Why Are We So Freaked Out By Old Lady Sex?
The Debrief: Last night we all watched, and laughed at My Granny The Escort. But Daisy Buchanan reckons it's pretty empowering to see older ladies getting laid on screen
Back in the nineties, when VHS was king and people spent over 40 per cent of their income on late return fees, my boyfriend worked in one of San Francisco’s top video rental emporiums. They offered all sorts of home entertainment options, but they had a healthily-sized adult section, and the most popular offering in that section was entitled Slammin’ Granny In The Fanny. I’m not currently in a position to run a Google search on Slammin’ Granny In The Fanny, but I’m fairly sure it’s either an American or Canadian title, and the title was referring to anal and not vaginal penetration.
One’s initial reaction might be ‘How niche! How novel!’, but the popularity of Slammin’ Granny In The Fanny would indicate that there’s nothing that unusual about appreciating the sexual allure of the older lady. And last night’s My Granny The Escort showed us that there are enough paying customers to keep Beverley, in her 50s, Sophie, in her 60s, and Sheila, the 84-year-old grandmother of former X Factor contestant Katie Waissel.
Katie does not approve of Sheila’s career and told The Sun that hearing about her grandmother’s sex work 'turns her stomach'. To be fair, one never wants to hear about the sex lives of the people they’re related to, regardless of their age. But with Twitter users falling over themselves to scream: ‘Old people! Sex! Ewwwww!’ One user said the show was ‘Not an easy wank’, and even Russell Brand revealed he wasn’t entirely supportive of Sheila’s career. But every woman shown in the documentary came across as being confident, in control, and genuinely in love with their career and the life that came with it. Why do we find it so difficult to talk about mature women and sexuality?
Socially, we’re obsessed with sexualizing women as early as possible – sometimes during their teens. A quick and dirty rundown of the day’s showbiz news demonstrates that we spend our lives looking at 20-something women in bikinis, and labelling them as follows – ‘not sexy’, ‘adequately sexy’ and ‘too sexy’. As viewers, and voyeurs, we’re in a position to call the shots and set the sexual standards. Could it be that we’re collectively terrified of women who are old and mature enough to be sexual on their own terms? An unnamed client on the show last night said that he loved seeing older women because of their ‘confidence’ – when you’ve raised families, been through relationships and had real-life experiences, you have enough perspective to know how to make sure both you and your partner have a brilliant time in the bedroom. Once you’ve lived for a few decades, you’re pretty damn certain of your own sexual power. No more squishing your tits into uncomfortable balconette bras and offering them up for inspection as if they were a basket of mini muffins and you’re sleeping with Paul Hollywood from Bake Off.
Some of the services the women offer aren’t necessarily mainstream ones. When Sheila, or Granny Waissel, mentioned going in the bath for watersports, I thought, ‘Oh, bless her! That’s not watersports, she’s got confused with that bit in Alan Partridge. Then she mentioned the ‘golden flow’ and I realised you cannot be condescending to an 84 year old, even in your head. Beverley did something with wee, frozen used condoms and scissors that sounded administratively problematic, let alone erotically troubling. But ultimately, if everyone’s safe happy and consenting, surely there’s no problem? Keeping a paying stranger’s spunk in the top drawer of your freezer and doing so willingly has to be a lot less creepy than getting paid to point your camera lens up the skirt of an 18-year-old lady celeb exiting a taxi.
I don’t know how I’d feel if my own granny sat me down and told me she was on the game, but I found Beverley, Sophie and Sheila hugely inspiring. These women made me believe that sex can only get better as I get older and, if I want to, I will become happier, more powerful and much more confident in my body. My Granny The Escort demonstrated that when women challenge what society expects of them, nothing can hold them back. However, our online reaction to the programme shows that when it comes to encouraging the true celebration of independent female sexuality, we all have a long way to go.
Follow Daisy on @NotRollerGirl
At work? With your gran?
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