55 and happy to still be getting the hang of it.

I’ve just turned fifty five.

I’ve been looking forward to it. It feels like a special number. 

I tried an online search as to the symbolic significance of this number and you may or may not be surprised to learn that I found it to have a plethora of meanings. The one I liked best was on thesecretofthetarot.com:

“55 is the number of independence, freedom, and self-determination.”

This time five years ago I had just left a very long and often happy relationship that I could no longer continue.

I was without a home, my work was unsteady – it all looked very precarious.

My body was in shock, my brain was alarmed.

In Scotland and Ireland we have an expression where we say “but how are you in yourself…?”

In myself I was actually experiencing a Zen-like calm in the centre of my belly. I was on the right path. This was what needed to happen. Now it was a case of problem solving how to navigate the next part of the road when the view from the steering wheel was murky indeed.

What followed were a series of events that I could not have asked for, predicted or dreamed of.

Just a few of these things: finding a secure place to live; being offered steady, and meaningful work; making a decision to use my “Running Away Fund” to do a women’s retreat which nourished my heart and mind (this also cemented me into a community of women who have been a bedrock of love and support whenever I’ve needed them); opening my heart to the potential of a new relationship.

One of the most important things in these five years has been the opportunity for me to explore my sexuality.

When I became single at the age of fifty I found out how much the external social and cultural environment had changed since I was on my own back in my early 20’s. I also needed to find out about my internal environment.  I wanted to re-examine my beliefs, my desires, my feelings, even my body as they were now.

At a time when I didn’t know for sure if I would ever have a sexual relationship again, I was privileged to take part in many helpful conversations with other women who were also navigating relationships, dating, and sex.

When I said I was wary of online-dating one person told me I would never meet a person with whom I could have a meaningful relationship in real life and to forget it. This helped me realise that I was clear and hopeful that I would meet “someone” in real life.

And, reader, I have now experienced this to be true.

I had a beautiful conversation with one woman whom I didn’t really know at that time, but who responded generously to my desire to talk about the subject of sex. She described the most wonderful, satisfying, engaging sexual encounters outwith the traditional relationships that had been my sole experience.

These conversations and others inspired me and helped me to think differently.

I am so grateful to those women who took a social risk in describing their own experiences and desires and sharing their insights with me. I’m also appreciative of the men who told me of their own experiences and vulnerabilities.

I continue this exploration on my own, in relationship, through exploring erotica, reading, and in discussion with others. It’s a live issue. I now tell my own stories and invite other women to share theirs with me and with their permission tell them on their behalf for the benefit of those women who want to hear them.

My intention now is to be a woman who inspires hope and kindles enthusiasm for a life which includes sensuality and sexual energy.

I want to create opportunities for others to have the kind of conversations which were so helpful to me.

Red Velvet Revelry is not about pressure to have a particular kind of sex life. It’s about permission to express that part of who you are, in the way that you choose.

It’s an invitation to be completely at home “in yourself”.

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