I recently shared this video on our Facebook page. I watched it again, and again. Why? Because I love this woman. I love her spunk, her vitality, her humor, her confidence, her ease in her body, her grace, her sexiness and her courage. Most of all, I love how she embodies these at the ripe age of 87.
It’s a simple video. A band, people dancing and this 87 year old woman boldly wooing the handsome, young Latino men who watch from the sidelines. While some may chalk up the young men’s laughter to the seemingly ridiculous gesture of her wooing, I tend to think that their laughter reflects a discomfort with the notion that older people feel sexy, are sexy, act sexy and in fact, actually have sex.
I have no doubt that had one of them accepted her request for a dance, she would have rocked the dance floor with them. They could have easily humored her. One Facebook commenter joked that they might not have been able to keep up with her. Instead, they laughed and stayed seated. One young man even started to look away in discomfort of her unwavering pursuit.
What frightens us about sex and aging? Do we struggle to face the subject because it reminds us of our own mortality? Do we disconnect sex from aging because elders do not procreate?
I can tell you that just from watching this video, this woman holds more vitality and sexual energy than many of my young, “in their prime” clients. This begs the following questions:
- How do we hold on to our own sexual energy?
- How do we continue to feel sexually alive as we age?
- How do we view our aging bodies?
I make many assumptions about this woman while watching this video clip. While I know nothing about her, I know how I experience her through the video. This is what my experience tells me:
She does not take herself too seriously.
You can see in the video how she is laughing at times while wooing the young men. They laugh too. She does not become offended by their laughter, in fact, she gives them more of her!
She’s not afraid to move her body.
She shimmies. She humps. She salsas. She does this all with grace and ease. She is comfortable in her body and moves it beautifully.
She celebrates her body.
Notice how toward the end of the video, she raises her hands above her head and cascades them down her body? She even turns and gives them a booty dance. Her celebration of self and confidence gives her permission to flaunt herself a bit.
She does not turn her sexuality off.
She doesn’t try to dance like an elder woman “should dance”. She doesn’t stop herself from feeling sexy, even in the face of the young man laughing at her gestures.
She feels on a sensory level.
Clearly allowing the music to move her, she is in her body and not in her head. She’s not thinking about her dancing. She is feeling the music and moving effortlessly.
She has a zest for life!
Zest means great enthusiasm and energy. Do you wake up each day saying “Yes!” to life? If not, how do you think you would show up on this dance floor?
She loves herself.
All of the above indicate to me a deep love for herself, comfort in her own skin and ease in her body.
Do you exercise any of these at age 30? 40? 50? If you want to want to embrace your aging body and feel sexy, it starts with your attitude, your beliefs, your thoughts, your self-talk, your energy toward life and how you cultivate your own sexuality.
Having been raised by a Latin mother, I know that attitudes toward sensual/sexual expression differ greatly from American culture. Dance, in particular, is a hallmark of connection and celebration. As another Facebook commenter wrote in Spanish, “Life is action and movement! To dance! To enjoy! To laugh! To live life!”
With culture alone, she may have some advantages over our own. That does not mean that we cannot learn. I will watch her video from time to time to feel inspired and remember that sensuality and sexuality never fades.