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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Round-Heeled Woman

Some of you may have heard of Jane Juska. She is a retired English school teacher who when she was 66 years old, placed an ad in the New York Review of Books that said "Before I turn 67--next March--I would like to have a lot of sex with a man I like. If you want to talk first, Trollope works for me." She reportedly received 63 replies, from men aged between 32 and 84, and her book, A Round-Heeled Woman: My Late-Life Adventures in Sex and Romance, recounts some of the adventures that resulted from the ad.

Her book was later turned into a play staring Sharon Gless (of Cagney and Lacey and Burn Notice fame), which opened in San Francisco and featured in the San Jose Mercury News in January of 2010. The Mercury News article not only discussed the play, but it also celebrated the sexuality of elders, something to which Western culture has often turned a blind eye. At the end of the article, though, it notes in passing that Juska was currently in a relationship with a married man. And I couldn't help but wonder if I was the only reader who found this last tidbit of information morally problematic. Put somewhat differently, if you were the wife of the man with whom Juska is currently having an affair, would you be as excited about Juska's sexuality as everyone else seems to be?

I doubt it. I seriously doubt it.

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