Senior sexuality seems to be even more of a taboo than discussing sexuality in general, but why is this? It’s certainly not just a young person’s activity. We’ll take a candid approach today in debunking some of the more common myths of senior sexuality.
7 Myths About Senior Sexuality
Only younger people are sexuality active
False. An article from EVERYDAY HEALTH’s website indicates, “One analysis of U.S. men and women found that close to 40 percent of men between 75 and 85 are sexually active.” This myth seems to have originated from the “if-we-don’t-talk-about-it-it-doesn’t-exist” files.
Only younger people are sexually attractive
False. As we age and mature, we understand that “attractiveness” is not just about the beauty of the younger physique. Senior sexuality encompasses so much more. We realize that personality, heart, intelligence, charm, spiritual connection, humor/wit and so many more things are part of it than just our bodies.
Many of us have experienced moments in which someone became more physically attractive to us based on their wonderful personal qualities, or even qualities that resonated with us personally. Even physical qualities like sparkling eyes, strong or gentle hands and the sound of a terrific belly laugh can be extremely attractive.
Getting older (and associated physical conditions) prevent us from being sexually active
False. Of course, with age comes certain changes in our body chemistry and condition. If at any age, you’ve torn a muscle or injured your back, then you’ve likely had experience with being creative about how you go about sexual activity. These skills help later in life as well.
Senior sexuality can present challenges. Women who are post-menopausal may have lubrication issues and men who experience erectile challenges may have to look to the pharmacy for lubricant or the doctor to discuss pharmaceutical solutions. But these obstacles aren’t always limited to age and are certainly solvable.
It’s dangerous to be sexually active after a certain age
Mostly false. While we’ve all seen a movie or heard the old wives tale that sexual activity can cause a heart attack, the statistics show that sex causes heart attack or death less than shoveling show…which is a very low number. Which means, yes, technically it is very slightly possible, but it is not by any means something to be afraid of.
***If you have a heart condition or previous heart-related issues and desire to become sexually active again, speak with your doctor to get accurate information about the realistic risks.
Seniors don’t talk about sex
False. Mature adults who don’t discuss senior sexuality or their own sexuality are just older versions of themselves, who didn’t talk about it when they were young either. In fact, it’s thought possible that seniors even become more comfortable with their bodies and discussions around sex as they age. We’ve learned about and accepted our bodies more, the older we’ve become and sexuality is part and parcel of that.
Seniors don’t need sexual protection
False. While women over the age of menopause don’t necessarily need to worry about becoming pregnant, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can be spread through sexual contact at any age. In fact retirement communities often see a higher level of STDs for this exact reason.
The number of older adults who are contracting an STD is on the rise. The best prevention is exactly the same steps we should have been taking we were younger. Monogamous relationships, and standard sexual health safety measures, like the ones found in this article, What Seniors Need to Know About Sexually Transmitted Diseases.
Seniors lose interest in sex or become asexual
False. There used to be an image that talking about or even being interested in sex was loose and immoral, even between married couples. We expected our elders to be prim, proper, dignified and pure. The simple fact is that sexuality is a human trait and one that doesn’t disappear with age.
Senior sexuality is a very real thing that exists under the umbrella of this new “later-in-life” vitality that we have, much more so than in the past. For example, we understand that 60 is the new 50, and so forth. More older adults are physically active than ever and activity in the bedroom is just one way that we’re expressing ourselves.
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