We are a society that is overly focused with being sexy. You don’t just have to be attractive and smart these days but sexy too. Even a nail colour or an inanimate object can be sexy. So then isn’t it ironic that as we age, the word sexy seems to be the one thing that is not used. Getting older is about being cute, wise and elegant, but unless you are Jane Fonda, being sexually attractive is not often a label used.
But this issue has more importance and depth than just losing the label of sexy. As we age, sex is more important. Sex isn’t about just making babies and trying to prolong the honeymoon phase. A lot to do with how we see being sexy in an older generation has much to do with how we see sex in general. It’s not all about penetration, procreation and physical exertion. Why do we even have sex? It might be to sometimes to create a family, it might be to connect, but it also feels good. Why can’t we place more importance on that instead of focusing more on the biological, romantic and emotional reasons? The way we can prove scientifically that sex is not just for procreation is thanks to the existence of the female orgasm. In no way shape or form is it a necessity in making babies, unlike with the male orgasm. So why is it there? Why can we have multiples and why is there more than one way we can achieve it? Maybe sex is supposed to be enjoyable after all, no matter what the intent may be.
As we age, there are logistical and physical challenges to overcome, but that’s just assuming that sex is mostly a physical act. How many times have you heard someone say, “the brain is the biggest sexual organ?” So, if the brain is the biggest sexual organ, then why not use it more and why not use it more as we age? We might need to open our minds as to how we have sex and how we achieve pleasure to incorporate a more mental rather than just physical element in this mix.
And what about a sexual prime? We are a society that hides behind numbers and stats when it comes to sex to disguise our dirty honest minds. With numbers, we can say what is instead of what we think. What we really think about sex might be too confronting or out of the so called norms, but I suppose you can’t question or doubt research and data, or can you? These numbers don’t always tell the entire tale.
The problem with this so called sexual prime or peak is the criteria by which it’s defined. Is it ability to procreate, how long someone can last or how many orgasms are had? Is it based on sexual satisfaction? And how do we even measure that? Shouldn’t how we define good sex be up to individual to decide? As people go on in life, they gain knowledge, understanding and acceptance of their body, how to connect with someone else, how to pleasure themselves and a partner. These are things you don’t have in your 20’s and maybe even 30’s (the age ranges many say are where your sexual prime falls). Think about the sex you were first having? Does anyone refer to that as the best sex of their lives? So, what’s the point if you can go for hours and hours on end if true satisfaction is not necessarily achieved? If sex can get better with knowledge, knowledge can come with age therefore sex might only be more truly satisfying as we go on in life.
Sex is a choice, not an action just done to procreate or an activity limited to an age group. It’s a choice and we should be encouraged to continue to make as we age and there are both medical, emotional and social reasons as to why.
Besides wanting to continue to have sex and allowing a mind to sexually explore, there is the medical side of things which makes me think sex is exactly what doctors should prescribe.
Mental health issues can be common amongst seniors due to things such as illness, loss of independence, grief, financial stress, change in living arrangements and an increase in social isolation. Ways to combat these can include eating well, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, spending time with friends, sharing feelings with others and doing enjoyable and relaxing activities. Now I wonder what we could do to achieve a lot of that?
So, what about the medical benefits of sex? Sex can help boost your immune system, boost your libido, improve bladder control, lower blood pressure, counts as exercise, lowers heart attack risk, lessens pain, may make prostate cancer less likely, improves sleep and eases stress. Overall, sex can generally elevate your mood. It’s not just the mental health of seniors that can be improved by sex by physical health too. So why are we not encouraging an older population to engage in more sexual play, even if we are just to focus on the medical side of things instead of pleasure?
But wait, there’s more. Not only does sex have all these mental and physical benefits but research has found that regular sex can make both men and women look 5 to 7 years younger. However, should we just be having sex for medical benefits and good skin? What about pleasure? Research has also found that sexual satisfaction is a major contributor to quality of life. And that is a message in general we need to be pushing more. Who would have thought the answer to so many of life’s problems could be sex (I did)? With all these benefits, it still astounds me that we are not encouraging seniors to have sex.
When it comes to an older demographic and sex, what comes first, a lack of desire and physical obstacles or an attitude that having a lack of desire at a certain age is ok and certain physical barriers should not be overcome, just accepted? If we changed our attitudes surrounding sex and seniors, would we then see an older age group engage more in sex and enjoy it?
With now reports that STI’s in old age homes are on the rise, should we continue to rob the elderly of the right to be sexy or just get on board? Next time you make a face when your parents talk about sex or a grandparent is dating someone new, think about the message this portrays. Giving them your seal of approval, even just with a wink or grin might be the permission and encouragement they need to see themselves as sexy too.