What's Sex Like After 50?

Contemporary American culture tends to discard women as they get older — or keep them around as punchlines — so when women of a certain age dare to speak publicly about sex after the age of 50, it's far more radical than anything a teenage sex kitten can say or do. In a recent interview, Deborah Harry of Blondie said she still sings about sex because she still has sex. She noted that while her punk band might have been shocking to older generations when she started, she's just as shocking to younger generations today with her unabashed commitment to owning her mature sexuality.

As someone in their early 30s, it's disheartening to think that you are perceived as having a sexual expiration date by many — men and women included. I see female friends my age posting #tbt pictures wistfully as if they are washed up hags now, when there is clearly no such thing as a "sexual peak" and no age limit on enjoying life. For this reason in particular, it's important to highlight when older women speak out about aging and sexuality in a positive light. These five badass ladies remind us that sex can (and should) be a part of your life throughout your life, and that in some cases, it's even more pleasurable than when you started.

1. Madonna


Madonna has been an outspoken sex positive advocate for decades and is now tackling the frustrations of ageism. When asked in a Billboard interview if her views on sex had changed over the years, the 56-year-old pop star answered that they hadn't. "Absolutely not...Sex is a wonderful, necessary part of life," she said.

2. Jacqueline Bisset


Actress Jacqueline Bisset has performed with some of the greatest male actors of her generation — some of whom are still considered sex symbols today. Unfortunately, women aren't treated the same way, she lamented in an interview with The Guardian — even though she believes desire doesn't fade with age. "Older women continue to want sex, they're horny, they want to connect," she affirmed.

3. Deborah Harry


69-year-old Deborah Harry was a sex symbol when she started in the 70s and no doubt remains one today. When The Guardian asked if sex was something that was no longer a part of her life, she exclaimed, "Not at all!"

4. Jane Fonda


Actress and activist Jane Fonda was an intergalactic sex icon in Barbarella, and nearly 50 years later, she still stokes her sensual side. In an interview with WNYC she revealed how much she loves sex as an older woman. "I think that when a woman is older, sex is better," Fonda explained. "Partly because she doesn’t give a fuzzy rat’s ass anymore, you know? She’s not out there on the marketplace anymore. She knows her body. She knows what she wants. She’s less afraid to ask for it. If it doesn’t work out, so what?"

5. Betty White


Betty White has made a living out of her salty quips about sex and romance, and she lives up to her public persona in her personal life as well. When speaking with AARP Magazine she said, "Does desire melt away with age? I'm waiting for that day to come. Sexual desire is like aging — a lot of it is up here [points to her head]." Thank you, Betty.

Images: Getty