Added: Eli Spradlin - Date: 24.08.2021 05:13 - Views: 35961 - Clicks: 1901
Bianca Fileborn's role is funded through the ARC on a project related to sexualities in later life.
Victor Minichiello receives funding from the ARC on studies related to sexualities in later life. Older people, and particularly older women, are often thought of as being asexual or sexually undesirable. Although the particular age this is believed to happen varies somewhat in the popular imagination, the idea that older people have sex is routinely dismissed, or makes many of us uncomfortable. Indeed, older people having sex are often the butt of jokes. Yet, there is a raft of evidence suggesting that older people are sexually active. Rises in sexually transmitted infection rates among older Australians and the increased use of dating sites among the overs shows older Australians are actively seeking out and engaging in sexual relationships.
Our research set out to explore how Baby Boomer women were experiencing sex and sexual desire in later life. These women led the sexual revolution of the s and 70s, and have been challenging ideas around what it means to grow old. How are they approaching sex in later life?
Perhaps the most striking finding of our research with Baby Boomer women was how diverse they were. Others engaged in a range of different sexual activity, including masturbation, oral sex, and penetrative intercourse. Many of these women still desired sex and found it a highly pleasurable experience. However, some had lost desire for sex but continued to have sex to please their partner. There is not necessarily a linear progression from desiring sex as a younger person, to not desiring sex in later life.
For some women, menopause was associated with a decrease in sexual desire, while others experienced a renewed interest in sex and enjoyed the freedom of no longer having to worry about getting pregnant. Meeting a new partner in later life could also spark renewed desire for sex. Other women, and their partners, held much broader understandings of what counts as sex, and had a broad sexual repertoire.
In addition to menopause, women were also faced with the challenges of poor health and illness both their own and their partnerslibido-depleting medications, or restricted physical mobility as a result of illnesses such as arthritis. A lack of an available partner was also a barrier to having sex for many women. Despite the fact that many older women are having sex, women in our study bemoaned the lack of available discussion and advice on being sexually active in older age. How do they adjust their sexual practises to cope with the physical realities of older bodies?
What other options are available to them? Issues that arise for older people. The popular, but inaccurate, perception of older women as asexual undoubtedly contributes to this silence around sex in later life. It could also prevent them from being able to participate in desired and pleasurable sex. This reticence to talk about sex in older age is also concerning as it may act as a barrier to recognising sexual coercion or violence as well as limiting the potential for pleasurable sex.
Sex and sexual pleasure remains important to many older women.
For others, this is not the case and this diversity needs to be recognised and respected. For those who want to continue to engage in sex, we need to develop a range of resources and support to accommodate for this. More open discussion is required to break down the taboo associated with sex in later life, and to enable women and their partners to adjust their sexual practises to accommodate for ageing bodies. This might include, for example, introducing sexual aides and sex toys into their sexual practice or broadening their sexual repertoire beyond penetration.
Virtual sex and other technological advancements may also open up a world of sexual opportunity. With an ageing population and increasing s of residents in aged-care facilities, the sexual needs of older people must also be acknowledged and respected within these spaces. Given the inevitability of ageing, we need to work towards a conceptual uncoupling of age and sex so that we are all able to enjoy and express our sexual selves in later life.
Plymouth Contemporary — Plymouth, Devon. Edition: Available editions United Kingdom.Mature women having sex in Australia
email: [email protected] - phone:(781) 604-5370 x 6457
Reboot Your Life: How old is too old to have sex?