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What Girl Talk with Your Grandma Can Teach You About Healthy Relationships

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Looking to spice up holiday dinner conversation with more than just supermarket seasonings? Turns out, some of the best role models for sex are your grandparents (or anyone who’s a generation or two older than you), says Joan Price, a sex expert and author of Naked At Our Age: Talking Out Loud About Senior Sex.

“Every generation thinks they’re the first to have sex, when that’s obviously not true! But realizing that sex continues throughout your life span, and in a lot of cases, can get even better with age, can help you enjoy what you’ve got now,” she says.

It sounds uncomfortable, but may be worth the revelations. Here, three more reasons why talking through sex—or, heck, bringing Grandma along to see 50 Shades of Grey—can be great for both of you. (As for the less lovable family members, find out How to Deal With Annoying Relatives During the Holidays.) 

It Gives You Insight Into What Makes Your Family Tick
We’re not saying you should swap details about your favorite positions, but ease into a candid convo by asking what sex ed was like back in her day, or her thoughts on an article making the rounds among your girlfriends. You may find that your grandma fiercely advocates holding out for passion, or that your mom wishes she’d spent time dating before she and your dad settled down. Whatever the intel, hearing their own insights into their relationships can give you a new lens to view your own, Prices says.

It Lets You See That Intimacy Takes All Forms
Maybe your grandma and grandpa still give each other a kiss every morning, maybe your mom still heads to bed at the same time as your dad—seeing the way older generations adapt to their changing bodies and lifestyles is a powerful reminder that sex and pleasure aren’t only for young people, reminds Price. “The older you get, the more confident you become in what works for you and what you need to find and keep pleasure,” she says. Knowing your grandparents keep passion a priority—in whatever form that takes for them—is a powerful reminder to do the same in your own life. (Just in case the reminder of how lucky you and your sweetie are takes over, learn How to Have Sex At Your Parents' House.) 

It’s a Reminder That Sex Gets Better with Age
You ask your grandma what the best part of her recent cruise was, and she and your grandpa exchange a look and blush. Resist the urge to cringe, and instead, see this as a reminder that fun, sensual, totally unforgettable sex is possible no matter what decade you were born. “Sex does change, but it can be even more creative and intense as you get older because you know who you are,” explains Price.

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