A review I received from one of my readers made the following comment:
"I was looking for a steamy read, but it turned out the characters were much older, telling the story of the past. It was hard to relate."
While this was actually a good review with good things to say, this comment was not surprising. I actually expected this sort of a reaction, really.
In a youth obsessed culture, we've actually gotten to the point where we picture only young, perfect bodied men and woman being sexual. Yet the odd thing about all this is people are living longer, they are healthier, and yes, even without the youthful bodies, are sexual.
I know when people buy books, especially books with a romantic theme, they want to fulfill a fantasy, which generally means people in the story that are depicted as perfect and beautiful. But on the other hand, if we are lucky, we are all going to grow old, and if we do, we will want the same things we want in our younger years; i.e., love, and yes, sexuality. So I think hot sex between my middle age characters is something positive and life affirming. It shows this is a part of our lives that can continue for the rest of our lives.
During our youth, it is hard to imagine older people being sexual, because at that age, we can't even imagine being older. When I was a graduate student, already in my 40s at the time, I made friends with many wonderful people still in their 20s. I remember my one friend Jessica, who I think was about 22 years old at the time, saying, "God, I can't even imagine what it would be like to be 40."
I remember telling one of my professors she had said this. He is my age. His comment was "she will be 40 in a blink of an eye." Of course we all know this is true. Life doesn't wait for you, and if you're lucky, you will grow old, still experiencing all life has to offer us.
In words of Stevie Nicks, "the sea changes color, but the sea does not change." There are things time will never erode. And one of them, thankfully, is the need for intimacy and love.