CARMEL KNOWLEDGE

I used to poo-poo all those people who said that old people don’t have sex any more. I stood up for the rights of seniors to be just as frisky as the rest of the population. Good heavens, whose business is it, anyway?

But then I got older. And so did my husband. Now I am starting to understand the truth about old people. There isn’t as much sex as there used to be. But it is due to multiple factors. So I want to try to explain just exactly what happens as one approaches those “golden years.”

Things start “seizing up.” Good grief. One round of golf or a nice evening of bowling, and suddenly, one of us awakes, screaming. “My leg, my leg!” This is usually accompanied by agonized flexing, attempts at walking around the bedroom, and wee-hours Googling of the following topics: “cramping,” “why is my calf filled with searing pain in the middle of the night?” or “Husband’s toes curling inward uncontrollably. Antidotes?”

One word: arthritis. Formerly limber joints start to get gnarly and sore. Holding a water glass isn’t so easy. Holding hands just plain hurts. Knees ache. Backs get sore from too much bending over to do things like tie shoes and pick up the newspaper.

It’s a matter of priorities. Young people spend a lot of time worrying about how they look to the opposite sex. They practice “pick up lines” and “come hither” looks. Young people have something called pheromones. Apparently, pheromones smell sexy. After a certain age, pheromones don’t matter, because when the hearing starts to go, so does the sense of smell. These days, I spray my perfume around after my husband eats beans. It does the trick.

Energy is depleted much faster after the age of fifty. Why, I remember those good old days, when running after children, weeding gardens, and carrying loads of laundry up and down three flights of stairs was a breeze. Evenings were a good time for chatting and watching late night television. Marital relations after all that? Not a problem.

Today, things all look just a little different. Heads are balder. Thighs are flabbier. Days seem to be much, much shorter. Pleasure is much simpler, too. When one reaches a certain age, one’s ideas of bliss morph. Really, it’s not that bad.

Compare and contrast: heavy breathing, thrashing, moaning, twisting, and finally lying exhausted? Or sighing, spooning, licking, and rolling eyes heavenward? I will choose the second, please: one turtle sundae, with nuts and whipped cream. It’s like dying and going to heaven. But afterwards, I have renewed energy and my knees aren’t stiff.

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