Silver-Ager, Best-Ager, Generation 50+ – there are many names for people in the second half of their lives. Some are still working, others are maybe enjoying an early retirement. Many things are associated with the golden years – a certain staidness, security and grandchildren. At least that’s the image the media projects. Pictures of older people exuding joy, or an erotic, passionate sexuality and interest in experimentation between the sheets are definitely less frequent.
Yet this negation of sexuality as one gets older doesn’t have any natural reasons – it’s simply a social construct. Older people also feel a need for affection, feel desire and want to enjoy a sex life. Physical impairments can be treated very effectively today and help everyone lead an active life – and not only when looking after the grandkids or going on a cruise, but also in the bedroom.
The tendency to be viewed as asexual beings and to slip into this image particularly affects women. Men on the other hand are still granted an active sex life well into their golden years. It’s often not only external influences, but also a woman’s own morals which make it difficult for older women – especially solo – to enjoy an active sexuality.
Of course it’s obvious that sexuality changes as we age. The acrobatic moves of our youth usually disappear in bed and also the duration of the actual act is considerably reduced. Yet, this leaves room for something else then – cuddling, romance, and maybe even a little desire for adventure or to experiment with something new.
Now there are many of those in their golden years who are very open about their desire. For example, the 85-year-old American Betty Dodson, who conducts masturbation workshops for older women in which she shows new ways to experience and satisfy yourself. Betty Dodson who has regularly been giving masturbation workshops since the 70s, encourages a confident, open approach to desire at all ages and even warns that young women still aren’t all that liberal as they think.1
Women like Betty Dodson are the best evidence that desire for sex doesn’t wane with age, but rather, with a decrease in everyday stress, can even reach new heights. Science has also found proof of this. For a long time, the topic of sex and senior citizens was a blind spot in the field of sex research, but at the beginning of this century more surveys have been brought out. They show a striking gap between the desire for physical affection and actual sexual activity. Desire only starts to wane after the age of 70, yet even from the age of 75, 50% of those surveyed listed it as an important aspect of overall well-being.2
“Sex keeps you young,“, says Dr. Axel-Jürg Potempa, urologist and sex doctor from Munich. “In my practice, there is a striking difference among pairs over seventy between those who are sexually active and those who are inactive. Older people who act on their sexual desires, not only look younger but they are overall more active and lively.
International surveys stress that an active sex life also ensures an improved immune system and practically ensures an easier aging process.
My sexually active patients confirm and report with increasing age the experience a boost in attractiveness and a positive influence on their environment.”
Physical problems which arise for example during menopause can be treated. There are also possibilities for hormone treatments, lubricants which help during a decrease in secretion and virility pills for men with an erectile dysfunction. And of course sex toys for older users can also be a good help in having an active sex life. Because as life expectancy of women increases in comparison to that of a man, often times a partner is missing. But also with a partner you can rediscover your libido and break society’s taboos.
I am full on LOVE, …
because eroticism and sexuality belong to a fulfilling life.
1 Stephanie Theobald: Masturbation: the secret to a long life? In: The Guardian, 5. Mai 2014.
2 Bucher et al: Sexualität in der zweiten Lebenshälfte“. In: Berberich / Brähler (Hrsg.): Sexualität und Partnerschaft in der zweiten Lebenshälfte. Gießen 2001.Read more articles