TC Jewfolk asked me to write a regular column on sex, I suppose that’s because I just wrote the authoritative guide to midlife sexual confusion; a novel called “Available to Chat.” I began writing the book thinking Fifty Shades for Forty Somethings. Olivia, the heroine, is married and bored. When an old friend contacts her on Social Media, the “how have you beens,” quickly turn into “how you doing?” (Think Joey Tribbiani on “Friends.”)
Writing the racy scenes was easy. Writing the story between those encounters, that was tougher. The book features a woman who well past her youth still struggles with her sexual comfort, her desires and the compatibility of her long-term relationship. It’s a story I’ve researched by having wonderful friends who like to talk. A lot.
Maybe all of us become more comfortable talking about sex as we age, but it wasn’t always this way. After I got married my best friend confided she and her husband were getting lucky … three times a week. She asked how often we were. I shushed her.
So it could be maturing, or it might be that we’re so bombarded with sexual messages that it just becomes more natural to talk about. What I have discovered though is more often than not the discussion isn’t so much honest as an ironic one-upmanship of who is doing it the least; who is most uninterested. (Well, maybe that is honest.)
So despite frank dialogue, communal support and accessible education, many of us are still befuddled. Sometimes it feels like the more we talk, the less we know.
Here’s what I know for sure: I’m curious and I am a good listener. I am fascinated by love, lust and relationships. So, I want to use this column to see if all this openness can actually lead to some insight. Let’s use this forum to create a space for enlightenment and owning our bafflement, laughing at ourselves and how complicated and difficult it is for us to passionately love something that humans have done since the beginning of time.
I’ll ask questions, but I need your questions, too. Give me something to mull over. Or challenge me with something to research. Curious about technique? Have a relationship question? Wondering if you’re an over-achiever or an under-achiever and want to know statistics? Submit your confidential questions at is.gd/AskJacy
Let’s talk and think and share. And, I can definitely promise you this: No matter what you ask, I will never shush you.