Viewport width =
May 8, 2016 | by  | in Books |
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

Scary Old Sex

★★★★

Author: Arlene Heyman

Publisher: Bloomsbury

 

Arlene Heyman’s journey into literary recognition has been a little unusual. At 74 years of age, Scary Old Sex—a collection of short stories, is her first publication. Heyman is a practicing psychiatrist in New York City, and has spent the last 50 years writing in her spare time and has had stories published in literary journals to much acclaim. But, it’s not until this year that her talent is seeing the full light of day.

The title serves as a double entendre, addressing both the stories about old people having sex, and the nature of sex as something to fear and to not talk about. In the opening story, “The Loves of Her Life”, a 65 year old woman and her 70 year old husband navigate the intricacies of sex in later life—Viagra, unattractive bodies, lubricant, and the memory of a first husband. “In Love With Murray” details the affair between a young art student and a famous, married painter. “Dancing” tells the story of a man with leukemia, his wife, and their teenage son, set against the backdrop of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks. Coupling (haha) her psychiatrist’s eye with plenty of warmth, Heyman boldly writes of pleasure, love, and loss.

I’ll be honest: reading about old people having sex was a strange, rather confronting experience. It turns out that wrinkly bodies are somewhat missing from my reading habits, although this wasn’t necessarily a conscious choice. It’s just never occurred to me to be curious about the practical facets of life at the other end. Heyman’s stories have certainly updated that outlook, and I’m glad that I decided to pick up this bold and enlightening collection.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

About the Author ()

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent posts

  1. “It doesn’t have to be boring”: Chlöe Swarbrick vs. status quo
  2. Work
  3. Editorial—Issue 22, 2016
  4. I, Daniel Blake and the Welfare State
  5. Young Voters: Waking the Sleeping Giants
  6. The Sky Is Falling
  7. Tell us about Talis
  8. Vic group launch their Reclaim-munist Manifesto
  9. Bye Bye Little Karori (in two years time)
  10. Students seize opportunity to rant at Grant
i-daniel-blake

Editor's Pick

I, Daniel Blake and the Welfare State

: Recently at the NZIFF I was fortunate enough to see Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake, this year’s winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes. By the end of the film nearly everybody seemed to be in mourning and most of the people seated around me were sniffling and wiping their eyes. I,