This post is for Phyllis and Dana. Thank you ladies for the laughs and encouragement, and Phyllis, thank you for this title.
This is what happens when you get three over-60 women together for happy hour on a sunny restaurant patio, which I posted about on Instagram today. Too much $4 house wine is had. Tequila and ginger beer make an appearance in cocktails. A monthly splurge budget is blown. And talk turns to dating, sex, and cock rings. (I said “cock rings” not “hot greens”… that’s another story…)
We started talking about how much we value our space as single women, and that (plus the wine) led me to share how I dislike sleepovers after sex. Not just after bad sex, but even after awesome sex, too. The older I get, the less I want someone sleeping next to me all night. Go home, baby.
First of all, sleep apnea and the CPAP machine craze have screwed sleeping with a sweetie all to hell. F*cking Darth Vader is one thing (could be kinda hot?), but trying to sleep next to all that is just not my thing. And then there’s the never-ending Devil Menopause. Because, yes, my 61-year-old self is still having night sweats that’ll have a grown-ass man waking up screaming, thinking he’s being boiled alive. Finally, between bladder and prostate issues, there’s just way too much loud, creaky, and painful climbing over each other to get to the bathroom five, six, 17 times throughout the night.
So, after sex is done — amazing or not — if my sweetie starts to fall asleep or get comfortable under the sheets, I will gently and sweetly nudge him and ask, “Do you want some water before you go?”
I really am an affectionate, thoughtful, and fun person. But I’m sorry…I like my entire bed to myself when I’m trying to sleep. I like my entire bathroom to myself. Always. I like my entire space to myself. Period. And no, I don’t want to spend the night (or god forbid the weekend!) at his place. Totally not necessary. We can meet up for eggs Benedict the next morning to satisfy our breakfast-together fix if necessary.
Remember, I’m a not-shy introvert and need my solo space to recharge after my energy has been drained by interacting with people. Hello? Sex is physically energy-draining AF, so yeah, I’m claiming my introvert solo-recharge time.
Once, I was days away from moving in with my sweetie when I decided to draw up a lease detailing terms that included specifying — in writing — my private, off-limits-to-all-but-me space in his very large house. Ha! Needless to say, that didn’t go over well. This man and fellow Aquarian reflected back to me the parts of myself I need to work on, and we still love each other, though now as platonic friends. I cherish that. To this day he remains the absolute best first date I’ve ever had. I cherish that. But thank goodness we didn’t live together.
I just can’t do it. I just don’t want to do it. I need my own solo space. I can share it for a little while, but then I’m going to ask if you want some water before you go. I don’t care how good the sex is or how into you I am.
I was damn near 61 before I started putting my authentic self first and speaking up about this spending the night together mess, instead of silently going along with something I don’t really enjoy now. That’s right, it was 2021 before I discovered the usefulness of this courteous query. My kind and hospitable inquiry about the need for to-go water works as a gentle reminder every time, and I highly recommend it if you’re not feeling sleepovers either.
It wasn’t always this way. There was a time, decades ago, that spending every waking and sleeping moment with a sweetie I was dating was all I wanted. Hanging out, doing everything together, spending the night in each other’s arms, waking to sex and breakfast together. Simply sublime. But as the years have progressed, the amount of time I want a lover underfoot has decreased. Dramatically. And I’m not alone. Other single women I talk to tell me the same thing.
To help illustrate this trend I’ve created more handy charts, just in time for weekend dating fun.
So there you have it. “Do you want some water before you go?” Grab your shoes and jacket, and thank you for closing the door behind you. See you later.
All photos and images by Natalie Wester @thehotgoddess
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