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You thought dating was tough as a teenager, but what's it like when youthful raging hormones are replaced with the desire for a good night's sleep? How do the rules change in mid-life? What do you need to know before you re-enter the dating scene?
For starters, the whole dance of attractions can be clumsy, the experts tell Robert Lipsyte. Hollywood publicist, Leslie Oren, author of Fine, I'll Go Online: The Hollywood Publicist's Guide to Successful Internet Dating, says older men at first "feel like a kid in the candy store" and are eager to date younger women. "That lasts about six months," says clinical psychologist Dr. Robert Schwalbe, author of Sixty, Sexy, and Successful: A Guide for Aging Male Baby Boomers. "Most men want to be married," he says, but later-life relationships that endure do not usually start off with a big bang or in bed. Sociologist Dr. Pepper Schwartz, author of Prime: Adventures and Advice on Sex, Love, and the Sensual Years, argues that older women are bolder women. Even when self-conscious about their bodies, women will risk removing clothes for romance, Dr. Schwartz says. On this panel, sparks definitely fly and opinions clash.
Next, Lipsyte gets an upbeat take on female sensuality from best-selling author Gail Sheehy, whose 1976 classic, Passages, shaped Boomer consciousness about personal development. According to Sheehy's latest book, Sex and the Seasoned Woman, older women have moved "beyond pleasing and performing" in relationships. Instead, they offer a more authentic and comfortable 'take me as I am' sense of self, she says.
Finally style tips from fashion maven Simon Doonan who speaks out for "not aging gracefully." The creative director of the quintessentially hip department store, Barneys New York, urges Boomers to develop a more outrageous style as they grow older.