A Special

About the under-explored, under-discussed, under-celebrated sex experiences of experienced women.
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There she was: Voluminous beachy-blonde waves, just the right amount of cleavage, legs for days. Eighty-one and on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition, wading through waters typically tread by her half-century-younger peers. Or maybe it was And Just Like That’s Bitsy von Muffling, pushing 70, unabashedly sending the notoriously prudish Carrie Bradshaw, herself pushing 60, a dick pic in the show’s second season. No doubt the senior citizen contestants and their 72-year-old silver fox on the much-buzzed-about (but disappointingly…disappointing) ‘Golden Bachelor’ had something to do with it too.

It’s undeniable. In the past year, through some alchemical combination of hollow stunts turned meaningful exposure and our collective yearning to hear from people with, you know, actual experience, our culture has arrived at a rediscovery of sorts: Women over 60 are worth our time, our interest, our dollars—and our desire. Because they’re still sexual beings, capable of wanting and having and deserving great sex, however they choose to define sex.

Of course, absolutely none of this is news to older women themselves, many of whom have been seeking out and advocating for

their own pleasure for decades, all while fighting the male-gaze-ification of a society obsessed with youth culture (there’s a reason Botox is a multibillion-dollar business, invented and run by men). It’s a truth in our country that as women get older, sexism and ageism coalesce to form a bitter pill they’re forced to swallow. Confined to increasingly narrow definitions of beauty and acceptable behavior, women past 60 eventually get so cramped, there’s barely any room for them at all.

But what if there were? What if this sudden public interest in older women could mean something more? What if it could go beyond a passing acceptance and become a long-term celebration? Of the fact that, when it comes to physical intimacy at least, women over 60 can and have been having adventurous, meaningful, satisfying sex. It’s just that, too unnerved by the idea of menopause (another phenomenon now getting a rightful cultural rebranding), no one has bothered to really ask them about it. Or help them out along the way.

Cosmopolitan is a brand for young women. But it’s also a brand that recognizes young women stand to win most if all women are allowed and encouraged to thrive. So if you’re a reader over 60,

this issue is for you. If you’re a reader under 60, this issue is also for you. It’s our first-ever fully digital one, starting with a deliciously candid conversation with Lisa Rinna. We also partnered with the Kinsey Institute on an exclusive survey of sex after age 60, go deep on the pharmaceutical industry’s hunt for the “little pink pill,” and suggest all the ways that women in their 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s can find and experience sexual pleasure. And yes, there are also sex toys vetted by an “ageless sexuality” expert. Because, honestly, why shouldn’t there be?