One of my best friends is French, and she is so archetypically chic-French that I always feel like a clumsy, badly-dressed Brit next to her (fortunately, I adore her to bits and do not mind being shown up to be like the scruffy, country-bumpkin relative). She would clean floors in a dress with frilly apron and go squiff-squiff with the detergent bottle. She’s in her forties, and my guess is her glamour will remain with her for life.

Now, there is a book by her countrywoman Mylène Desclaux, with the title, Les Jeunes Femmes de Cinquante Ans (or Why French Women Feel Young At 50).

(Photo of Mylène Desclaux from an interview with Les Boomeusers.)

Desclaux puts sex at the top of her list, and I couldn’t agree more. The desire to be desired and to express that desire never really goes away with age, and I passionately believe that if that fire is strong, it will naturally guide you to feeling .. well, not in the sixth decade, despite the wrinkles, greying hair and creaky knees. But if the fire is waning, how? Desclaux says:

No, it is not about looks only, but an attitude and state of mind approaching the sixth decade (heavens, that’s me!).

  1. Laziness is dangerous. Yup, you are on a slippery slope once you lose hold of your sexuality.
  2. She suggests avoiding positions that are hard on the knees and avoiding positions that requires us not to be viewed from below (I agree wholeheartedly with the first point but not the second – though both gives older couples the impetus to try interesting positions).
  3. Peacock feather, violin bow and make-up brush…..oooooh! As a Brit, those things never crossed my mind!!!!!! Merci beaucoup, Mylène.
  4. Sexy lingerie. A must for a Frenchwoman worth her salt. Sigh re my Marks & Sparks undies.
  5. OK, I don’t agree with this……but the author thinks MENTAL adultery is acceptable to spice up one’s love life. I think not. Far better to send naughty sexts to the one we are sleeping and waking up with. x

And here’s my main tip for staying young: be fit and healthy, and love the life you have. Have a good start to the new year by working towards that ❤

Photo above: the author of this article kayaking.