When I was in my 20s I thought I’d be done having sex by now. It wasn’t that I necessarily knew I wouldn’t want sex anymore, but the thought that any man would want to have sex with Old-Lady Chloe was unthinkable.

I learned at an early age that young women are sexy, and old women aren’t. All of my father’s porn informed my nine-year-old self that men only want to have sex with young women.

Because old women having sex is gross. Everybody knows that.

Don’t get me wrong. Old men having sex is considered gross in our culture, too. But the cutoff age for men being old and gross, and the age when a woman is too gross for sex, are literally decades apart.

Sean Connery can be almost 60 and voted People’s Sexiest Man Alive. The oldest woman ever to be voted Sexiest Woman was Halie Berry at 42. Sean Connery looks good, but he looks like a man approaching 60 while Halie Berry could pass for 25.


The message is clear: Women can stay sexy. That is, as long as they don’t age. Commit the crime of aging, and your sexy days are over, baby.

Who were my old lady sex role models?

As a child, everywhere I looked confirmed the cultural message that older women still interested in sex were pathetic.

A sadder sack there never was than Mrs. Roper from Three’s Company. At least once in every episode she floated in, wearing her garish caftans, trying to get Mr. Roper to give her a little sumpin’ sumpin’.

Trigger the canned laughter.

The joke wasn’t that Mr. Roper was impotent (or a closet homoesexual). No, the joke was on Mrs. Roper for not taking the hint that she just wasn’t fuckable anymore.

Mr. and Mrs. Roper

It is funny how differently men and women perceive things. Anthony Giffen  on his tumblr blog writes that his takeaway from Three’s Company is that it is the man’s job to please a woman in bed, but that women can never be satisfied.

Anthony got me all boo-hooing about the intense pressure on men to perform sexually, that is up until he concludes that the real problem is that Mrs. Roper is unfuckable anyway.

Mr. and Mrs. Roper1How often did I see that look of disgust on Mr. Roper’s face—and the faces of the young 20-somethings of Three’s Company–when a horny (and unfuckable) Mrs. Roper expressed her needs for a little luvin’?

We were all in on the joke. Except Mrs. Roper. She didn’t realize that her sexy days were over and she was just a punch line in a caftan.

And then there was Mrs. Robinson. Poor Mrs. Robinson. If there was a sadder sack than Mrs. Roper, it’s Mrs. Robinson.

Anne Bancroft was only 36 years old(!) when she played the seductive Mrs. Robinson.


Mrs. Robinson is an aging woman teetering over the edge of her sexual prime. It is hard to remember that 40 used to be the tipping point to old. Now it is 60. Okay, maybe it’s 50. I’m not sure. I think old is always 10 years older than you are right now.

The aging Mrs. Robinson (only 36 years old!) is sexy while seducing Benjamin Braddock, a boy half her age, but in the end Benjamin dumps her for the prettier–but more to the point–younger Elaine.

Mrs. Robinson stands as a lesson to all cougars women that maybe you can be sexy as you age (only 36 years old!) and get the hot, sexy guy, but you’d better face the painful fact that eventually he will dump you over for a younger model. A lesson poor Demi Moore had to learn the hard way.

Old Women Aren’t Sexy

Frances Bavier, who played Aunt Bea, was 58 at the start of The Andy Griffith Show. She was only eight older than I am now, and one year younger than Sean Connery when he was his sexiest. We all know that Aunt Bea never had sex. Ever.

Miss Kitty surely never got laid.

I didn’t figure out until I was grown that Miss Kitty was a prostitute. A virgin prostitute who never got laid. Miss Kitty was 45 years old when Gunsmoke ended. She looks much older than 45 to me.


Bea Author is the first woman of a certain age I remember having a good sex life. But she doesn’t count because she wore that strange scarf all of the time, and there were rampant rumors that she was actually a man.

Rue McClanahan from Golden Girls is the first senior citizen sex kitten. Sure there was a joke to it, but at least Rue was in on it, and laughing all the way to her multiple orgasms.


Thank you, Rue. I didn’t appreciate all you’ve done for aging women everywhere until now.

Barbie: Aginggracefullybarbie by madelineyoki’s photostream

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