I think I’ve solved a current day riddle: What do we call women of a certain age?

It’s a conundrum because you sometimes need a adjective to qualify a woman when you are, say, telling a story. And you don’t want to stereotype or insult. So what are the choices?

“Old” and “Older”: “ These are logical descriptors. But the word old can also mean tired, ill, or subdued. When people in their 50s say they are old, it really ticks me off. You are in middle life! So let’s agree that old is not even an option.

“Cougar”: This is specifically used to denote women who seek young men younger to date. It also can be used derisively. Cougar doesn’t work for me. And if a woman wants to date younger men, more power to her.

“MILF”: You either accept this term as a weird compliment or consider it a insult, reducing a woman to a sex object. (It means “Mom I’d like to F&#k.”) Does it take into account the families we’ve nurtured, the tasks we’ve excelled at? Obviously not. Let’s toss this over our shoulders and step on it with a high heel.

“Mature”: Hmmm, this one is pretty common. But I don’t like it. It is saying, “I don’t know what to call that older woman so I am going to go with mature because I can’t think of anything else and it’s not too insulting.” Even in porn, women are called mature over, what, 30? Matronly, I am decidedly not.

Experienced is a rich, full word, just like women of a certain age

Which leads us to… “Experienced.” I have been using this word for years. To me, experienced is a rich, full word, just like women of a certain age. Creative and wise, we are experienced in life. We have created families and held them together. We have contributed to society with important careers and with lives of caregiving. We have loved–men, women, parents, friends, co-workers, and even strangers.

Don’t forget sex. At my current age, I’m experienced in the bedroom as well. I have a patient, loving and encouraging partner. I’ve loved men and women. I know what I like and what I don’t. I’m lusty and curvy. Men who appreciate experienced women are my personal heroes.

And to my peers, experienced women, I say, You go, girl!