The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

The Queen of Hearts

posted by Donna Henes

This week I am offering my own sensual, sexual experiences as Maiden, Mother, Queen and Crone-to be.

The Queen of Hearts

Eventually, time and the winds and storms of my maternal years weathered my once-sumptuous bloom. The galloping growth of my spring and sweet blush of my fertile summer had slowed and faded in the sweltering heat of vicissitude and time. Like many women of a certain age, I had let myself go, like an overblown rose clinging to the vine in the fall, my petals ratty and my hip growing round. But this is only natural. A flower must shrivel before it can bear fruit.

My hard-won Self-knowledge and acceptance has only grown more intense and powerful, as my once-luscious blooms have ripened into fruitful age. Now that I have entered the autumn years of my Queendom, I have become a well-seasoned woman, mature and plump and ready for the picking. Piquant, tart, sweet, succulent and juicy, ripe with the cycle of life, I am what my Chicana friend Linda calls “Una mujer in su salsa.” A hot sauce woman.

Relaxed and contracted in the Fire Queen’s sweltering heat, I’m slower now, and surer, like thick crystallized syrup. Honey made for me, the Queen Bee, from the wildflower I once was. I’m strong and steady, salty, spicy, and oh so sultry, if a little bit dusty.

A little wrinkled. A little weary. A little saggy, a little worn, but infinitely stronger, steadier and a whole lot wiser. I bear the fruits of my own labors, and I wear them well. I have passed into the majesty of proud maturity that Ms. Brody would term her prime. This is surely what they mean about PMV (Post- Menopausal Vigor).

Radiant, I was lit from within. Other people noticed this and began to gravitate toward me. Suddenly, after five decades of rather modest sex appeal ratings, I found that I was turning heads wherever I went. The Queen I had become in my fifties began, for the first time in my life, to attract charged affection and lustful admiration from friends and strangers alike. Like bees to a hive, attention buzzed around me, tickling my self-perceived image, stroking my ego. I was the Queen Bee, Nefertiti, Cleopatra, the Queen of Sheba. Honey, I was the Queen of Hearts.

Now, in my sixties, I am so happy to be me. This long longed for assurance has had a thrilling aphrodisiac effect — from the inside out. I feel more attractive and sexy than I ever have, and therefore I am. My entire Self is charged with new poise and ease of being: my head held high with pride and self-esteem; my eyes alive with what I have seen, the many sights and insights; my cheeks red from the chase — and hair to match. I am a mean, clean, spirit-driven machine, shined with spit and polish, full of gas, revved and ready to go.

Now, “Who’s the fairest of them all?”  

Red Hot Queen Mama

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to

Mama Donna: Me as Mother

posted by Donna Henes

This week I am offering my own sensual, sexual experiences as Maiden, Mother, Queen and Crone-to be.

Mama Donna: Me as Mother

And then, a remarkable thing happened. This Ugly Duckling grew and changed, as if magically transformed. The more I explored the world around me, the more I learned about myself. The more I longed for experience and meaning outside of me, the more I discovered that I liked what I found inside.

The more excited by life that I felt, the more attractive and exciting I, in turn, became. Because I felt more and more sure of myself, sure of my path and my purpose, I became less guarded and more open. Because I had learned how to be safe in my own care, I felt more trusting in general, less defended and much less defensive. Something in me had thawed. My withholding tension released. Without realizing it, I had been holding my breath for years, “waiting to exhale,” as Terry McMillan put it. I now had nothing to hide.

When I began this journey, I was an innocent in many respects. Responsible beyond my years, yet repressed, compressed, regressed, like the tightest pussy willow — the one with the hardest shell — protection for my fuzzy fertile possibility. Over time, with proper tending, my husk expanded to include all of the growth that I had been doing. Pregnant with potential, like a plant in springtime, like the moon, I was finally flowering into my summer fullness. Maiden no more, I had married myself and given birth to me and in so doing, I claimed my Mother Power.

When I burst forth from the springtime of my Maidenhood into my summer Mother Time thirty years ago, I discovered that I was a bud turned blossom. I had flowered into an adult woman, creative, productive, and nurturing, Mother of Invention, foster Mother to lost children and animals, practicing artist, spiritual adventurer, author of my Self. The power of attraction, seduction, and sex was suddenly, for the very first time, in my court.

As a Maiden, I would sometimes date people simply because they asked me out, whether I really wanted to be with them or not. I was that flattered. But as I entered my thirties and early forties my longings and lust began to come more directly out of my own desires. It took a long time and much introspective effort, but I grew to know my wants and my needs, emotionally and sexually. After a decades-long struggle, I had come to believe in my right to act upon my own desires and to expect them to be honored. And honored they were, because I had learned how to honor my Self.

By the time I was 30, I had left my brief so-called marriage and a series of serious and not-so serious boyfriends and live-in lovers. I discovered my attraction to women and began to follow my bliss. And what bliss it was. I finally experienced the sort of sex that really does cause the Earth to move! I had a grand old time exploring the wonderful world of lesbian sexuality and I savored every second of it. It was a great time of liberation for me, when I allowed myself to be completely free of commitment and totally dedicated to pleasure wherever I might find it. Finally, when I was 35, I fell in love and settled down into a 29-year and counting life partnership.

The Queen of My Self

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to

Myself as Maiden

posted by Donna Henes

This week I am offering my own sensual, sexual experiences as Maiden, Mother, Queen and Crone-to be.

Myself as Maiden

I have pretty much always had a current love interest, a paramour, an inamorata-of-the-moment in my life. Ever since elementary school, I have been involved in a series of crushes, flirtations, romances, relationships, and marriage/partnerships of varying degree of consummation, duration, maturity, intensity and pleasure. However, before I turned fifty, I had never felt myself to be particularly beautiful in the abstract.

While I had definitely attracted my share of admirers, one by one, over the decades, it is not as though I ever had a queue of suitors waiting outside of my front door, vying for my affections. Try though I might, I never quite fit the popular, idealized, mass-market parameters of beauty or body type or demeanor. Far from being a femme fatale, with a Hollywood face or figure, I usually failed to turn heads in a crowd.

Certainly I had been told many times that I was pretty, but it was always in the dubious context of, “You really ought to lose some weight, you have such a pretty face.” Or, “Why don’t you pull your hair out of your face so that people can see you.” Those motherly suggestions didn’t exactly serve as Self-image enhancing morale-builders. Oh, I was probably pretty enough, but it was a pasted-on look. My lips were fetchingly colored, but my smile was frozen in fear. During the Maiden years of my teens and twenties, I was serious, withdrawn, self-conscious, over-sensitive and as unsure as a tentative spring shoot caught in an inclement frost.

Completely unprepared emotionally, I was out there, and available because I was expected to be. But my heart was never in it. I was way too shy to perceive — let alone enjoy, and heaven forbid, show — myself as the sweet, loving, sensual, sexual swan-in-waiting that I really was in my secret, tender hidden heart.

Instead of being who I was, I believed and internalized everything that I had been taught: that I was not thin enough, striking enough or vivacious enough to attract appreciative attention. And that was what life was supposed to be all about, after all, wasn’t it girls? To be attractive to men.

By the age of thirty, I had left an idiotic mistake of a marriage and several semi-serious boyfriends behind. Like Greta Garbo, I vanted to be alone. Those relationships were not awful or abusive or co-dependent or any such thing. They just didn’t fulfill me, the full me. Something crucial was always missing. Eventually, I began to realize that the absent ingredient was myself, that mysterious shadowy stranger who lived in my body and who did and thought things beyond the scope of my ken.

How I yearned to learn who I was, myself, in the heart of my soul and not as a warped reflection of someone else’s view of me, be it mother or lover or Glamour Magazine. In an undeniable flash of inner truth and commanding clarity, I felt myself called upon by spirit, by destiny, by dharma, by fate, by free will to embark upon a concerted search and rescue mission for the Holy Grail of my own elusive soul. And this expedition had to be solo.

Mama Donna: Me as Mother

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to


The Queen Uses Trouble Well

posted by Donna Henes

Here are selected comments from a discussion on The Queen of My Self Facebook page.

Q: The Queen does not invite hard times and trouble, but She chooses to use them well. Suffering is the midwife of compassion.
- Queen Mama Donna

How has this been true for you?

A: Oh yes! This year, I celebrate 30 years of suffering and learning from my great teacher: severe scalp psoriasis. THANK YOU, Great Teacher, for all the lessons, the pain, the bliss, the wonder. I LOVE YOU!!
- Sheryll, CA

A: This hit home for me last year when my mother passed away from cancer. Although I have had many friends and their loved ones live and die from and through cancer, I couldn’t relate truly until I experienced it in my family. It impacted my compassion and empathy so much for those suffering not just from cancer but other illnesses as well.
- Jami, WA

A: Tough love at the moment. I’ve just returned from teaching in China. I may be a Queen but I’m living at home, on a couch, no job, no apt, no car and no interviews yet. Compassion? Trying to love myself through the changes. Good news is, everything changes — even the hard times.
- Jessica, RI

A: At the age of 49, I’ve finally learned to stay in conscious contact with Spirit when I am in a “good” space. Previously, I needed the suffering and hard times to consistently remind me to reconnect and to listen.
- Debra, NH

A: The hard times and the bad times and the losses have made me a stronger and therefore more compassionate person. I can’t say that I have overcome every bad thing that has happened to me, but the ones I have, have taught me just how much I can do, how strong I can become. Have faith in yourself, you are so much more that you think you are, especially you are so much more than you think you are when things get harsh. Arise , go forth and show ‘em some moxie.
- l.a., PA

A: We need to know that without the suffering we would never know joy! Be grateful for it all. Been where you are, Jessica, and it DOES get better!!! Prayers, love & light coming your way :)
- Lori, NY

A: Unfortunately it can seem to take FOREVER for the end of suffering and it can take forever for the “better” thing to come along. This is why patience and hope is important also!
- Karen, NV

A: What happens when suffering feels better/more real/like the only truth? have you ever found yourself making the choice to suffer something because it is a more extreme feeling? what happens when The Queen realizes she just might be inviting the hard times and trouble? (but balances the suffering with a very romanticized positivity, wine, and her fortress of sisters…)
- Katrina Dixon , NY

A: She is not inviting the trouble, but choosing to focus on the pain. Pain is familiar. Sometimes it is seemingly safer than an unknown, untested faith in possibility. So a shift in focus is what is needed. It is so important to dwell on what we want, rather than what we fear we won’t have, or might lose. And that does take an enormous discipline. Remember, energy goes where we send it. This thought changed my life. Perhaps you will find it helpful, too: “Worry is like praying for what we don’t want!”

A: Losing my mom to the effects of diabetes and my seventeen-year old niece to cancer taught me about strength, compassion, and living in the moment.
- NotMy RealName

A: Divorce and unemployment have helped me find my own inner happiness. Now I am going back to school for my MBA. Hardship has not held me back, but propelled me forward.
- Jennifer, CO

A: Choose gratitude, when there you have a center from which to send compassionate energy.
- Christina, NY

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to

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