Old people are still having sex. Read on…
Family Planning (NSW) plans to offer older women safe sex packs containing a condom, lube and instructions on how to use condoms. The new sex health campaign is aimed squarely at women because sexually transmitted infections are becoming more prevalent in women aged over 50. A campaign for men will follow in due course.
Popular magazines would have you believe that young people invented sex. The trouble is, they also think they have a monopoly on all of the action too.
The reality is that ageing is not a cause for lack of sex life and older people are busier than ever in the bedroom.
A series of recent research reports indicate that the majority of older adults are highly sexual and regularly so.
An independent market researcher recently interviewed 659 women across Australia. This study revealed that older Australian women are having more sex than younger women. It seems the real sexual adventure begins when children are older or have left home and women have the confidence and experience to enjoy sex more than ever before.
In Queensland a women’s hospital released results of a research project that began in 2001. There were 500 women interviewed with 125 in each age group 40-70.
One finding of that research concluded that 27 per cent of women over 70 remained sexually active and an equal percentage of their male partners were capable of sexual intercourse.
Addressing sexuality is now an important factor in the promotion of good mental and physical health in older Australians.
Older single, divorced and widowed women and men are increasingly using online dating websites and chat rooms to find a partner. One prominent dating website’s research indicates 40 per cent of women aged over 40 were as likely as younger women to have met someone online in the previous year.
The resulting liaisons are seen as contributing to increased sexually transmitted infections because older Australians are considered outside the condom generation and do not link condoms to sex beyond the need for contraception. Older Australians having unsafe sex are at a growing risk of contracting sexual infections more commonly associated with teenagers and young adults. Research from the NSW University of New England illustrates that the rate of sexually transmitted diseases among people aged 50 and over is rising.
Family Planning (NSW) is convinced that campaigns for condom use by older Australians will need to show people how to use them.
Statistics about Queensland from the Australian Bureau of Statistics at June 2010 typifys the challenge facing health professionals on this issue. There are over half a million Queenslanders aged 65 years or older. As Queenslanders are living actively for longer, the chances are that they will also have active sexual relationships later in life. The quality of sex may also have improved through the use of sex-related medicines like Viagra.
National Seniors Australia chief executive Michael O’Neil agrees it is time to start talking to older Australians about sex and stop pigeon-holing seniors as people who lacked active sex lives and desires.
Any older Australians planning to get frisky with a partner should adopt the slogan previously aimed at young people. Insist “if it is not on it’s not on” before following the slogan of another well-known sporting goods manufacturer and “Just Do It!”
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