Last summer I was privileged to sit in a circle of elderly woman as they discussed sex and aging.
They ranged from early 70s to 80. Each enjoyed good to excellent health, and most were married (some to second husbands). One woman was gay. One woman had been widowed in her 40s, and was now in a new, tentative relationship.
Their advice was, "Pay attention to your love life". The majority were with partners who had health issues that made intimacy sporadic, limited or not possible. I was struck by the tenderness with which they reminisced, recalling passion and its physical and emotional gifts.
Rather like those of us in our 50s and 60s who wished we'd worn our bikini more often, they wished they'd taken more time to enjoy the pleasure and bonding of lovemaking before aging diminished desire or ability.
I asked one of the eldest if she and her husband at least cuddled. "My husband is an all-or-nothing kind of guy", she said ruefully.
I appreciated their reminder that one's intimate life is vulnerable to the challenges of aging. Like the decline of physical ability, I couldn't quite imagine losing what I had taken for granted.
"I'm glad we had those wonderful nights when the children were asleep and we would dance and dance and finally dance to the bedroom", one of the oldest said to me, "because the memory of it keeps me close to him now."