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What Single Women Over 40 Really Want in Bed (Batteries included)

Do you know what women want in bed?

If you are a single woman on the Sweet Side of 40, chances are you do. Chances are you are intimately familiar with your body- and not just the effects of gravity. By the time a Big “0” birthday comes around, a woman knows her own O’s.

We know what we need, how we like to feel and when to move a little to the left. We know if we are too tired and when we need assistance from personal electronics. Our nightstands are as well-stocked as a hotel min-bar, minus the tiny bottles. (Or not.)

We mostly keep the secrets of what we want between the sheets within the sisterhood. Women discuss performance issues and bodily measurements—his, not hers—at greater length and in greater detail than the worst locker room talk imaginable.

The difference between the girl-talk and guy-talk is, we aren’t bragging. Well, maybe sometimes, for “educational” purposes. Usually, we are intrigued and eager to hear who did what to whom and where it ended up. We warn each other of Carlos Danger-types. We applaud every “oh my god.”

Just as we share stories about the one-offs, we talk about what’s “normal” to want in bed, what we all like, or understand why someone would. Our personal preferences for late night action are generally harmless and usually fun. Still, it takes balls and “motivation” to share our undercover intel when it really matters.

Especially out loud.

So, please understand and forgive me for wantonly divulging womanly desires to the world, sweet ones, but I’m writing this on a Sunday morning, after a late Saturday night, and I am in the mood to put out, I mean, put it out there.

What I really wanted in bed last night:

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[li]To find my 4G spot. Do you sleep with Siri too? Last night and every night, my iPhone is under my pillow. The Pew Research Center says phones are near or under the pillows of 65% of American adults. We fall asleep to iTunes and wake up to updates. Our phones make 90% of us feel safer and 20% feel sexier. (The 20% who admitted sexting in a Harris Interactive survey.) [/li]
[li]A spectacle. Or two. We check our phones well into the night, squinting to read little letters on small screens. Somewhere in the 40s, all the straining does is furrow our brows. We, or at least I, keep my glasses right under the pillow, next to the phone. For bedtime companionship, drug-store readers are the way to go: inexpensive, good-enough, mangle-proof magnification. [/li]
[li]A certain battery-operated device. An always-reliable, one-handed source of entertainment in bed. With it, satisfaction can be attained within minutes. The best part? “All on” really means all: my remote control turns on the television AND the cable box. Yes, the remote control. What were you thinking? [/li]
[li]Lubricants. Time stands still when we rub ourselves in the right places with the right cream (according to leading dermatologists). Eyes glistening (with a little help from Bausch & Lomb), we soothe ourselves with elixirs and balms, caressing away our cares and sun-damage. [/li]
[li]A blind fold. Eye masks changed my life. Sleep comes easier and faster in complete darkness, even for an insomniac. Better still, eye lubricants and serums stay in place and pillow cases stay cleaner. Masks also block the blowing air from central cooling and heating, thus preventing a good amount of eye-dryness. They need frequent washing so I keep a few masks on hand. [/li]
[li]A pillow fight. Let’s settle one fight right now: however many pillows are on the bed is the right amount, regardless of the bed-floor-bed daily rotation. Pillows are like pairs of black shoes. We need six just for starters: two over-sized, Euro-style, for sitting up. Two very soft head pillows, for sleeping. Two comforter-coordinated cushions for cuddling and for stashing the phone, glasses, remote, lube and blindfold. [/li]

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I keep all of the above actually in bed with me and I don’t think I’m alone (pun intended). Someone recently asked my advice on what to do about the three or four pieces of clean laundry she sleeps with on a semi-regular basis, simply because they don’t make it from the dryer to a drawer. My reply? “Me too.”

And that’s just the bed. What about the night-stand/mini-bar? What fun can be found fumbling around in there after midnight?

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[li]Tickle tickle. For nights when allergies attack, keep some cough drops on hand. [/li]
[li]Sex and drugs. Condoms, of course, and aspirin. Need I say more? [/li]
[li]In case of emergency. Batteries. Yes, that kind of emergency. Avoid first date desperation sex. [/li]
[li]In case of emergency. Fire Extinguisher. Because women on the Sweet Side of 40 are too hot. Just kidding. The real reason is irons- clothing or hair- and blow dryers can cause small fires. [/li]
[li]Hot hot hot. A fan. Because sometimes we are too hot and the cool side of the pillow doesn’t cut it. [/li]
[li]A bottle of bubbly. Water. Emphasis on the bottle. Bubbles or not, a capped-bottle works better than a glass in the dark, especially when you’re wearing an eye mask. [/li]

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Many people, me included, keep a pen and paper by the bed, to record dreams or to get tomorrow’s To Do list out of their heads. A lamp and a book, candles and matches, a flash light, a cork screw, and a 20 year old cassette player, round out the contents of my night stand.

I can explain everything but the cassette player.

Finally, no story about what a Single Woman on the Sweet Side of 40 wants in bed would be complete without mentioning the obvious. So yes, on a Sunday morning, after a late Saturday night, instead of gadgets and glasses, it’s nice to have someone to cozy up with. It’s even nicer when the someone only has two legs.

What else do women want in bed? Leave a comment, email or tweet me @beth_odonnell with your sleepy-time surprises.

  • bloggirl52

    My goodness, you are a prepared one! 🙂 I’m on the sweet side of 40, just not single. I’d need a dresser to hold all that. 🙂 Great post, so enjoyed it. Thank you.

    November 21, 2013 at 6:05 pm
  • Beth

    Thanks for stopping by the sweet thoughts. I was hoping to surprise people with finding the 4G spot 😉

    Some of your readers at might enjoy “How to Live Happily Ever After 40, With or Without Prince Charming.” I’d be delighted to send you a copy to share. Let me know.

    October 31, 2013 at 7:41 pm
  • Irene Brankin

    I did wonder what I was going to read here and I have to say that I did enjoy your humour. It also helps that our issues are out in the open in any way possible – if we can’t laugh, we’d cry!
    irene x

    October 31, 2013 at 6:24 pm
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