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Sex: For Some It Gets Better With Age

Author: Tsara Shelton
Author Contact: @TsaraShelton on Twitter
Published: 7th Apr 2022 - Updated: 6th Sep 2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication: N/A
Additional References: LGBTQ Stories - Mainstream Publications

Summary: An essay about maturing into my sexual self.

Main Document

I'm nearing fifty and sex is better for me now.

And though it isn't only age that has brought me to this beautiful place sexually, it is in partnership with age.

I'm nearing fifty and sex is better for me now.

(Article continues below image.)


Aging is beautiful. Aging with a desire to learn more and do more and try more and experience more and be more is a thing of absolute splendor.

Yet, aging is not often portrayed as beautiful. At least, not in my experience. And as I mentioned, I've had a nice number of years to experience. Of course, my experience has gifted me with the knowledge that my experience is limited. That I have an infinite amount yet to learn. I will not learn it all.

I love that, because it means I can take my time truly delighting in the learnings I choose. Since I can't learn it all, I might as well learn as much as I want about the things I am choosing to learn. Like sex. I have chosen, with the help of my love, to learn and delight in sex.

I always believed I could enjoy sex. Even before I quite knew what it was, I played at enjoying sexual feelings. I would bunch my blankets up under my groin while lying on my tummy and move around to delicious effect. As I got older, I discovered that imagining sexy images gave me yet quicker results that were even bigger in scope. My little sister thought I was gross, but I knew she was missing out on something pretty grand.

However, sexual abuse in my pre-teens managed to thwart my healthy desire and negatively effected the way I thought about myself as well as the way I thought about sex. Sex and desire became colored with darkness and secrets; I can either disappear into a cocoon of fear while it happens, feeling violated and pathetic, or prove my participation, my non-victimhood, by being visibly engaged. The part where I might continue on a path of self discovery, expression, and healthy partner seeking got pushed way down and nearly suffocated. I gave it barely enough room to breathe, though I did give it some. Just enough to know I wanted it, but also to know I was not doing a good job believing in it.

I am by no means special here. Sadly, too many young people are abused, shamed, or otherwise sexually wronged and, hence, spend years upon years first verifying the awful things they believe about themselves, about sex, and about the world, and then - if they are so inclined and supported - more years teasing apart lies from truth, hopefully discovering a healthy sexual-self and belief system.

Sexual discovery is naturally, even properly, full of mystery and questioning. I don't think we can, even in a most healthy environment, discover and evolve our sexual selves unscathed. Or even that we should want to. Growth includes breaking through barriers, barriers that were often once-upon-a-time used to protect us; growth is destructive as well as creative and productive.

However, when we are singled out and abused, or simply attempting to discover our sexuality in an unbalanced dysfunctional environment, it is far more difficult to evolve healthily at all.

I spent several of my formative years making sexual mistakes, in my attitude and behavior. Then despising myself for the whole messy thing.

Luckily, I have an impressive and supportive family, and we were able to talk about this topic candidly. We were able to share our thoughts and ideas, worries and cruelties. Helping each other forgive and make necessary changes. I continued to untangle the messed-up messages my mind had invented in order to inhibit my ability to be both vulnerable and honest sexually.

Our sexual selves are important. Sexuality plays a large role in who we are, how we react to the world, how the world reacts to us, choices we make as parents, grandparents, friends, mentors, siblings. But it is not our whole self and so I spent about twenty years in an okay place sexually while I focussed more on who I was outside of that. And it was time well spent.

Time that I used to grow a little kinder, a little more confident, a little better at being there for my loved ones. Being there in a balanced way. Being there for myself. Writing, dancing, learning to be a better assistant, discovering where my strengths are and where they are not, picking and choosing which ones mattered to me, not which ones I thought would impress others. In fact, I haven't worried about what other people think of me in a long, long, time. All this self-growth and happiness, interestingly, made my sexual self jealous. She wanted to come out and play, be seen as equally interesting and worth my time.

I agreed.

As I opened to the possibility of a sexual awakening the Universe brought my partner and I together. A partner who is attentive and aware of me, of my wants and fears, in the bedroom and beyond. He's patient and craves honesty. Hence, I have been easily honest.

But, oh, it was not convenient or easy. It was messy. Many beautiful things were broken in order to build. It seems even at my age growth can mean breaking down barriers that once kept me safe.

But now, with this love and comfort and exciting relationship, I'm able to let go of my previous need to quickly get sex over with, to do what I thought would make it look and sound like I liked it, and then feel disappointed in myself for that cycle.

Funnily, I feel more beautiful now than I ever did in my beautiful youth. Admittedly, I still don't see beautiful when I look at me, and I still feel deeply self-conscious and uncertain when my love looks at me in the light, but I feel beautiful. And I feel sexy. And I feel desired. More than that, I desire. I look at my lover hungrily and want to see pleasure happening to him. I want to be part of the reason for that pleasure, and I don't want it quickly over with. I'm learning sex is more than only orgasms. But, also, there are orgasms. So many kinds! I had no idea! Like a fireworks display, they are all impressive and awe inspiring. Some are bigger, some are smaller, some pop, pop, pop, some seem to take over the room, others feel deeply personal and pointed, some you wait for, some feel like waves you could ride for hours, some take you completely out of yourself threatening to let you float away forever so you hold onto the sheets and focus on his hand holding your hip, keeping you safe, keeping you here

Yes, sex has gotten better for me with age.

Aging means biological changes, too. Many of those changes are sexual in nature. Wonderfully, these changes can be met with fun and creativity when communication, desire, comfort, and caring are there. When we are confident and comfortable enough to ask for what we might newly need and to want to discover what we might newly give.

I'm looking forward to many years of sexy communication, desire, comfort, and caring with my love.

I'm nearing fifty and sex is better for me now.

And though it isn't only age that has brought me to this beautiful place sexually, it is in partnership with age.

Aging takes time and time was what I needed to grow my confidence, to stop trying to seem wise in the opinion of others and instead discover my own opinions, which was wise of me. And as much as I want to tell young people "Learn from my experience!" they mostly can't. They need their own years of experience.

And in my experience, aging is a beautiful thing.

* * *

Author Credentials:

Tsara Shelton, author of Spinning in Circles and Learning From Myself, is a contributing editor to

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• (APA): Tsara Shelton. (2022, April 7). Sex: For Some It Gets Better With Age. Retrieved April 13, 2024 from

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