Among the many unfair, untrue things people assume about the elderly is that they don’t have sex — and that they maybe even don’t want to. Data recently collected by European researchers suggests these assumptions are way off the mark, which probably shouldn’t have come as a surprise to the researchers, but evidently did.
Why do we assume older people don’t have sex? Is it simply that we don’t want to picture such a thing, which is Calico’s go-to defense of her self-enforced belief her parents stopped having sex many years ago? Is it the influence of Hollywood movies, in which old people are more typically depicted playing Bingo or yelling at young people for having a good time, unless they’re being made the butt of “dirty old man” type jokes?
Calico’s not sure what the reason is for this common assumption, but she does know one thing about the conclusion reached by these researchers: “It’s Only ‘Surprising’ If You Think People Stop Having Sex At 60
by Calico Rudasill, Sssh.com Porn For Women
I’m the first to admit that thinking about my parents having sex is something I try to avoid doing. It’s not that I think it’s gross, or wrong, for my parents to have sex, it’s just that when I think of things, my brain often insists on forming a mental picture of that thing.
I don’t need to explain my aversion any further than that, right? Good.
Apart from not wanting to envision my parents making the beast with two backs, I’ve never been one to assume elderly people don’t have sex. Many people do make this assumption, but I was never afforded the opportunity to do so. My father, a (now retired) geriatrician, used to discuss the issue of elderly sex with such comfort, I’ve even been witness as the subject dominated our family dinner conversations.
I Hereby Vow To Refrain From Making “Something Rotten” Quips In This Post
Conditioned as I am not to think of older people as sexless beings, I had a feeling I wouldn’t be as surprised by the conclusions of European researchers as the recent headlines about their research suggested. “Study Discovers ‘Surprising’ Sexploits of Elderly Danes,” was one such headline.
Still, put the term “sexploits” in a headline and I’m going to click it, more likely than not – even if that term isn’t followed up with “Elderly Danes.”
In a survey of roughly 1000 people aged 60-75, 78.4% of Danish women and 89% of Danish men “claimed to be sexually active” – which is an important caveat, because I can’t think of any reason to believe older men are less full of shit about their sex lives than are their younger peers.
What stood out about the Danes, evidently, was that they reported being “friskier, on average, than their European peers.” (The only European peers mentioned in the article were those from Belgium and Portugal, leaving us to wonder how the Germans, French, Austrians, etc., scored in the rankings.)
While I’m not shocked media outlets would fall prey to the assumption people magically stop having sex when the biological clock tolls 60, I’m a little surprised the researchers harbored the same sort of misconceptions.
“There are many prejudices, as the elderly are seen as largely non-sexual,” said Bente Træen, a professor at the Department of Psychology at the University of Oslo and one of the study’s authors. “Movies and media portray them as knitting socks, not having sex. Sex is more ‘reserved’ for the young and the fresh. We researchers suffer the same prejudices.”
See? He said “fresh” and I’m still not making a “there’s something rotten in Denmark” joke.
I don’t know if that counts as ‘good karma,’ per se, but it proves I can show some comedic restraint, at least occasionally.
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The researchers behind this study speculate one reason why elderly people may be more likely to be sexually active now than in years past (they don’t really provide a foundation for this notion, btw, but whatever; I’m no elder-sex researcher) is that modern science has provided them with the tools to remain sexually active later in life.
“Getting medical treatment for things that have a direct impact on one’s sex life is no longer a taboo,” said Astrid Ditte Højgaard of the Sexology Center at Aalborg University Hospital. “For example, it may be Viagra or other potency medication or female sex hormones, for example, if you experience dryness.”
Oh great – I can just see it now: 20 years hence, my husband will be gnawing down Cialis tabs like they’re breath mints and demanding that we hold hands while soaking in side-by-side bathtubs. Thanks a lot, science!
Calico’s work has appeared under various pen names in adult industry trade journals and on several mainstream op-ed portals, including the Huffington Post.