Author Carole Lethbridge talked with women in their 60s about their experience (or lack of it) with sex.
She spoke to women who are married and single, sexually active or not.
To a 66-year-old married woman who is still sexually active, Carole asked: “You’re still sexually active with your husband, do you enjoy sex with him? How often would you have sex with him? Are you having sex outside your marriage?”
The woman, named Dana, replied: “Yes my husband and I still have sex. I have to admit I don’t enjoy it as much as I did 15-20 years ago. We have sex every couple of weeks. I feel my husband is more interested in the act than me.
"I often lie there thinking of what my mother used to say, ‘Lay back and think of England’. The whole act usually takes about 3 minutes and he is virtually snoring when he rolls off. I lie there for hours wondering what happened to romance.
"I often have sex with him when I need him to do things around the house, or when I feel I’ve run out of excuses. No way on earth would I want to have sex with another. I couldn’t think of anything worse.”
To 64-year-old Allison, who is not anymore sexually active, Carole asked: You’re not sexually active with your husband, can you tell me why? When did sex with him cease? Would you consider having sex outside your marriage?
Allison replied: “He’s a selfish pig. He only thinks of himself and he’s not at all involved in the family. I can hardly stand the sight of him. Most of the time he just lies on the sofa with a can in his hand.
"Sex went out the window when I hit menopause. That was when I shut down. He had no understanding of what I went through. He just told me to get over it. He used to say, ‘Get over it or get out’. I told him I wasn’t going anywhere.
"He now sleeps in the spare room and he knows better than to try and touch me. I’ve wondered about how I would feel with another man, but after this one and at my age no way.”
Carole asked a 65-year-old sexually active single woman: “You’re still sexually active; do you enjoy sex? How often would you have sex? Are you with a regular partner?”
Sandra, the woman, answered: “Yes I am, I enjoy sex. Although since my divorce I’ve realised that if you want to have interest from a man then not being sexually available isn’t an option.
"In a way I think this is why at my age I’m still sexually active. I would have sex as often as I have dates to be honest. I don’t have a regular partner. I have several men who I see. I seem to attract the guy who’s in town on business every now and again and in a way nowadays this suits me. I don’t think I could stand a man around 24/7.”
The author asked Janet, 61, a single woman who is not sexually active: You’re not sexually active; can you tell me why? When did sexual activity cease? Would you consider having sex in the future?
Her response: “I’m sorry to say I don’t have a sex life. It’s because I have low self-esteem especially since my husband traded me for a 35-year-old from the Philippines six years ago. I’d put on a lot of weight during menopause and he starting calling me a fat slob.
"So I withdrew and that’s when the marriage started to turn sour. If I could get myself together and lose some weight, I may consider getting involved if anyone would have me.”