Yesterday, in a groundbreaking report on CNN’s American Morning, senior medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta delivered some startling news: women like sex. They like love. And — brace yourself — they want intimacy.
In his report, “Sex and love starting at 30” — part of CNN’s series on life in the 30s, 40s and 50s — the good doctor found a knowledgeable psychologist who helped him greatly in rehashing a number of surprising truths about adult women.
Anchor Soledad O’Brien got viewers warmed up with some self-evident generalities. “Busy lives leave little time for fun,” she said in one teaser; “And did you know that as we get older many find their sex lives just aren’t what they used to be,” she said in another. Note the deft switch from “we” (getting older) to “they” (lousy sex lives) in the middle of the same sentence.
After O’Brien declared “All right, let’s talk about sex” to the tune of the 1991 Salt ‘N Pepa classic, Dr. Gupta took charge, relying heavily on the practiced observations of one Linda Klaitz.
“Popular TV shows like Sex & The City suggest women in their 30s are open to talking about sex,” Gupta said. “But Dr. Linda Klaitz says a lot of women in their 30s are also interested in falling in love and settling down. ” Cue Klaitz: “In their 30s, I think there’s a huge focus on procreation and finding a partner and having children.” (People having kids in their 30s? Who knew?)
Yet in the next thought, Gupta/Klaitz reverse themselves: “But she says many women in their 30s are juggling too much. Many couples find they’re exhausted and have trouble fitting in intimacy.” Explained 34-year-old Vicki Smith, “Right now, I’m in the process of creating my career. So sometimes sex takes the back burner.” (Draining jobs leave little energy for hot sex? Who knew?)
Next, Gupta moved up the age scale.
“But some fortysomething women are beginning to experience menopause and many find their desire for sex declines,” Gupta informed us. (Menopause happens to women in their 40s? Who knew?)
And the 50s, it turns out, bring women not only a possible resurgence in sexual desire, but — with the kids all grown up — more free time! “A lot of women in their 50s say they feel more confident and have more freedom from family and careers,” Gupta said. “Some women,” he concluded, “say the best is yet to come.” (Getting rid of the kids is liberating? Who knew?)
We — and undoubtedly American Morning viewers everywhere — are looking forward to Sanjay’s next piece of breaking news:
“Sex and love starting at 60.”
Edward B. Colby was a writer at CJR Daily.