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Living Boldly And Unapologetically

life at 62, living boldly and unapologeticallyThe photo was originally about the boots—my first pair of boots. It turned out to be a photo about embracing my life as a single woman, at age 62. Me as a vibrant, sexual, mostly confident woman. Me. Learning to be unapologetic and comfortable with all the aspects of my life.

I spent most of July in Santa Fe—alone. I chose to make the trip partly as an exercise in accepting and embracing my single status. It’s not been easy admitting I’m still single 10 years post-divorce. To counter the comment made to me during my divorce—one that many women are subjected to—that I failed at being a wife. And, that as a single woman there must be something wrong with me.

Add in the other things we are taught make us undesirable. Aging, our imperfect thighs, our post-menopausal, single status, and one wants to just dissolve in a puddle on the sofa with a glass of wine in one hand and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s in the other. Cherry Garcia, in case you’re wondering.

I’m not one for bragging, or even promoting myself (ahem, or my new book!) but I want you to take a look at the photo Louis Shackleton took of me last week—one week before my 62nd birthday. It was taken at a burlesques event/gala at the annual Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit. He didn’t touch up the photo. What you’re seeing in this image is the real me.

Living Boldly And Unapologetically

Here’s What I See.

First I see the dimpled thigh and the it’s-not-really-that-chunky calf. I note that my lacy black bra shows. I wonder if I should have hiked up my dress that much. These all pass through my mind rather quickly and automatically. Then I look at my face, and notice it’s glowing. The gray hair and how it frames my face. The smile that says, “she’s having a good time.” I love the curves of my breasts. I see a sexiness, a sexual energy, that isn’t limited, or defined, by age. I see comfort in my body and a willingness to be a little bolder. I see the new audacity that I plan to cultivate with those expensive new boots.

What you can’t see is the male friends who walked by as the party went on in the front of the room. I remember the sigh one guy made as he paused to look at me before walking on. And the cheering gesture made by another man. Both men in my age range showing appreciation and affirmation.

I’m sharing the photo because I feel compelled to do so. I look good. I look happy and energized. What I don’t see is a sad old divorcee who is damaged goods. I’m just a woman. My age is irrelevant, and yet, it’s not. Not really. Because of my age I want to show off! I want to negate the frequent messages shared about older women. I want to bring a sense of pride to the aging process. A big f–k you to everyone who says we have to be thinner, or dye our hair, or stay hidden away with our fears about aging and wrinkles and menopause. 

Living Boldly.

I spent a lot of time during my trip thinking about aging, being single and things I’ve done so far in my life. The good choices and the not-so-good choices. Here’s the thing: we get to choose how we show up in life! We can choose to feel, act, and look old. We can fight aging with drugs and expensive elixirs and things that obscure our authenticity. We can give up sex because we think we’re “past all that”. Or we can embrace our sexuality and how we show up in our daily lives.

I’m choosing to live life fully, boldly and unapologetically. What about you?

Walker Thornton

We are delighted to have Walker Thornton as our Women’s Sexual Health columnist. After working for over 10 years in the field of sexual violence against women, Walker is now enjoying a new career as a freelance writer, public speaker, and sex educator with an emphasis on midlife women. Her blog, <a>WalkerThornton.com </a> was ranked #5 by Kinkly.com in their top 100 Sex Blogging Superheroes of 2014. You can connect with her on <a>Facebook </a> and <a href="http://twitter.com/WalkerThornton">Twitter</a> For questions about sexual health, write her at [email protected]

Dr. Margaret Rutherford

Thursday 18th of August 2016

Love the photo and the honesty with which you express your own complicated feelings, Walker. We all have sags and dimples... I accept them (some days better than others) and continue on to better, more vital things. Thanks for a wonderful, sincere post.

Walker Thornton

Friday 19th of August 2016

Thanks Margaret, In all honesty we do have those days of doubt and ambivalence--I think sharing it is where we learn to master our feelings about it and normalize those thoughts and feelings.

Roxanne

Monday 15th of August 2016

Your photo and post embody everything that's possible "at our age." Hallelujah. You rock the boots, too.

Walker Thornton

Tuesday 16th of August 2016

Roxanne, I suspect you've not seen the last photo of those boots!! And, yes, anything is possible "at our age".

Ellen Dolgen

Monday 15th of August 2016

I adore this photo of you! You look strong, sexy and happy! What more can a woman ask for? Single, married, divorced, widowed, employed, or unemployed --- no matter the age - when we feel good about ourselves, it shows. Keep celebrating yourself!

Walker Thornton

Tuesday 16th of August 2016

Thank you Ellen. I'm celebrating! As we all should.

maggie

Monday 15th of August 2016

Fantastic! Thanks for speaking out and blazing a trail, sister :)

Walker Thornton

Tuesday 16th of August 2016

Smiling!

Carol Cassara

Monday 15th of August 2016

I really like the photo--I think you look assertive and confident in it. I didnt' notice the black bra so much but i like that it would show. Love lacey peeks. When I see photos like this i always wonder what to do with them. I see so many people posting them and yet to me, this seems like it's private and personal OR it should have a purpose other that "Here's a sexy photo of me.". (Making male masturbation motions with my hand.) Today, with this post in this forum, I see a purpose. A good purpose. A positive purpose. An affirming purpose. Thank you.

Walker Thornton

Tuesday 16th of August 2016

Exactly. I went through that same process as I'm not big on selfies. But it was mostly about me proving that I could wear the boots! (I went through such a process over those boots) And, I wanted to post it with my age to do my own Sex Goddess spin on aging. It has been affirming for me and as people have complimented it, in various ways, that has made me feel that the message is being heard.

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