Sylvie* will be 70 years old. Single for years, she had more or less given up on her sexuality, until she decided to learn English. Not just any way: by reading novels. Not just any romances: romances. Interview with a single, menopausal woman, suddenly “fortuitously” revived.

It’s not the first, by the way. Remember. It was while reading the story of a young thirty-year-old whose libido was rediscovered through some naughty readings last month that Sylvie dared to write to us.

In an anonymous café in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, we can see the lady being a little stressed. “I can’t believe I met you, I feel like I have nothing to say! », she confirms, laughing nervously.

However, it begins with a reflection that says a lot: “After the age of 50, women alone, society takes for granted that they no longer have sexuality. As if the body stopped functioning. But it’s not because menopause arrives that we necessarily stop being a woman! »

This is all the same what she had internalized, after an uneventful life, although too often “vanilla”. This is precisely how she describes her first two partners, met in high school, then at university. “Missionary position,” she sums up laconically. One two three. Three, two, one. »

She doesn’t blame them for anything, mind you. Because she knows, she wasn’t more proactive at the time: “I wasn’t expecting that either. I realized I wasn’t asking for anything either! »

Then at 30, Sylvie met the “most significant man” of her life. He is the father of her child and their story lasts 10 years. “With him, I explored, I woke up my body! », she suddenly lights up. Together, they try different positions, different places, some toys. It is also with him that she experiences her “first thrills”. “I’m on top of him, sitting, wow, what’s that feeling? »

Their early years are “very sticky” and “truly magical.” She remembers entire weekends in bed, laughing, reading and cuddling. “But why is there always a “but”? “, she exclaims here. Because indeed, there is one: “At some point, we got lost. We weren’t able to talk to each other enough to hang on…”, she says, half-nostalgic, half-resigned.

At the turn of forty, Sylvie finds herself single. At first, she no longer wants to “know anything”, then decides to register “on the internet”. There she meets a first man and immediately falls back into the “vanilla” pattern. Why, exactly? ” I don’t know. I sold myself out for not much,” she realizes in hindsight. The story lasts for a while, then she meets a second man online, around age 50. She is no longer looking for love. “At 50, forget it,” she says. Above all, it aims for a certain complicity, “a life companion”, in fact. Except that it’s not enough, she realizes too late, when she realizes that the guy in question doesn’t attract her. End of the story.

From ?

This is not entirely true. Quite the opposite, in fact, and strangely despite herself. Since then, Sylvie has retired, moved, and finally feels “in the right place”. As a bonus, she started traveling. Hence the observation: “I have to learn English! » To do this, our interlocutor turns to something accessible, her favorite literature: Harlequin-type novels, in English this time. “Novels that I’ve been ashamed of all my life,” she slips, “because they’re corny…”

It was five years ago. Surprise. Because there you have it, and against all expectations, these novels are no longer exactly what they were. Sylvie is not a priori looking for eroticism, we understand. It’s really the story, the encounters, the human frescoes in varied worlds (a large family here, a sports team there, “everything except blue flowers!”) that attract him. But in recent years, “gradually, it’s more descriptive”, she notes, amused, citing quite explicit titles in passing (Dirty Like Me, by Jaine Diamond, Puck Yes, by Lauren Blakely, or even Doctor Mystake by J. Saman). And she knows what she’s talking about: she reads several a week (thanks Kindle!).

“Before, the characters would get closer, and then the next page it would be the next morning. » Not anymore, we understand. “It’s literature that has reached this point! It’s really special! »

Not only are the descriptions more graphic, but they are also in keeping with the times. “We’re talking about butt slapping, polyamory, it’s new! » And, obviously, Sylvie doesn’t hate it. “The descriptions, the rise of intimacy between two people,” she modestly summarizes, “I feel it! »

And that’s where for the very first time in her life, very recently, Sylvie started to caress herself. “It was a revelation! I have never masturbated! »

Sometimes, this is what she does every day. Then she can go almost a month without touching herself, or even skip certain reading passages. “If it doesn’t tempt me! » Other times, on the other hand, she gives it her all. And she doesn’t regret it. This is precisely why she wanted to tell her story.

“What is magical about this late awakening to “assisted masturbation”, she concludes, is that I was able to reconnect with my body without even having looked for it, in complete discretion and without the mountain of insecurities that would certainly have parasitized any attempt to bare my 60+ year old body for the first time to a lover. Of course, nothing replaces the real exchange of pleasure with a partner, she agrees. But it’s still a pretty good second choice! And I wish that to all single women…” It’s said!