Sex doesn’t stop at 60… or 70… or 80. There’s no rule – even an unwritten one – about when you must stop having sex. No one comes to a realisation, upon retirement, that they’re tired of this whole ‘sex’ thing and they simply don’t want to do it any more. And yet there’s a group of people who are often absent from mainstream discussion about sex: older people.
Often sex and aging is presented as a ‘problem’ rather than a fact of life. Type ‘sex and aging’ into Google and the first article that comes up is: “Sex and Aging: Causes of Sexual Problems In Seniors.” Luckily, the second article is much better – by the AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons) – it is a mythbusting piece discussing 5 myths about sex and aging.
Yet although there’s a distinct lack of representation of older people when sex is mentioned in the mainstream media, there are some great resources for older people about the unique challenges of sex and aging.
Joan Price – writer and educator
Joan Price is one of our favourite writers and sex educators – she gives advice on sex and aging directly from her own experience. Her blog – Naked At Our Age – covers everything from personal stories about her own experiences to sex tips and toy reviews. We know that she’s a fan of our guybrator PULSE, because:
“unlike other vibrating “sleeves,” the penis does not have to be hard to start enjoying it. Spread open the flexible flaps, rest your penis in it, turn it on, and enjoy the sensations.”
…and we’re fans of her work too. It’s her mission to normalise and celebrate older sexuality – to talk about the pleasures of sex, and make it clear that they don’t have an expiry date.
You’re never too old to stop learning! And while sex education is currently a hot political topic, the issue of safe sex for older people is – again – rarely discussed in mainstream media. However, as Safer Sex 4 Seniors explains:
“The rates of STIs among older adults, including syphilis and gonorrhea, have doubled in the past decade, and infections have almost doubled as well.”
But don’t let that scare you – the website gives up-to-date, judgment-free information from sex educators on risks as well as advice on how to have safer sex.
Resources for older LGBT people
Not just in the bedroom, but in many areas of life: LGBT people have a unique set of challenges to face as they age. Not just because LGBT people are likely to have experienced more discrimination across their lifetime, but also because they are less likely to have the support networks that many heterosexual, cisgender older people have.
But there are organisations that are dedicated to supporting older LGBT people, as well as working with them to advocate for changes where they’re needed. Sage in the US is the country’s oldest and largest organisation dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT adults. Their work ranges from giving advice on LGBT-friendly care homes, directly training care home staff, and campaigning on legal changes that will help improve the lives of LGBT adults throughout America.
The UK magazine Saga is changing with the times – it now has a sex and relationships section on its website that not only carries articles about sex news (such as the release of the ‘female viagra’ pill), it also tackles reader questions with satisfying frankness. We particularly like this answer to a question from a reader in his 80s. She asked:
“I am a widow nearly 82 years old. Occasionally I get strong desires for sex, and find relief by giving myself a rub. Is this abnormal?”
Saga answered with a healthy ‘of course’ before inviting readers to give their own responses:
“Why on earth wouldn’t it be?”
Sex and aging – let’s talk
It sometimes seems odd to ask why a particular topic isn’t dealt with much in the mainstream media – things which only affect a handful of people are often overlooked. But sex and aging is a topic which, with luck, will affect everyone one day. Whether you’re sixteen or sixty, you’ll hopefully get older. So let’s talk more about sex and aging – share some of the great resources above and shout it as loud as you can – sex doesn’t stop at sixty! Why on earth would it?