Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
Thanks to “mature porn” fetishists and HBO’s Real Sex series, doin’ the deed after 65 is no longer much of a shocker. If seniors enjoy gardening and the occasional round of golf, why shouldn’t they prove ready, willing, and able to fuck one another’s brains out on camera? But voyeuristic, pseudo-titillating exposés on what goes on in Grandma’s and Grandpa’s boudoir focus on grunting, straining bodies, not how the passing decades change the human libido. Happily, Sarah Gonser and Lance Kruger’s Waking Aphrodite asks the tough questions that grannyfuck.com won’t: The old folks at home can still get some, but what does getting some mean when one is a card-carrying AARP member? Waking Aphrodite’s subject should know—Maggie Tapert, Gonser’s mother, abandoned a life as a strait-laced, Midwestern Catholic girl to become Switzerland’s answer to Annie Sprinkle. Gonser isn’t content to glamorize her mom’s atypical decision to become a sex therapist but instead explores Tapert’s existential struggle to refocus her life beyond the bedroom as she cares for a sickly spouse and grandmotherhood comes calling. The film suffers from a few tediously sensual S&M workshop sequences, a bland “world music” soundtrack, and a trip to that dubious art orgy called Burning Man. But Tapert’s interview footage steals the show—the woman has gone so far out on a limb to explore her sexuality that it is an unexpected pleasure to watch her come back again.