Sunday, November 16, 2008

Secret Sex Lives

The other day I checked in at Good Reads to see if there were any new reviews of The Sinner's Guide to Confession. I would like to create the illusion that I am indifferent to reviews, but even though writers must develop a thick skin or perish, I do care what my readers think. More importantly, I care why they think what they do. One recent review stood out for me. The reader (evidently not in her fifties) had some kind words for my work but then noted that she might have enjoyed the book more if she was older. In fact, she said the book could have been called The Secret Sex Lives of the Golden Girls. At first, I laughed, but then I stopped. I recalled the characters on that wonderful show and wondered about their age. Surely, those women were older than I am, or were they? Of course, they were. But even if they weren't, how much does it really matter? When is a woman too old to stop feeling passion? Is there a cut-off age for love and desire? Moreover, why do young women believe that good sex is their exclusive domain? It seems to me that the older women get, the more they understand about their needs and the better they accept their shortcomings. I don't believe we are ever to old to want passion, so in response to my young critic, no one is ever too old to have a secret sex life and certainly no one is ever too old to dream about one.

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