Elevate Difference

Getting Naked Again: Dating, Romance, Sex, and Love When You've Been Divorced, Widowed, Dumped, or Distracted

This self-help book did not exactly have me at hello. In fact, I found it hard to keep reading after getting to an anecdote on the very first page where a recently divorced fifty-six-year-old woman meekly accepts a calf feel from a male colleague, and later winds up outside of his hotel room in her cotton PJ’s nervously wondering if she should knock on his door for more. Now, if a colleague started feeling up your leg at a conference, wouldn’t you be offended in the same way the German Chancellor was when she shrugged off former President Bush’s impromptu back massage? Professional boundary issues anyone? Have you heard of sexual harassment? I waited for the author—a female clinical psychologist, no less—to use this as an example of what you Not To Do. But no such luck.

If the tone of Getting Naked Again sounds dated, sort of like an old article in Cosmo, it should be made clear that there is a heavy focus in the book on the middle aged woman. To me, however, today’s middle aged woman still seems way hipper and worldlier than the ones the author interviews. Here’s another sampling that kind of had me thinking OMG: “Janice, married for thirty years and divorced for two, spoke for many of us when she explained, ‘How do I know if I’m attractive to men? Or even what man I might like? You know, I was faithful. I was loyal. I hated my husband’s guts, but I was not looking around.’” The author responds: “Now suddenly you’re looking. The first people in your line of sight will be your friends’ husbands. And they will be looking at you.” Yikes!

There is some useful advice offered about reentry into the dating scene for those with bruised egos or broken hearts. And maybe after reading “Sexual Mentors, Palate Cleansers and Other Transitional Relationships” or “Interpersonal Techniques” you will get the guts up to get out there and date again. But more than likely, you’ll be even more scared sh*tless!

Written by: Cheryl Reeves, August 3rd 2009

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