No, not every woman needs to go through a ho phase
If only sex ed was as widely embraced as being sexually liberated
Writer’s note: This post was originally published on Medium’s “We Need to Talk” on March 10, 2022.
I’m starting to think I missed the Middle-Aged Woman Newsletter — or maybe there was a meeting I forgot to put on my Google calendar. Somebody somewhere forgot to inform me of the credible reason why middle-aged women have to go through a ho phase. Here’s how I found out.
First of all, according to Encyclopedia Britannica, “middle-age” is between the ages of 40 to 60. I’ve only been in this club for four months, but in my late 30s, I kept hearing about how women in their 40s are supposed to act. One topic I constantly heard about is how sexually liberated this group is supposed to be. Now I’ve heard the scientific times that women (of varying ages) are more aroused — right before ovulation, on the weekends and the second trimester of pregnancy. But the one about why women of a certain age should give it up earlier and often is the stance that makes me scratch my head the most.
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HPV, the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States, can be transmitted from simple genital-to-genital touching and any area that the condom cannot cover (read: testicles).
One particular guy stands out, who was dumbfounded at the idea that I had the audacity to turn him down. Granted, he looked like the type of guy who doesn’t get turned down much. But his response was even worse than saying that. Instead, he said, “We’re in our 30s. We’re not in seventh grade anymore.” (This makes me wonder what girl left him sexually frustrated in middle school, and why I had to catch a stray because of it. But I digress.) He wasn’t alone though. There was a family member who told me, “But you’re in your 30s” when I told her I turned him down. (Yes, there are women who have this weird age-to-sex belief too.)
In turn, I asked a question (to both of them and a few more who think this way) that left everyone in silence: “I’m fully aware that as women get older, getting pregnant gets harder. But do you become immune to STIs and STDs because of birthday candles too?”
Tumbleweed rolled. Crickets chirped. Mice ran. No response.
For women who aren’t interested in being mothers, being particularly careful about who you’re intimate with becomes that much more serious. While some women are focused on having children with the right person — and avoiding being an involuntary “baby mama” — women like me just don’t want to be anybody’s mother. So on top of not wanting kids at all, it’d be my worst nightmare to have a kid with a man I didn’t even like that much for the goofy reason that I’m “in my 30s” or “in my 40s.”