Love not skin deep

I’m still reeling from a brutally honest confessional by a woman called Robin Korth in the Huffington Post. At 59 years of age, she began dating again. She fell for a man who loved being with her, and they went away for the weekend.

But then she wrote:

“On Monday evening over the phone, I asked this man who’d shared my bed for three nights running why we had not made love. ‘Your body is too wrinkly,’ he said without a pause. ‘I’ve spoiled myself over the years with young woman. I just can’t get excited with you. I love your energy and your laughter. I like your head and your heart. But I just can’t deal with your body.’ ”

Korth claims to be in good shape, works out, just the usual amount of cellulite and soft muscles for a woman of her age.

Which, in my experience, is the same for men of her age, too, with the rapid depletion of testosterone. The article poses the question: “How do we cope if a partner is turned off by our ageing bodies?”

Gym or no gym, cosmetic work or not, expensive supplements or not, at some point, gravity and nature will win out — even for Madonna.

A spiritual practice such as Buddhism or Mindfulness helps come to terms with loss of beauty in self or partner. A natural calm is evident in many people I know who meditate and practice acceptance. Their mantra: “Ageing is a privilege, not a curse.”

As a former sex-writer, I know staving off boredom by doing the odd deviant or adventurous thing helps, but most important is choosing the right partner. My grandparents flirted and had sex into their 80s, and he could never take his eyes off her. There has to be a certain depth to the person one choses to love, who’ll love us as we turn to dust, and vice versa. I’ve had superficial lovers who were fun and G.I.B but made me self-conscious. I kept these sexy ­encounters short-lived. But my ex-husband and long-term soulmates have been people who made me feel comfortable in my skin, as I hope I did for them in return.

After reading the article together, I asked my partner if he missed the feel of tight, young flesh under his hands. “Ahhh, there must be a right answer here …” he grinned, before admitting that “Yes,” he sometimes did. Before him, I was with a part-time acrobat and he teased me that I did, too.

Then we hugged and had a wild time. Because the truth is the truth. Young or firm bodies are nice.

But ageing doesn’t have to be a painful demise. Robin Korth dodged a bullet with that narcissist.

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