Those Over 60 are Still Sexually Active
Britain’s TV network Channel 4 recently conducted a study that claims that those over 60 years of age are still sexually active and this study may reveal a phenomenon also happening on this side of the pond. This was true no matter their sexual orientation. It may run against conventional wisdom but in fact, those who conducted the study claimed that these folks in their 60’s and 70’s were experiencing a sexual Renaissance. 500 Britains over age 60 were polled and 76 participants were interviewed in-depth. The results of this study will be a show on Channel 4 called the “Secret Sex Lives of Parents and Grandparents.” 51% of those polled were still active sexually, with many of these experiencing a rebirth in that area of their lives. Vikki, 70, was quoted in saying, “I can say that sometimes in the street I think ‘oh yeah, that would be a nice person to go to bed with.’” A gay man, Joey, 69, from London said of his sex life and the reason why he decided to rekindle it, “I got to a point where I thought I’m going to kick the bucket fairly soon.” So he decided to get on the casual encounters app Grindr. “I’m averaging, I would say, four men a week,” he told the Channel 4 program. Though they themselves may feel sexually liberated, this age group doesn’t find society approving of it.
Many women feel that they can’t be seen as sexual beings after menopause. 67-year-old Margaret told the program, “We still feel as though we have a right to be a sexual being as well as everything else. We’re not just grannies. I’m not anyway! Younger people nowadays must think ‘oh god, that’s gross, you know, granny’s at it.”‘ Peter in his 70’s at that time, and Stella met online and got married—a story that is becoming less and less unusual for this age group. After years of abstinence Peter found it a bit nerve wracking to try again. He explains, “I can remember sitting on the sofa with Stella and discussing this and saying well I really don’t know whether anything works anymore. So we decided to find out basically.” Just like with every other age group, the internet has made dating and hooking up much easier. But as a result, just like in other age groups the age 50-90 year old set is seeing an increase in sexually transmitted diseases, a rate that has doubled in a decade. According to sexual health nurse consultant Justin Gaffney, “There is a degree of naivety in the older population in that they just don’t see that they are at risk of sexual infections.” In fact, as they age older people become more susceptible to STDs. Another problem, older people may be less educated as they younger compatriots about sex. One problem Gaffney explains is that he has seen cases where older people have used common household items; cooking oil, shampoo and hand cream as lube. However, these can cause rashes or even be damaging to such sensitive areas. According to Gaffney, “There does need to be perhaps a focus on trying to make services more older people-friendly.”