A midlifer's guide to sex education

Annabel Rivkin and Emilie McMeekan
Schools are finally catching up and modernising lessons - Copyright Dazeley

So they are modernising sex education. Finally. Making it more inclusive. FINALLY. But here are some lessons and truths that we really think should be included in the curriculum. Since sex is so confusing. For teenagers. And everyone else. Oof. Here are some bits and pieces that may help ‘frame’ the action. Because everything in life is about sex. But sex is always about something else... See? Confusing.

The name’s Bond

The inconvenient truth is that casual sex is dangerous. Thanks to the bonding hormone. Even if you have by-mistake sex with a horror, you may still feel bereft if they don’t call/chase/try to do it again. This is because women are cursed with oxytocin (said hormone) that is activated by sex (and childbirth) and convinces our primal selves that we have found a partner. Our considerable (oh, do stop going on) experience tells us that it passes in exactly three days. So HOLD YOUR NERVE.


If you want to do it again, keep in touch. Just a text. ‘Loved that’ or the equivalent. Firstly, because it’s polite. Secondly, because it’s kind. Thirdly, because it’s sexy. And lastly because you’re not a bad person. Course you’re not. We know that.

A bit of texting aftercare might be the way to go... Credit: PhotoAlto/Frederic Cirou/ Getty Images/PhotoAlto

The quickening

We can go for months with no horn. Who? Me? Like that? Here? Now? How dare you? But then the unexpected strikes and suddenly we are terrifyingly sexy. Oftentimes shy, we are suddenly filled to the brim with… well… desire. But not a passive, taking-it-lying-down kind of desire. Something more active, predatory, confident and focused. So, so focused. It doesn’t need Agent Provocateur, candles and moody music. On days like these, it is child’s play. We don’t grope or simper or even proposition. We don’t need to. They will know.

Oh sheet

Dirty sex can be brilliant. Dirty sheets, not so much. One woman we know will only have sex the night before sheet- changing day. It might be one of us. It isn’t. But it might be.

The memory bonus ball

Sex is an excellent sharpener for the stubby pencil that is your memory. So, yes, you might suddenly remember that you have forgotten to text the builder back about the window fastenings (EFFICIENT). But you also run the risk of remembering that thing you said at that party in 1994 (UNHELPFUL). Or that person you got naked with in a most improbable and out-of-character way last year/decade/century. This may throw you off your stride. Just pretend you’re changing things up...

Is it on?

One of the most liberating lessons is that you don’t have to take off all your clothes. Or, really, any of your clothes.

Too full to…

Nothing kills passion like excess. In fact, as soon as you’ve hit a certain food or alcohol threshold, any attempt will be un-sex-essful. Balancing the right levels of booze, bravery and bourguignon requires an algorithm as sophisticated as the one that the lady physicist invented to capture the first image of a black hole. Failure is always an option. So that’s comforting.

Passion and over indulgence aren't always the best bedfellows Credit: Vincent Besnault/ Getty Images

Into the Wild

The moment you have sex ANYWHERE but a bed, you feel like a porn star. In quite a good way actually. Puts some swagger in your sashay. I did that. Me. Ha. Try not to get arrested because that’s a massive bore. Sorry. Waste of police time.

The pertinent question

Sex is great. But is Line Of Duty better?

The new series of the Midult podcast,  I’m Absolutely Fine!, is available on iTunesthemidult.com