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Sonya JF Barnett on what it means to age while still feeling (and looking) sexy

I’ve removed certain sexual positions from my repertoire, as I’m of the mind that nobody needs to see those anymore, not even me.

I’m a few months shy of turning 40. Funnily enough, I’ve been 27 for a very long time, so this daunting approach hasn’t affected me too greatly. Until now.

I run a small business whose mandate is to champion sexuality, encourage kink, and generally have fun on stage without your pants on, but I’m starting to experience the clichéd effects of aging, and the feeling is a little less sexy than what I’m used to.

Despite me hanging around women in various states of undress and youthful exuberance, woe is the time when I realized that youthful exuberance doesn’t actually rub off, and the “laugh lines” are really nothing but “wrinkles,” the eye shadow no longer gliding smoothly across my lids.  The grey hair is not appearing in a sophisticated swath across one temple, and my bum’s just not as perky. My nails aren’t as smooth, and my skin takes a little longer to bounce back after I’ve had my face squished into my pillow all night. And what’s with the whole flabby underarm thing? Compile all these with a whole lot of other shit, and sex with more ‘mood lighting’ is looking better and better.

It’s not so much that my body was anything close to perfect, but I was used to what I had been genetically dealt and knew how to ‘work it’, flaws and all. When you’re accustomed to your body doing one thing, the cruelty of time when it does another is every bit a personal betrayal. Luckily, I’ve discovered ways to keep ‘working it’ to my advantage.

I used to wear clothes to accentuate what I had. Now I wear them to strategically hide what I have. Mind you, while leather corsets can help create a taught and curvy physique, they also have the evil tendency to create back cleavage when laced up a bit too tightly, so you have to be careful. My job requires me to don the more provocative items of my wardrobe more often than most, and I’ve been figuring out tips and tricks on just how to keep that wardrobe something to behold, versus something to cringe at. G-strings have been replaced with French knickers, stockings are used with garter belts (‘stay-ups’ are so tight they create muffin tops) and rusching became my friend. Still sexy, just with some mature sophistication thrown in. At least, this is what I tell myself.

Dressing well is the easy part. All that takes is some calculated covering up of the right parts. Once the clothes come off and you’re ready to maneuver your fleshy bits around someone else’s, that’s when the real strategies come into play. I’m way more mindful of mirrors, cowgirl positions, and anything where I’m looking downward. Add some of that mood lighting and those well-designed lacy things, and I’m back to being 27. In bed or on a stage, I’ve got it down to a science. 

Miraculously, my husband seems to think that I still look good in and out of a slinky dress and paws at me every chance he gets. Luckily, sex in the dark for him is like sex in the light, sex on the stairs, on the couch, against a sink, on the hardwood. It’s still all great sex, just slightly modified.

As someone who runs a community based on sexuality and strutting your stuff, the older I get, the further away in age I’ll be to most of the models I hire. Already, there’s almost a 20-year gap between some of them and me. Soon I won’t be ‘one of the girls’ anymore, rushing around with them backstage amid a flurry of skimpy undergarments. As long as I can figure out a way to maintain my own ideas of what’s hot and keep having amazing sex, I’m OK with that.

____

Sonya JF Barnett, also known as “The Madame,” is the founder of an erotic arts community called The Keyhole Sessions and the co-founder of SlutWalk Toronto. Follow her on Twitter @KeyholeSessions

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