Saturday, April 7, 2012

Contest Winners: What does "Sexy 60" look like? (updated 4/23)

There were quite a few responses to this contest and it looks like lots of people were interested, but very few entries with photos. Apparently, everyone had the same challenges of non-availability. So pardon me for a moment while I do a little author pitch here:  

Professional photographers, take some honest-to-God sexy photos of older couples over 40. Catch some serious sexual interactions or at least imply a real sexual relationship. Make sure there is chemistry. Most stock sites show younger couples in positions that bring on the need for a cold shower. I was sorely disappointed with the ones between beautiful older couples being restricted to dancing on a beach or a gentle hug from behind. I'm including a great example here, so study it. I'm haunting stock sites for pictures that at least "imply" sexuality between the older couples as well as love. Show me your creative stuff. My readers and I are tired of looking so hard.

Thanks for waiting. Please share this with any professional photographers you know that sell their work on sites


I've picked two winners in the "Sexy 60" contest which I ran on both on my blog and on romancing-the-book.com. To protect their identities, I won't be including their names or emails here, but I am attaching the link to the number 1 photo I chose. 

It is spectacular and usually titled "love" everywhere I found it with a Google search. Interestingly, I could not find it on any stock site. It seems to be an organic photo of  a real couple as opposed to a professional photo featuring models, though I confess I have no idea which internet source was the "original" post of it. It's on tons of international "wallpaper" sites for free downloading. It's also in blogs, articles, and web albums. Whoever took the photo--and whoever you are in the photo--thank you for this shot. Seriously, you have put something truly wonderful and needed out into the web ether for discovery.

In my rant about the difficulty of this search, I told one of the winners that a woman who gets kissed like he is kissing her in this photo would never bemoan her neck wrinkles again. What does aging matter when there is kissing evidence that the quality of your life can be like this? Look at her lipstick and painted fingernails. This is a woman who loves herself enough to want to be beautiful. And her smile of delight, isn't that something every female craves? I'd love to see where his hands are in the picture. My guess is she's facing him sitting in his lap based on how her hair is falling behind her. Writers, like artists, think about these things. (Now you have gotten another  peek into my head about my love scenes.) 

Why am I dissecting this so much? Because I believe that everyone over 35 needs to see a thousand more photos like this that show love and sex are possible at future phases of our lives. Aging women need evidence--role models if you will. Hell, maybe even men do. I have a ton of older male readers, several of whom were the first to write and praise me for telling the "truth" about sex between older characters.

Anyway--fabulous photo--just fabulous. I show it here because it's on international sites everywhere and I figure my homage to it is just as valuable. I want to share it with everyone who hits my blog.

Okay. Back to business. Sadly, the winning photo, no matter how wonderful, didn't help my secondary goal of trying to find a legal, for sale to use in art, photo for the cover of Dating A Silver Fox (Book Five of the Never Too Late series). I was slightly bummed for a day or two, but my cover artist talked me down.

The other winning picture, which is in ways even more sexy and sexual than this one, was available on a stock photo site AND my cover artist was able to purchase it.

 In fact, in ways it absolutely reflects the character's interactions with each other. The kicker is that it wasn't the real link she meant to send, but rather something she was perusing and that got slapped onto the entry she sent. The two links were pasted together with this one first. However, it was the first one I opened and the sexuality hit me immediately. The guy is gray-haired and very alpha male. We decided that was a happy accident of the universe. Since I trust the universe, she wins for being the conduit. Since I trust my cover artist, my luck is holding and I have a sexy photo for my cover.

Thanks for participating in the contest and for helping me. I'm thinking about running this contest once a year just to see if the situation improves over time. Maybe a baby boomer photographer will take sexy baby boomer photos. Or some really enlightened Millennial photographer.

As I approach my 54th birthday next month, I remain an aging optimist.



***** !!! Thanks for participating. CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED !!! **************

I'm trying to discover what sexy and 60 looks like. I went searching for a stock photo of a sexy kiss or sexy pose between a couple that age. I sent a selection of photos I found to several groups of women mostly over 60 asking them to pick a favorite and give me feedback. To say my suggestions are bombing completely is putting it mildly. Their comments made me spit popcorn on my laptop.

Fortunately, I'm not easily discouraged when I really want the answer to something badly. Finding a pictorial representation of sexy and 60 is rapidly becoming a grail quest for me. It makes me want to get out my camera and put an ad in the paper. If I was writing non-fiction, I would.
 
When you start looking, it doesn't take much to figure out that photos with sexy men over 60 are plentiful. You see them in romantic clutches on the big screen all the time, but usually with younger women, often women young enough to be daughters or even granddaughters. It might work in an isolated situation, but it is not "normal". No one is fooled by that large age gap into thinking of it as genuinely sexy, nor does anyone over 40 believe such a disparate relationship will genuinely last or be meaningful. Most look at a 60 yr and 25 yr old together and snicker, unless you are a 60 year male and feeling envious.

Movies like "Something's Gotta Give" and "It's Complicated", now those relationships and scenarios we buy.

When I think of a woman who is over 60 and sexy, Helen Mirren always comes up on my radar. I couldn't find any with her kissing men though. I did discover in my research that Helen Mirren's real name is Ilynea Lydia Mironoff. My 67 year old heroine's name is Lydia McCarthy. I'm taking that as a "sign".

For those of you who have read the whole first series, you'll remember Lauren's mother Lydia and that she has a long way to go to get to sexy, and much farther to get to Helen's level.

Fortunately, my research has given me hope that it's going to be possible. I still read in memoirs, journals, and biographies that all it takes is the right man. Luckily for my Lydia, I believe that too.

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To enter the contest: Email me a link to a site or photo that shows me what "sexy 60" in a romantic clutch looks like to you. I am specifically looking for kissing photos. If you find one at your favorite stock photo site, that's ideal. I did not have much luck finding ones that seemed appealing.

email@donnamcdonaldauthor.com

Winning entry will receive free copy of the ebook when published and/or an autographed copy of the print version. You will also receive acknowledgement for educating me in Lydia's book (still looking at early summer for a release).

Deadline to enter: February 15

Other interesting info I found in my Sexy 60 searches.

(The article said Jane Juska went 30 years without sex before launching into it again. In my own research about sex and aging, I find this to be a common experience. She also published her experiences in a memoir book called A Round-Heeled Woman, My Late Life Adventures in Sex and Romance which is for sale at Amazon. I just bought it myself.)
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