Sexual seniors: why it makes us uncomfortable

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The general population of the United States is taught to view sexual expression as an activity for celebrities, actors, newly weds and young people. If your old and single and not famous in anyway, your not suppose be sexual. This isn’t accepted cultural behavior in other countries, like it is ours. In most other cultures sexual activity is not only accepted, but expected among the elderly. Could you image encouraging your parents to go at it like in Meet the Fockers? Everyone hearing how your dad is sucking whip cream off your mom’s boobs, giving her a motorboat, hearing the excitement that’s building between them. Knowing that the conclusion is cumming? No, this isn’t viewed as normal sexual behavior in our society over a certain age at all.

The sexuality of older Americans tends to be invisible, we as a society discount their sexuality. We‘ve been taught to believe that once we hit 40 we won’t want sex anymore. This is especially true if your married, or so I‘m told. The reality is that sex is important part of most relationships. Let’s face it most relationships these days are based on sex. What makes us think we won‘t want to continue having sex once we get older?

“According to one review of the literature on aging the decline in sexual activity among aging men and women is more cultural than biological in origin” (Kellett, 1991). By two studies conducted in 1992 (Burrow & Smith and Mancini & Blieszner) there are four main reasons why we culturally do this to the elderly. First, we’ve been taught to associate sexuality with young people. Second, we’ve been taught to associate the ideas of romance, love and sex with young people. Third, we continue to perpetuate the association of sex with procreation and finally that the elderly don’t have as strong of sexual desires as young people.

If this is true why do we have Viagra?  Why are there 50 year old woman going after 22 years young men?  It's because sexual desire maintains a place in our relationships and mental health no matter the age.

The sexual needs of the elderly can turn from the physical to the act of touching though.  This is mainly because their sexual  behaviors can become more intimacy-based, developing emotions, stronger relationships and sensual feelings because of health reasons.   But what happens when one partner because physically unable to participate sexual intercourse?  The relationship either becomes stronger with new eroticism found in touching and building the intimacy or have very sexually frustrate old people.  No wonder their so fucking grumpy.

The idea of the elderly and their sexuality isn't something I would have normally thought about,until I saw this picture.  No denying this older American is aware of her sexuality well over 40.

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