“How are you experiencing sex during lockdown?” I asked my newsletter subscribers. I wanted to know how seniors, specifically, were dealing with their sexual urges, feelings, and activities during the pandemic.
I suspected that even people in intimate relationships were having less sex, because either they were apart from their partners or, if isolated together, there was too much togetherness (the 2011 Dan Hicks song “How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away” seems particularly relevant now!).
I was surprised to learn that most of my respondents who said they were living with a partner reported that their sex lives are as good as before, or better. Separated couples were managing with video chats and self-pleasuring. Singles were the least happy, as you’d expect, missing intimacy as well as sex.
We can learn from seniors who are coping well and empathize with those who are not. Let’s listen to their senior sex stories:
“Setting aside special times to focus on each other in a sensual way is a comfort during this time. My boyfriend is 70 and he takes erection medication at the start of our date. We set the scene with a basket of sex toys, a mirror, and candles. We play music and dance together for several minutes before undressing. We trade light massages with oil or feathers and brushes. When I compare sex when I was younger, I miss the spontaneous sex drive, easy lubrication, firm younger body, and my partner’s erection without medication. Yet, I am not ready to let those losses ruin our sensual times together now. We know we are lucky to have found each other.” – Amber, 65
“My partner and I live in Florida in lockdown. The first week was scary, but after that we found we had a lot of extra time. No eating out, pools closed, clubs can’t meet — so we increased our sex life! No kids around, no jobs to worry about, and we’ve gotten past our bodies looking way different. (Who cares?) We have a good time trying new things. I had prostate cancer 12 years ago with radiation treatments, so we had a challenging start to our love life. But after reading Joan’s books and practicing communication, we learned what real sex is. Senior sex is great!” – Rich, 77
“I’m polyamorous, currently between girlfriends, and sheltering alone. My most recent girlfriend and I parted ways about four months ago, before COVID-19 was on anyone’s radar. Since then, I have not felt all that sexy or attractive. Most of the social groups where I met and interacted with people, including potential partners, have shut down indefinitely. I’ve been nurturing my sexuality solo, reading a lot of erotic fantasy stories. Erotica is my most reliable ‘sex toy’. My bedtime routine includes pleasuring-to-completion. I enjoy being a home nudist. As I’m typing this, I’m wearing only my glasses and sandals.” – Ed, 69
“I have been having erotic dreams, mostly involving my late husband. I am feeling an increase in loneliness. I do have my sex toys and my fantasies, but I still miss the connectedness of being with a person, and being able to see them, touch them, and just be with them. For those of us whose primary love language is Touch, it is difficult. I’m in a long-distance relationship and haven’t been able to see my lover. It has been hard, but I have to think how glorious it will be when we finally do connect! We need to let courage, hope, and positivity sustain us. It is good to have something to look forward to.” – Jeanne, 67
“I have no romantic or sexual partner at the moment, though I am actively seeking through dating apps. My libido has increased! One sexual health blogger I follow calls it ‘crisis horniness’. In a time of high anxiety and uncertainty many of us crave intimacy. I’m indulging in more hard porn, more masturbation (sometimes twice a day), more aggressively seeking online partners for chats, and virtual sex by phone and video. I think healthy sex is important for healthy lives at all points in adult life. It can get better as we get older. I have been on ‘sex dates’ in my 60s that have been hotter than fumbling around in the relative darkness of my 20s.” – Casimer, 64
“Prior to isolation my long-distance partner and I were active swingers. As soon as it became clear that we had a potential pandemic, we and all our lifestyle friends decided that play dates and parties had to be put on hold. This group of lifestyle friends is not into virtual sex, so video sessions are only between me and my partner. We spend time having sexy conversations during our daily chats. Otherwise, it’s been nothing but solo sex for the past months. Aside from the inability to be together physically, our relationship has not been harmed. The constant contact keeps our sexual connection strong. We communicate easily about sex, share memories and fantasies, and never hesitate to talk about our desires.” – Linda, 60
“Normally I live with my husband alone. We have had a sexless marriage for a long time, but we get along well, and I do love him. I’m used to nurturing my sexual self solo. I used to have plenty of time for this during the day when he went off to work. Since the pandemic, we have a full house with my adult daughter and a 20-year-old male relative living with us, and my husband working from home. Since March, there have been up to four of us in the house all day, every day, and I have no privacy. I’ve started taking my car out to the country for a drive, bringing my toys with me. Ironically, my libido has increased for these reasons:
Thank you to all of you who submitted your stories. I hope the variety shows you that age is no deterrent to experiencing a range of sexual feelings and behaviors.