The Silenced Sensuality of Seventy

There is so much more inside of me at 70 than is realized, seen, or heard.

Photo by Thomas Kinto on Unsplash

I recently reached the age of 70. And I have a lot of feelings and thoughts about it. A lot.

There are images that come to mind, in our society, of what 70 is, what 70 is like, what 70 should act like.

And my reaction to all these rules and images and messages, as I embrace and inquire into this new age I am now identified and sometimes categorized by? 

I don’t think so.

 I don’t think that I am dead in ways that 70 can sometimes be seen as dead.

I find that I feel a bit of embarrassment and shame creeping in about that. Self-recrimination at having feelings that I now am somehow expected to not have, or at the very least tone down and certainly not talk about. And certainly not write about.

I don’t think so.

I notice the way that older people, especially women, are portrayed in the media. Laughable. Cute. Past their expiration date. To be condescended to, seen as less than (if seen at all). Cute little old ladies who still feel the dance inside of them. Cute? Laughable? Expired? 

I don’t think so. 

Rather than tell you what is not true, let me talk about what my truth is.

I am an endless well of emotions and hungers. I am acutely aware of my aloneness, yet also my deep connection to all that is around me. The lushness of the earth. The connection with animals that is beyond description, yet also deep and rooted in our physical togetherness in this moment in time on this planet.

I have hunger for touch, for deep eye contact, for connection, for intimacy. I can still shiver at a touch. Still feel longing, even if from a distance these days. Still admire someone whom I find attractive, still have fantasies. Still want. Still crave. 

I have desires that I am surprised to find still within me, that surprise reflecting my own internalized ageism. Of course, those feelings don’t wither away and die. Why did I think that they would? 

I thought that they would because our society has images and a list of shoulds about how we age, what we should now do, who we should now be. What we should no longer be interested in. What we should no longer feel.

I don’t think so. 

I am a sensual woman. I have a depth that I long to share. I have love to give and a hunger to receive. I am physical. I am sexual. I am still a woman. The label of old does not negate the label of woman

I want to validate this for myself, even if no one else does. To at least see myself in all my entirety even if not seen by others. I don’t want parts of me to die before I die. I don’t want to be less alive, less passionate, less present to all that is within me. 

I can do this for myself. I cannot control how others see me. I can, however, begin to question the beliefs that I have been fed that do not feel true. Assumptions that are not proving valid for me. 

I am still here. I still have this body, even if it no longer fits society’s image of what is attractive. I am still inhabiting this precious body that has gotten me through so much. That still vibrates and quivers and is filled with life. 

I will reject this shroud of invisibility that I am offered. Because when I accept it, I also become invisible to myself. 

And that, I will not do. 

I don’t think so. 

3 thoughts on “The Silenced Sensuality of Seventy

  1. Well, there’s a thing. I’m of no age and all of them, but not always all at one time, yet sometimes I am. 12 is the age of my humour. Sometimes I’m the age of my body, t’other times not so much. Today after falling over in the garden, I feel more than my age, but it will pass. We don’t live for others, remember that Beloved. We need to be kind, but especially unto our own bodies that have to last a lifetime.

    Liked by 1 person

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