Sex Gets Real: Episode 54

Sex as we age – there’s so much to learn!

Joan Price is on the air with us today and she is amazing. We are talking about seniors (folks over 50) and sex. What changes in our 50s, 60, 70s, and beyond when it comes to sex? How does ageism play out? Joan is the leading expert in ageless sexuality, and she shares her wealth of knowledge with us in this fun and approachable interview.

Want to find Joan? You can check out her amazing blog,, and you can find her books here or over on Amazon here.

If you buy a book directly from Joan, you can get a signed copy. Just shoot her a message and ask. YAY!

And of course, if you’re anywhere near Philly, SEXx Interaction is May 7-10th and Dawn would love to see you there for all the queer, sex positive goodness. Be there or be square.

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Episode breakdown

  • 0:54 – Joan Price joins us. Yay.
  • 1:04 – She is a senior sex educator and an advocate for ageless sexuality. How cool is that?
  • 1:57 – Dylan and I were at that aphrodisiac dinner party and one of the guests was an older woman. She asked us to do an episode on sex as you age, and just a few days later, Joan’s publisher reached out to us. It was fate that we talk about sex and seniors!
  • 2:38 – Joan tells us how she became a senior sex educator, specializing in sex for people over 50.
  • 3:35 – Her partner suggested Joan write a book for sex over 50 since there were none to be found.
  • 4:20 – She started writing about their first time using sex toys and how they negotiated safer sex, and that was just the beginning.
  • 4:42 – There was media backlash when her first book came out. People were not OK with older folks talking about having sex.
  • 5:07 – Joan is on a mission to change society’s view of senior sex. We approve.
  • 5:25 – Joan’s first book was “Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk About Sex After 60”.
  • 6:16 – We ask Joan if she was sexually open and expressive as a younger woman and her answer surprises us.
  • 6:58 – Sex ed for her in the 60’s was mostly how the sperm met the egg with nothing about pleasure or self-expression. Sadly, not much has changed.
  • 7:32 – Joan talks about learning about sex and pleasure the same way so many of us still do – relationship by relationship with lots of failures and steep learning curves.
  • 8:34 – She just couldn’t be quiet any longer.
  • 8:54 – Dawn has been guilty of this, but we dive into ageism and how society sees seniors as either asexual or gross and perverted.
  • 9:30 – Joan refers to the way we see older aged sex as having an “ick” factor.
  • 9:40 – We fear aging when we’re young, and as we start to age, we panic and have a very sick body image. Joan digs in.
  • 10:02 – It’s interesting how point for point, Joan’s advice about sex as an older person really applies to everyone, anywhere. We are only as sexy as we feel we are – that goes for an 84-year-old as well as a 24-year old.
  • 10:22 – There just aren’t very many sexy older women in the media – Jane Fonda, Helen Mirren, and Sophia Loren, but that’s it!
  • 11:12 – Having older role models in sex education is so important. Thank you, Betty Dodson!
  • 12:09 – Normal older guys (outside of a few movie stars) are really seen as old geezers, as something to laugh at and feel sorry for. It has to stop.
  • 12:31 – Part of the reason older guys are mocked is because they don’t have the hard erections anymore, the Viagra generation.
  • 13:00 – Joan things the men of her generation might have it even harder than the women because they never had a safe place to talk about sex or their issues.
  • 13:32 – We revisit a topic from a few previous episodes that basically shows men are trapped in a paradigm that ties them to what their penis is capable of and it’s just not true.
  • 14:48 – Guys from Joan’s generation bragged and spent all their time talking about how to convince girls to let them have sex. We wish we could say that’s changed, but we’re still so sex negative in our culture that the words may be different, but the spirit is still the same.
  • 15:37 – Joan says something wildly profound about not only learning about sex and pleasure, but unlearning what you’ve known to this point.
  • 15:56 – What worked when you were young doesn’t work anymore when you’re older.
  • 16:43 – Dylan asks what’s the appropriate term for old people?
  • 17:04 – Dylan asks a really amazing question about how open people are in Joan’s workshops on sex as you age.
  • 18:15 – Joan stresses the important of humor when it comes to sex, because if you can’t laugh at sex when you’re older, you’re in trouble.
  • 19:39 – We ask Joan what the number one concern or fear is that comes up in her live workshops on sex and aging.
  • 20:14 – For women, the concern is around libido and desire. For men, it’s around performance.
  • 20:42 – Erection dependability is a scary things for guys at any age, but especially as older guys really start seeing the effects of diminished blood flow and health changes.
  • 21:14 – One of Joan’s key takeaways from her workshops is why and how to talk to your doctor about sex. It’s something all of us could learn to do more of.
  • 21:58 – “If you can’t help me, please refer me to someone who can.”
  • 22:28 – There is a depressing and upsetting statistic about gynecologists in Joan’s newest book, and we dig into that a little bit.
  • 23:00 – Dawn shares a little story about a gynecologist she saw who was not very sex positive and what that means for others. It can be devastating.
  • 24:14 – When a nurse practitioner asks Joan if she’s sexually active, it creates a very interesting conversation around what sexual activity even means.
  • 25:30 – Joan makes an amazing point that shouldn’t we be talking about sexual health and sexual enjoyment when we’re meeting with our doctors? It’s critical to our overall well-being and health.
  • 26:05 – Heartbreak is real and it landed Joan in the emergency room.
  • 28:10 – Joan mentioned dates with her sex toys. So, let’s talk sex toys that work well for senior bodies. It’s really fascinating the things Joan recognizes as being important in a toy for sexual success.
  • 29:29 – “I’m still juicy Lucy!”
  • 32:06 – The Magic Wand and the Doxy wand vibrator are so powerful, it doesn’t take long to get to orgasm, but they’re very heavy and aren’t great for partner sex.
  • 33:30 – Safer sex is one of Joan’s soap boxes. Barriers are critical in senior sex – STIs are rampant in the older community.
  • 34:57 – Joan says we not only have to use condoms, but there are ways to make them erotic and sexy to incorporate.
  • 35:32 – “I always use condoms. These are my favorites. Which one would you like to use?” Done with the conversation.
  • 36:41 – Dawn is obsessed with Joan’s renaming of the female condom – she called it the receptive condom. YESSSSS.
  • 38:05 – One of the reasons the female condom is so amazing is that the receptive partner is totally in charge of having it in and controlling the safer sex. You don’t have to rely on a partner’s willingness to use a condom. Just throw the female condom up in your pussy or your ass and boom. Safer sex.
  • 38:31 – Joan tells us why her generation is actually better at inserting the female condom. Dawn had never thought of that before!
  • 39:40 – Another bonus? With the receptive (female) condom, a partner with a penis doesn’t have to be fully hard. They can rub it around and do partial penetration because the condom allows for that kind of flexibility, unlike the male condom which requires an erect penis.
  • 40:52 – Dawn makes a HUGE announcement that she just kind of lets slip out by accident.
  • 42:10 – Jerks. Pick-up artists. Getting her aroused just enough that they knew they’d get laid and then ended up being completely selfish.
  • 42:47 – Now Joan finds men who are eager to please as they are to be pleasured, and she sounds like she has an awesome sex life.
  • 43:50 – You go Joan! She’s so right that even with young guys who are hardwired for quick, hard, fast sex, they still have fingers and tongues and toys for pleasuring a partner that doesn’t get off as quickly as they do. Boom. The boys are served.
  • 45:42 – Sex is a journey each time because there are so many different ways sex can play out if you’re open and adventurous and curious, regardless of your age or body type.
  • 46:40 – Even if an erection doesn’t happen or goes away, sex doesn’t have to be done for the guy. So so important.
  • 47:44 – Men are told that they won’t ejaculate again after prostate surgery, but what they aren’t told is that they can still have orgasms even if they can’t ejaculate. Life changing stuff, people!
  • 48:30 – We ask Joan what all of us can do to prepare ourselves for awesome sex as we move into our 50s, 60s, 70s, and beyond.
  • 49:46 – Exercise exercise exercise. When we age, our blood flow slows down, so having a regular exercise routine is one of the most powerful things you can do to take charge of your sexual pleasure as you age.
  • 50:49 – Dawn talks about how amazing “The Ultimate Guide to Sex After Fifty” is because the whole book is full of information that supports a healthy sex life at ANY age. Open communication. Being adventurous and curious. Finding confidence.

And be sure to pin, share, and Instagram this bad boy

On this week's episode of Sex Gets Real, we talk to Joan Price on sex as we age - from ageism to vibrators to talking to our doctors about our changing bodies, Joan is an expert in all things ageless sexuality. It's a fun chat, that's for sure.

  • Dawn
  • April 12, 2015