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Herstory of the Hot Tub


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“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!

Suzanne’s View from the Hot Tub


1 Minute Read

You never know what or who to expect when the ladies of the hot tub get together. It’s a rotating feast of taste and opinions. There are always laughs. Laughing is a must. I read somewhere that laughing can burn as much as 40 calories every 15 minutes. If that’s to be believed, each Lady of the Hot Tub must burn off at least 300 calories during our time together or roughly three glasses of wine. It’s the best and most enjoyable workout there is.

Despite the rotating cast of colourful women that pass through the tub each month, some aspects never change. There is always alcohol. Alperol spritzers if I’m feeling flush, a bottle or two of wine, some prosecco perhaps. Hummus is a regular feature. The first few times we all met, I would whip up a large bowl full, the recipe courtesy of Jamie Oliver. Last night it came from Tesco, along with a few other spreads. Ingrid can always be relied on to bring a selection of Sainsbury’s Finest nibbles and a Terry’s Chocolate Orange… or two.

A few weeks ago I ran into my neighbor, a lovely woman in her late 70’s who has lived on my street since the War. “You know,” she said, “I can hear everything you say in the hot tub. You’re lucky that I won’t tell a soul.” She smiled. “I know,” I said. I like to imagine her laughing along with us in her sitting room, having a chuckle while listening to our raucous conversations.

I look forward to our monthly soirees in the hot tub like no other night in my calendar. Tonight it was the perfect gathering of women of a certain age. There was me, Kavida – a real tantric goddess, Ingrid – the Queen of Complaints and Rose, this site’s co-founder, Editor and a goddess in her own right. We are all goddesses, each with our own character and wisdom. If you ever want to observe a group of women in their natural habitat, stick them in a pool of bubbling hot water and watch what happens.

Tonight there was no shortage of stories. Despite not knowing each other for more than a couple of years or at all, we have a shared history. That’s just one of the advantages of age. If you’ve lived in London for long enough and are 40+, you can always find a connection, no matter how tenuous. Clubs we frequented when younger. The same creepy men we couldn’t shake off. Our kids that knew their kids or someone else’s kids we both knew. In the hot tub, I have come to understand how small my world really is and how I am, in one way or another, closely linked to a small community of like-minded people.

In the hot tub, we make plans. We have ideas. We want to take a trip to Havana and dance salsa with sexy Cuban men for a week or two. Maybe we’ll do it as an Advantages of Age group tour. We discuss the power of dance. The way a good dancer can force you into a rhythm for which you may not have a natural feel. We discuss submission and domination and why is it that controlling women (like ourselves) just want to be told what to do (in bed). We rarely talk about our work. That’s just something that we do. We talk about previous partners or current ones, about fantasies. Oh, and would Ingrid take a picture of Kavida’s nipple because she loves her nipples (and who wouldn’t?). There is a natural flow to our conversation. The talking never stops, except when a glass of wine needs to be refilled.

After 3 or 4 hours, rarely less, we leave the tub. Skin like prunes, satiated by good conversation, food and drink, the women put back on their clothes and head back home. I think how lucky I am to have such fabulous friends. I fall into a deep sleep – the perfect end to another perfect Ladies of the Hot Tub night.

Dear Ladies of the Hot Tub 2: My partner has cheated on me leaving me with a young child


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My partner and I have now separated, after I discovered he was cheating on me with another woman, leaving me a single parent to a toddler. The thing is, this is not the first time this has happened. Another woman he used to see before me was expecting a child at the same time as we started going out. Until the separation, I often looked after her child as well as my own. He also has two other more grown up children from another relationship. I have recently discovered that the new woman he is seeing is 38, the same age as I was when we met and, more importantly, childless. I can’t help but wonder if it is his intention to impregnate and then leave her too. My question to you is should I forewarn his new girlfriend about his behavior or leave them to it?

Rose

First of all, I hear how painful and shocking this has been for you. And how you must look back on the situation with your ex, and feel that you were deluded in love when he was merely repeating a pattern of behaviour. That is a heart-wrenching wake-up call. Your question is about his new girlfriend, and I would firstly ask you to make an internal inquiry into what is really motivating you here. Are you really concerned about this new girlfriend, or are you being propelled by some sort of revenge for yourself? It’s important to establish where this impulse is coming from first of all.

Kate

Roger to all of the above – but I would add to that, this man could potentially father a fifth child.  Small lives are involved here as well as adult ones and if it were me, I would want to know the facts. I might not enjoy hearing them but thirty-eight years old is a vulnerable age for a childless woman. The thought of getting swept off my feet and then dropped from a large height to raise my child by myself is not a happy one. We are women. We can deal! But from your point of view, I think I’d feel better in myself had I shared these thoughts with the woman concerned in a kind and loving manner!

Caroline

I would tell her. I would tell her because I would want to know if it were me. As has been said, it is important how you do that. There may be an impulse in you to cause hurt, as you have been. It’s only human. Just keep an eye on yourself so you don’t act anything out. Keep it clean… keep it clean… is my little prayer to myself, in similar circumstances. You could write a letter and then get a couple of friends that you trust to check it over and give you feedback. Wishing you well.

Suzanne

Is it possible for you and the other mother to talk to his new girlfriend instead of on your own? Putting myself in the shoes of the other woman, newly in love, my first instinct would be to question your agenda. By sharing the burden of responsibility with another, you may then come across as two women, genuinely concerned for her.  If not, I might leave well enough alone. The main thing is to protect yourself and your child from any further drama.

Ingrid

Hello there. First off, I am so terribly sorry for what you have been through, what a strange and awful time for you. Next, I absolutely must get the following off my chest: the man has issues, namely a kind of rabbit-mormon complex, if there is such a thing. This constant need of his to find a woman, impregnate her then leave, is NOT a normal mode of behaviour. Not unless one walks on all fours and has a tail at any rate. But then you know that already. That said, it is important to question why you want to tell his new girlfriend. Are you protecting her by sharing your ex’s less-than-savoury mating ritual, or exorcising your own (and understandable) feelings of hurt? It might even be a bit of both. Whatever the case, my feeling is that if you don’t know the new girlfriend personally, it might be best to stay away, hard as it is. By telling her, she might resent you for getting in touch, plus you don’t know what else – or worse, what other emotions might be dredged up.

Do you have a dilemma you’d like the Ladies of the Tub to consider? Please send it to: info@advantagesofage.com and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Dear Ladies of the Hot Tub 1: I’m not sure whether to leave my wife and need some advice.


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Dear Ladies of the Hot Tub,

I will be 60 in October and have been married for over 30 years with two older children, both now married.

After nearly two decades in a sexless marriage, I reconnected with an old female friend.  It was one of those coincidental situations and came completely out of the blue. We swapped a few emails, and then moved onto WhatsApp, before eventually meeting up for lunch. After that, the emails and WhatsApp messages became more and more intimate. (She sent me some very steamy pictures!) Four months later, my friend asked me to tell my wife about our relationship (even though no bodily fluids had been exchanged). I did and, to my surprise, my wife suddenly became insatiable while demanding I call off the affair, if you can call it that. I ended the relationship and, since then, my wife has gone back to refusing sex.

I’m completely confused now and wonder what I should do. I’m not ready to embark on another full-on relationship. I don’t want to get to 60 and still be as unhappy as I have been for the past 20 years! Your advice would be most welcome!

Suzanne

Your wife’s behaviour is understandable. For 20+ years she thought no one would fancy you. Then, suddenly, when she discovered another woman found you attractive, that made her fancy you again. Have you thought that maybe you could keep the passion alive in your relationship by playing the field?

Rose

Am wondering what has stopped you and your wife going to relationship counselling if it has been so bad between for so long. I presume that this is not just about sex, in fact that it’s probably more about a lack of real warmth and closeness between you. It sounds to me as though you really need to have a difficult conversation between you with the help of a counsellor. From that point, you can start really seeing what is behind this, and how you want to go forward. You and your wife really need to go into your hearts and speak from those vulnerable places, then see.

Ingrid

Hello there. Looking at the maths of your marriage, it seems that the age of your children coincides with your marriage becoming sexless. This happens to many people – focusing on ‘family’ while missing out on the more intimate ‘couple’ aspect of your partnership, with sex an act of going-through-the-motions without any sense of sensual closeness or dare I say it, fun. This other, female friend has essentially shown you the window to a parallel universe. You’ve peeked through that window, but not opened the door, despite being given erotic permission by your wife. Therefore, it appears that when all is said and done, you want your marriage to work. It also seems that your wife is up for some experimenting, hence being turned on by you being the man of the moment. My advice is to go and have some fun with your wife. The kids have left home. Treat yourselves as strangers and go for that first date all over again.  Allow yourselves to be intimate.  Tease your wife with an erotic massage, taking her to the brink. Play games and share your sexual fantasies together, including her one about you being fancied or fucked by someone else.  Remember, you have absolutely nothing to lose.  And if none of that works, perhaps it is indeed time to give yourself some personal space – with neither wife nor WhatsApp Woman and start again.

Amanda

It seems that dealing with what has been unspoken for many years would be a good step. Of course this is hard to do so simple changes may help to encourage a willingness to be open. To do this try exploring with how you reach each other. Move towards rather than away, notice when you reject your wife, this may be in simple ways like sitting with a closed body, shutting down when she talks about her interests, allowing your attention to travel away from her when she is talking to you. Make an effort to touch her, this could be placing your hand on her arm when you speak or sitting closer to her in social situation so contact is possible. Daring to actually reach each other in a physical and energetic way that is not necessarily about sex could help you both to rediscover what connected you in the first place.

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