In case you’re worried that one day you have to give up sex and pleasure, there’s good news! You can have sex your entire life; there’s absolute no age limit! While most of what we see in film and online are geared towards the under 40 crowd, the reality is that you can have sex at almost any age.
The problem, though, is that seniors figured this out before you did but they’re not protecting themselves as they should. You might not want to imagine your grandmother with a lover, but you also shouldn’t want her to get herpes, syphilis, or worse, either. No matter how old or young are you, it’s important to remember there are no age limits on sex or safety.
Myth: You Stop Having Sex When You’re “Old”
You can be forgiven for believing, based on everything you see online or elsewhere, that sex stops at a certain age. Let’s bust that myth right now. Sex may be different. It may even be less frequent. But sex, pleasure, and intimacy don’t just stop when you hit a certain age. You can be 80 and still have plenty of sex with the one you love – or the one you lust after.
There are a few realities of getting older that shouldn’t be ignored. Desire may decrease. Health can take a toll. Physical changes can make sex different. Losing a spouse after many years of marriage can be devastating for people. All of these things play a role in the sexual experiences of seniors, but that’s true for people at any age.
No matter how you define “old,” people of all ages are still having sex. According to a national study from Indiana University, 46 percent of men and 33 percent of women over 70 masturbate and 43 percent of men and 22 percent of women have penetrative sex. While still not a majority of seniors, the numbers are higher than most people realize.
Truth: Sex is Different When You’re Older
Let’s be real here. Sex changes as you age. Some men find they can no longer sustain an erection. Older women may experience pain or dryness during penetration. These are the moments that Viagra and personal lubricant were made for. With outside help, sex is not only possible, but it’s a definite for many people.
Many older people who engage in sexual activity rethink what sex means as they age. More stimulation and sensations may be needed to get turned on. Sex toys aren’t just fun; they may also help a person or couple experience penetration, additional stimulation, or new ways to become aroused. Seniors who have an active sex life report some of the best sex of their life. They enjoy the moment more, worry less and are more intimate with their partner.
Safe Sex May Be Forgotten by Seniors
One thing often forgotten in the discussion about and with seniors regarding sex is safety. While any kid from 90s to now can likely recite the reasons and benefits of condom use, your grandparents may know very little about it. They came of age in the 60s or 70s when penicillin could take care of almost any illness. Maybe they were married when safe sex became a nationwide topic and believed it would never be important to them. Whatever the reason, safe sex isn’t a big concern for seniors and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are on the rise.
In a place like The Villages, the largest retirement community in Florida, residents have more sex with more partners and contract more STIs, due to lack of condom use and testing. Education and outreach is now just as crucial for retirees as it is for teenagers. For those in the middle of life, raising kids and with elderly parents, you may need to have two awkward conversations about safety, getting tested, and condom use.
While people over 50 are largely ignored when it comes to sexual health, pleasure, and safety, they shouldn’t be. Short of illness, there’s no reason you can’t continue to have sex long into your life. What sex looks like may change over the years, but pleasure and intimacy don’t belong only to younger people.
No matter how old you are, safe sex is always important. If you’re going to have multiple partners, getting tested and using condoms is extremely important. Diseases and infections know no age limits, and the last thing anyone wants is their grandparents becoming sick thanks to a preventable STI. While society needs to do better about not treating seniors like they’re sexless, we also need to make sure everyone, regardless of age, understands the importance of safe sex.
Are you older and still having plenty of sex? Do you plan to get it on when you’re in a retirement home? Let us know down in the comments below!