Xi Jie Ng recently added an unlikely bullet point to her résumé.
“I can say, literally, I was temporarily a senior erotica writer,” says the 31-year-old artist.
The piece in question is published in the second issue of The Grandma Reporter (thegrandmareporter.com), a lifestyle publication for elderly women that Ng founded and edits.
Along with her story—about a couple on their 49th wedding anniversary whose pillow-supported sex positions accommodate her arthritis and his knee pain—there’s a “slow-sex playlist” compiled by one of the issue’s senior contributors, a personal essay about being a lifelong hopeless romantic, and another by a contributor about why erotica doesn’t actually appeal to her.
Ng, whose photography and performance pieces also deal with aging, first launched The Grandma Reporter in 2016 with an issue focusing on senior style.
“I was wondering if I could create [a publication] that could become a popular thing that exists in the lives of senior women, and they find a sense of community by reading it,” she says, “like, ‘Oh, there’s a publication thinking about me and my interests.’”
She didn’t get around to printing the second edition, dubbed the Intimacy Issue, until this month. (Ng says she doesn’t plan to keep a regular publishing schedule.) Aside from the stories focused on sex, there are tips for living a more imaginative life, a PSA about hugging your friends, and an interview with two senior lesbian women, one of whom came out at age 79. One spread features photos of elderly women posing in digitally rendered versions of their ideal fantasy world—on the cover of a romance novel, on a beach under a full moon, surrounded by peach cobbler and magnolia trees.
While future issues of The Grandma Reporter will always center on the experiences of elderly people, Ng believes it holds value for younger generations, too.
“I just really enjoy being around senior women. I feel like there’s a lot that can be learned from them, and I don’t mean it in this kind of goody, heartwarming way,” she says. “I think there’s a lot of intrigue and pain and life stories and complex things they can share about their lives.”