“We need to combat the sex-negative, ageist views that we see everywhere.”

A conversation with Joan Price, ‘Senior Sexpert’ at Hot Octopuss

Hot Octopuss have added to their educational online resources by introducing content on the topic of older-age sexuality. To provide readers with quality information and meaningful advice, the British brand turned to Joan Price for support. Joan is a writer, speaker and an outspoken advocate for ageless sexuality. EAN had the opportunity to talk with her about Hot Octopuss’ new ‘Senior Sex Hub’ and her goal of helping older people maintain a fulfilling sex life.

Please, tell our readers about yourself before we dive into the matter. You call yourself a ‘Senior Sexpert’. What is that exactly?

Joan Price: My role at Hot Octopuss is that of ‘Senior Sexpert,’ which means that I create blog content and answer reader questions to help people aged 50 to 80+ enjoy sexual pleasure and navigate their relationships.
I call myself an advocate for ageless sexuality. I’m an author and speaker whose goal is to help older people enrich their sex lives.

Why is the subject of senior sex so neglected? In the media, it almost seems as if only young, attractive, and healthy people have sex …

Joan Price: That’s exactly right. It’s what I call the ‘ick factor’ — the notion that only young, firm bodies are sexy or desirable or worthy of sexual pleasure. I fight this every day. It’s a destructive belief because all of us will get old — if we’re lucky enough not to die young!

How can we succeed in communicating this topic in society? Which prejudices, misunderstandings, and gaps in knowledge must be overcome?

Joan Price: This has been my work for 15 years so far! We need to talk out loud about older-age sexuality, educate ourselves and our society about how to make sex enjoyable lifelong, and examine our own ageist biases. We need to stop fighting aging or refusing to look at older people as fully realised human beings. We need to combat the sex-negative, ageist views that we see everywhere.

Which are the most common problems among older people who want to be sexually active?

Joan Price: I’ve written four books (https://joanprice.com/books) to answer that question. To summarize, our bodies don’t work the way they used to, and many seniors give up on sex instead of seeking solutions and work-arounds. Our relationships may be sexually stale, or we’re not in a relationship after a death or breakup. We need more stimulation for arousal. Our erections may not be dependable or even possible. Our vaginas may not be comfortable with penetration. We’re dealing with medical conditions and medications that affect our sexuality. Those are just a few. We need to stop shoving senior sex into the closet and talk about our concerns, get help and education, so we know how to figure out what does work when the old ways don’t work.

You have teamed up with the British sex toy brand Hot Octopuss and together you have started a ‘Senior Sex Hub’ which can be found at www.hotoctopuss.com/seniorsex and www.hotoctopuss.com/dear-joan. What led to this cooperation?

Joan Price: We’ve long admired each other’s work. We first connected years ago when I contacted Hot Octopuss to tell them that their PULSE ‘guybrator’ worked superbly for penises with erectile problems. I told them they should change their website – which pictured only young people – and include older people, too. So they did! Since then, we’ve been great supporters of each other’s work. Hot Octopuss is a company that values seniors and wants to provide helpful information and resources, not just great products. When they decided to create a Senior Sex Hub and invited me to collaborate, I jumped at the opportunity to contribute my knowledge and expertise.

Can you explain what can be found on the two websites? Is the market for sex toys aware of the group of ‘over-fifties’? Or is the market perhaps missing out on a financially strong target group?

Joan Price: It’s one website — https://www.hotoctopuss.com/senior-sex/ — with two parts:
– Senior blog, with new content about senior sex that I write each month on topics of importance;
– ‘Dear Joan,’ my Q&A where I answer readers’ questions about sex and relationships.
I’m sure most sex toy companies are grateful for their senior customers, yet their marketing is usually not welcoming to seniors. They sometimes reach out to me to consult on how to improve this.

What requirements must sex toys meet to satisfy the needs of the ‘over-fifties’?

Joan Price: Please see my list of criteria at https://joanprice.com/2020/07/sex-toys-senior-perspective.html.