MARINA DEL REY (CBSLA.com) — Hollywood often wraps the idea of sex and sexuality around youth, but author Iris Krasnow says she’s fascinated by the sexual exploration that’s happening in older generations.
“People care about sex ’til the day they die,” the author told CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Lisa Sigell.
Krasnow, known for “The Secret Lives of Wives,” has delivered another page-turner in “Sex After…,” a book that finds sex can get better with age.
Therapist Greta Hassel and attorney Dennis Cohen, a newly-married couple in Marina del Rey, definitely agree.
“I was a late bloomer, but I have to say, my best sexual experiences have been in my 50s,” Hassel said.
They say laughter is key, along with communication.
“Explore, explore; try and fail,” Hassel said.
“It’s an adventure,” Cohen said.
Krasnow interviewed more than 150 doctors, sex therapists and women of all ages for her new project.
“This book is called ‘Sex After…’ but the sub-head is really the most important part of the book, how intimacy changes as life changes,” the writer said. “Women over 70 have told me that they’re having the best sex of their lives.”
So are lots of people. And Krasnow tackles it all, starting with sex in younger adults. She says 20-somethings aren’t only looking for random, loveless sex, as many older people fear.
“Most of the young people, yes, they want sexual pleasure, but, you know what, they want emotional commitment and love. Ninety percent of young people hope that if there is sexual chemistry they hope something else will happen — men and women,” Krasnow said.
She also talks about sex after living together, which she says is not always the best way to get to commitment, no matter what age.
“All those annoying habits you come to know when you live with someone before marriage, it ain’t so hot anymore,” the writer said. “I always tell young people, they say, ‘My boyfriend isn’t talking about marriage.’ And I say, ‘How long have you been together?’ And they say, ‘Four years.’ And I say, ‘You’re not even married and the honeymoon’s over.'”
And then there’s sex after having a baby: “You’ve got a squealing baby and saying, ‘I’m not sleeping. I don’t want to have sex. I’m 50 pounds overweight and I have postpartum depression.'”
Doctors say you can resume sex six weeks after delivery and the husband may be counting the days. But Krasnow suggests a little patience because most women are adjusting to the sleep-deprivation that comes with having an infant and may be too tired to get it on.
Which brings the author to a chapter devoted to a different type of intimacy, “Adventures in Outercourse.”
“‘Outercourse’ is everything, but even if it’s just holding hands or a kiss or a nuzzle, it’s so life-affirming. It gets you out of bed in the morning,” Krasnow said. “I talked to one couple, they’re just not having sex anymore and they consider themselves intimate and in love, and she’d rather take a walk…”
As for sex after 50, Krasnow says it’s alive and well.
“The shop is so not closed,” the author said.
But it can change: “It’s not that women wither up and dry up after menopause, sometimes guys don’t want it either.”
The writer says that’s the time to make sure that hormones are in balance. She also recommends talking about what you want individually, and as a couple. Then, it’s time to focus on each other, and not what others around you may or may not be doing.
“We know how to really talk about what we want, and hear each other, and really connect,” Hassel said.
“I’d like to release everyone from feeling like someone else is having better sex, more sex or perfect sex,” Krasnow said.
And now for sex after 60: Krasnow says it’s the Baby Boomers who are transforming and reinventing sexuality at that age.
“We’re the generation who’s watching Mick Jagger writhing on stage in his 70s, and he looks pretty good. We have forged a cultural, a political and a sexual revolution in the 70s. So we’re not going to grow old knitting in our rockers. We’re going to be rocking grannies!”
Hassel and Cohen agree completely.
“In 20 years, we’ll have more stories to tell about how unusually beautiful that sex continues to be,” Hassel said, with a smile.
Cohen says, while feigning an older voice and pretending to walk with a cane, “We’re going to be saying, ‘Honey, honey, it’s still pretty good!'”
For more information on Iris Krasnow visit IrisKrasnow.com.