This week, a musician who would’ve never guessed what her sex life would be like at 50: straight, in a relationship, Upper West Side.
7:30 a.m. I wake up to my alarm. Most weekdays it goes off at 6:15 so this feels like a respite. I have four kids — two are still at home. They’re old enough (12 and 17) to take the train to school by themselves, but it’s fun for me to go with them and get to hang out and talk. My older kids are 19 and 21, happily away at their respective schools.
8:30 a.m. I listen to The Moth and Savage Love while I run for 45 minutes to an hour. I’m 50, and after four kids, I needed three kinds of reconstructive surgery for birth-canal issues and to be completely continent. Best thing I ever did for myself.
10 a.m. Workout done, quick shower. Fast swipe of moisturizer, mascara, and gel blush and I’m on my way. I’m pretty low-maintenance but — I’d like to think — stylish. I grew up in New York, with artist-therapist parents who wore overalls. I’m wearing leggings and Prada boots (I love shopping on the RealReal, where Prada Boots are $200).
1:43 p.m. J texts me. (Our code for I love you is 143.) We’ve been dating for five years — we met on a dating site while we were both in the middle of divorces, each of us sleeping in separate bedrooms from our spouses for over a year. The picture that really caught his eye was me dressed as a fairy, about to go trick-or-treating with my kids. He still calls me “fairy” as a nickname.
He’s 64 but in great shape and meeting him was like yeah. He’s the guy I’ve been waiting for my whole life. Whenever I see him across the room when we’re out, I just feel so fortunate. We both hate TV. We don’t have cable and read constantly. Play Scrabble and put on WQXR and guess the composers. He has a son who’s 14. He bikes, I run. It’s a pretty damn good match.
He was the first man I ever said “I love you” to before sleeping with. We waited over a month for sex. Given our living situations, we had to take it slow. We used to rent a room by the hour at a hotel downtown once a week. We’d make love, nap for 30 minutes curled up together, get up and go to The Standard for dinner. Then he and I would both return home, where our respective spouses refused to separate until we had settlement agreements done. It was like being held hostage.
5 p.m. I get home from teaching and get the kids organized and dinner ready. My daughter has been vegetarian since she was 9. All my other kids are meat eaters. Always a fun challenge to come up with dinner for everyone.
10:30 p.m. A call from J. We talk every night before bed. Sometimes for five minutes, sometimes an hour. Tonight was somewhere in between.
6:45 a.m. I get my little guy up, my teenage girl gets herself up. I’m not sure how I ended up with a 17-year-old like her. When I was 17, I moved to the West Coast by myself to work and live on my own for a gap year before college. I did cocaine (it was the ‘80s), drank scotch, and slept with men in their 30s. Jesus. One was 52. I once tried to figure it out, and I think I slept with over 50 men from the time I was 16 until I got married at 31. And then I was faithful for 18 years.
7:45 a.m. I’m teaching. I’ve been a musician my whole life, and I’ve worked professionally in my field in different ways. I went to Juilliard after getting an undergrad degree in Liberal Arts. I used to perform, but then my kids started private school, which I had to pay for. Teaching is what I do to make that continue to happen and to be on their schedule, not performing and gone at night. I love what I do.
3 p.m. I get a text from J asking if he can stay over if he comes late (he knows I have my kids). I say of course and let my kids know. After the divorce, it felt like every little change affected my youngest, who’s very tuned in emotionally. It’s especially important to keep him in the loop.
10 p.m. J shows up. Kids are already in their rooms. He works, then comes to bed. We make love silently. It’s such a change from the usual sexual banter that the quiet is a turn-on. He’s really my perfect partner. It’s almost odd — I feel like we will always be connected, no matter what.
8 a.m. I get up and go to work, where I’m teaching almost all day. My teaching days are long; I work with kids ranging from preschool to high school. But I adore my students. It feels mutual.
5 p.m. Walk in the door. The kids are at their dad’s tonight, and it’s so quiet without them around. My kids are amazing. They are respectful, but sharing, and at times irreverent in a hysterical way.
Their dad and I got married very fast, within eight months of meeting each other. We both wanted a family. The moment I had clarity about leaving my marriage was our 18th anniversary. We were in bed and I was mentally crunching numbers to figure out if I could afford to get divorced, and I had this realization that it just was never going to work. That was the moment I realized I was done, and I just had to figure out a way to tell him.
It took almost two years to get out. I have no regrets, because I’m no longer showing my kids what a shitty marriage is. Their father was and is a great dad who was able to be there at times when I was struggling. He loves the kids more than anything, and I’m lucky to have him as a co-parent. Getting divorced was the best thing for all of us.
7 p.m. J comes over to my house — it’s one of his usual days. We have a schedule, because my kids want me to themselves sometimes. I get it. On the weekends I don’t have the kids, we sometimes go to his house in New Jersey, just a ferry ride from Wall Street away.
10 p.m. I’m ready to go to bed. I literally want to have sex with J every night we are together. He feels the same way. At 25 I would’ve never guessed that the hottest relationship of my life would be at 50 with someone who’s 64. I think that’s something people need to know.
8 a.m. I have a full day of teaching today.
1 p.m. My level of sensitivity for other people, adults and children, is probably unusually high, sometimes almost too much. But I think it makes me able to read a student in less than a minute, and according to my boyfriend, I also do that with him, my own kids, and his. I hope he’s right, but I know I’m far from perfect. I struggled with addiction issues in my 20s, and I still feel like I have this dark place in the middle of me that sometimes feels overwhelming.
7 p.m. It’s my one night alone. No J, no kids. It’s nice to have some time to myself.
8:30 pm. I feel peaceful. Pay some bills, get into bed, and read.
3 p.m. It’s my weekend together with J and we’re spending it together at his house in New Jersey, so I’m off to the ferry. His house looks onto the water and all the way to the city.
4:30 p.m. I change when I get there and run four miles on the path along the water while he works.
7 p.m. We pick up scallops and crab cakes and I do veggies and a salad while he grills. We pop open wine and light candles.
8:30 p.m. We have WQXR on and are sitting on the couch playing Scrabble while drinking more wine. And always, always talking.
10 p.m. The pot comes out. J does not have any performance issues, but we discovered after he went to a dispensary while in San Francisco that pot works, for him, like Viagra must for others. It’s kind of crazy. And fun. Neither of us had done pot in at least 20 years. But we got these awesome pens. It’s amazing.
10:30 p.m. In bed. Candles are lit. We always want light, to see each other. Looking into someone’s eyes when you are having sex is so intimate, yet I’m not sure I ever did that in my marriage. Or in most of my relationships.
10 a.m. I stay in bed and read while J works.
11 a.m. I’m out the door and running five miles.
12 p.m. We make breakfast together and load the lightweight tandem kayak on his car. It only takes five minutes to get to the water. We do six miles. I’m behind him and it’s a great way to spend time together and talk. Plus, it’s a workout.
2 p.m. Back at home. We lie down together for a quick nap. We wake up and fool around a bit then go shopping for dinner. The time we have without our kids makes it seem like constant dating. We often joke that there is something to being a half-time parent, half-time lover, and whole person.
4 p.m. J works. He works a lot. He’s an entrepreneur and has worked in the software industry for years. He’s on one side of the couch with his feet up and his computer on his lap. I’m on the other side reading a memoir of a midwife. I read as an escape all the time and have since I was a kid.
6 p.m. We eat at a lovely BYOB farm-to-table restaurant. We always ask to sit next to each other if possible. The food is fantastic and so is the bottle of wine we brought — and the bill is under $75, with tip.
8 p.m. Home now, and J answers some emails as usual, while I try to bill some students. I’m incredibly unorganized and struggle a bit with administrative stuff.
10 p.m. We go upstairs and read in bed for a while. I’m done with the midwife book and struggling to find something else to download that’s engaging. Our feet start touching and he says he’s almost at a good stopping place in what he’s reading. We start making out. Forty-five minutes later, we’re done making love, J falls asleep instantly, and I start another book.
2 p.m. Seven-mile kayak, then prepare to come back to New York to start the week. I keep stuff at J’s, but I need to figure out what I need to take back and pack up a few things. He’s on the couch, working again.
4 p.m. Cannot wait to see my kids tomorrow. I really miss them at this point!
7 p.m. We make dinner together, a big salad with all the leftover protein from the weekend we can find, then take the late ferry together back to my house, where I get ready for the week ahead. We hang out for a while talking, then we make love and fall asleep. We’re so very lucky: Our bodies fit together perfectly.
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