by Barbara Kantrowitz, newsweek
Can you have hot sex forever? No problem—just stick to a careful diet, regular Pilates and the miracles of modern medicine.
At least that's the message we're getting from the recent burst of celebrity cougar mania and new advertising campaigns from pharmaceutical companies promising that hormones will restore our aging bodies to their former glory.
But is it reasonable for women over 50 to expect the same level of sexual satisfaction and drive as a 25-year-old? And is this what women really want?
On one level, just asking these questions represents progress. In Victorian times, for example, doctors routinely warned midlife women to abstain because intercourse past menopause could be fatal.
The exact mechanism for this predicted demise wasn't always clear, but physicians of that era did believe it was dangerous for older women to even think about sexual activity because erotic thoughts might, among other evils, evoke regrets for lost allure and those regrets could trigger disease.
Medical literature and popular culture of the time (mostly written by men, of course) often portrayed women over 50 as borderline insane.