S. H. from Saskatchewan, Saskatoon:
    I'm a woman of 76 who spent most of my life avoiding touching myself sexually and
    pleasuring myself, as you call it. When I read your book, it seemed to be in nearly
    every story.

    My husband of over 50 years ordered your book. We've never discussed much about
    sex before. It's been satisfactory most of the time, but we didn't go wild and crazy.
    During the past 10 years or so, we've averaged once or twice a week.

    Since reading the book and starting to do some of the things we've learned through
    the 10 interviews, things have changed somewhat. For the very first time in our life
    together (and we were both virgins when we married), we have tried oral sex. We
    really like it. We've even done the 69, and we'll definitely do it again.

    My husband and I have also occasionally pleasured ourselves like the people in the
    book, sometimes together and sometimes solo. He tells me that he's done it many
    times since he was a teenager, even through all of our married years when he
    needed it. I never did, but I'm learning to like it now.

I've even ordered a dildo and have used it on myself, as well as asking my husband to use it on my clitoris and
vagina. I really like it, and he seems to enjoy using the dildo to bring me pleasure, too.

Anyway, concerning this subject, here are a couple of questions I would be too embarrassed to ask anyone in

  1. Why do you call it self-pleasuring and never seem to use the term masturbation, which is what I've always
    heard it called? Do most people really play with themselves, even married people?
  2. And do other seniors do it to orgasm, or just as foreplay?
  3. Is it okay and healthy for people our age to do it, or is there any medical reason we should avoid it?

Sometimes I think, "Are we two crazy old people going off on some tangent?" Then I say, "Why not? It's not hurting
anyone, and it sure feels good!"

Jeoffrey and Renée:
Why not, indeed?

What a thrilling letter? Sometimes we are amazed that the interviews we've conducted all these years "behind the
scenes" are helping touch and improve the lives of so many seniors. That's beyond humbling for us, so we cannot
express deeply enough how grateful we are to receive notes like yours!

Now, let's take the questions one at a time:

First, why the term self-pleasuring?

    We made a decision a long time ago to use this term in our writings and discussions as opposed to any
    terms that might be offensive to some people. Masturbation is more commonly used throughout society, but
    it has many negative connotations, and has often been decried to make the activity seem degrading, dirty
    and even unhealthy.

    There are lots of other terms that men have grown up with. For example, "playing with yourself" (as in,
    "Stop..."), wanking, jerking off, jacking off, buzzing yourself, beating your meat, jerking the johnson,
    spanking the monkey, beating off, pole vaulting, rubbing George Washington, greasing the weasel, riding
    the unicycle, bopping the bologna (remember that one from the National Lampoon's Vacation flick?) and more.

    Women have their own share of slang terms, from teasing the kitty to jilling off, doing your
    nails, fanning the fur, rubbing it out, banging your drum, pushing your daisy, polishing the
    pearl, petting the pussy, playing pocket pinball, finger-painting, buttering your muffin,
    invading Argentina (or pick the country of your choice!), playing tag in the fox hole,
    Morking the Mindy (which only makes sense to those of us who lived through the 1970s),
    Jocelyn Elderling (which only makes sense to those who remember the Clinton years),
    auditioning the finger puppets, tickling the taco, dialing the rotary phone and many more.

    Despite the colorful phrases, unfortunately self-abuse and self-pollution are two
    negatives terms from the past that have been used in connection with masturbation, as

    And remember what that horrible thing named masturbation was supposed to cause in
    both young men and women? Let's see...blindness, hair on your fingers, furry palms,
    insanity, blurred vision, loss of memory, loss of strength, blood in the urine, disturbance
    of appetite, headaches, hysteria...oh, my!

    Is it any wonder why half of all adult men and women who pleasure themselves admit
    feeling guilty about it and still wondering if it's okay or not?

    To avoid any of those negative connotation with plain wrong-headed thinking of the past,
    we've chosen to call it self-pleasuring, and we refer to it, by definition, as simply the
    sexual stimulation of one's genitals, usually to the point of orgasm, and performed with
    hands, fingers, everyday objects and sex toys. It can be done instead of sexual
    penetration and intercourse, or it can be a prelude (foreplay) or post-coital (after-play)
    activity. Best of all, it can be done solo or as a couple.

Do most people pleasure themselves?

    The phrase, "Everyone's doing it," is misused throughout society, but in this case, the phrase nearly fits.
    Most studies over the past 50 years have show that upwards to 95-percent of men and well over 70-percent
    of women admit pleasuring themselves. The numbers are quite high (nearly 75-percent of men and nearly 40-
    percent of women) who report pleasuring themselves at least once during the month before being
    interviewed, and over 50-percent of men and nearly 20-percent of women say they have self-pleasured
    themselves at least once during the week prior to the interview.

    There's the old saying, "Most of the people in the world admit whacking off, and the rest are lying!" There
    might be a lot of truth to those words.

    Our own interviews tend to back up the number of other researchers, although the percentages tend to fall
    somewhat as age progresses. Unfortunately, the frequency sometimes happens because seniors often say
    such things as "I'm too old for such nonsense!" Still, the percentages are surprisingly high among seniors,
    both men and women, who enjoy self-pleasuring fairly regularly.

Is self-pleasuring acceptable and healthy for older people?

    Yes! And yes!

    Obviously, we recommend that you check with a age-friendly health-care provider before embarking on any
    new or more strenuous activity.

    Sex, either through intercourse or self-pleasuring, can improve your health in so many ways. The more sex
    (emphasis on safe sex, preferably in a long-term monogamous relationship based on trust and respect), the
    healthier you should be. Not only can it burn calories, help maintain a better mood, reduces stress, slows
    down the aging process, fights disease and so much more.

Here are several specifics about self-pleasuring and all healthy forms of sex, especially in relation to seasoned

  • Is it the fountain of youth? In a heralded decade-long study by a leading British neuropsychologist David
    Weeks, MD, of Royal Edinburgh Hospital interviewed 3,500 adults in both the United States and the United
    Kingdom. He discovered that people who reported having ex four times a week were judged to appear 10
    years younger than they actually were. There is much more study being done, but it is increasingly clear that
    sexual enjoyment releases hormones such as HGH (human growth hormone) which are invaluable in
    preserving youth.

  • Sex promotes heart health. A study in the American Journal of Cardiology suggests that men who have sex
    twice a week have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) than men who have less frequent sex.

  • It burns calories. Although the actual orgasm is worth only a few calories, the prelude and vigorous
    lovemaking or self-pleasuring can actually burn as much as 150 calories in 20 minutes. That number goes up
    to over 400 calories for a session lasting an hour.

  • It can help you sleep better. Every woman who hears her man start snoring within moments after the "A-ha!"
    moment knows this all too well. Most people report that intercourse and self-pleasuring are great sleep aids.

  • It reduces stress. Studies show fairly conclusively that blood pressures return to normal faster after life-
    stressors among people enjoy regular intercourse or self-pleasuring.

  • It tends to improve health. According to a study by Pennsylvania's Wilkes University, people who have
    intercourse or who self-pleasure themselves at least once or twice weekly have demonstrably stronger
    immune systems than those who have sex less than once a week or less frequently.

  • Frequent orgasms, either through intercourse or self-pleasuring, may also be a great help in protecting
    youu body against cancer. Several studies have suggested that frequent ejaculations, especially over a
    period of numerous years, may actually decrease the risk of prostate cancer. In one US study conducted
    among nearly 30,000 men from the age of 50 to over 80, the group of men who reported over at least 20
    ejaculations a month over the past 30 years were much less likely to have  prostate cancer than men who
    averaged seven or fewer ejaculations per month. More studies are being done, but apparently each
    ejaculation burst helps clear the prostate of carcinogenic fluids. In addition, the feelings of stress reduction
    after ejaculations can also limit the substances that have been shown to trigger certain cancers.

Great feelings, contentment, health and youth? Do you need any more reasons for Seasoned Romance, solo or

S.S. from Long Island, New York:
    I hear and read about women that have multiple orgasms. I never
    have. I'm not sure if I could or not, but after my first clitoral climax,
    either by my husband's finger or tongue, or with a vibrator, I'm done.
    I can't handle it anymore there. It's simply too sensitive. I like when
    he goes inside me and where there is contact with my clitoris during
    his strokes, but to go back to touching my clitoris by itself would be
    'way too much.

    Sometimes my husband wants to play with me more, and I don't want
    to seem to reject him, but it's almost like ticking someone beyond
    what they can handle, if that makes sense.

    By the way, I sometimes experience a vaginal orgasm or two during
    intercourse, but not all the time, and less often as I've gotten older.
    It's okay, because my clitoral climaxes are still mind-blowing.

    So, I'm not complaining about not having multiple clitoral orgasms,
    but I'd like to know how other women do it. And also, how do they
    stand being touched there after their first climax, especially if they
    are as sensitive as I am?

    By the way, I'm no spring chicken. I'm 81. My husband is a young man
    of 72. We've been married 23 years.

Jeoffrey and Renée:
We salute you. At 81, you seem very self aware and centered. That's very healthy.

It's true that many women and men can achieve multiple orgasms, either through intercourse or self-pleasuring.
Some don't. While you should never put barriers on the amount or intensity of your climaxes, neither should you
allow the potential for more to set up unrealistic expectations and pressure.

Sex, regardless of the amount, should be about pleasure, not numbers or meeting some unrealistic goal. The
object is to enjoy the wonderful sensations and to learn to expand your partner's and your own capacity for

Since many women feel satisfied with one climax, often connected to a lover's ejaculation, stimulation often stops.
Self-pleasuring, however, can be very helpful in helping you to achieving multiple orgasms without the added
pressure of focusing your feelings on your partner.

A vibrator (and plenty of lubrication) can help. Ditto for a dildo. Double-ditto with a combination of vibrator and
dildo. Triple-ditto if your husband wants to add a finger or tongue to the pleasant mix. An romantic book or erotic
film can be a great help, as well.

Some women (and men) enjoy watching themselves in the mirror, touching and exploring, looking at their own
fingers manipulate the vagina, vulva and clitoris. Others find that distasteful or distracting. It's definitely worth a

Multiple orgasms can happen rapidly, one after the other, or minutes apart. You will discover that your body will
let you know when you've had enough for that session. This is very individual. As mentioned before, many women
are satisfied with one. Others are eager for more.

According to many women that we've interviewed, once a person has experiences what it feels like to have
multiple orgasms through self-pleasuring, it's seems easier to apply what you've learned to look forward to the
possibility of multiple climaxes during intercourse.

By the way, just as everything else about sex is very individualistic, so are multiple orgasms. Some women report
the last one is the best. Others say the first one is the biggest, with later climaxes becoming less intense. The
responses seem as individual as snowflakes and fingerprints.

Some women state that touching the clitoris after one or more clitoral orgasms is wonderful, and they want it to
continue for an extended time. Others, like you, say that clitoral manipulation after the first orgasm is simply
unbearable or uncomfortable. It's such an individualistic thing, and each of us has to learn what we like best, then
communicate it to one's partner.

Since focuses on men and women over 50, it is noteworthy to mention that as changes occur,
many are for the better. We've have many women say that they never experienced multiple orgasms until after
menopause, often citing the time and opportunity for more self-exploration.

Just remember: It's not a competition. There's no Olympic gold medals for multiple orgasms. It should always be
about pleasure and fulfillment!

J. R. from (City Withheld by Request), South Dakota:
I'm a 71 year old woman. I have a question. Nowhere in your book Seasoned Romance, Book 1, do you mention
anything about using water for self pleasuring. Why not? Is there anything wrong with it? (I hope not!)

Jeoffrey and Renée:
You're going to love Chapter 10 of Seasoned Romance, Book 2. It's the story of a darling couple, Herbert (81) and
Irma (77). They have a wonderful, humorous story about how great water can feel in your body's most sensitive
areas and how they discovered how pleasurable water jets can be. They also offer some titillating suggestions for
increasing your watery pleasure.

Lots of people enjoy the feelings from the tub faucet, a massage shower head (especially if it is portable) and pool
or spa jets. In fact, we've heard in many interviews that both men and women discovered the joys of water quite
by accident while swimming past the jets in public or backyard pools.

And we have interviewed women from several cultures around the world who have told how pouring a trickle or
stream over the clitoris from a water pitcher can be very stimulating.

Regardless of the method used, many express how fun it was to learn how satisfying, overwhelming and even
over-the-top a water-propelled orgasm can be.

By the way, people also seem to enjoy the throbbing pulsations of water splashing over their nipples and other
erogenous areas.

Is it safe? There are people who worry about nerve damage from over stimulation. Maybe it's possible, but we
have never actually heard of such a thing happening.

We have also heard second-hand reports of some people experiencing temporary numbness from over
stimulation, but never with the typical mild water jets found in most homes and pools. This may occur with
excessive use of high powered jets, so be careful and cautious. Let common sense rule.

One thing to avoid, of course, is overly hot water. Another consideration is to always make sure the water you use
is clean and well maintained in order to avoid the possibility of getting a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection).

It sounds as if you already a fan of using water. If not, it's certainly worth a few tries to see if it tickles your fancy.

Thanks for your great question. You're in good company, and we wish you much pleasure.
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