Treva Brandon Scharf was in her early 40s when she set her sights on becoming a single mother. Little could she have anticipated what would unfold in her fertility journey, from spicy escapades to frustrating challenges — much less the major love life shift that would follow.
After CK Love learned of a partner’s betrayal, she set out on a journey to connect with her sensual self — something she hadn’t realized needed more healing. And both women have found their way to a deeper sense of self, fulfilling relationships and sexy sparks we can all learn from. Learn much more in the latest Girl Boner Radio episode!
Stream the Girl Boner Radio on Apple Podcasts/iTunes, iHeartRadio, Amazon Music, Spotify or below. Or read on for the transcript.
“Igniting Love/Lust Over 40: Treva and CK”
A Girl Boner podcast transcript
I can have a pity party. I can beat myself into oblivion for not accomplishing everything I wanted to by 50…or I can just say, You know what? Fuck it. I’m 50 and fabulous. This is who I am. And I’m on a good path and I only foresee it getting better. Because that’s what was happening.
CK: And I had the dream that Kali lifted up her skirt and let me crawl up into her womb, to see the universe. And I thought, Oh, my God, it’s like I have a whole universe within me. And that sensuality is that universe.
Treva and CK. These two women make me excited to be in my 40s, because of what my 50s and 60s might bring – especially when we’ve learned or worked hard to accept ourselves, our sexuality and our desires.
By the way, if you recognized CK’s voice, it may be because I originally released her story in February of last year. After speaking with Treva, I knew I wanted to share CK with you again.
First, Treva’s story.
[encouraging, acoustic music]
Treva Brandon Scharf is a dating coach and author who did not skip a beat when I asked her about her early sexuality memories. One memory, in particular, was exciting.
Treva: I remember having my first orgasm. I was 14. I lived with my mom. Parents were divorced, I was an only child, dating — I guess, “dating,” a senior. We were just kind of rolling around on my mom’s couch. She wasn’t home, obviously, and I don’t know what happened… We were fully clothed and I don’t know what was going on down there, but something happened and then I went, oh, yes, that’s what this is. I like it. So there you go.
Even without fully understanding what was involved there, that experience taught Treva some things about herself.
Treva: I gathered that I was a very orgasmic creature and I had no hangups about sex. There was no shame. I was such a free range kid. My mother wasn’t exactly the most maternal, kind of, let me tell you how it works. Let me sit you down. Birds and bees. It was just sort of like, I, I don’t know. She went off to work and then it was up to me to figure it out myself.
I had a lot of freedom and not a lot of need to abuse that freedom, if you get my drift. She trusted me too and I stayed a pretty good girl. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I experimented. I got naked, I did things, you know? My first BJ, 14, first time I got naked, 14. First orgasm 14. Fourteen was a big year. Oh, and I got my period at 14.
A big year indeed.
Fast forward to her early 40s. Approaching forty-three, specifically. That’s when Treva had another really big year…in challenging ways, which led her to a big decision: to set her sights on becoming a single mother.
Treva: I had ended a very difficult relationship that I was hanging on to for dear life, thinking, oh, goodie, I’m gonna get married and have kids. And this guy just was in no shape, no way he could do it. But I hung in there for about a year and a half and trying to force a square peg into a round hole. But there was no way. The guy was newly divorced and had two small children already. He also had a ton of personal issues that just made it extremely difficult to be with him. and I was 42, about to turn 43…
…older than many of her peers when they had the urge to have kids.
Treva: You know, I can’t do anything about that. Things occur to you when they occur to you, right?
Treva considers herself an amateur astrologist, and she believes what she was going through was set by the stars. [ethereal tones]
I had a Uranus return, which happens approximately 42, 43 years old. And it’s when the planet Uranus comes back to the place of your birth. People, I don’t know. They go a little nutty. They get divorced. They have affairs, they buy fancy cars.
In my case, I looked around and thought, oh my God, I didn’t forget to get married and have kids, but I sort of lost track of time. All of a sudden I woke up. Literally don’t ask why , my eyes flew open and I became painfully aware that time was ticking.
That I probably had wasted a lot of time and that I better get on it. I better get a move on.
Treva did not hesitate.
Treva: I didn’t have time to freeze eggs. I didn’t have time to find a guy. I did sort of a crash course on single motherhood by choice. I got myself up to speed as fast as I could in terms of research. And I got to work. And I had just enough money to kind of start conservatively. I found some donor sperm, because there was really nobody in the picture at the time, even a good friend that I wanted to do this with.
I didn’t want anybody coming back after a few years and wanting their kid…uh uh. So I went for the unknown anonymous donation. Got some sperm and I think I did about five or six inseminations, which are the easiest and cheapest route.
After the first one, I actually did get pregnant, but it was a chemical pregnancy, which is not really, it kind of registers, but it won’t last. And so I thought, okay, there’s something down there and let’s keep trying. You know, it gave me a little bit of hope , just enough encouragement to keep trying. And I did.
And I told my parents in the beginning that I wanted to get pregnant and was met with unbelievable, uh, disdain and contempt. Shockingly, I mean they just shocked me. And again, I mentioned that I’m an only child and I thought, oh my God, they’ll be so happy, right? No, they were not pleased that I was doing this.
and it made me realize in an instant, I’m gonna have to lie. I mean, I’m gonna have to keep this whole thing from them, which I did.
August: Wow. Did they say why they didn’t like the idea?
Treva: They were traditional, older? I don’t know, something really freaked them out about it. They thought I was selfish. They thought I was misguided. They thought I was not thinking straight, but I was! I was thinking straight because, if not now, when? If not me, who? So I took matters into my own hands, which I thought they would’ve respected, you know, being an independent person and self-reliant. That’s how they raised me. But no, they were not happy.
I ended up keeping it a secret from them for the next three and a half years.
And as I continued along my journey, I got more and more desperate and time was definitely ticking and it just got cuckoo until I got to a point where I had really run out of resources. And kind of sperm too. And money.
August: Yeah. It’s expensive.
Treva: Yeah, it’s very expensive. I did go the timed intercourse route.
I did date during this time, believe it or not.
I did have a few Good Samaritans that I had sex with and nope nothing doing. I even had a boyfriend during this time, and, and God bless him, he tried So I had one nighters…
Treva also tried in vitro fertilization, where an egg was removed from her ovaries and fertilized with sperm in a lab…then returned to the uterus with hopes of developing into pregnancy.
Treva: So there was a whole next level of money and involvement and drugs and doctors and more procedures and you’re monitored a lot closer. There are labs galore. you know, they take your blood and I felt like I was seeing these people, the technicians, more than I did my own friends and family. and I was with a great doctor and they were super hands-on with me and I did three rounds of IVF, once, with fresh sperm that my then boyfriend had come in with me to the masta-batorium, as they call it, jerked off in a cup. And then two other times with more donor sperm . And then I had to go in and do the whole egg retrieval thing.
They put you on like a two week course of injections. And then they go in for your retrieval, which you’re put under, they get out as many as they can, and then they go to the lab where they are met with the sperm.
The embryologist transfers however many back into you. So I did that three times and it did not work.
August: Ugh. And you mentioned dating and then also having sex with volunteers or people that you’d chosen and, and things like that. How did this whole process, ’cause your body has become this like, goal vessel beyond…
Treva: Petri dish?
August: Yeah! Like, you’ve been so in touch, you said, with your body. How did that impact your, your desire for sex, your pleasure, sexual experiences, all of that?
Treva: Wow. You know, when there’s something on the line… Okay, I love sex, don’t get me wrong. And I I used to get super horny when I ovulate. But now I have like, oh, we have a goal. Let’s get to it, you know, come on!
So yes, there were times when I’d have a boyfriend, or there was a time when, before the boyfriend, there was a guy from high school that came back into my life and he just, out of the goodness of his heart, wanted to knock me up. It was the strangest thing ever. But then again, who was I to say no? So I was like, fuck it.
And that is exactly what they did.
I would like lock myself for a few days, like at home and go on these fuck binges, 48 hour window, and just bang as much as I could.
Through all of that, pregnancy never panned out for Treva.
Treva: I almost cannot question it because it will take me to a very sad, sort of dark place. You know, why not me? And what happened? And was I not worthy or was God punishing me or you know, for waiting for, I, I don’t know. I could go on and on and on.
Still, Treva does not feel like her attempts were for nothing.
Treva: There is something incredibly empowering about setting out to do something and doing it regardless of the result. For that reason, I pat myself on the back. I did it. Does it hurt me? Yes, it still does to this day, when I see my friend’s grandkids, and I’m looking at these babies and that’s kind of a little bit of a killer.
There’s certain things I just…I have to almost physically consciously change the channel in my mind as if I’m turning the channel on a TV because it’s not a good place.
You can hear a bit about the experience — and the relationship — the pushed Treva to the end of her rope, showing her she was done with fertility treatments and baby attempts, on Patreon or, in detail, in the book she’s written about her experiences. It’s called Done Being Single: a Late Bloomer’s Guide to Love.
And she did find love through this journey, eventually.
Treva: The pregnancy thing, the baby thing really, really kicked my ass for the better. It made me grow up. I took myself a lot more seriously. I took the guys I dated seriously.
and I think I would’ve felt a lot worse had I not tried. So trying is really everything. And then you sort of have to detach from the outcome. So in those four years, I wasn’t putting up with any shit.
No more dead ends. No more non-starters. No more one foot in, no more guys who just, no, I, I got really serious about me. As a result, the better I became as a person, the better the guys got. The better my choices became and the more attractive I became, I think, and the better quality I was able to attract. Because that’s what happens. I am now 50. I met my husband on my 50th birthday.
Don’t think I didn’t have some heartaches there in those years. I met great guys, but, no, no, they weren’t gonna cut it. They were never gonna cut it because I had done the work so masterfully that if you wanna be with me, you’re gonna have to step it up, man.
Treva credits two things for meeting the man she would end up sharing life with.
Treva: I truly just, let go and I took marriage off the table. I had been kind of holding on to it, you know, hoping I can still get married. And I always wanted to get married. That was sort of the dream, right?
The weeks up to 50, I was just anticipating, who am I gonna be at 50? What am I gonna do when that clock turns? I have options. I have choices. I can go to bed and not get outta bed… I can have a pity party. I can beat myself into oblivion for not accomplishing everything I wanted to by 50 or not. Or I can just say, you know what? Fuck it. I’m 50 and fabulous. This is who I am. And I’m on a good path and I only foresee it getting better. Because that’s what was happening.
So I actually turned 50 and instead of having a pity party, I had a party party. Because I thought, well, I’m never getting married, so I’m gonna have a wedding ish, kind of like a big birthday slash right, the wedding I’m never gonna have. And I had a big fucking blowout man. And I invited this guy, Robbie, that I had met on Facebook and he showed up. And that’s how he came into my life.
So here’s this guy who also had never been married. Kind of my male counterpart, right? He was just a super nice guy and he was really like, he was just everything I’d ever look for in a good human being.
Interested, curious, dependable. Humble, direct, considerate. So we just started to date and, apparently we were on the same page. Vibrating at the same frequency.
As far as where she is now in her sexuality and how this relationship has intertwined with that, it’s been a journey.
August: And where are you now today as far as your body and sexuality, your relationship with your body and sexuality?
Treva: That is a great question… I’ll give you two versions of an answer.
For someone who was so used to non-monogamy, someone who was single for so long, someone who was so well suited for kind of change and variation. I wasn’t typically like a long-termer girlfriend. And again, I have no hangups about sex. I enjoy it. I’ve had one nighters, I’ve had friends with benefits. I’ve had all kinds of variations on a theme.
So here’s what got interesting is now settling down with one person.
And we did not live together before we got married. I had never lived with a guy before I was 50 years old. So here I am in this committed, very committed relationship, finally, for the first time, and it is rock solid. He’s all in. I’m all in, man. I’m, I’m like, let’s do this, right? But how weird was it? What an adjustment.
When she was single and wanting to get married, Treva said, sex felt a bit like auditioning.
And it became like a little bit of oh, I gotta be hot and good to go all the time. And you know, the sex has gotta be off the charts.
Because I really, you know, I want this to work. I want this relationship to work. And then it wouldn’t work.
So then, there would be another guy in the picture and I’d get to know him and the sex was super hot and, you know, as it is in the beginning. Then, it ended, before it even began. So I had a series of these kinds of non-starter, but we’d get into it, it would be great and hot and super passionate.
And then boom, done. So now I’m with one person. And that was quite an adjustment. That was like, oh no, I don’t have to flirt anymore. I don’t have to be super sexy and I don’t have to be out there and looking and attractive. And I am for my husband, don’t get me wrong. But it was weird, almost like slamming on the brakes. And then you get used to sex with one person. And there’s that beautiful thing. I was not used to sex with security. I was not used to sex with stability.
I was not used to sex with, being loved. And that was all really new and crazy and beautiful. And then guess who goes into menopause at 54? So now sex becomes something else.
That was five years ago. And while Treva said that things like topical progesterone and estrogen have helped, her personal sexuality has shifted. So has her husband’s.
Treva: I am for sure not like, you know, a raging sex machine, but that’s just what happens. And you know what? Neither is my husband. I’m 60, he’ll be 66 now, and we’re not exactly banging away every night.
That’s the way it is, she said, and perfectly fine. The important thing is, they’re happy.
Treva: The guy has been an outstanding husband. I mean, for someone who was never married either. Shit, this guy has really just risen to the occasion. I can’t tell you how nice it has been to get off the merry-go-round or whatever it is. And don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed dating. I did. I must’ve loved it. ’cause I wouldn’t have done it for so long. I mean, let’s be honest.
I had options. I could’ve gotten married. But I wasn’t ready and I wasn’t exactly hating dating, so I just kept going and figuring like everything in life it will happen when it happens. But I love it. I’m so happy to be with a guy that’s really a partner and we are in this together.
I wish it had happened 30 years ago, but I don’t think I, even if he stared right at me in the face, I probably would’ve passed ’cause I wasn’t ready.
Knowing what you want and what you’re ready for is at the heart of advice Treva wanted to leave you all with.
So, yeah, I straddled, no pun intended. I straddled two worlds. I’m the last year of Boomers. Okay. So I’m still a boomer, but I also had to be a super, independent, you know, empowered, progressive single woman at the same time. So I sort of, I come from these two worlds and at times they mesh. Other times they don’t.
Because I’m super old fashioned in a lot of ways, but then I’m super progressive in a lot of ways too.
So I would say that, it is a great time to fly your freak flag.
It’s a great time to be experimental. It’s a great time to discover. And it’s a great time to be single. It is great.
but with that said, I just wanna say something about following your heart and staying on the path of right action, meaning that if you know what you want, don’t fuck it up.
If marriage and a committed relationship is what you want, there’s all kinds of things you can do to make sure you get that. Stay on that path of right action. Honor your highest good. You have a goal? You want what you want? Really be intentional about it. Whether it’s marriage or whether it’s just being a super kick ass single person, don’t do anything that is going to sabotage or undermine yourself. Be intentional. That’s kind of what I would say.
Feel really good about it. Be strong. Have a thick skin. That’s another thing it’s hard to do sometimes ’cause there are shamers and there are haters and we are our worst shamers and haters. Right? so turn that channel by the way. Here we go. Circling back to, you know, your thoughts being a certain channel on the tv.
Turn that channel man. And feel good in your skin. Feel proud. And, you’re gonna be okay. . And life will bring you beautiful things when you least expect it.
[acoustic chord riff]
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Now, CK’s story.
[CK’s story — find the transcript here.]
Find Treva Brandon Scharf book, “Done Being Single: A Late Bloomer’s Guide to Love,” most anywhere books are sold. You don’t have to be single to read it, she said — it focuses a lot on personal growth and excellence. Treva described it as a masterclass in being a strong, empowered single person, a happy partner, and a content human being based on lessons she’s learned through the decades. Learn more and download two free chapters at trevabrandonsharf.com.
You can read CK Love’s story, “Dances in the Fire,” inspired by the experience you heard about today, in the anthology MIDLIFE ON FIRE: Risky Business. Real Stories. Women Writers. CK also has a new podcast, which I’m excited about. Find The Midlife on Fire podcast or apply to appear at restlessspiritproductions.com/midlife-on-fire-podcast.
And if you’re enjoying Girl Boner Radio, I would love it if you’d text your friends about it or share links on social media. You can also support the show by leaving a rating and review on the Apple Podcasts App or in the iTunes Stores. Thanks so much for listening.