Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-02-14
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



GUEST COLUMN The Seasoned Life, Remaining Prepared
by Jano

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

About 10 years ago some friends and I were sitting in the indoor space at Washington Park on Chicago's South Side, waiting for the Affinity Community Services annual Burning Bowl ceremony to begin.

There was a wonderful mix of women of all cultures and ages filling the room and my imagination. I softly whispered to CJ, "What if I created a brochure of sexual positions for women approaching 60?"

She quickly responded in a dry tone, "That would probably be a single-page brochure."

For the rest of the afternoon we could not stop laughing. I seriously thought I had a rich idea. CJ, on the other hand, thought it was a joke and further intimated that the nearing-60 lesbians were no longer having sex. When I shared my brilliant idea with the rest of our group they too thought it was a joke.

Although I laughed, I was serious. I did my best to pull it together, remain attentive to the program and look respectful in spite of the irrepressible giggles and my growing curiosity about the seasoned life. I started looking around at the women in the room who seemed to fit that demographic. I imagined myself innocently going up to them with a clipboard and questionnaire, inquiring about the state of their sex lives and waiting for the unexpected answers.

Seeing these women reminded me of what I often heard about older lesbian couples; who began as lovers then grew into a relationship equal to roommates. It was thought that they would become a pair of sexless friends who shared memories of their pasts. Many of the seasoned women I met in my youth talked a lot about activist topics, wrapped in feminist ideologies. Their "butch" counterparts, even in safe spaces, waxed on about sports, current events or music but rarely about the joys of sex and romance.

In being around these older lesbians, I was hoping to get some pointers on lesbian sex 101. After all, I was shy and slightly nerdy then. However, on the flip side, when I was around similarly aged straight women, they often had celebratory tones and glee talking about "dick."

This selective, intimate sharing still happens among some women, even with topics other than sex. Two times this past year I heard stories about two different seasoned women, part of a couple, who remained silent about a lump in their breast. With each situation ending the same, these women passed away shortly after sharing the news to their partner and doctor. They were too late to have broader options of care. Perhaps their secrecy was based on the fear of becoming involved in the cancer industrial complex and a reluctance to navigate an often-intimidating and confusing system of treatment. However, I pose a different scenario, though no less heartbreaking ( and accept that I could be completely wrong ).

I imagined the butch partner in these couples as the one hiding her discovery of a breast lump. Perhaps she was never comfortable being a woman or having breasts and all that it meant. Maybe she was hiding, not only that lump but also decades of unresolved shame, angst or discomfort. Years ago If you were a "top, butch, stud," you often dictated what happened in the bedroom which meant, "I touch you, you don't touch me."

The story of these women made me sad because I felt that maybe these couples no longer shared the type of intimacy that would have allowed an earlier discovery by both partners. Even sadder, I know that I could have easily grown into that kind of "butch" partner, based on my youthful persona.

However, now I am officially part of the seasoned life—the life that starts between the late 50s and 60s. I now fully understand how this life can wither any woman's sexual desire: between menopause, illnesses, care-taking of loved ones, grief and loss. I have experienced all of these things in route to my own initiation to the seasoned life.

Yet, this has given me more credibility to laughingly answer the questions from 10 years back and my conversation with CJ. I've now promised myself to keep doing my stretches and remain prepared to possibly model for my very own Sexual Positions for Women Over Sixty, single-page brochure.

Jano is a writer with an insatiable curiosity who has also written for the Chicago Defender, Chicago Sun-Times, Out Magazine, Fisk University Almanac of Popular Culture and more. She wrote a column for Nightlines, a sister publication to Outlines ( now Windy City Times ) in the 1990s.

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

VIEWPOINTS Amid the noise in D.C., dreamers' fate hangs in the balance 2018-02-14 - Forget about Trump's tweets and demand that Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell pass a clean Dream Act. In September, Donald Trump said ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINTS Abortion access is an LGBTQ issue, too 2018-02-07 - This year, we are celebrating the 45th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, which affirmed that the Constitution protects ...

Gay News

Sue the T. rex goes nonbinary 2018-02-06 - The Field Museum announced its iconic T. rex, Sue will use preferred gender pronouns they/them/their in an effort to honor Sue's identity and ...

Gay News

SENIOR MOMENTS Letter from Palm Springs 2018-01-31 - I'm 66 years of age, and growing old as a gay man isn't what I thought it would be. I was rather ...

Gay News

GUEST COLUMN Family Feud: Jay-Z, Beyonce, and the Desecration of Black Art 2018-01-30 - "Business is booming and I am not loved the way I want to be." — Morgan Parker, "Hottentot Venus" from the collection of ...

Gay News

GUEST VIEWPOINT Reclassifying "female condom" can revolutionize contraceptive industry 2018-01-29 - If you've had safe, penetrative sex at some point in your life, you've probably used the "male" condom, which is designed to be ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINT Who Will Defeat Governor Rauner? 2018-01-26 - The Personal PAC Board voted to endorse JB Pritzker after fully considering the qualifications of all of the candidates and conducting in-depth interviews ...

Gay News

MOMBIAN New PFLAG head is queer parent, professional 2018-01-24 - Both as a daughter and a parent, the new executive director of PFLAG, Dr. Jaime Grant, understands the organization's mission of uniting families, ...

Gay News

GUEST COLUMN I Don't Mind Your Asking 2018-01-17 - This question, again, was asked of me recently. Good naturedly, with love, and with sincere caring ... but always unexpected. It caused me, ...

Gay News

King's dream of 'the beloved community' extends to yours, too 2018-01-17 - KThis year is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It's a painful and necessary anniversary ...


Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.