Sasha: The nature of (young) things

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Dear Sasha,

I am a middle-aged, divorced environment writer with an affectionate eye on a much younger woman.

My friends consider me polite, outspokenly critical and a fit, reasonably good-looking man. My potential love interest, who is unattached, appreciates and even sought my mature attention to her singular life and talents as yoga teacher and videographer.

We met in a coffee shop, and superficially we have much in common. Acting, instinctively, I crave caring and sharing, and even intimacy, were her mood ever to become affirmative. I cannot yet intuit whether or not to pursue closeness with this tantalizing creature across a complex age gap.

Describing such intricacies, Alex Comfort once claimed in The Joy Of Sex, "Neither men nor women lose either sexual needs or sexual function with age -- in men ejaculation takes longer to happen, which is an advantage -- but given an attractive and receptive partner [and] decent general health... active sex lasts as long as life."

Sasha, to your knowledge, how do alert, passionate women feel today about all of the slants above on the age gap?

Accomplished, Toronto

Basically, what you're asking is if it be inappropriate and thus humiliating to hit on this hot young thing. My feeling is that youth -- within the bounds of consent, of course -- should not be wasted on the young, and wisdom should not be wasted on the wise. But let me offer a couple of tips before you get started:

1. No quoting from The Joy Of Sex. It's revolting. You should only ever do this to amuse your friends at parties, and preferably wearing an empty beer case on your head. Don't remind your date that you learned your lovemaking skills from the same manual her parents or even her grandparents used.

I will reinforce this warning by reminding you that the edition from which you cite also includes such baffling gems as "The mound of the big toe applied to the clitoris or the vulva generally is a magnificent erotic instrument," and "Being actively bisexual makes problems in our society, not least with the other-sex partner on whom, obviously, most of most peoples' most worthwhile sex life depends."

While The Joy Of Sex was certainly inspiration for the current sex-positive climate, it's no surprise that the wordy, overblown text was written in just two weeks. It's also a well-documented fact that its author, Alex Comfort, spent his life miffed that the book's popularity surpassed his writings as a poet, pacifist and anarchist. Buy yourself the Good Vibrations Guide To Sex ($34.95, Cleis) and make a fresh start.

2. For fuck's sake (and I do mean for fuck's sake), don't use the word "lovemaking." Again, intergenerational sex requires attention to the distinct possibility of filial creepiness, and those who had parents who tried to teach them about the birds and the bees respectfully used this term, forever branding the image of them "doing it" upon the brain.

3. Although you may not feel "older," you are. And comments like "an affectionate eye" and "mature attention" imply a kindly, avuncular yearning, not an experienced go-getter who's set to pound a young lass into next week. Don't even get me started on the line that begins with "Acting instinctively, I crave caring and sharing." That you obviously wrote when your ponytail was too tight. You describe yourself as outspoken. Work it, brother.

4. Be gracious if things don't get romantic. If there's one thing that's bound to make a girl shudder with disgust for all of eternity, it's the sight of an older dude sulking because she didn't make love to him. Keep Catherine Deneuve in mind: cool, self-possessed, the very embodiment of sea-soned sexuality.

And a last caution: sometimes those elder-chasers are freaky little fuckers. They like the idea of being with an experienced partner because it validates their maturity and intelligence, but despite the well-thumbed thesaurus that always seems to be on hand during email and text exchanges, there's always time for a tantrum. Unbutton with care.

Caution: Too slippery when wet

Dear Sasha,

Is there anything I can do to reduce how wet I get when I am aroused? It's almost always abundant. I feel that I end up being cheated out of a sexual experience because I can't feel as much as I probably should during penetration, and I'm sure it's the same for my partners. I do lots of Kegels. I even own a pair of smart balls, and it doesn't seem to help. I have heard of surgery, but I find that extreme. Do you have any info that can help me?

Sandy

Eight jillion people are reading this right now and thinking, "That's a problem?" But, yes, readers, some wo-men and their partners find the amount of lubrication they produce makes intercourse less stimulating, and they're tired of people telling them to get over it and embrace their sacred juices.

Here are a few options:

You can experiment with decongestants or antihistamines (ugh, I know), but they'll also dry out your mouth. Marijuana also makes people pastier, but then you're stoned, and if you're anything like me in this state, sex becomes nearly impossible to enjoy because someone is touching you with their icky, needy fingers. What do they want from you? Are they trying to steal your skin? (I made the huge mistake of eating a pot cookie when I was taking care of a friend's out-of-the-way farm a few years back and spent an entire night standing over the bed yelling at my boyfriend, "Well, we've all read In Cold Blood, haven't we? Haven't we?")

You might also try a disposable menstrual cup (ugh, I know) like Instead that contains cervical mucus and can be worn during intercourse. Lubrication comes from a couple of places in the vagina, including the walls, so you'll be left with this -- good thing, you'll need some -- as well as any fluid that comes out of the urethra if you're one of those gals. Anyway, it's worth trying to control some of it if it bugs you so much.

It seems, though, that you're assuming your partners find this as distressing as you do (perhaps you've run into squeamish types and this has you all in a twist), but you don't know unless you talk about it in a way that doesn't spiral into a shamefest. Learning to talk about your bodily functions with ease, as well as adding different forms of pleasure to your repertoire, improves your sexual self-esteem enormously. Go online and hunt down sex guides published by Cleis. Learn more about the mundane miracle that is your pussy.

Ask Sasha:

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