Back in Austin after the OWL class, a group of students settle in at a nearby diner to discuss the value of the course. "It hasn't solved all my sex problems," says Judith, the lone single student. "It's still very hard to find older guys who don't have a truck full of baggage with them. But it's been nice to have a place to talk honestly about things that are never talked about. Like how after a certain age you're not touched anymore. Certainly not lovingly. It's just 'Excuse me' if someone bumps into you at the grocery store. It's been nice to talk about my needs and have them taken seriously."

This is why the courses are so popular, says Elizabeth, the happy-to-be-middle-aged student. "There's those almost pornographic women in Sex and the City. There's a Victoria's Secret in nearly every mall." The other women at the table nod in commiseration. "So many TV shows revolve around some sex problem—someone cheats, someone wants someone he can't have. But no one ever talks about sex in a meaningful way. It's always innuendo. It is always pretending to be about something else," Elizabeth says. Now the men are nodding. "Sexuality is this thing you carry around all the time. It grows and changes—it's part of your health and relationships and your age and your self-image, but our culture likes to talk about it in this really silly, trivial way," she says. "People—especially grown-ups—are sick of it. We want adult conversation about an adult subject."

Her husband, Eugene, gives her a smile, then raises his hand to the waiter and orders another round of drinks.

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