Practical Romance for the Middle Aged Woman

romanceWhen I was 16, still fresh and far less cynical or skeptical, I read the old style of Harlequin romance novels. The heroines were always virgins and no one thought about using condoms. Men were gentlemen. Women didn’t have sex on a first date. Romance was syrupy sweet with flowers and dates that didn’t include making out or sex. Don’t think there weren’t steamy kissing scenes and lots of holding and hugging and so on. The old Harlequin romances stopped just short of sex.

Now I’m not 16 any more. I’m somewhere in the middle of being middle aged. At least I hope I am. No one has really given me a cut off date on that. (I’m not really looking too hard for one). I don’t read the old Harlequin romances any more. They seem pretty standard now. The stories are the same, only the names and locations have been changed. (I read paranormal romance, I admit but I prefer science fiction, mysteries and less horrifying horror books). I still like some romance in the books I read but I like humour much more.

My style has changed. I’ve gone from syrupy romance to wanting romance to have something practical and real behind it.

It must be something that happens with age. I still read younger women posting quotes, photos and stories about romance, heavy on the sweet and syrupy side. I can’t get into any of it. I don’t see it as something real.

So, I wondered about my style of romance now. I do know that I still want romance. A little hand holding, if his hands are clean. I like the door opened and I like to open the door for him too.

What is Sex, Actually?

When you hear sex education you likely assume it’s all about sex. However, there is more to sex education than sex alone. There are things like sexless marriages, virginity, menopause, fetishes and kinky stuff too.

Have you ever thought about what sex actually is?

Does sex have to be about penetration? What if you and a partner are into mutual masturbation, does that mean you have not had sex? If you say yes to that, does that mean lesbians have never had sex (unless you count being artificially penetrated – assuming they use such things)?

What about people who choose not to have sex, is there something wrong with them or is it just a choice? If there isn’t something wrong with that choice what does it say about people who have a lot of sex or think they are deprived if they haven’t had sex in a week? Are they oversexed?

I think sex is embarrassing. People don’t really want to talk about it, face to face. When you have sex you look pretty silly and sound worse. I’m amazed the human species has made it this far when I think about what sex actually is, especially in the past when consent wasn’t an issue.

So much about sex is all in your perspective. When you are intimate with someone you forget to be embarrassed. If you are someone who has sex frequently that seems normal to you. Someone else who has sex less often is normal too. It doesn’t mean they have less libido, less desire or are less attractive. They have a different perspective.

All this fuss about sex and then… menopause. What is the purpose of sex? I’ve thought about that. As a woman over 45, child-less and now waiting for menopause I sometimes feel angry about the whole sex thing. I think sex has let me down in every way that counts. I didn’t especially love sex when I was married, or before or since. I got married for the purpose of having companionship and children. I never found out if I were infertile, that didn’t become an issue because my husband changed his mind about children and being married. We’re divorced. Not because of sex.

Retro Internet: The 1500 Point Purity Test

Long ago, in the days of the Internet surfing highway, there was a purity test with over 1000 questions. I found a copy of it. Posted for your viewing (or take the test) pleasure.

THE UNISEX PURITY TEST

If you thought the millenial purity test was bad, well you ain’t see
nuttin’ yet!

This is the 1500 point Purity Test!

We felt that the 1000 point version lost a lot of the “fun” of the
earlier versions, so we re-wrote it, adding a few new sections, and
a shitload of questions. This test is guaranteed to be nosier that
your parents, more invasive than the census, and containing something
to offend everybody.

Also included is an answer form so that you can remember where in the
test you were, or show to a friend.

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