Friday, July 16, 2010

Sex & Aging

Having a positive attitude...

We are all victims of the harmful attitudes towards older people in our society. As we age, we will have to deal with the preconceptions which now exist. Now is the time to address harmful stereotypes and insure that elderly people in the future do not have to live with the prejudices that affect them today.

Societal attitudes toward sexuality in later life are troubling. A great number believe that far fewer mature men and women have sex than actually do. Many feel that after a certain age, sexuality becomes an insignificant or indifferent part of life. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Most older people experience some interest in sexual intimacy. Many people are sexually intimate well into their 80s and beyond. We do not all of a sudden become asexual beings; our capacity for sexual intimacy will be with us our entire lives. The real differences that exist lie in the way sexuality is expressed. Most anything can be a turn-on at 20, but at 60, after years of sexual experience, expressions of sexuality are more refined, more evolved. The act can be at this time can be a masterwork after years study.

What is the purpose of sex in later life?

As we all approach later life, two of the things which brought us the greatest joy - our children and/or our careers - are no longer as prevalent in our every day. This means that our personal relationships take on an increased importance. It is a way of solidifying our relationship with our partner and taking refuge from the sometimes harsh reality of the world. Sex is a way to affirm the love of life. It is an expression of the satisfaction gained from the present. It expresses the closeness of our deepest relationships and is an important measure of the quality of life.

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