Love, Life, Sex Get Better with Age

Hollywood has its share of legends, but no star has been able to keep surprising us the way Jane Fonda has. She has gone from powerful Academy Award–winning film performances in “Klute” and “Coming Home to headline-making political activism, to an exercise video that changed the face of fitness, to best-selling author of a memoir. Her latest achievement: another exercise video, this one on yoga

by Ilyssa Panitz • Celebrity Reporter
jane fonda image
Photograph: Firooz Zahedi

More: Does it keep getting better as you get older?
JF: Yes, and I was surprised by this. One of the reasons I wanted to write Prime Time was that I found I was just so happy. I come from a long line of depressives, so being so happy at 70 is not what I expected. When I began to research, what I found was that people after the age of 50 have more of a sense of well-being. What research indicates is that you have a long life behind you. You have been there, done that and survived it. When you are young, you are all over the place thinking, Maybe I need to know this, and maybe I need to know that. You don’t know what’s ahead. When you are older, the thought process is, Been there, done that. You also know what you can overlook and what you don’t need to know and what you can let go of. Older people are also great mediators, because they know how to smooth over differences.

More: You have a boyfriend. Does that mean love and relationships get better with age too?
JF: They can. For one thing, in a woman’s case, they tend to say “Enough” and leave. Usually it’s the older women who initiate the divorces. That is not commonly known, but they do quite well, thank you. Men, much less so. If you are in a happy relationship, sex can get better because you know your body. You know what you want and what you need for pleasure. I focused a lot on sex in my book because a lot of people feel sexy at an older age and I want to help people negotiate those changes so they can still be happy and sexually active.  

More: It sounds like you have had a fascinating life.
JF: I have had a wonderful life and been blessed.

More: Is it always red-carpet fabulous?
JF: Part of it is very glamorous, yes. I got the L.A. Press Club Visionary Award just recently. Robert Redford presented it to me. Jeff Daniels and Sam Waterston were there too. There were video clips from James Taylor and Jimmy Buffett, Vanessa Redgrave and my favorite ex-husband, Ted Turner. It brought a little glamour to the scene [laughs].

More: That deserves a double wow!
JF: But that is when you are out in public. I spend a lot of time doing things that aren’t so glamorous, such as staying at home to read or work out.

More: You are also a breast cancer survivor. How are you feeling?
JF: I am fine. Luckily it was an easy cancer to get rid of.

More: The holidays are upon us. Any big plans?
JF: My family is all coming for Christmas to the new house my boyfriend and I bought together.

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