Your grandparents may be having more fun than you think! Researchers from the University of Minnesota studied data gathered of over 6,000 Americans aged 20 to 93 over a period of 18 years and concluded that silvers enjoy a higher quality sex life than their younger counterparts. While the frequency of sexual interactions may be lower among this demographic, the quality is higher. The reason, as the study authors tell website theconversation.com, is simple: wider life experience, which translates into greater sexual wisdom. Aha.
Sexual healing could well enter a new dimension if some scientists have their way. Speaking at a conference titled Love & Sex with Robots held recently at London’s Goldsmiths University, Dr Kate Devlin, a senior lecturer in the university’s Department of Computing, advocated the use of sex robots to tackle loneliness in elders living in care homes and fulfil their desire for intimacy. She also recommended such robots for sex offenders, to keep them off the streets.
Now, this is progressive—and proactive. The Hebrew Home, a nursing home in Riverdale in the Bronx area of New York, has created a ‘sexual expression policy’ for its silver residents who wish to engage in consensual sexual activity. Calling it part of a broader shift from institutional to individualised care, The New York Times reports that the staff at the home are actively engaged in improving the love life of the residents, including setting up events like a ‘senior prom’ and launching a dating service. Already, 40 of the 870 residents are reported to be in a relationship.
Money is playing spoilsport for silvers. According to a report by Associated Press, the soaring prices of prescription medicines for impotence and other sexual problems have made things harder for American silvers to stay sexually active. This includes Viagra and Cialis as well as the new female Viagra, Addyi. The good news: the end of 2017 is expected to see the entry of a generic competitor priced lower than Viagra and Cialis; a rival for Addyi is also in the works. Going forward, more generics are expected to hit the market, lowering costs—and raising libidos once again!
The unwillingness to talk about sex—despite increasingly indulging in it—has led to a worrying fallout. A new report authored by England’s Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davis says that sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia and genital warts have risen by more than a third among people between the ages of 50 and 70 over the past decade. In fact, from 11,366 infections in 2010, the number spiked 38 per cent to 15,726 in 2014. The increase has been attributed to rising divorce rates, meeting new partners and forgoing condoms. The report, which calls for better communication between healthcare providers and silvers, points out that the problem may be far more acute than the data suggests, owing to the reluctance of elders to seek treatment for sexual health concerns.
Speaking about sex is still taboo in the silver world, contends author Doreen Wendt-Weir, who received flak for her book Sex in your Seventies (Cava Consulting). In fact, as website www.abc.net.au tells us, the 88 year-old changed her name to Evangeline when she began interviewing people for the book in a bid to overcome her conservative nature and sound more glamorous. The book is replete with candid and interesting anecdotes, like 80 year-old virgin Albert, who literally overdosed on Viagra while attempting to court a younger woman, and Celeste, who is perennially worried about where to put her dentures when she’s in bed with a new man. What makes the stories remarkable, in Wendt-Weir’s words, is that “in the circles in which I move, we don’t really talk about sex”. Speaking about her own life, she shares that she had the best sex of her life with her last partner, whom she met when she was 72, saying, “He made me feel valued.” Learn more about her and the book at www.sexinyourseventies.com
Photo: iStock Featured in Harmony — Celebrate Age Magazine February 2017
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