Sex and the Old Detective


Ms. Mulholland, in the third book in the Alex and Ms. Mulholland series, is involved with a man 20 years younger than her 67 years. She surprised me too, but then I’m just the writer.

The problem is he’s just that hot! It certainly complicates matters. I mean, besides being way too young for her, he’s a murder suspect! Sex in old age is a tricky sort of thing to write about. If your character is an old detective it can be even more complicated.

When Laurie Lewis in Kingston, Canada turned 80 she announced, “Here, truly, lies the Age of Invisibility when we disappear—certainly as physical, sexual beings.” I found Laurie Lewis because Roni Bennett in Time Goes By quotes her at length.  

What she also discovered was that while she might not be a sexual magnet at 80, she had a new appreciation, in fact, a love for others as physical beings. She liked looking at the bodies of people—young and old, men and women, boys and girls—people riding bicycles, shooting baskets, walking, bending down to smell the flowers, dancing, touching each other. She spent two or three days watching a young man rebuilding the steps on her back deck.

“Is what she’s talking about some memory of sexual desire?” she asks. Or is it what it seems to her—“the pure adoration of the beauty of physical being.” Enhanced now in old age, because she is not being pressed to act out that love.

Ms. Mulholland has thirteen years to go before she reaches age 80, but her sex life is clearly not over! In some ways, it may have just begun.

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