Sexy after Sixty

Sexy after Sixty

Here’s How We Turn Up the Heat Between the Sheets (and Everywhere Else)

Read any good books lately? By “good” we mean OMG-hot, meaning Zane.

Miss Zane is a bonafide franchise, a phee-nom, a machine. This New York Times bestselling author is behind 39 (maybe more) of Black erotica titles including “Addicted,” “Dear G-Spot,” “The Hot Box,” “Sock It to Me,” “The Other Side of the Pillow,” and the Flava series (Caramel, Chocolate, Honey), among many others. In all, more than 5 million of her books are in print, and more than a dozen of her titles landed on the New York Times bestseller list, and earned her own exclusive imprint at Simon & Schuster. Oh, and “Zane’s Sex Chronicles” wore it out on Cinemax between 2008 – 2010. “Addicted” was made into a successful movie. She also created a sex-toy line, a literary podcast taped at Howard, and — well, you get the drift.

But let’s spill the tea. Her story may sound familiar. Zane, self-dubbed Queen of Urban Erotica, is 65 years old, give or take. A preacher’s daughter, born Kristina LaFerne Roberts in DC. She attended Spelman and Howard, and raised three kids more or less as a twice-divorced single mother. She told Publisher’s Weekly, “I think a lot of my characters are the type of women a lot of us would be if we didn’t have any fear of being judged.”

To which we say, Amen. Is judgement keeping you down, holding you back, especially when we’re talking about desire, passion, erotic pleasure? Maybe the judgement is coming from you, yourself. Living in a youth-obsessed, thinness-obsessed American society doesn’t help. In the most reductive of moments, it may seem like TikTok and everything else is conspiring to tell you you’re too old to feel sexy if you’re past 25 or so.  If you’re a mom, much less a grandmother, you’re no longer seen by society as a sexually viable being. And if your physique is more along the lines of that of Miss Zane — meaning lots of fabulous curves — then you couldn’t possibly be serious about wearing THAT, the “that” being an outfit that hugs your shape, takes a deep-dive into some lush cleavage, bares some skin, and invites admiration.

Photo Credit: Jefferson Gomes / Pexels

We say, check all that shade and shame at the door. If your style is mild and demure versus loud and rowdy, that’s fine, too. Because sometimes a quiet, steady fire burns the hottest. But in honor of being Sexy at any age, we put together some of our favorite acts of resistance against mainstream cultural messaging that tells women like us — perfectly imperfect — to hide and smother and deny our desires. And, stating the obvious, it’s a fact that sexual pleasure takes many forms. Religious and cultural traditions may place limitations on what is acceptable, and these choices are entirely up to you.

If those options weren’t enough check out these below

RECONSIDER PORNO. See above, “Zane.” The standard wisdom is that porno as we know it is for men because men are supposedly more stimulated by visual cues (i.e., dirty pictures) than women are. We’re not so sure. We feel sure we’d melt on the spot if Idris Elba walked by.

We do have some issues, to be fair. Starting with the word “pornography,” which literally means the writing of whores. Yes, actual whores. In Roman times, people were very matter-of-fact about these things, and sex-workers advertised their services and specialties with announcements scrawled on the sides of the public baths frequented by men. “Erotica” may be a more woman-friendly term. 

Whether written content, photos or video, don’t be shy about reading, seeing and watching sexual imagery that raises your pulse-rate. 

Oh, and music. They don’t call them “babymakers” for nothing, whether your tastes run to the classics (Luther Vandross, Anita Baker, Barry White) or more modern, straight-up WAP beats.

RECONSIDER YOUR EROGENOUS ZONES. We all know the obvious, the basics. But give yourself permission to experiment a little. If you’ve always worn your hair long and flowing, try something new. Scoop and twist your hair up, revealing the gorgeous nape of your neck. For centuries in feudal Japan, geisha covered themselves in complex, folded robes but exposed the nape of the neck as their most alluring attribute. Try it! Apply a scent there, followed by a pat of microfine sparkle in bronze, gold or mermaid tone.  For your next party, try the upsweep with a temporary tattoo at your nape. A metallic gold tattoo is especially gorgeous on melanated skin. Some of the most “extra” of these even glow in the dark, or under blacklight!

WHAT ABOUT HORMONES, as in Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)? This is a thorny, not to mention horny, issue. Two decades ago, a landmark study erroneously linked medical estrogen replacement with breast cancer and an increased risk of heart disease. At that time, Premarin, made from pregnant mare’s urine, was the gold standard. Fearing malpractice litigation, doctors stopped prescribing hormones almost overnight. This means that many Boomer women, especially those born in the late 1950s who experienced perimenopause in the 90s, had no opportunity to experience the benefits of HRT.

Well, oops.  New science reveals that HRT is not usually harmful, and may be beneficial to many women. For example, with menopause, you may experience vaginal dryness and atrophy (shrinkage of the labia and clitoris). Estrogen replacement can ease these symptoms. Estrogen can also be converted into testosterone, which can fan the flames of your libido. If you’re past 60, however, most doctors will not prescribe hormones.  There are lots of shades of gray here, so to speak, so discuss with your health care provider.

WHAT ABOUT SURGERY? Surgeries like vaginal rejuvenation and G-spot magnification are widely available, with the intention of restoring sexual pleasure. Childbirth and age can contribute to a loss of resiliency, for example, and numerous procedures may be helpful in restoring the function and beauty of the vagina. 

But here’s the most essential step in keeping it spicy: learn to flirt again. 

People hook up more easily today than in any other time in history. This isn’t all bad, but we do feel that something has been lost along the way.  Foreplay, the chase, the pursuit, the coy dance of cat and mouse, courting, wooing, make everything sweeter. There was a time when silent eye-contact across a crowded room spoke volumes, adding to the anticipation and tension of the inevitable.

Whether you’re paired and monogamous, casually dating, or flying solo for now, give yourself the time and space to flirt. There was a time when the way a lady carried and held her fan sent irresistible messages to observers. Opening, closing, tapping her fan could say, “I’m here with him, but I’m terribly bored,” or “Hmmm, you look interesting,” or, “OK, player, make your move.”  Likewise, where a lady painted or pasted a beauty mark on her face was a coded way of making her intentions and availability known. 

When approaching sensuality, and sex appeal, put a little mystery and naughtiness in your approach. Check out the “S.W.A.K.” (Sealed with a Kiss) calling cards by  (  They’re bright red, kissed with gold. Other cards in the series are even more beguiling. One simply says, “Let’s get naked.”  Imagine the look on your lover’s face when this card falls out of a suit pocket at a business meeting!


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