Menu
Refine Your Search

It’s Never Too Late to Flirt


11 Minute Read

When I was young, I didn’t realise I might be good at flirting because I didn’t know I was doing it. I’ve always had a healthy interest in the male of the species, enjoying men’s company and loving a good old grapple in the bedroom, but when I was young, if I’d been asked, I might have attributed my success with men to having blonde hair, or liking a laugh, or being hungry for contact – all of which can help when flirting but don’t explain its subtleties. In my early forties, I was asked to facilitate a workshop on ‘something to do with relationships’ and remembered an occasion not long before when a theatre director had me and another actor flirt with him as an improvisation exercise. I did this so well that the director said he was seduced by me (in spite of being utterly gay). I thought, ‘I must have some sort of flair for this art!’ I decided I would teach flirting, deconstructed my own behaviour for content, and Flirtshop was born, a weekend course I ran for groups of people who had never flirted or had forgotten how to flirt, often because they had only just emerged from long, stagnant relationships, and were shy and demoralized with tiny egos.

It’s such a shame that flirting dies in long relationships (it doesn’t have to, but you’ve both got to want to do it). We usually associate it with the beginning of a potential romance. Does flirting always signal sexual interest? I think so, but it doesn’t have to have serious intent or a discernible outcome: it can be a fun bit of business with an attractive passing stranger like a cheeky waiter, or with a friend where the boundaries are clear and you’re free to tease. One of my ways of describing flirting is ‘talking with a twinkle’. This is helped by awareness of how sparkling conversation works (to and fro not monologuing, employing lightness and wit) and of how to listen and show interest (be sincere, find genuine curiosity in someone’s story, show them they’ve been heard). Flirting also uses body language in certain expressive ways, to draw attention to our best physical features (legs, chest, hair) or to show fascination with the other (playful eye contact, open gestures, subtle touching). There are degrees of flirting. If you’re a pair of curmudgeonly old gits, just having a moan together on a park bench might constitute a flirt in your world. Or if the atmosphere is right, the fizz is flowing and you’re both feeling beautiful and wild, a flirt could be oozing with bon mots, lavish compliments, double entendres and a feeling of sublime connection.

Theoretically, flirting shouldn’t be any different with age. And yet, I’m flirting less these days. I rarely meet men of my age (56) through work – currently I’m running improvisation workshops for lots and lots of younger people, who have a tendency to de-sex me because, naturally enough, they’re not interested in their mum. On my way to Lidl recently, a ruddy-faced drunk weaved his way over to me and said, with frank appreciation, ‘Where’ve you been hiding all my life?’ Beer-goggles or not, I was genuinely cheered. I didn’t stick around though – I have my standards (and Lidl was about to run out of croissants).

Finding my own flirting skills blunted is concerning for a person who was a bit of a natural. There are good reasons for the decline, not least having had two longish relationships taking up most of a decade. But it’s also because I’ve lost confidence, the face and bod being a bit ravaged and the energy occasionally flagging. So, I am writing this to rev myself up and get back in the saddle. Here are my tips for Flirting in Older Age, as a spur to both you and myself to keep this delightful and life-enhancing form of communication going, dodgy knees and thickets of ear-hair notwithstanding.

Get Out More
You can’t flirt with the cat. There are innumerable ways to meet people, some of which such as speed-dating or tantric love-fests positively encourage flirting. If you’re looking for fellow oldies, hunt for your peers through Meet Up groups (walking ones are good), University of the Third Age, am-dram, Five Rhythms, group holidays (Skyros, Cortijo Romero) or age-streamed singles events. I haven’t tried Tinder yet but personally prefer hitting groups of potentials rather than sifting laboriously through scores of individual charlatans, exhibitionists, and nut-jobs to find my gold.

Get Real
Stop ogling the svelte/teenage/film star type. They’re out of your league. Pick on someone with your own girth/faded glamour/air of decrepitude – MUCH better chance of success.

Wear Nice Clothes
It’s a truism that image counts for more than anything when we first encounter someone new. You don’t have to be lustrously beautiful but good clobber will invite eyes to be drawn to you, and you need that to get started. When on the pull, go for something very flattering that’s not dull. We wrinklies can still have sexiness or swagger in our dress – silk shirts, glimpses of flesh through the translucent material, a jeweled walking stick. Go crazy with the shoes – for women, loud colours, a bit of a platform or lots of straps, for men, an elegant polished brogue (sends shivers down my spine), biker or Chelsea boots. Sexy signifiers don’t age, so if you can get away with it, go for it (I’ve yet to see a woman who doesn’t look hot in fishnets, a fur stole and long gloves). Wear conversation pieces – a T-shirt with a cool slogan or image, a stylish hat, unusual accessories like cascading earrings, a cape, a fan.

Don’t…
…stop grooming because it’s all a bit of a bother. A huge percentage of what attracts us to others is smell – make sure yours isn’t Eau de Rancid.
…go out wearing the same crap you wear for slopping around the house in the hope that someone will see through the exterior to your inner beauty. They won’t get near enough to try.
…wear a T-shirt saying Please Don’t Interrupt Me While I’m Ignoring You which I saw on a mature man in the street – who looked like he could do with some friends.

Definitely Do…
…look at www.advanced.style for inspiration. It is GORGEOUS.

Have Creative Conversations
Flirting isn’t rocket science. The most important aspect of it is simply talking. To keep interest, make the conversation creative. I once went to a boring party where I knew no one and made it fun by going up to people and asking them how they would decorate their ideal bathroom. I was a hit! People love being invited to use their imaginations. As oldies, we also have massive memory banks to plunder, and the most crystalline memories are those of our youth so exploit those. Have a mutual rave about the music/fashion/food of olden days (that’s punk, sculptural hair and fondant fancies for me). Or find a specialist subject that you both like (there’s always one) and compare years and years of notes. Let the talk lend itself to humour and take the piss out of young people, or of modern gastronomic phenomena viz. coffee shops, artisan bakers, clean-eating. Have a funny, self-deprecating conversation about aches and pains (whilst paradoxically looking fit as a flea and twinkling fetchingly). Give all your attention to the other person and concentrate on helping them to feel good. When it’s all going swimmingly, drop a little sex into the ebb and flow, and see if they bite.

Do Intimate Actions
Invite someone to sit down with you. Ask to borrow their reading glasses. Touch their arm, naturally whilst chatting, and if they seem to warm to you and divulge more personal information, touch it again for a little longer. Ask for a sip of their drink. Offer them a chocolate. Watch their mouth while they talk. Look into their eyes for a beat or two longer than is seemly. Pay them a compliment, disappear, and let them come and find you.

Value Yourself
Just because you have a soggy bottom and no discernible jawline doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be treated like a god(dess). If someone is mean or insulting or expects you to be grateful for their attention, summon all your dignity and walk away from their poisonous emanations. And if flirting online provokes unsolicited dick pics and aggressive messaging, consign those plonkers to the digital wilderness.

Online Wisdom
If you’re going down the computer dating route, have a crib sheet of deal-makers and deal-breakers so you’re clear on the qualities you’re looking for that really matter to you. Recently I posted my profile on an online magazine’s dating page to gauge the lie of the land. I disguised myself with a platinum blonde wig, lots of eye and lip make-up and a false name. I was besieged by scores of men (see what I said about sexual signifiers not changing?). My first deal-breaker quickly became apparent: anyone who had a bad photo was out. It was shocking how many men posed in front of a peeling garage door or their fridge, in long shot and out of focus. If you can’t get an ok photo taken in the age of smartphone cameras, what hope…? Then I eliminated bad spellers (I’m a word-nerd, what can I say?). Then I struck off men with job descriptions I didn’t understand. Then I withdrew because I couldn’t bear people falling for a fake me and wasn’t ready to show the real one.

Once you’re exchanging messages with someone who seems half-way decent, don’t spend weeks working your way into a fever pitch with increasingly flirtatious texts, or even phone calls. I did this years ago and on the instant I met the man in the flesh, I knew it was a no-go. He had a pudding-basin haircut, a goofy demeanour and was as sexy as cabbage. I’m not saying people can’t grow on you, but let connection develop in the meat world, not the robot world. Unless you only want cyber-flirting, in which case, knock yourself out.

To Close
Goodness knows there are a bunch of things about getting older that can be a (literal) pain in the neck, but age can make flirting a lot more fun than it was when we were striplings. Here’s why:

• Without rampantly out of control sex hormones dictating every move, we can enjoy more refined badinage and make flirting less about conquest. If we’re after physical contact, flirting can be more about finding someone with whom we can share loving touch rather than a rutting mate.
• With a lifetime’s knowledge and experience we have more in common with more people, and more conversational scope.
• We know our own boundaries better, and can listen to our own needs, so we can say ‘No’ more easily – which makes it a lot easier to say ‘Yes’ when we want to.
• We care less about looks and more about the quality of a person. We make more effort to find out who they really are, which can progress repartee beyond the superficial.
• We’re less proprietorial with age. We can flirt with lots of people and have many different individual friends, for sharing different activities.
• The appalling self-consciousness of youth has gone. Our priorities have changed, we know the true value of things. We can be measured and gentle and reasonable. So, we can indulge in a little flirting fun without the stakes being too high.

Still feeling bashful? Just remember: there is no such thing as failure. If you attempt a cheeky sally or two and receive no response, do not feel defeated – flirting is not an exact science. If your target responds with a look of aghast incredulity or a slap round the face, you may want to recalibrate your style. But short of those, it might just be that they weren’t in the mood or you’re not their cup of tea and that’s not the end of the world. Nothing ventured etc. Ageing is potentially dangerous. It can lead to closing down rather than opening up. Let’s avoid loneliness and get out and flirt more.

Hello handsome…what are you doing later?

How I Became a Dom – My BDSM Story


6 Minute Read

I’ve been asked to write my personal journey with the BDSM world but first of all I thought I’d let you know the rules when it comes to playing in this arena.

1) Consent is Key. No means No. Anyone defying consent is an abuser at least and well I’ll let you dear reader think what that means at worst.

2) A Submissive (Sub) has to have boundaries. These are the activities where there is an absolute ‘no’ in place. If their Dom overrides them, then this is also abuse. It breaks the consensual agreement.

3) There has to be a safeword in any play. This can be used at anytime the sub wants play to stop.

It’s also important to understand that – To Dom is to Protect and Care. Also that the Dom has control but the Sub the power.

Also re roles. The Dom gives the Sub what they need. Let’s also expel a few myths. The Dom person is not domineering or controlling. A Dom is given control by the Sub. The Sub is not a doormat or a second class citizen or for that matter weak. It takes strength to be a Sub.

I fell into the London Fetish scene 10 years ago. To tell you how and why is a story in itself. Suffice to say my journey as a Dom started as a Sub.

So was it down to fate that I became a Sub. However I was given my first Domme (the female term) /Sub experience in a club for my birthday so I would ‘Get it‘.

This woman, who has now become a very dear friend, used to be a professional domme. In other words, a Dominatrix. Her clients would book her for a fee and she would dom them. She gave me my first ever play. Domming someone is giving them what they want with the goal of orgasm sometimes. From a professional standpoint, Dommes don’t do personal services. Yet their clients may gratify themselves if she allows it and normally this happens nowhere near the Domme.

On this initial occasion, I wasn’t in a serious state of sexual arousal after she had finished but I was – I later learnt – in subspace. Domming a Sub is about mixing sensations. In brief, endorphins come from certain types of pain – for instance, being spanked, flogged or having one’s hair pulled. Serotonin is produced by pleasure and the skin surface itself is a huge erogenous zone. Mix in genital stimulation and you get adrenaline.

There is a chemical reaction as well as mental and physical. In fact, the physical is the least important although it has its place. BDSM is mostly a mental pursuit. What did she do? Well, I was butt naked in a club I’d never been to before, she spanked my arse and stroked it seductively too. She caressed my back, then flogged it.

This Domme was talking to me all the time. She whispered in my ear that I should say ‘Red‘ at anytime and she would stop. I melt when someone whispers in this way and I’m sure she knew that. I was a mess in a good way after she had finished. I’ve had my fair share of pleasure but this was a WOW subspace.

However even during this intense play, I was taking in lots of information about how she dommed. To this day, I use some of her techniques.

So the bar was set high. I bounced around the scene. I hooked up with some Dommes and had a few relationships where I was their Sub. It dawned on me pretty quickly that as a Sub, you are the focus of your Dom. Also having a woman in charge of you, your actions and sensations is sensual.

I’m sure lots of men reading this will be thinking – “No woman is going to domme me.” Well, if you find a cool Domme, try it. I did for six years and I learnt loads about myself and my body. For instance, do you guys know where your G spot is? Find a woman who does and can touch it skillfully – that’s it all your birthdays and Xmas’ in one big gift.

What I can say is in those six years as a Sub, I knew what I was getting myself into. I consented to everything that happened. I even lost my strap-on virginity. And I always felt I had the power to get up and walk away. I cannot reiterate this enough. The Sub always has a choice.

So we move forwards to four years ago. I kept bumping into a certain woman at clubs, after a few chats and hanging out she asked me to dom her. I had a fair idea of what to do from studying my own Dom before.

I managed to borrow a few floggers and other equipment. I strapped her to a cross and then remembering my first Sub/Dom scene I copied what that Domme did to me. Communicating, stroking flogging and more. It was at this juncture that I knew I liked it, being a Dom, that is.

“‘Do you like having your hair pulled?” I asked. “I love it” came the reply. I kept asking her questions whilst unleashing my inner Dom. It was horny as hell and I also got the same kind of buzz as I did as a sub. Dom Rush I called it. After we played, she clung onto me for dear life. I had given her what she wanted and in the way she wanted it. That’s when the penny dropped. She trusted me.

Now I’ve had two Subs. Both times we sat down and discussed the hard limits they have. One of my Subs hated massage. I love giving that but It was a boundary for her. I could flog her, have sex with in any orifice, yet massage was not allowed. Also it was not in my edict to ask why.

As I stated in point 1 at the beginning of this piece, “No” means “no”. Communication is the key. I think I’ve spent more time talking to my Subs than I ever did in my vanilla relationships. In my Dom role, it’s easy to discuss these aspects of the relationship with a prospective Sub.

Being a Dom is giving the Sub what they want. It’s not the Dom doing what they want to the Sub. The Sub / Dom dynamic is built on skillful connection, trust, respect and empathy. So the more you dom, the more the sub surrenders. It’s a circle of energy. If you do it with the right person then it can also be highly sexual. When I hear my sub beg to come, it’s such a turn on. And when a Sub has to beg, they also often get turned on.

I really enjoy being a Dom now. I’m confident in my abilities and yet humble at the same time. I hope. My Subs have been strong independent women but behind closed doors they like to relinquish control in the ways they wish, fo course.They want a man who can give them what they want, how they want and when they want. One key to being a Dom is knowing when they want you to be in control!

Get it right and boy can you have some great debauchery.

Silver is the Dungeon Master at DVS on 5th August. First timers and newbies welcome! For further details click on the FB Event page here.

You can also find him at Flamefest 18-20th August, the Kink Rave Festival in Kent. Full info on the FB page here.

The Emancipation of the MILF | The Cut


19 Minute Read

Does sexual freedom belong only to the young? Claire Dederer doesn’t think so. About six years ago, Claire Dederer realized she had a problem. The problem had to do with sex. It had to do with desire. It had to do with being a middle-aged wife and mother and needing and wanting to be seen and known by new people in a new way, maybe even by people she didn’t particularly like or love or respect all that much. Her problem had something to do with sex but didn’t stop there. It assaulted her notions of what it meant to be a grown-up woman in the world and wanting to have romantic encounters with men who were not her husband. She loved her husband. Obviously, she loved her children, her family, the life they had built together. And at the same time, a part of her wanted to step outside the boundary of the polite, middle-class domestic life they’d drawn around themselves. Or, to put it more crudely, she wanted to fuck around.

Read the full story here: The Emancipation of the MILF

Herstory of the Hot Tub


4 Minute Read

“You’re not planning on getting another hot tub, are you?” my two boys asked me. In unison. It was not so much a question as a plea. You have to understand, my hot tub, or the hot tub I once owned, had a reputation. If that hot tub could talk, oh lord, the stories it could tell. Back in my hedonistic 40s, my hot tub was the scene of more than a few orgies. A round cedar tub of the type you rarely find outside of Southern California, it sat in the corner of my back garden in West Hampstead, overlooked by thirteen windows. That the neighbours used to steal a glance while I was getting it on with two or more men was never in doubt. As an exhibitionist, it was all part of the fun.

Aside from sex, the tub was a place for confessionals. I recall sitting in the hot water with two close girlfriends, crying over a guy who had been cheating on me, while we watched his old jeans burn to a crisp over the BBQ. I wanted to see them go up in smoke just like our relationship.

During my sons’ teenage years, the hot tub was the place we would retreat for difficult discussions. Sitting in hot water definitely helped soften the blow as my boys let off steam and their feelings of anger, often directed towards me.

While for most men I met, being covered by four feet of water, almost always gave them a hard on, despite all academic evidence pointing to the contrary. Not that I minded most of the time.

It was a move to a new flat that prompted the question from my kids. Without asking it directly, what they were really saying was: “Are you ready to give up your crazy life?” I wasn’t sure.

Then the decision was made for me. It was six months after I’d moved into the new flat, on my boyfriend’s birthday. We were at a local pub, getting drunk. I picked up my phone, typing ‘Hot Tub’ into EBay. And there it was, a brand new four seater Jacuzzi, with flashing lights, speakers, a waterfall and loads of jets. The description mentioned something about being shipped from China. The auction was five minutes away from closing and it was £850. I pressed, “buy” and a few minutes later it was mine.

“What are you doing?” he said.

“I just bought a new Jacuzzi,” I replied.

“On my birthday??” he said, as if that special day was somehow reserved only for him.

“Does it really matter what day it is? It’s a Jacuzzi and it was £850!”

As it turned out, it wasn’t really £850. The price did not include installation, something I only thought about when the truck driver dumped it off in my front garden. “How am I going to get it in the back?” I asked him.

“I only have instructions to drop it off. You’ll probably need a crane.”

Meanwhile, the Eastern European builder, working on the flat upstairs was looking at me, taking it all in.

“£200 to move it to the garden?” I said.

“You’re having a laugh. More like £500!” he replied.

“No thanks,” I said.

What then ensued was a week of phone calls. One company told me I’d need to lift it over the house, shut down the road and get a license. The cost? A cool £3,500.

The hot tub supplier said it would be an additional £350 to plumb it in. My cheap hot tub was starting to look like a very reckless and expensive purchase. Eventually I relented, paid the builders £450 and then took a walk while eight of them lifted it over a brick wall into my garden. My friend Anne put it best when I told her: “Third world solutions to first world problems.”

As it turned out my new, modern hot tub, is on its way to acquiring the same mythic status as its predecessor, albeit without the sexual overtones. It turns out shagging while sitting in a plastic bucket seat isn’t easy. (Well, I had to try, didn’t I?) It is the place where Advantages of Age was conceived during one of my monthly gatherings of local girlfriends. Most recently Rose and I held a Hot Tub Salon about Death that we recorded using Facebook Live that has reached almost 3k views. And now that my boys are no longer children, they have come to understand its magnetic pull when attracting the opposite sex or just a bunch of their mates.

The old hot tub was a lot of fun and holds some great memories for me but I have a feeling this new one is pretty special. To the hot tub and all that goes on there. Long may it continue!

Show me more
Surprise Me

Hear more from us

Subscribe to our newsletter