Our Changing Intimacy Needs

By Rob Moore

Ugh. I can remember the feeling now as some old man would burn a hole through me with his eyes while grinning devilishly. It was something I experienced again and again as a young adult. Out with my friends of like age, I was somehow a magnet for much, much, older — ridiculously older — men. And the more I resisted, the more it seemed to turn them on.

Ocean Reflection by Rob Moore

I would always say that I did not want to be like that in my later years. I would also observe that, given my recurring resistance, it was probably exactly where I was headed. And so it was. Kind of. I do indeed very frequently like ‘em younger. The glimmer of hope, however, is being able to remember what it felt like being in their shoes.

I have therefore both observed and experienced it: sexual desire and sexual drive is not necessarily age discriminatory.

Whether it’s Mars’ continuing retrograde passage through Scorpio or the fact that Venus is flying very closely to the Sun these days, I’ve been considering some of the bigger picture questions of intimate connection lately. With a lot of emphasis continuing on sexual introspection, any of us could be reviewing where we’re at with sex and intimacy at this stage in our lives.

Periodic blackout binges with alcohol landed me in AA by age 24. Those years spent in meetings were just the beginning of a more rewarding way of approaching this life. I also got to learn firsthand the diversity of paths that can bring so many of us to the same place.

Among the many faces I would see regularly was a man in his late 60s who had just gotten divorced from his wife of 35 years after coming to grips with his homosexuality. Having spent a lifetime in literal denial of his sexual truth, it was at retirement age and in physical decline that he was champing at the bit to make up for so much lost time. My heart went out to him and others like him. I could see how feelings of urgency as well as being ‘owed’ something must be coloring everything within viewing distance.

The feelings such situations brought up in me most were of wanting very much to be completely satiated and settled well before my golden years. And yet, the sexual experience I wanted was slow to come. Furthermore, the more experiences I did have and the older I got, the more offbeat and complicated the sexual bucket list became. I ultimately came to realize that when it comes to heartfelt desires and life paths, ‘completely satiated and settled’ is the equivalent of chasing a rainbow.

As it has turned out, it has been in most recent times, as I have crossed the big 5-0 threshold, that sex and physical intimacy have been most fulfilling. My 30s were quite exciting but I put a damper on my experiences by incessantly scanning to see if they were my ‘soul mate’ or not. What makes sexual adventures so rewarding today is an openness to the possibility of connecting with any number of ‘soul mates’ along the way, each with a unique set of truths to teach and learn.

We all experience the various facets of this life in different and deeply personal ways. In our teens, though, we tend to be walking hormones. Youth angst is prevalent. We aren’t sure why we want what we want. All we know is we want it when we want it. Physical urges often prevail over emotional and psychological considerations.

Although males are often attributed with remaining in the aforementioned state most of their lives, the need for more deeply fulfilling emotional connections usually develops in our 20s regardless of gender.

When our first Saturn return takes place around age 29, some sort of coming of age is in the works. This is where it can be notably different for each of us. For many, it’s when the decision to raise a family calls. For me, I at last decided to embrace the kink scenes that had been part of my psyche since I was 12. It wasn’t a clean sweep to such scenes, though. I still intermittently tried to fit into the ‘perfect couple’ mold.

So while some of us decide to explore our sexual options, others turn a different direction and effectively close that door. In either circumstance, life experiences, inspirations and discoveries — particularly around our Uranus and Saturn oppositions in our 40s — can give rise to a very different set of priorities.

My Neptune square and Uranus and Saturn oppositions turned my life inside-out and upside-down. Maybe it’s not so dramatic for most people but I became infuriated that such a ground-shaking era could be tied up in a neat little package called ‘midlife crisis’, during which we all supposedly try to recapture our sophomore year in college.

My 40s were less about sex than my previous adult years. Due in large part to physical illness, this was the period when my metaphysical aims were brought front and center. After perceiving visual guidance for many years, I became able to access audible guidance. The world was telling me I was nuts, and all the while a strong case was being made from what I was tapping into that, if anything, it was the other way around.

I think it is the bigger picture of this phase of life that illustrates a similar experience for us all. Whatever we’ve put on hold or in the backseat comes to the forefront. If the nuclear family was chosen over other equally heartfelt desires, those desires are brought up for review. It is for this reason that midlife transition gets a reputation for chasing sex and the glory of youth.

I can’t reiterate enough how strongly I feel that our midlife transition is a monumental journey into ourselves. I can only empathize with those relative few who feel moved enough to uproot from everything they’ve built to recapture some aspect of themselves. If my experience demonstrates anything, such drastic measures are not necessarily required to get to a most welcomed truth of our longings during this period.

As the metaphysical happenings took over in my transition years, I resigned myself to the idea that my days of sexual exploration were basically over. So profound were my experiences, I figured I was headed for an ashram. What actually happened, though, was that my willingness to yield completely to my nonphysical facets only served to refine and improve the way I experienced sex. Furthermore, it drove home what an integral part of my life path sexual connection is.

I would be quick, therefore, to allay any fears up-and-comers have that the innate restlessness and cloudiness of this life passage inherently leads to losing what is near and dear to us. Certain longings may well need to be explored. Scary as that may be for some, I believe if applied consciously, a greater level of appreciation for what we already value is the big news flash after all is said and done.

What I am pleased to report is that despite my clear-cut physical aging in recent years, as well as post-op inconveniences to deal with, a principle I believe I’ve really come to embody is that attractiveness is an inside job. It’s one of those things I don’t exactly understand; I’ve just found firsthand that it works. I think what I love most is that I don’t sit around nitpicking every little physical imperfection so much anymore. They’re there. I see them. But I no longer believe they are the determining factor in making key connections.

This new chapter of letting go has resulted in way more deeply gratifying sexual experiences because I’m so much more present now. But there’s something I find even more interesting:

At least 60% of the time, although a sexual attraction may draw me together with someone, that’s not what I find is needed to bring the deepest level of fulfillment. Particularly with the younger types I feel a connection with, I often find simply connecting on a heart level can wind up bringing the greatest satisfaction.

More than ever, I understand why those old men were trying to hit on me in my youth. There was indeed a sexual pull. I totally get it now. Because of that, I strive to consider such dynamics from a variety of angles. As attractive as someone may be, I now aim to take whatever time I need to ask what it is I really want here. Sex? Sometimes, yes. Very much, please. But very frequently it is just to have a connection with this person’s warmth or vitality. That can mean friend, creative cohort, teacher, student or something else.

That’s something I sure couldn’t have done in my raging-hormone youth. And probably not in my nab-a-soul-mate years. Thanks in part to those old men, though, it’s something I’m glad this old man can do today.


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About Rob Moore

Rob Moore is a published author and has a strong background in art direction and image work. Ever seeking to identify the truths recurring through his own life and that of others, Rob continues to express his findings via writing and imagery. Please visit r0b1.com to learn more.

3 thoughts on “Our Changing Intimacy Needs

  1. Amy Elliott

    Bloody brilliant. This para especially means so much to me:

    “I would be quick, therefore, to allay any fears up-and-comers have that the innate restlessness and cloudiness of this life passage inherently leads to losing what is near and dear to us. Certain longings may well need to be explored. Scary as that may be for some, I believe if applied consciously, a greater level of appreciation for what we already value is the big news flash after all is said and done.”

    Thank you. I needed to hear precisely this. Fear has governed my life for too long. I need to make my peace with what I’ve experienced and with the prospect of further loss, and then get on with living.

  2. Rob Moore Post author

    That is a beautiful thing, Amy. Two beautiful things, actually… that there was something in my piece with meaning for you and your impetus to make changes. Love it.

    Thank you for sharing this, Amy. Means a lot to me and probably others =] Rob

  3. Amanda Painter

    I mentioned this in email, but thought I’d add it here, too: I really appreciate this look into one person’s experience of Neptune square, Saturn opposition and Uranus opposition. I’ve been experiencing these transits, too (not quite Saturn opp yet — though Saturn is square my Jupiter, which has been tense/explosive).

    And while I definitely do not feel these transits as the stereotypical attempt to recapture youth exactly, the pressures to get something moving, or break out of some old mold, or figure out “big” questions have been strong; to have the current mutable cross coinciding with these personal transits (especially during the Gemini New Moon week) has felt especially…intense.

    I also have felt rather like my spiritual growth/metaphysical exploration has seemingly taken a path in which sexual energy is much less central than it had been for other recent growth and healing phases. So it’s reassuring to read about this phase of life from your perspective, Rob. Obviously we all have our unique paths, but this counterpoint to the stereotypes is rich with insights and perspectives to consider. And the paragraph Amy singled out alone is worth it.


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