When do you stop being sexy?

When do you stop being sexy? • Does beauty have a use-by date? • from head-heart-health.com

A photographic exhibition by Dutch photographer Erwin Olaf called Mature shows a series of older women in classic pin-up poses. These photos have stirred up the full range of positive and negative emotions in both men and women. For me, as maturity approaches at a rapid rate, I worry that I’ll reach the point where I’m no longer sexy. Far from being relieved by this thought (as some women might be), it worries me.

Does feminine beauty and sexual attractiveness have a use-by date?

What is sexy?

The definition of sexy seems to be as slippery as people’s notions of attractiveness. As much as I want sexuality to be entirely about attitude, personality, charm and passion, from my own experience I know that physical appearance also plays a part. I would be lying if I said I don’t care how my partner looks or that I’m not concerned that my skin is getting wrinkled and age spots are appearing. But am I falling victim to the narrow definition of physical beauty dictated by modern Western culture?

Perhaps sexy is not about looking a certain way, but more about feeling a certain way. Sexiness might be better defined as inhabiting your body (with all its quirks and eccentricities) with confidence.

Being sexy is allowing the spark inside you to show — the spark that draws others to you like moths to the flame. And if this is the definition of sexy, then age, size, shape, colour, and gender no longer play a part.

A state of being or an end result?

There seems to be an expectation that sexiness is a valued trait because it guarantees you’ll have sex with someone whom you find equally attractive. But in reality, we can’t control the actions of other people. Whether or not someone finds us attractive and wants to have sex with us is entirely up to them.

If we think of sexiness as a state of being, rather than a means to an end, then sexiness is available to all of us, at any time.

We can choose to live with our hearts open, to pour our love into the world, and to do with our bodies whatever makes us happy — whether that means wearing a pair of thigh high boots or wearing a pair of paint-stained overalls.

In the end, it all comes down to loving yourself. If you feel worthy of love, someone’s going to love you. If you want to be ravished sexually, then you’ll find someone who can’t wait to do precisely that. If someone thinks you’re too old, too fat, too curvy or too grey — in fact too anything — then they aren’t the kind of person you’ll find a deep intimate connection with.

Sexy is an attitude — one that begins on the inside and translates into how you choose to look on the outside and how you carry yourself in the world. It’s the light of your soul that creates beauty, and all you have to do is own it.

What do you think? Can you still stay sexy as you age? Do you even want to?

About KatieP

Embracing my midlife sexy while exploring modern love & relationships • Devoted to all things beautiful • Master of Arts in creative writing & non-fiction writing

13 thoughts on “When do you stop being sexy?

  1. You made some awesome points! I think we have to define our sexy and know there will be some that won’t agree. In this, however, is the knowledge that this has ALWAYS been the case, we’re just mature enough to embrace it. Project: What you think of me is none of my business.

  2. Love this: If we think of sexiness as a state of being, rather than a means to an end, then sexiness is available to all of us, at any time.
    Why? Because it feels damn good, and we deserve to feel good more often than not. I got dressed up and went out tonight. It was a work thing, but I dressed just a little sexy, and I had a blast. Just cause! I’m going to “brand my unique version of sexy,” as you said, Katie, and do it more often!

    1. Love your story about making yourself feel good Kim.
      “Brand my unique version of sexy” was the lovely Sabrina’s contribution but I agree it’s a beauty!

        1. Your night is exactly what I had in mind, Kim! Do what you know makes you feel sexy and, oh well, for anyone that didn’t get the memo. While whomever is trying figure out how you’re turning heads you’re having the time of your life, loving the skin you’re in.That level of confidence has always been sexy.

  3. For me it’s a mixture of things-much of it attitude and keeping my mind in the game. I too experience the occasional qualms about aging Katie. But I know that as long as I continue to play with bringing pleasure into my life I’ll be content and hopefully attract the partner who sees that in me.
    I also wrote about the photo exhibit, with a slightly different angle. I saw Olaf as playing with society’s comfort with bodies, aging ones in particular. Those were gutsy women with a high degree of self-confidence and that’s sexy!

  4. I think you stop being sexy when you stop living the sexy, embodying it. I know a woman, a grandmother, and she is SMOKING hot, and her age and place in life do not stop her rockin’ it. I suppose after a certain age sexiness just goes out the window – I don’t know if 80 year old women really care about looking saucy hah – but I do know men that age are still pervy old dogs and would likely love it if their counterparts sauced it up more often. Even the elderly have sex drives, limited by body issues or not. I can only guess at how I’ll feel in a few more decades but I consider myself a very sexual and sexy creature and I hope to ripen and mature like a fine wine!

  5. Hi Katie. I love this article. I have shared it on my Facebook page, Aging Well for Women. Keep up the awesome work! Let’s turn ageism on it’s head. 🙂

    1. Thanks Angela, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m loving getting old, the myths and stories we are told aren’t true. I’m with you in your effort to change things ♥

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