Book ReviewsBook Review: A Frenchwoman’s Guide to Sex After Sixty

Book Review: A Frenchwoman’s Guide to Sex After Sixty

Book Review: A Frenchwoman’s Guide to Sex After Sixty

A Frenchwoman’s Guide to Sex After Sixty
Marie de Hennezel

208 pages • ISBN 978-1-77164-334-4

Nearly fifty percent of over 65s still crave sexual pleasure, yet only 12 percent regularly achieve it. Internationally renowned French psychologist Marie de Hennezel offers a bold vision for how the aging population can still experience a passionate life and healthy sex in later years. Sex has no age limit, she explains, but there are obstacles to overcome –such as reduced libidos, and a youth-obsessed culture that can shame mature desire into hiding.

Interviewing everyday couples about their sex lives, de Hennezel profiles men, women, and their partners to provide tested, real-world wisdom. She combines her own professional research and advice with sparkling insight from French experts including a former adult film star and an esteemed sex therapist.

A Frenchwoman’s Guide to Sex After Sixty posits that cultivating an inner youthfulness is more important than the outward presence of aging, explaining why sensuality and emotional intimacy are more joyful in one’s sex life than scrutiny over the body (and its potential rapid changes). Dozens of topics are discussed, including:

  • How achieving better sex comes through understanding sensuality, not trying to reverse the effects of aging;
  • How to focus more on cultivating eroticism, and less on genitalia;
  • Why replacing penetration with creative and connected foreplay can achieve the same or better results.

This highly useful and relatable book is playful, frank, and uplifting –just like its subject at the best of times.

Marie de Hennezel is an esteemed psychologist and therapist and the author of ten books, including The Art of Growing Old and Intimate Death: How the Dying Teach Us to Live. She is known for her commitment to improving end-of-life conditions, and for her contributions to changing the image of old age in French society. She was named Knight of the Legion of Honour by French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin in 1998 and was appointed Officer of the Highest Order by Prime Minister Jean-Francois Mattei in 2003. She is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Fund for Hospice and the National Committee for the Development of Palliative Care.

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