Sexuality is Basic
By Georgie Bright Kunkel
For some reason I have always found humor everywhere. Luckily my late husband had a great sense of humor and that was what interested me in my new fellow. Everywhere that we go my fellow has a new joke up his sleeve and he can tell one with gusto. The last time I went up on the comedy stage I invited my fellow to join me and we made quite a pair cheering up the audience. There is nothing like laughing at oneself and we have age integrated the comedy stage bigtime sharing our aging humor.
Most always I carry onstage my special little handcrafted book called Grandma’s Sex Secrets. Since I have a terrible rote memory I can hide my notes in it and the audience gets quite a laugh when I show this book which I call my serious book about senior sex. I wrote this book after my late husband got the bad news that he would soon face radiation treatments which would interfere with his love life. The next day I sat down and created this book of little comic essays illustrated with line drawings which were meant to celebrate our sex life as long as it might last.
Imagine in my mid seventies creating such a book. People weren’t used to older people even talking about sex. Children didn’t want to know that their parents engaged in this activity. But how did they imagine they came into the world? Guess they thought a fairy brought them. No matter, the secret was finally out—that older people are sexually active. Yes, it has now come out that older people remain sexually active long after their children leave home and have children of their own. A woman in her eighties was asked when older women stop having interest in sex. She replied, “You’ll have to ask someone older than I am.”
Some years ago I visited my mother and found a book about sexuality and the human body in my mother’s home library. It was the Illustrated Encyclopedia of Sex by three male doctors. Later I inherited it. But if people in my mother’s time had to rely on this book for information about their sexuality it was not as much help as they might have wished. It was filled with ethical language at a time when sex before marriage was frowned upon in polite society. Today sexuality is explored much earlier and the “saving oneself for marriage” is not expected in all circles.
Since young people no longer live on farms where their labor is needed from the time they are able to help, they may not live lives of high responsibility. They often spend time in recreational activities perhaps including sexual activity at a young age. Add to this the years spent sitting in classrooms without total involvement in the greater society and maturation and social responsibility is late in taking place. The program Little House on the Prairie is an example of family life in an earlier time when all members of the family were involved in the work needed to sustain them. Some young girls were teaching school after they finished high school. Young boys were assisting their fathers in doing farm work.
Sexuality has always played an important part in life and it has been regarded differently from one age to another. With adequate mentoring and modeling young people learn healthy ways of expressing their own sexuality. It is an individual choice within the mores of the wider society. The future of the human race depends upon it so hopefully everyone will find one’s soul mate and carry on the race in fulfilling ways.
Georgie Bright Kunkel is a freelance writer who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-935-8663.