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BlogHer12: Vibes For The Vixen Vieja

The BlogHer12 conference, an undulating mass of estrogen and enthusiasm, is a support stockpile for 4500 women bloggers. It’s the conference of the year, and I’m here to talk about sex.


I’m representing the senior dating point of view on a panel titled Erotica Out In The Open.  Dozens of conference attendees are hugging the door, and more are waiting inside. Ten years ago, these women might have been exchanging tips on raising toddlers or coping with sexual harassment. Today they are talking about their vibrators.

“I keep a bunch of different kinds in my bedside table.”

“For couples, it’s better to have a range of speed settings.”

“I hate that one. It’s WAY too noisy.”

“…And then the battery died” (guffaws).


Sex toys are not new; they’re found in 30,000-year-old cave drawings. What’s new is chattering blithely about them in public. In the dark ages before the Internet, pleasure seekers had to slink furtively into a real store and choose from the items on display — or coax the owner to bring out the really edgy stuff. Now the Web is awash in thousands of gadgets in every conceivable color, size, shape, speed, and price range.

Men and women of all ages use sex toys, but for the young, owning a vibrator may be as necessary as owning a smart phone. Young people are SO device-dependent. The idea of limiting sex to mere human interaction may seem to them as archaic as listening to music on a boombox.

At BlogHer12, a woman who looked to be about 25 volunteered that she preferred machine-aided clitoral stimulation. “It’s faster,” she said cheerfully. I smiled, though secretly I was alarmed that I may have missed a sea change in sex practices – speed as a measure of sexual satisfaction.


It was a kick to be surrounded by women brimming with creativity and eager to learn more about their writing craft. Sharing the stage with three writers who blog almost exclusively about sex, I worried no one would want to hear my old-gal message, but the audience was generous, and responsive in equal measure to me and to my engaging co-panelists, Twanna Hines, Arielle Loren, and Lauren Marie Fleming.

When Erotica Out in the Open was over we were swarmed by women who wanted to know more about what it’s like to talk about sex on line. A sales rep handed me a packet of lube. Someone suggested I join the comedy circuit with a standup routine about dating senior men. And sure enough, there was more talk of gadgets.

I looked for a mature face, someone who might remember that once upon a time there was no such thing as a pink silicone Clitoral Hummer. A tall woman in her 50s approached.  “What do YOU think about vibrators?” I asked boldly.

“I’m addicted,” she grinned. “I used to think I loved shopping for SHOES, but….”

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'BlogHer12: Vibes For The Vixen Vieja' have 26 comments

  1. April 13, 2016 @ 3:06 am Gary

    I would like to know where these conferences are! I would love to attend, I’m sure I’d enjoy it.

  2. September 22, 2012 @ 7:23 am Patricia aka BoomerWiz

    Sienna your participation was a class act. I was happy you stood your ground in that you appeared NOT to be influenced by some of the more shocking sharing (for some of us). Not WHAT was being shared but that IT was being shared.
    The panel was a highlight among panels over the 3days and I am glad that I became aware of you and your site.

  3. September 3, 2012 @ 12:53 pm Sienna

    Thanks, Joan. I wish you had been there, too. Toy heaven…:-)

  4. September 2, 2012 @ 11:55 am Joan Price

    Clever, engaging post–I wish I had attended your panel! Tell us more, more, more. Thanks for posting your comment about glass toys at – much appreciated, always.

    Joan Price
    Author of Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex

  5. August 28, 2012 @ 9:51 am Sienna

    Oh, Chris — Was that you?…the beautiful, smiling blonde I was trying to move toward to talk to? Thanks so much for this kind comment. I’m sorry I missed you at the party. We could have had a great schmooze. Maybe next year??

  6. August 28, 2012 @ 8:47 am Chris Bradshaw

    Siena – I was at your panel on Erotica Out in the Open and loved it. Everyone was so open, and forthcoming about the pleasures and challenges of blogging about sex and dating. The audience definitely enjoyed listening to you and you were so popular that I could not even get to you to say HI when it was over. Hope to hear from you again – and maybe on that comedy tour!

  7. August 26, 2012 @ 12:27 pm Walker aka The Diva of Dating

    Thanks Sienna… I love talking about sex…from a healthy, fun and educational way!

  8. August 23, 2012 @ 12:40 pm Claire

    Loved this! Add me to the growing list of folks who would surely stand in line to see and hear you doing stand-up! Wish I could have been at BlogHer12.

  9. August 23, 2012 @ 6:07 am Sienna

    Irene, that was indeed one of the weirder bits on the Anderson show.

  10. August 23, 2012 @ 5:59 am Sienna

    Arbu1516 — I do indeed remember this song. Msr. Chevalier’s attitudes about the sexual revolution were wry, to say the least. Chevalier was born too soon to have learned about today’s staggeringly broad panoply of available sex toys. That’s probably a good thing for French cinema and, in the long run, for us.

  11. August 23, 2012 @ 5:42 am Sienna

    Thanks for this comment, Walker. I hope my readers will follow the links you’ve provided so they can enjoy your excellent advice about this and other matters pertaining to relationships and sex. I particularly like your thought-provoking comments here:

  12. August 22, 2012 @ 2:03 pm Walker aka The Diva of Dating

    @ Sienna, it sounds like you had a great time. I’m envious.

    @ Irene and Roberta- I think there is a place in any sexual relationship for a sex toy, if the couple is open to it. From my experience, men get pretty excited about the chance to ramp up the playtime. It can serve as a fun addition to foreplay or for women w/ difficulty in orgasm-ing, a toy can help that along. I have a small pink vibrator my lover (he’s 63) and I enjoy using and several that I have just for me–when I want a little thrill and he’s not around!

    I’m 58 and I write about sex toys and am an affiliate for Babeland Toys (a reputable online shop with a great educational/safety component and great ideas!) on both of my blogs: and

  13. August 22, 2012 @ 12:03 pm john

    ladies that need to use a sex toy have not met a real partner!!!

  14. August 22, 2012 @ 10:10 am Arbu1516

    Remember that old song Maurice Chevalier used to sing, I’m So Glad That I’m Not Young Anymore?

  15. August 22, 2012 @ 9:15 am Irene

    I guess I am old fashioned, in that I believe that the biggest turn on is a person who you love, who loves you, who you are interested in and attracted to, and who is interested in you and attracted to you.
    For me, that is what it is all about.

    I have to laugh when I think of people relating to a gadget, rather than a person, in a relationship. It reminds me of the man on Anderson Cooper who had a literal love affair with his car.

  16. August 22, 2012 @ 6:59 am Roberta

    This article is an eye opener for us believing that sex is a sharing experience between two people and not with a plastic toy.

  17. August 21, 2012 @ 2:44 pm Rebalah

    This all sounds like a lot of fun. Unfortunately, I suffer from acute Electrophobia. Alas. BTW, Sienna, I agree with the comments that you should take to the stand-up comedy circuit 🙂

  18. August 20, 2012 @ 12:03 pm Mr Lady

    I absolutely love that you joined us for this panel. You rock entirely!

  19. August 19, 2012 @ 8:06 pm Lauren Marie Fleming, aka Queerie Bradshaw

    It was an honor to serve as a co-panelist with you. You were not only insightful but absolutely hilarious. I too suggest you take to the comedy circuit. I’d definitely love your stand-up act.

  20. August 19, 2012 @ 2:31 pm Molly Campbell

    I wish I had been there! I am sure you were great!

  21. August 19, 2012 @ 12:19 pm JPWriter

    LOVE your blog. Glad someone is out there speaking for a huge percentage of today’s women. What may have started as a whisper will undoubtedly become a roar…with you in the lead

  22. August 19, 2012 @ 10:25 am EConway

    I was at BlogHer12 and I really wanted to go to your panel session but I had a conflict. I heard it was great, though. Congratulations.

  23. August 19, 2012 @ 10:14 am Sienna

    Harriet – I included Cyndi’s photo partly because she will be joining us in the 60-and-over club next year (she was born in 1953), and apparently still wants to have fun. She is still churning out tunes to an appreciative following. According to Wikipedia, she’s one of the top-selling pop artists of all time.

  24. August 19, 2012 @ 9:23 am Harriet

    Is that Cyndi Lauper? I guess girls still wanna have fun, even though I haven’t seen anything about her for ages.

  25. August 19, 2012 @ 8:16 am Pollyanna

    I’ve got a vibrator and I’m older than the ex-shoe shopper. Glad you had a ball at the conference. They must have loved you!

  26. August 19, 2012 @ 8:14 am Tracey

    I sometimes wonder if they can get off their cellphones long enough to have sex.

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