You are invited to submit an essay or poem for an upcoming anthology titled Unmasked, Women Write About Sex and Intimacy After Fifty—target publish date: early 2017.
Women over fifty are “the invisible woman” in American culture. In a society that reveres youth – and particularly young, sexy women – women over fifty fade into the shadows. Yet, for many women at mid-life, this is a time of flowering and coming into one’s own, sexually and otherwise. Many older women love sex and crave the intimacy it provides. For every story of a harried mother who turns her husband away at night, or the older woman who long ago lost her libido, there are legions of others whose sex drives match those of men.
Women over fifty often are just coming into the most sensual/sexually pleasurable part of their lives. They’ve gone through menopause for the most part, and are free of worries about young kids or the fear of pregnancy. A Women’s Health Initiative study released in 2011 surveyed more than 27,000 U.S. women between fifty and seventy-nine years of age from 1993-98. What it found is that most women in reasonable physical and psychological health enjoyed sex after menopause. In fact, the study found that older women who were in sexual relationships for the most part wanted more sex, not less.
So, why is so little attention paid to sex and intimacy among women in later life? Other than a smattering of magazine articles and some academic books, very little has been written about women, sex and intimacy. Oh, there are plenty of how-tos: advice on vaginal dryness and pain during sex and erectile dysfunction. But there is a dearth of essays written by women about their sexual experiences after fifty.
Unmasked explores everything having to do with sex after fifty for women – the feelings, the romance, the positions, the drawbacks, the orgasms, the risks, the kinky, the sublime, the men and – as the case may be – the women.
This book is meant to bring sex after fifty for women into the open, to proclaim that it is important, it is natural and healthy and, for some women, it is absolutely necessary. Unmasked will surprise, inform, and – it is hoped – encourage all women of a certain age to (re)discover their sexuality.
Essays up to 2,500 words welcome. Send them to:
unmaskedwomen14ATgmailDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )
Thanks, Marcia Meier and Kathleen Barry, Editors