LYNN - PHOTO - LATEST Does your sex drive die with your mate? Certainly not. Author Lynn Rosenberg, lost her husband at 55. Fifteen years later she discovered that not only was her libido very much alive and thriving, but it was stronger than it had ever had been during her marriage. Proof positive that women can have a healthy sex life well into their 70’s and beyond.

SEX, SEX, SEX—OR NOT? by Lynn Brown Rosenberg

I wasn’t having any. First of all, I was widowed and numb after having my heart in my mouth due to my husband’s six-year battle with melanoma. Plus I was on a medication which killed my desire. But even before that, sex had been infrequent. My husband and I were not, as it turned out, a great match in bed. I could have tried harder to do something about it, like be honest with my husband about how I was feeling (neither one of us ever discussed it in our entire 15-year marriage), see a sex therapist alone or with my husband, or at the very least give myself solo sexual pleasure. But I chose to suppress my own desire. And suppression, denial and deprivation is something we have the option to do whether we’re a single mom, happily married, divorced, widowed, young or old.

It’s so easy to let sex slide. We have busy lives with many obligations and responsibilities, little and not-so-little children, and often scant periods of time to invest in having good sex. Some of us don’t have a partner. And more often than not, we’re just plain exhausted. The only problem with all of this sublimating our sexual drive into non-existence is that we’re cheating ourselves (and if we have a partner, cheating him or her). Sometimes it’s difficult to see that we’re doing this. Our reasoning seems so legitimate. But enabling yourself to have great sexual pleasure is a need and a right and we deserve it and we need to remember that.

I had the best orgasm of my life when I was by myself! After I ruminated about the fact that I hadn’t had sex for such a long time, one day I decided I wanted things to change. And that was the beginning of my journey toward sexual freedom. I confided in my urologist I had difficultly having orgasms. She suggested I get some porn and toys. With great trepidation, I went to a sex shop and did what she suggested.

I had never been in an “adult” store before. I felt anxious, worried I’d see someone I knew. It never occurred to me that the person seeing me might also not want to be seen! It was, if you don’t count the tripling of my heart beats, a rather pleasant experience. It wasn’t seedy like I had expected and the staff was not judgmental but kind and really helpful.

But I wanted more. I wasn’t having any dates and needed some contact with a man. My psychologist told me there were free sex chat websites. Me on a sex chat website? I can’t do that I told myself. But I was curious, and I found the temptation irresistible so one night I signed up, using a picture that was a profile of me. In it, I wore with a hat that covered nearly my entire face. I called myself sensualnights16. Almost immediately, I was contacted. The first man was decades my junior. It seemed so inappropriate. But the age difference didn’t seem to bother him, and the more we wrote, the less inappropriate it felt. After all, we were both adults.

Meanwhile, a new female friend, a writer, happened to loan me a book of erotic stories. At first, I felt embarrassed, but once I started reading they were hard to put down. I found them very stimulating! Not only did I read erotic stories, but in time I wrote them. I was opening myself up to whole new worlds of sexual stimulation and found each experience enjoyable.

Although I am heterosexual, I read gay stories as well. My friend suggested I write a gay story for a contest. I didn’t think I could possibly do that. Sex between men? How could I relate? But after a few days passed, I became more acclimated to the idea, sat down at the computer, and went for it. Now I was experiencing arousal not only when I read someone else’s erotic story, but also my own. My sex life would never be the same.

What I have now was something I didn’t have before: an intention to enjoy myself and an open mind. Just as anyone can have a closed mind, anyone can have an open mind. You just have to want it badly enough and be willing to fight for it, casting aside judgments for another day.

Lynn Brown Rosenberg’s memoir, “My Sexual Awakening at 70” can be found on Amazon.com. Please also visit her website at www.lynnbrownrosenberg.com. SexualAwakening_ebookCover