Years ago, someone wrote a book called Sex is not Compulsory. She wouldn't be writing that now, but how we cheered at the time, and, for some of us, the menopause has been something of a salvation. Once it arrived, my friend Olga lost the annoying desire to go to bed with unsuitable men. She had always been drawn to them like iron filings to a magnet, and what a mess it made of her life. And that was without a magic pill or injection. So give us a break, scientists, go and work on something else. Leave the monkey's brains alone. It isn't worth it.Young things may read this and think "Oh No! You mean you go off sex when you get older? Really? That's terrible!" Wait 'til you get to my age. You couldn't care less. I read articles about old couples banging away like mad and think Yuk! There's a good reason why we go off sex in old age. It's not biologically necessary. Shriveled old men don't attract me, and I'm sure that I don't attract virile young ones, unless they're really desperate. There's nothing more pathetic than lusty old ladies, hoiking up their support stockings and chasing boys. I used to know one who did. She was so embarrassing. And unusual, it seems, as Viagra divorces make the headlines (they're the ones where old men rediscover sex thanks to pharmaceuticals, just as their wives had got used to happily doing without).
It was amusing when Germaine Greer went all celibate in middle age, after flaunting her fanny in Oz magazine back in the '60s. I had a copy of that magazine, and Schoolkids' Oz, and quite a few other underground magazines and comics, including Friends. Schoolkids' Oz is selling for over £50 on eBay now, but mine was stolen one weekend by a weird man I met through a Time Out ad. Anyhow, I digress.
Once, when I was feeling particularly grumpy, I told a group of teenagers that sex was like a Chinese meal - briefly satisfying, then you were peckish again. One girl looked alarmed. "Is it really?" she asked. I regretted my cynicism immediately. The poor thing was probably hoping to be swept off her feet and into bed by some lovely man who'd keep her in a state of orgasmic ecstasy for days (a bit like the sort of long drawn out sex that Anaïs Nin wrote about), and here was I, making it sound like a quick snack. Well, sometimes it was a quick snack, and not worth bothering about. More rarely, it could be very much worth bothering about. I'm just not bothered any more, which leaves me free to pursue other interests, including musing on the past.