Tuesday, 2 October 2012

In Praise of Older Women

I was 30. She was nearly 43. I was a student at university and poor. She was financially independent and didn't need to work. I had nothing. She owned a triplex living in one unit and renting the other two out. I lived in a small dorm room on campus. She had a gorgeous apartment stylishly decorated. I was going back to university to change careers after spending my twenties working. She had married her high school sweetheart and had a baby. Her husband, a promising executive, was killed in a car crash leaving her with a substantial insurance settlement. Her baby, born severely handicapped both mentally and physically and requiring care 24 hours a day, died at the age of nine. The only thing we shared was that we were both single and unattached. We didn't even have the same mother tongue. She was French and I was English, an Anglophone learning the language while trying to get a diploma.

Lorraine (not her real name) was the most experienced, experimental, and sensual creature I have ever known. She could give lessons. Maybe she should give lessons. I have heard over the years the joke (maybe it's serious) of how a man compares the women he meets or even his wife to his mother. This is a case where all should be compared to Lorraine.

Why would a woman who is financially independent, who is up the social ladder, want anything to do with a university student who didn't have two pennies to rub together? I asked her. She explained that men her own age were traditionalists. They were pompous, controlling, and sometimes unkind. They had an agenda and they were ofttimes on a power trip. Younger men were different. Yes, I wasn't the first and I wasn't the last.

I wasn't pompous. I had nothing to be pompous about. I wasn't controlling. I had no power. I was kind because, well, because I am kind. We were sort of equals. We were fellow travellers on this voyage called life and she thought it would be pleasant if we held hands as we voyaged a bit together. Was this some sort of one-time fling? A flight of fancy? We were together for almost ten years and I guess the best explanation is that eventually I turned left and she turned right. I know that when it comes to affairs of the heart, we seem to look upon anything that doesn't last forever as a failure. However I would point out that my vacation doesn't last forever but that doesn't mean my vacation wasn't a success.

As I said, her apartment was stylish. She had her bed set diagonally into one corner. Instead of a headboard, she had a triangular table but this unusual arrangement made sense. She had a round hole about a meter across (3 feet) cut into the wall at waist level, a hole which directly connected the bedroom to the kitchen. One of us would go into the kitchen to prepare a morning coffee and a croissant then pass the plates from the kitchen through the wall and place them directly on this triangular table. We would lie in bed propped up on pillows eating and drinking from the table.

And the coffee? None of that brewed stuff. This was espresso, café au lait, and I learned the fine art from the master, ah, mistress. I used a small handheld machine to freshly grind the beans and spooned out the powder into the little metal container that you secure in place by turning a wooden handle. I pressed the button that put the device into action which pushed boiling hot water through the container and through the coffee grounds to drip out into the cup. I would separately steam heat some milk by holding a cup full of milk under a nozzle which let hot steam bubble up in the milk. I would pour the now hot milk in with the coffee and spoon out some foam to cover the surface of the mixture. Then for a treat I would sometimes shake cinnamon over the foam. This wasn't coffee; this was an event.

The keyword for this whole relationship (Should I say affair?) was "experience". I know anybody reading this is going to do a wink wink nudge nudge, titillated by all sorts of mental images of wild sex, just because they are thinking of the word "sex". But I would return to the word "experience" as more representative of our relationship: massage, bubble baths, dancing naked in the living room, and yes, melted chocolate and strawberries. When I said earlier that she was experimental, I wonder if she was experimental because she felt more comfortable with me. We all come to the table with our own baggage. We have not only our own expectations, but our own ideas of how we should behave. Do we stick to those preconceptions or are we willing to open up and try something new? I wondered about the men her age. Massage? Too feminine. Bubble baths? Too gay. Melted chocolate? Too touchy feely. Let's skip the preliminaries and get straight to the ejaculation so I can roll over and fall asleep. Too bad because the old Chinese proverb is true: the journey is the reward.

It was Christmas and the tradition was that her older uncle (in his 60s), the de facto head of the family, took everyone out for a dress-up feast at a restaurant. I wore a three-piece suit and Lorraine was wearing one of her finest. She could afford a fabulous wardrobe. Just as we were going to walk out the door, Lorraine hesitated then hiked up her dress and reached underneath.

"Qu'est-ce que tu fais?" (What are you doing?)

She pulled down her panties and stepped out of them. After picking them up, she neatly folded the panties over and stuffed them into the breast pocket of my suit. I now had a sharp looking lace handkerchief, just the type of accoutrement any well dressed gentleman should be sporting. For the entire meal at the restaurant then for dessert and drinks at the uncle's place in front of her entire family, we exchanged conspiratorial smiles during one of the most playful, naughty, and truly erotic evenings I have ever had in my life. I don't know what inspired her or where she would have gotten the idea but in retrospect I would make it mandatory for any couple married or otherwise. You may read this and think it's stupid or childish, but I will tell you that it sparks the imagination and lets your fancy take flight. The brain truly is our biggest sex organ and if you can arouse it, the physical will follow.

Final Word
Lorraine has now been with the same man for nearly twenty years. He was the younger man who came after me and oddly enough, he is younger than me. I was twelve and half years younger than her. I believe this man is fifteen years her junior. I am turning 60 shortly and right now, my cougar is 73. Seems funny doesn't it, referring to her with the word cougar? Then again, at my age it's a little hard to think of the term "boy toy", although I'm still partial to "stud muffin".

Vacations don't last forever but that doesn't mean vacations aren't good. Affairs of the heart, which admittedly usually don't end smoothly, don't have to be considered failures just because they don't last forever. Of course, one could argue that anything which burns intensely isn't meant to burn forever so it's a foregone conclusion that sooner or later, like a vacation, you're going to have to pack up and go home.

Lorraine is happy. She is in a secure and stable place. She has a good man and I wish her all the best in life. We still exchange the occasion email and I think of her from time to time, not as a long lost love, but as an influential experience, something which happened at a time and a place by a fortuitous confluence of events that can never be duplicated.

There's an old saying: "I'd rather regret the things I've done than regret the things I haven't done." I, for one, have no regrets about what we didn't do: in praise of an older woman.


References

my blog: Sex Ed: Tracey Cox
Tracey Cox (b. 1961, England) is a non fiction author specializing in books about dating, sex, and relationships. She is a former associate editor of Cosmopolitan (Australia) and a radio show host. As a TV presenter about sex and relationships, she has worked on The Sex Inspectors (Ch4 and HBO in the US), Would Like to Meet (BBC2), Under One Roof (ITV) and Date Patrol (Discovery in the US). She has apparently sold over 2 million books with six titles as international bestsellers.

Cosmo
15 Ways to get him hard by Tracey Cox
“Don’t ask for sex – just take it!” Is the advice from sexpert and author of Supersex For Life, Tracey Cox. This type of sex schooling is the kind that Cosmo is 100% behind, which is why we’re sharing Tracey’s skills to get him (and you) going…

12. Play the no panties game
It’s especially effective if you flash or tell him you’re commando in situations where he can’t ravish you. Go to the bathroom at that stuffy dinner party, take your panties off, and discreetly, under cover of the tablecloth, push them into his trouser pocket when you sit back down again.

Redbook
Foreplay Tips: The Moves Men Love
Foreplay isn't just a tepid warm-up; it's where it's at. When else can you devote 100% of your efforts to getting in tune with each other's bodies and all but guarantee that what follows next will be more explosive than you'd ever imagined? Want to know what a man wants? Get foreplay tips, techniques, and ideas straight from the source! These illuminating insights from the mouths of men reveal the moves that get their erotic engines humming.

#8
“One night my wife and I were out to dinner and we were sitting at a table, but she wouldn’t take off her coat. I asked her why and she said she couldn’t — and just stared at me. Turns out, all she was wearing was a trench coat and high heels. I couldn’t even eat; all I could think was, ‘This is the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen.’” —Tom, 31

my blog: Sex: Men are always ready, willing, and able
A woman only has to give a guy the green light and she can sleep with him. Twenty-four by seven, a man is willing to have sex and can be made to have an erection with little or no stimulation. It's a sure thing. No effort on the part of his partner, the woman, is necessary.

my blog: Erectile dysfunction or just not sexually aroused
According to the Minnesota Men's Health Center, one in ten men in the world suffers from ED (Erectile Dysfunction) and the likelihood of ED goes up with age: 39% at age 40, 65% over the age of 65. It is estimated that up to 30 million American men frequently suffer from ED and that it strikes up to half of all men between the ages of 40 and 70. However those same stats point out that every man at one time or another has had a bout of ED and the causes of this condition are not just physical but also psychological. Sometimes it's all in your head and sometimes it's all in the head of your penis.
...
The point I found so curious in looking at the above materials is that while erectile dysfunction can be a physical condition, is it always? Stress or anxiety, low self-esteem, marital or relationship problems, performance anxiety and even an unsatisfactory sex life can have an impact on a man's performance, that is, can leave a man not "in the mood". Not being in the mood is not erectile dysfunction; it's just not being "in the mood". Gee, where have I heard this before? (hint: women not being "in the mood")

2012-10-02

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