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How Old Is Too Old To Rock It?

older sexy women

I think it’s safe to say that Erica is sexy enough, at 52, to wear this outfit. And that she doesn’t feel the least bit threatened by women in their 20s. Shannon, meaning me, is off to do squats and eat kale. Whew.

There is a 50+ woman online who out-sexes me by a mile. I’m so thrilled to introduce you to Erica Jagger, a pseudonym evocative of the decadent, libidinous, licentious Glitter Rock era. Erica writes:

Recently I read the Yahoo article “Is 60 Too Old To Show Your Bra?,” inspired by a photo of Trudie Styler — age 60 — rocking it in a black ensemble.

Beneath her plunging neckline was a killer leather bra. Her outfit was elegantly sexy, and to my eye, completely kosher for an evening out.

But when the writer, Yahoo editor-in-chief Joe Zee, passed the photo around to his fellow Yahoo-ians, half of them “cringed, calling the flesh-baring top inappropriate.”

As in, inappropriate for an older woman.

The article didn’t say what the cut-off was for bra exposure.

Forty? Forty-five?

And if it’s okay for a 40-year-old to reveal her bra, why is it not okay for a woman twenty years her senior?

Really? I thought, after finishing the piece.

The piece that had nothing to do with bra straps and everything to do with stamping a sexual expiration date on women.

Are we really so threatened by the idea that a post-menopausal woman could be proud of her body? That she’s still sexually active — and in the case of Trudie Styler, tantrically sexually active? That she refuses to let the culture manage down her desires and beliefs about herself?

Where Did This Theory That Older Women Aren’t Sexy Come From?

Evolutionary biologists have theorized that men aren’t attracted to older women because they’re no longer fertile, and that menopause evolved so post-menopausal women could care for their grandchildren. From a strictly procreative and utilitarian point-of-view, this makes sense. But it doesn’t make sense if a man isn’t looking to have children.

There’s a great line in the movie Moonstruck, where Olympia Dukakis, devastated by the fact that her husband is having an affair, asks a skirt-chasing middle-aged John Mahoney why men cheat. “Because they fear death,” was the answer.

Metaphorically, this may be true. And I think it’s also true for men who leave long-term marriages for women two and three decades their junior.

But this doesn’t mean their ex-wives are no longer inherently sexual. It means that men want a life do-over, which will involve children if a younger woman wants them.

If men don’t want children, then, wouldn’t they be just as inclined to view older women as sexually desirable?

I don’t have the numbers to back up this argument, but from my own dating experience, I can give an unequivocal yes. One reason men want me for a sex partner is that I won’t hit them up for a baby.

Another reason is that my life experience makes me attractive — to both younger men and men my age. Probably half the men on OkCupid who contact me are younger, which blows up the notion that a woman old enough to be a grandmother isn’t sexy.

It’s 2014, Can’t We Stop Telling Older Women To Roll Over And Play Dead?

I really don’t understand why people collude with a misogynistic cultural message. I don’t know why it’s threatening to see an older woman rocking a revealing outfit, or to picture an older woman having sex.

Perhaps younger women don’t want more competition? Perhaps men find a hot woman with life experience intimidating? Perhaps change is difficult, and if the zeitgeist is shifting towards a more realistic version of women’s sexuality, then people are forced to change what they think?

Of course, we shouldn’t presume that every woman of a certain age wants to “look sexy.” I’ve gotten plenty of comments on my Huffington Post pieces from mid-life women who don’t want to be burdened by pressure to look a way that they don’t feel, who aren’t interested in sex, and who no longer care about what men think.

It is every woman’s prerogative to age in the way that’s right for her, and men’s opinions should have nothing to do with it.

But those of us who do want to dress in a way that showcases our physical attributes and our sexuality shouldn’t be expected to stop just because we’ve stopped menstruating.

I certainly don’t plan to divest my lingerie drawer of pearl thongs and corsets. But I would like to stop reading insipid articles insinuating that sexy older women are too old to be sexy. Because the only time a woman shouldn’t rock it is when she no longer wants to.

Shannon here: Are you one of the ubiquitous older sexy women who still rocks a leather bra and enjoys the company of younger men? We’d certainly love to see your photos and stories in the comments. Maybe I’ll even pick one to publish. Onward ho!

Older sexy womenErica Jagger is the pen name of a 52-year-old divorcee living in Los Angeles. When her marriage ended after 20 years, she bought into our culture’s message that women over 40 are invisible to men, and wondered if she’d ever have a date again.

She’s happy to report that she’s had many. Her erotic exploration has taught her that a woman who owns her sexuality, regardless of age, is a force to be reckoned with.

So she started a blog to ignite a conversation about the sexual power of boomer women. Please join in and visit www.asexywomanofacertainage.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @ohgoderica.


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16 comments

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  1. Haralee
    Haralee 13 October, 2014, 08:26

    Trudy is a celebrity and when out she will be photographed for her fashion which will not happen to many other 60 year old women. I think good taste is good taste in fashion at any age.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 13 October, 2014, 12:39

      Haralee Ms Trudy somehow manages to rock the leather bra with style and grace.

      Reply this comment
  2. Cassandra
    Cassandra 13 October, 2014, 10:17

    They will have to rip my black lacy bras out of my cold, dead hands.

    Reply this comment
  3. June Bug
    June Bug 13 October, 2014, 14:06

    A number of years ago, I didn’t mind at all becoming an “invisible woman.” For most of my post puberty life, I was very uncomfortable with untoward male attention, Whatever the age, women should be able to enjoy themselves, and the persona they wish to project! I say, “go Granny, go!”

    Reply this comment
  4. Rena McDaniel
    Rena McDaniel 13 October, 2014, 18:37

    I’m not rocking it, but I say hell yes. Just because my own hang ups keep me from dressing sexy doesn’t mean I’m not having the best sex of my life. I feel more free than at any other time in my life.

    Reply this comment
  5. Bodynsoil
    Bodynsoil 14 October, 2014, 03:10

    This is the conversation I have with people a lot now that I’m 50, yet still feeling 20 something. when do I stop wearing string bikini’s and short shorts.. I bet my friends and family think that should have been a long time ago.. I think not..

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 15 October, 2014, 13:48

      Bodynsoil — if you can still wear a string bikini at 50 I say go for it!

      Reply this comment
  6. dani
    dani 17 October, 2014, 21:49

    I’m 44, been married 25 years almost, bought that same corset a month ago…my hubby LOVES it almost as much as I do!

    Reply this comment
  7. Doug
    Doug 22 October, 2014, 20:44

    The whole concept of age and what is attractive is interesting. I remember in my younger teens, when I was first starting to become interested in girls I watched the Miss America pageant and thought how old all of those women were, all of 18 or 19). Then I remember when I was in my early to mid 30s carpooling with some guys that were about my age now (about twice my age back then) and one of them saying all women 10s. As I have gotten older, I am seeing that. I see some incredibly sexy women my age and older. A lot, I feel, has to do with attitude and outlook. If a woman, or man, has self confidence and thinks of themselves as being attractive, they are. Sexy is 95 percent attitude and 5 percent looks. If you got it, flaunt it, no matter what your age.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 23 October, 2014, 10:13

      Doug I couldn’t agree more. When I look in the mirror I tend to focus on body parts rather than the entire person. Because attractiveness takes into account everything, from the corporeal to the spiritual to being happy and content with yourself. I’m always a work in progress, but most days I like what I see now that I’m 49.

      Reply this comment
  8. Dani
    Dani 30 May, 2015, 22:29

    I’m not sure what to feel more….thrilled to have read this or utterly dismayed by how much crap about how obsolete and unattractive I am I had to read to get to this. Seriously, no matter how positively I phrase something related to this subject in a Google search, I have to scan at least 50 things that are objectively awful to get to one slightly good thing. It’s so ageist, I don’t know if the younger adults are consciously aware they do this. What do you think?

    Anyway, more of THIS, less of that. In my 40s and beyond, I may live until 90, I’m still busy being hot. I am so tired of people with self-serving agendas saying HORRIBLE things all over the Internet that wind up defining me, if not to myself, then to others whose positive response I would still appreciate getting, and would be getting without the prejudicial comments. Yes, younger women don’t want competition, older men don’t want to die (Who can blame them?? Neither do we, but own it, don’t project it. And younger guys, they diverge. Really into us, really not into us because they care TOO much what others think and don’t have the courage to form new definitions; or into us, but for the short term, not for the long term, the latter mostly being about the idea that we’ll die way before them, but in reality, nobody knows that outcome. You and I could still be here in 40 years while a 20-something guy could not be for any one of a number of different reasons (God forbid). Point is, if someone is beautiful and sexy, they’re beautiful and sexy, and if you love them, and they’re the right blend for you, they are. The labeling needs to end.

    And yes, I think a woman has the right to age however she feels it. If she no longer feels sexy, she no longer feels sexy, that’s her thing, if she’s GOOD with it and finds peace in it. Should be an internal flow and a personal identification, not someone else’s negative projection. But if she does still feel it, get out of her way and stop putting her in the boxes she earned the right to define for herself. At any age, react to a person’s whole package, and how you respond to it personally.

    Thanks for writing this! <3

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