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Sex and Senior Citizens

By HERWriter
 
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“Sunset Daze,” a new reality show on the WE television network, broadcasts the lives of a group of people living in Sun City Grand. What’s the catch? Sun City Grand is a large retirement community outside Phoenix, Ariz., and the stars are all in their 60s and 70s. Their active lifestyles are matched by their active libidos.

The first episode has talk about vibrators and going “commando,” slang for not wearing underwear. Plus one woman telling her friends she's ready to date again because she is tired of "BOB." BOB would be her "battery-operated boyfriend.”

The show will certainly slash the common belief that when people get old, they have no interest in sex. This is not a completely new concept. A 2007 survey published in the “New England Journal of Medicine” showed what older people themselves have long known: that for many of them, sex is an important part of their lives.

As a part of that survey, more than 3,000 older men and women were interviewed. The youngest were in their late 50s while the oldest was 85. The results showed most people, at least into their early 70s, are sexually active. Most who reported being sexually active have sex at least two or three times a month. That's comparable to what national surveys say about younger people, ages 18 to 59.

Men and women remaining sexually active are largely dependent on whether they have a spouse or partner. Since women typically live longer than men, they are more likely to lose a partner.

Unfortunately many doctors still hold onto stereotypes that seniors are not interested in sexual activity. As a result, they do not talk to their older patients about health problems that can interfere with sex and intimacy. When older people are thought of as asexual, opportunities are lost to provide counsel for people who may greatly benefit from them.

Just as with younger adults, healthy sex means healthy senior citizens. Scientists find individuals with strong, functioning sexual and intimate relationships have better health and well-being than those without, regardless of age.

Add a Comment1 Comments

Thanks for the encouraging article.

May 24, 2010 - 12:55pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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