DEAR AMY: After 25 years, my marriage reached a dead end, and I took the leap into singledom at age 63. I am now a vibrant, attractive divorced woman with a lot to offer. I look forward to spending the next chapter of my life with a special man. In the last year I've dated two men — both loving, age-appropriate companions — who claimed to want a long-term relationship. In both cases, their interest level was high at first but fell apart later. In processing these failures, one issue stands out: I am blessed (or cursed) with a high libido. I've bought into the idea that men are eager to get naked. Imagine my shock at finding the tables turned! Many times, I've been in a state of anticipation, only to have my lover say, "Sorry, I'm not in the mood," triggering rejection, crushing self-doubt and frustration. Expressing these feelings can backfire horribly; likewise, suggestions to help him "get in the mood." Older guys apparently are extremely sensitive around the issue of sexual performance. I've been told devastating things like, "I feel oppressed by your neediness," and, "Maybe you should find yourself a young stud." Amy, I want an equal partner. In any case, younger guys want women even younger than they are. Now I fear that the next time I get close to someone, I'll need to tamp myself down, but I absolutely hate the idea. I believe that sexuality is one of life's greatest gifts, meant to be shared. Am I unusual, or have I just not yet found the right partner?
On Fire in California
DEAR ON FIRE: Sexual compatibility is as important at your stage in life as it was when you were younger. Yes, there may be fewer compatible men available to you at your age, but they are out there. For instance, sexually transmitted diseases among your age group are high and rising; "seniors" are sexually active. (I hope you always practice safe sex.)
It is possible that men in your age group are especially sensitive, but you should also take stock of how you express your own wants and needs, in order to decode how you are communicating your desires and expectations. It might be best for you to be candid early on, versus perhaps waiting to develop an emotional connection before you experience a sexual one.
You don't say how you are meeting men, but there are online matching sites that might be better suited to someone with a higher sex drive. And yes, a younger man might be the hot ticket for you.
DEAR AMY: I'm a romantically inexperienced teen girl. I've never had a real first kiss or been on a date. At 16, I know I don't need a partner, but I want one. I've tried being shy and sweet. I've said "fork this" and asked people out, but they've all refused. I can be pretty. I'm somewhat ambitious, and I'm smart. I don't think I'm horrible. And yet I have no idea how to catch the interest of anyone who's my type (outgoing and confident). I feel helpless because they don't want me, and creepy because — what if I'm making them uncomfortable? I am home-schooled, but have made many efforts to meet other people my age. Do you have any tips? I'm tired of feeling desperate and creepy.
DEAR PLAIN: I feel like "young Amy" is writing me a letter! I was a lot like you when I was your age.
Your impulses are not weird or creepy. They are normal.
My main suggestion is that you should embrace your smart and quirky side and become a joiner.
Homeschooling may have prevented you from having some important social opportunities — those friendship-building experiences that most high-schoolers are exposed to.
Get involved in theater. Join your local high school's theater program as one of your extracurricular activities. Research theater programs and camps for this summer.
At your age, romance often blooms from friendship. Putting on a show is a wonderful team-building, friendship-making and potentially romance-blooming experience.
DEAR AMY: "Just a Grandma" was upset because younger family members posted their important news on social media before notifying family members. She has described to a 'T' why I have rejected social media. Tell these morons to log off their "virtual life" and get an actual life.
DEAR IRL: To me, renouncing social media altogether seems like my Victorian grandparents refusing to use the telephone.
It is a tool. Everything depends on how you use it.