There are increasingly larger groups of women each year who re-enter the dating scene. With divorce rates at a known 60% (and incoming statistics pushing this level higher), the reality of having new sexual partners is becoming a way of life. We live, and learn. And, hopefully, we grow in the process. Sexuality is one form of gained self-knowledge.

Having come from years of marriage, many women are eager to explore the new world of partnerships. But for many, it’s not only scary, but confusing. A lot has changed over the years. Even ten years can alter an entire social template. While free to discover one’s desires, on all levels, a newly single woman also face many challenges. Sexual expression is one.

In my research, 76% of the women who found themselves in the arms of a younger man, came from long-standing marriages. And, of this group, only 37% of those women had any significant level of sexual experience beyond that of their husband. The bulk of the women I studied had led traditional lives, within a fairly conservative time period. Sexual experimentation wasn’t endorsed. Multiple partners before marriage wasn’t the norm. These women entered marriage with much of their sexuality unexplored. It was, for this group, an unexpected awakening of sexual expression— discovered with a younger man.

Older doesn’t always mean greater awareness in the bedroom. And age doesn’t automatically indicate a greater number of partners. To assume that all older women are comfortable in the bedroom is a stereotype. From my studies, I did gain one important thread that wove throughout these women’s stories. They were willing; willing to grow, willing to learn, and willing to live fully expressed in the new life they found. With that attitude, the joy of self discovery was evident.