STILL GOT IT

The Plight of the Over 50 Porn Star: Why Age Is Just a Number

Adult actresses are viewed as the height of sexiness, so what’s it like to be an aging woman in an industry that fetishizes teens and coeds?

05.09.15 10:13 AM ET

In our youth-obsessed culture, it’s difficult to think of an older woman as sexy. Just look at all of the ridiculous criticism Madonna’s been subjected to for so much as smooching a man who’s less than half her age—and the lothario Drake, no less. Madonna’s refusal to “act her age” baffles our society and challenges social norms. As a woman over 50, she’s expected to dress modestly, date within her age range, and pretend to be OK with these lame restrictions. But she isn’t. Like many other women over the age of 50, she’s still flirting with her sex appeal, and that takes courage.

While the lion’s share of our culture is onboard for the hot MILF, the hot GILF remains more of a niche. Some members of the old guard are becoming more sexually adventurous now than they ever were in their 20s. According to a survey commissioned by the National Council on Aging, among people over the age of 60 who have regular intercourse, 74 percent of the men and 70 percent of the women say their sex lives are more satisfying now than when they were in their 40s.

“I’m more open-minded in my 50s than I was in my 20s,” says Karen Summer. “I have a better understanding of things now.” After a 20-year hiatus, Summer is returning to porn at the age of 52. Popular in the eighties, Summer left the business in her late 20s, as most girls do. When asked why she’s making her comeback now, Summer stated, “I moved back to L.A., ran into old friends, and decided it would be fun.”

She never dreamed of getting back into porn and says it certainly wasn’t the reason why she moved back to Los Angeles, but now that she’s reentered porn, Summer’s found an entirely new fan base. “Thanks to the Internet, I’ve been hearing from people all over the world! They say I’m beautiful and sexy at my age,” says Summer. “And I had no idea that younger men, so many younger men like older women.”

Beauty isn’t a characteristic limited by age—at least it shouldn’t be. While Summer is quick to acknowledge the differences in her physique, she accepts them, along with her age, proudly. And she encourages more women to do the same. “I'm fabulous and in my 50s. I have a woman’s figure and I have to get used to that. I’m not one of those twenty-something young lovelies anymore. I’m thicker and that’s okay,” says Summer. “I want women of my age to know how beautiful and sexy they are. Beauty isn’t always what you see on TV or in the magazines.”

Porn stars are supposed to be the epitome of sexiness, which to most people means young and tight-bodied. But to be a porn star takes more than just good looks—sex appeal is more than just an impulsive physical attraction. “People’s desires start out as a dream, desire starts in the brain,” says Norma Stitz. “And that’s why I am still sought out at the age of 57.”

Stitz says she got a late start in the industry by winning a layout contest for the JUGGS magazine amateur section at the age of 35. Incidentally, she still holds the Guinness World Record for Largest Natural Breasts. “Not only did I have these massive tits, I had age and size. Honey, I was the total package.”

Whereas some women are desperate to hold onto their youth, Stitz recognizes age as something to embrace and celebrate. “Older women are more sexually adventurous because for so long many have had unhappy sex lives,” says Stitz. “The older you get the more you begin to know who you are. At this point there is no need to fake it.”

Feeling sexy begins with confidence. It’s not always about fitting into a mold. Despite the popular media view, there are at least a small group of porn stars and their fans who prove that sex isn’t only for the young and conventionally beautiful. There’s no escaping it—every one of us will age, eventually. Sure, there’s plastic surgery, but sometimes getting too much of that defeats the purpose, as a quick Google image search for “plastic surgery gone wrong” confirms. So instead of fighting it and holding ourselves to ridiculous standards, maybe it’s time to embrace our aging, evolving sexuality and realize that the term “sexy” isn’t limited to teens and coeds.