JAN MOIR: Sizzling sex at 80? Oh, please Dame Arlene (and Joan and Prue) make it STOP!
When I interviewed Dame Arlene Phillips recently, I didn’t ask the 80-year-old about her sex life, sizzling or otherwise. I can’t, I thought. I just can’t do it any more.
In the past I’ve had to ask Dame Joan Collins, Dame Prue Leith, Britt Ekland, Barbara Amiel, Erica Jong and God knows how many other women about their late-life sex lives.
And I have only had to do this because the women themselves, in one way or another, have put the subject of these sex lives out there, into the public domain, inviting comment and inquiry.
Well, maybe not Britt. ‘I’ve not been interested in sex for 20 years,’ she told me, when she was 74, which was a bit of a relief for us both.
Yet Britt is the exception to the celebrity rule. Somehow, having red-hot rumpy has become the norm, the standard, the cri de coeur of women fast approaching or even beyond the age of 80; it has become the sexual equivalent of peptides or a paprika cleanse or an oxygen face mask; excellent for rejuvenation purposes.
Too much information: A glamorous-looking Joan Collins
When I interviewed Dame Arlene Phillips (pictured) recently, I didn’t ask the 80-year-old about her sex life, sizzling or otherwise. I can’t, I thought. I just can’t do it any more
It has also become a kind of one-upmanship, if you will pardon the expression, and I hope you will because things are going to get much, much worse if you dare to read on.
So I didn’t ask Arlene about her sex life, but Woman’s Weekly did and she replied that ‘lots of sex’ is her secret formula to looking and feeling younger. She added that no matter how old you are, you can just keep ‘getting back on the bicycle’ should the urge occur. This seemed rather an offhand way to refer to her 62-year-old husband Angus, but he didn’t seem to mind. Far from!
Is senior sex really booming, or is it a figment of hope over fevered imagination from the Strictly Come Dancing set? Recent data showing a rise in STI cases among the over-65s suggests the flame is indeed very much alive in late life — and why not?
There has also been some medical investigation to see if there is a link between sexual satisfaction and delaying the onset of dementia.
Let us hope the findings will be positive because it would be too cruel an irony to be enjoying the best sex of your life after 70 — as Joan and Prue insist — but unable to remember anything about it. Or even that you did it in the first place.
Most of us don’t even want to think about geri-sex, let alone have it rammed down our throats, but Dame Prue is one of those who begs to differ.
She was 77 when we met in 2017 and had just married her seven-years-younger second husband and written an article in praise of being older and bolder in the bedroom.
‘It is quite healthy that older women like me are not just expected to sit in a corner and knit. I don’t want to be the poster girl for geriatric sex,’ she said. ‘However, the longer my sex life goes on, the better.’
But Prue, what is wrong with a good knit, that is what I wanted to know, then and now. Of course, I blame Dame Joan. For everything. In her 2011 autobiography The World According To Joan, she wrote about how important sex was in her marriage to Percy, her beloved fifth husband who is 32 years her junior.
Three years later, on the ITV show Loose Women, she was banging on about it again. What is the secret to her successful marriage? ‘Sex, sex, sex,’ bawled Joan, who was a few months short of her 81st birthday at the time.
‘Of course we have sex,’ she told me when I interviewed her and had to — cringe — bring up the subject. ‘We have a very good life in all respects, we are friends, we are lovers, we are partners in crime.’
No one ever asks elderly male celebrities about their sex lives, in the same way that no one asks younger male celebrities how they juggle the work/life balance and if they want to have children.
Sir Mick Jagger turned 80 this week. I cannot imagine anyone sidled up to him at his birthday party and asked when he last had sex, unless that someone happened to be wearing a hopeful expression and carrying a DNA swab.
Sir Paul McCartney, Harrison Ford, Joe Biden? None of them volunteer titbits about their volcanic octogenarian sex lives, do they? Especially not Joe, who I imagine sleeps at night in a high-sided cot and wears anti-scratch mittens and a knitted bonnet.
But older women are fair game and even if they are not fair game they will pretend to be fair game because if Joan is still doing it then so is Prue and so now is Arlene, too.
In this daisy chain of desire, Arlene’s latest revelations prompted author Kathy Lette (64) to rave about her new-found ‘orgiastic pursuits’ while Barbara Amiel (82) confessed her own sex life only got interesting when she got older.
‘Conjugal sex — even in your 80s — beats everything,’ she said. My eyes popped. Surely this was not the same five-times-married Barbara who confessed in her memoir to a sexual history that involved weird sex games with her second husband and an episode with a stranger, some whipped cream and his Doberman dog which… never mind. Let’s just not go there.
If that was boring, I can’t imagine what Barbara now does in the bedroom that makes her sizzle so much, unless it involves a frying pan and some crispy bacon.
However, the truth is that I really don’t want to know and I suspect that you don’t, either. Yet there is no escape, absolutely none, from these geri–sex pests and their octopussy confessions.
How divine! Busy Bea’s on holiday again
Hats off: Bea and Edoardo at Royal Ascot
Princess Beatrice is spending this week relaxing on a boat in St Tropez. I’m happy for her! She must be exhausted from all those appearances at Royal Ascot, Trooping the Colour and Glastonbury, plus assorted summer weddings and fashion launches.
The last fash bash she attended celebrated a frock named the Nap Dress, so called because it is so comfortable you can take a nap while wearing it — just the thing for Bea!
At the dinner she was presented with a matching cape embroidered with her initials — BY for Beatrice of York or FL for Free Loader? You tell me. Meanwhile, husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi is, of course, her most darling accessory, always on her arm like a lucky charm.
How divine that, like Beatrice, he seems to have the kind of marvellous job that means he has more time off than time on. They are an inspiration to us all!
The towel wars? I’m all for it
This couple rocked up before sunrise with their beach gear on a wheeled trolley just so they
And you though the Germans were bad! Holidaymakers are seen sting their claims on beach frontline spots on Levante Beach in Benidorm on Tuesday at 5.30am
You have to wonder what the point of going on holiday is, if you have to get up at 6am every morning to queue up behind the swimming pool gates, jostle for position with like-minded souls, all of you pawing the ground like corralled bulls, ready to thunder into the arena and throw down your towel to reserve a sun lounger. The stress of it all must be exhausting.
Yes, the Brits are on holiday and sunbed wars have broken out on beaches, pools and cruise ships across the Mediterranean.
In Benidorm, officials have warned of a clampdown, while the sunbed police are out in force in Cyprus. Parts of Majorca have enforced a 30-minute rule for towels laid down on beds as a means of reservation.
Fair enough. But I have sympathy with the insanity that grips otherwise mild-mannered Brits in these circumstances. A collective madness takes hold — if everyone else is doing it, you have to do it, too.
And all these holidaymakers want is to make the most of their fortnight of sun before returning to the grey misery of home.
Some say it’s only a chair, leave it there. But I feel the reservists deserve support not mockery. After all, not everyone can afford to hire a yacht and sail away from the hell of other people.
A report asks if multi-tasking is to blame for more women than men injuring themselves and falling downstairs in the home. Of course it is. Men rarely multi-task — and humming a song while emptying the dishwasher doesn’t count. A friend reports that her tetchy husband once responded to a ticking off by saying: ‘Look, I’m trying to do two things at once.’
The poor lamb.
Speaking about the Andrew Malkinson case, former attorney general Dominic Grieve KC said: ‘It’s certainly the worst miscarriage of justice I’ve heard about in recent years, but you have to remember human justice is fallible.’
Fallible? That will be scant comfort for Mr Malkinson, whose insistence upon his innocence kept him in jail for 17 years for a rape he did not commit (the vagaries of the justice system mean his repeated denials of committing the offence prolonged his sentence).
Now we learn the poor man will have to pay 17 years of ‘board and lodging’ to the Prison Service if — if! — he receives compensation. I don’t know what could possibly compensate Mr Malkinson for the years of his life that have been stolen, but his case and treatment by the system is a moral outrage.
Mitch only has himself to blame — not Amy
Amy Winehouse at the 2007 Brit Awards
A great number of children grow up to blame difficult relationships with their parents for their troubles later in life. It is more unusual for parents to blame their children — but Mitch Winehouse is a singular man.
His daughter Amy died 12 years ago this week and he has used this sad anniversary to blame the late singer for his marriage problems.
He has just split up with his second wife Jane, claiming that the strains on their marriage date back to when Amy was in the grip of alcohol and narcotics addictions. He would ‘get a call at 3am and run out at 4am,’ he said, leading to wifely suspicions as to his whereabouts.
No wonder. History can and does repeat itself. Jane and Mitch began their affair while he was still married to Janis, a pharmacist, with whom he had Amy (right) and her brother, Alex.
He would brutishly bring Jane home on Friday evenings for Jewish family suppers and poor Janis just had to put up with it.
Whatever his current situation, I suspect that Mitch only has himself to blame and not poor, dead Amy.
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