-by Suzanne Blackburn
In my forties I blew up a marriage I could no longer tolerate. Unmoored, lost and unable to connect with my feelings, I began searching for something beyond the present and obvious, for the first time since the psychedelic drug days of my youth.
I entered my fifties with a roar, taking up my life more consciously than ever before. I put a Kali tattoo on my belly and decided that for the second half of my life I was going to be the bold woman of strength and integrity that I had always presented to the world. I found Body Electric; I found kink; I found the best sex of my life. I also found love–real, nurturing, healing love.
In my sixties I settled into a comfortable, secure life and learned to trust love–not easily, but blessed with the strong and deeply healing love of a steady partner I learned. Sex was less wild and less frequent, but I began to have the most powerful orgasms of my life – real head poppers! I still had a ready libido, and Eros was still my north star. Eros was (and remains) how I measure the validity and value of my experience in and out of the bedroom.
For better or worse, and definitely against my habit of perpetual movement, I’ve had a year of imposed reflection. For some of us who prefer movement over meditation and projects over reflection, the pandemic has made introspection unavoidable. As I enter my seventies I find myself enmeshed in many questions about aging and what it means to continue living an erotic life. I have questions about libido, love, physicality, change, purpose, impermanence, acceptance and everything it means to be an older consciously embodied person. (According to the CDC, I’m actually “elderly”).
In my acquired years I gathered some knowledge but I’ve picked up even more questions and curiosities. As long as I am an incarnated being can I go on feeling pleasure? Will I always be able to have orgasms? Will I ever be able to relax completely into this body and let go of the ego that prompts me to wrap a scarf around my neck to hide the loose skin? Should I still dance naked? Is it okay to flirt when you’re seventy? Will I ever stop asking these questions?
When I was forty, I didn’t think much about the decades to come.
When I was fifty, I felt deeply passionate and powerful and sexy.
When I was sixty, I felt that I’d lived the most powerful years of my life and I wondered what I would do with the rest.
When I was sixty-five, I was sure that by the time I turned seventy I would be careless and free from judgement about my aging body and face.
Now that I’m seventy, I make no assumptions about what this decade, or the next, will bring.
In this stage of life, where one would assume to have gained much knowledge, I find that I know very little, except that I love to breathe deeply and sink into the pleasure of my cat’s soft belly fur against my palm. I know that I want to pause for a moment when the sun touches my skin. I know that I love to drag my feet through mud and seaweed. I know that my wife’s kiss feels warm and soft and always delicious. I know that orgasms are fabulous. I know that Eros is the pulse and the fire of all life, including the life in this body for as long as it lasts. And I know that I will always claim the right to live an erotic life without apology.
Suzanne Blackburn has been involved with Body Electric for more than 20 years, She wears many hats including that of coordinator, steering committee member, associate faculty and board President. Suzanne is a massage therapist, sacred intimate and paddle sports instructor in Portland, Maine.
Suzanne has been a social and political activist for decades. She was a longtime volunteer with Equality Maine working on two state campaigns to legalize same-sex marriage and heading up the fundraising auction for the annual Gala. Suzanne is also a volunteer with Maine Adaptive’s winter sports program.
Her dedication is to reuniting the erotic and the sacred. Her vision is to reach more and more people so that they may reclaim their essential Eros and life force through the healing rituals of Body Electric.