The Boob Report – Sex and Yes! Sex!

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Warning. This is an explicit post about sex, aging and surviving breast cancer for August McLaughlin’s Beauty of a Woman Blogfest, Girl Boner Edition. Do NOT read it out loud to your child while he or she sits on your lap.

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Image from Wikimedia

Twenty years ago, I ran into Cybill Shepherd in the entrance of a New York restaurant. I never had the opportunity to say more than hello, but I’m sure we’d be besties. She impressed me as tall and very comfortable in her own skin since she wore very little make-up and a mink coat over a sweater, jeans, and gym shoes. A decade later, she was quoted that sex gets better with age. She’s telling the truth!

In this video, Oprah is impressed with Cybill’s honesty about the subject of beauty. So am I.

As women age, many become insecure about the alarming number of wrinkles that appear overnight. Muscle mass declines at a rapid pace after age 40. Gravity takes its toll over time as well. Menopause can cause forgetfulness, hot flashes, night sweats and weight gain.

Seems like a nightmare, right? After all the wear and tear, women should be the least in love with their bodies and yet I’m here to concur with my friend Cybill. Sex improves with age!

I went to college in the late 1970’s during the sexual revolution which began in the 1960’s and ended in the mid 1980’s. It was a period of time that shucked traditional values including premarital sex. Many birth control options became available. Our generation had no problem talking about sex, laughing about sex, and having sex. I remember trudging up Bascom Hill on the UW – Madison campus with my friend Anne. The sidewalk was packed with students. We would imitate Meg Ryan faking an orgasm in “When Harry Met Sally,” and would laugh at all the gawkers. We didn’t care.

I married Danny when I was 29-years-old and was already very comfortable with my body and sexuality. I heard a long time ago that an orgasm could be compared to a sneeze. Although fleeting, it was incredibly satisfying. I can say that after 26 years of marriage, we’ve witnessed a ton of little sneezes.

Not long ago, I noticed my orgasms became very intense and lasted a lot longer. I didn’t know what was going on, but hey, I wasn’t complaining.  I remembered what my friend Cybill Shepherd said and smiled. Right on girlfriend!

The female orgasm is just now being studied. I watched a fascinating segment on Nightline from ABC News. At Rutger’s University, women were asked to masturbate while having a MRI of their brains. When they orgasmed, it resembled an epileptic seizure. Lightning burst all over the brain.

Whenever I hear the intensity of orgasms occurs later in life because women are more comfortable with their bodies, it cracks me up. It’s not from that! I didn’t suddenly become comfortable in my own skin less than two years ago.

I have a theory: There is a physiological reason for it. After going through the misery of monthly periods, giving birth, and suffering through menopausal symptom, Mother Nature cuts some of us a break.

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I worried about all kinds of things. I’ve been married for 26 years and sex was at the very bottom of the list. My doctor informed me of the high rate of divorce after a breast cancer diagnosis and he was pleased to see Danny at every one of my appointments. There are a lot of douche bags out there and sometimes breast cancer weeds them out. Danny and I have a great relationship, so that was never a worry.

I wondered how many times divorce is caused by the negative feelings a woman has about her body after losing her breasts. Reconstruction has come a long way in the last 15 years and most opt to rock bionic boobs by getting silicone implants. Mine, although fake-looking, are a big improvement over my old boobs. Many survivors add nipple reconstruction and tattoos to complete the look.

Then I wondered if divorce occurs when women “go down the hole” of depression. I’m not going to lie. It’s a bummer to go through bi-lateral mastectomy, but in my own experience, the “poor me” attitude wasn’t something I let myself succumb to for longer than minutes at a time. I would snap myself out of it by getting busy. I gotta believe that when women wear the disease like a black Victorian veil, it wears on those around them. After a while the people closest to them have got to be thinking, “You’re alive. Be grateful, for God’s sake. Think about something or someone other than yourself.” 

When these intensified orgasms began, I was perimenopausal and experienced irregular periods. Months later, I began taking Tamoxifen which has similar side effects as the Pill, to demolish errant cancer cells . My periods ended. Now I am experiencing “warm flashes” and night sweats. I don’t know if it’s from the medication or if my cancer treatment coincided with menopause.

My only real concern about sex, which seldom crossed my mind during recovery, was wondering how Danny would react to the new bionic boobs and if these crazy, intense orgasms would end as quickly as they started. With the complete removal my breast tissue and losing both nipples, I knew I wouldn’t have any feeling in them.  I’m glad I didn’t waste my time worrying, since nothing changed. I don’t miss the sensation in my boobs at all. After breastfeeding two kids, I wasn’t as “into them” as I used to be. My orgasm intensity has continued even though I lost tremendous muscle mass while taking it easy during recovery, so it’s not about being in shape.

So if you are freaking out about aging and your appearance, you may have more fun in the sack than you did in your twenties even if you go through breast cancer! You gotta love Mother Nature and Cybill Shepherd. And here’s a salute to Meg Ryan who played her part in the sexual revolution. “Yes. YES! YES!

It’s a hot topic, don’t you think? Are you uncomfortable talking about sex?

 Science Daily – Sexual satisfaction in women increases with age

94 thoughts on “The Boob Report – Sex and Yes! Sex!

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  1. Thanks so much for a great post! What an interesting story. I’m so glad it has ended well, that you’re healthy, and that the sex is still great. It’s so great to know that I have that to look forward to in a few years! 🙂

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    1. Thanks so much Petite! I’m glad to be living to tell the tale… 🙂
      There isn’t a lot written about it yet and I think the previous generation was pretty uptight about sex, but I figured if it’s happening to me, it’s gotta be happening to a lot of women given what I’ve been through! It is cool to have something to look forward to as everything else goes south!

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    1. Right? What I noticed is that after marriage, my girlfriends are less likely to talk about it. I don’t know why. Maybe there’s a secret subconscious code that is imprinted on our brains when we take our vows. When I wrote this article I realized it had been years since I discussed sex and we used to talk about it all the time!!! Maybe it’s because the women I hang out with now, I didn’t grow up with. I’ve gotten a lot of views through Facebook, so it’ll be interesting if it starts a conversation!
      Thanks so much V!

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  2. First off – big props to your husband for being a real man and standing by you during this. He makes us real men proud. You’re right – many douchebags would leave their wives like the cowards they are in this situation.

    Secondly – hey, it’s great to hear you are enjoying life and sex! Nothing wrong with that. If you’re healthy and up to mind blowing orgasms have at it!

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    1. Hahaha! Thanks for stopping by Phil! I had to share since it was something I had only heard about from Cybill. Women are under the impression that sex dies out with age and I had to correct that old myth! More research is being done, but it’s getting women to discuss sex that’s hard. I’m not sure why. My friends and I talked about everything in our twenties. 🙂

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  3. Happy BOAW blogfest, Susie! I’ll be sharing thursday. I love all these video clips you shared, Cybil Shepherd’s confession is priceless. And it made me think because I certainly grew up knowing I wasn’t one of the “pretty girls” and yet I still felt valued. How fascinating to think of their lives in such a way as having more/different opportunities because of their looks.

    Julie Glover and Tiffany White got me hooked on Pretty Little Liars, but I get so frustrated with that show because these 4 girls wear different outfits every show – multiple changes an episode! And it’s not the same as normal tv. When I grew up watching Full House, I didn’t think DJ Tanner had an endless income to buy scrunchies and stirrup leggings! But these girls are accessorized head to toe with high fashion looks – everything is a trend. It actually pulls me out of the story because it’s so not what I experienced growing up – always looking the part of a beautiful teenager. (Of course, now that Spencer has a drug problem, they’ve given her dark circles! Scandalous!!!) *end of rant*

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  4. From the days when my mother read aloud to me from a bland little book called “Everything a teenage girl should know” (a book I was well equipped to read alone), I have never been comfortable talking about sex. Never have. Never will, probably. But all hats off to you and your bravery, Susie! I’m glad to know there are things to look forward to 🙂

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  5. Thanks for this wonderful news about female sexuality getting better and better with age. At 43 I’m loving how I feel better in my skin and how clear I can be with my partners about what I like. Yay us! Yay women! And yay orgasms!

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    1. Yay is Right! There was a noticeable difference, so I had to share even if it is an uncomfortable subject for a lot of people. 🙂 I am glad you are enjoying sex, being a woman, and most of all, just being you!

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    1. Thanks! I just had to share the good news. As women age, all we hear is how terrible it is to grow older and watch our bodies deteriorate. I’m here to say, not everything goes south!

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