Friday 25 November 2011

Sex and Relationships

The pleasure and excitement of being a Mumsnet Blogger is undiminished. I saw that I was categorised under 'Sex and Relationships'. Now there's a thought. I can't be the only person passed the age of procreation who is only too aware of the minefield of Sex and Relationships. First, should one deal with them separately or together? When I was a girl, as the saying goes, there would be no sex without a relationship. Indeed, no sex unless the relationship were such that the parties involved could be sure not only that there was a relationship but of an enduring, committed relationship. There was a word for it. It was called marriage. I remember an advertisement from not so long ago. I am not sure what it was advertising but there were three elderly women in a cafe, remembering the past. The image that sticks is of one of them, transported back fifty years, rolling on the grass with a comely young man, the voice over wishing she had had more sex. I don't remember what the others wished but it comes back to me, as we speak, that it was an advertisement for butter. The three elderly women were indulging in croissants dripping with butter with no further need to concern themselves about weight and the other impedimenta of beauty and attraction. Those were also the days when men were imprisoned for having a sexual relationship with another man. One of the most toe-curling experiences of a life, (mine) not entirely blessed with dependable tact, was when a well-known figure, who had been in prison for just such a relationship, many years later, introduced me to his daughter and her boy-friend. The fresh-faced boy looked about twelve. I having entered the era when policemen were perceived to be getting younger, said to the father, "Boyfriends are getting younger all the time" and he relpied "My DAUGHTER'S boyfriend ". Oops! No way out of that except to die on the spot and wish sex had never been invented neither for pleasure, which was not gender-dependent, nor procreation, which, in those days, was.

There is no question but that there is a situation - can you feel me avoiding 'issue'? - concerning sex for those of us who find that our insides and our outsides are decades apart. Was'nt there a woman who advertised that she would like some more sex before it was too late? Details escape me, but I think it worked and she had not only a lovely time, with, I believe, Tolstoy read as fore-play, but also the material for a whole book. This is not the forum in which to disclose Liz's own experience in that specific field, (the one in which the lady frolicked in the butter ad? - Get it? Or "geddit" as my six year old son used to say. No, Silly, of course he's not six now.) but I don't at all mind disclosing the importance of relationships for me. One of the in-your-face understandings that turned up with my latest birthday was that there was not going to be much more time to form nor service relationships. The inner forty-year old can protest all she likes but one of these days is, by now, actually, NOW. Last night I was invited to an American Thanksgiving dinner: a first for this Welshman. There was present a mix of ethnic backgrounds and religions - or none - so our host suggested we accommodate this by going round the table each saying for what, in the past year, we would give thanks. Answers were diverse, from "my dog" to "a scholarship" and even the current dinner. In deference to my elder statesman status, I was asked to go first. "Friendship" said my inner voice. So, up I spoke, and I do give thanks for friendship,for relationships, yesterday and every day, including for the huge possibilities of the Mums/Gransnet network. Prynhawn da

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