There's a scene in Woody Allen's Manhattan in which a woman remarks, "I finally learned how to have an orgasm. And then my doctor told me it was the wrong kind."
Woody replies, "I never had the wrong kind."
This was, of course, a joke about the ridiculous clitoral orgasm vs. vaginal orgasm debate of the '70s. I know just what Allen meant, because I never had the wrong kind, either. But you know what? They've gotten even better lately.
I used to ascribe the idea that women reached their sexual peak in their 30s and 40s to folklore. I figured it was a rumor started by young guys to get older women to sleep with them, or that it was supposed to be a form of compensation for the less attractive aspects of aging. But as it turns out, there's something to it after all, at least for me. Don't get me wrong, I had perfectly good orgasms in my 20s. But I'm actually out of my 20s, and while I'm not willing to say exactly how far out I am, I'm definitely having orgasms faster, more easily, and in more rapid succession than I used to.
Naturally I'm pleased by this, but I wondered if I was unusual. So I asked a couple of thirty- and fortysomething female friends about it, and they mostly agreed that yes, there had been an increase in their desire for sex and in the intensity of their orgasms. We speculated about whether it was a hormonal thing, or simply the result of increased understanding of our sexuality. Because, all jokes about the "wrong" kind aside, it often does take women some time to learn how to have an orgasm—especially an orgasm from intercourse, the "vaginal orgasm" once so revered by Freudian analysts. Some women simply cannot orgasm from penetration, and I used to be one of them. But now, if it's done properly, I can. That's worth a little Botox.
It's partly based on confidence and experience. I certainly know a lot more about what I like in bed than I used to, and I'm much more upfront about asking for it than I was in my under-30 years. (I'm also better at choosing lovers who suit my tastes, but that's a whole separate issue.) But there's also something physical happening here. I know I can go from 0 to 60 much more quickly than I used to, and my desire has an edge to it that I don't think it had when I was younger.
I mentioned this to my partner Monk, and he buffed his fingernails on his shirtfront and sighed in a parody of self-satisfaction. I snorted at him. "Yes, you are good in bed, but I have to tell you, darling, it happens when you're not in the room, too." He laughed and said, "However it's happening, I'm just glad to be along for the ride."
I like that attitude. I'm glad to be along for it myself.