and widower's group at his church and met his lovely wife there. Of course, life expectancies being what they are, it was basically him and 20 broads, but still. . . . I should also mention that they were both in their mid-60s at the time, so quit thinking it's "too late" for anything.
The best thing about your situation is that you are certain—without a doubt—that you are just fine on your own. This may sound obvious, but having this in the back of your mind will keep you from repeating mistakes you made years ago.
Did you ever hear of a chemical called oxytocin? I've written about it before and refer to it often as "the traitor within." See, after a good orgasm (or, oddly enough, as a lady gives birth), a woman's brain gets flooded with these hormones that basically render her madly in love with whatever was responsible for the orgasm.
Which is why—if you don't already have one—you should go buy yourself a vibrator immediately. Babeland.com has a full page of recommendations for the first-time user, but I'd recommend going down to their Capitol Hill store and looking around.
Your new, battery-operated friend will serve you well once you start dating again, because nothing alleviates jitters like a nice pre-date orgasm. Not to mention the fact that pretty much everyone finds that just-fucked glow irresistible. But most important, once you start taking responsibility for your own orgasms, you'll suffer fools far less gladly.
Because there are a whole lotta fools out there. Whether you're 60 or 16, dating is a rough and dirty business. It definitely gets harder as you get older, which is why the right attitude is even more important than the right foundation garment (also crucial). You must go into each and every date with the mind-set that this is a two-hour period of your life that you will never see again, so you may as well make the best of it.
As you're not looking for anything but companionship (and lots of hot sex), feel free to date the wildly inappropriate this time around. The scandalously young, the underemployed and over-endowed . . . anyone you might've ruled out back when you were husband hunting. Do all the clichéd things that every women's mag tells you to do—spruce yourself up, join an online dating service, become a member at the museum, take classes. Mostly, concentrate on having fun. You deserve a little of that.
That concludes this week's super-earnest episode of Dategirl. Next week, back to cranky.
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