Over 65's Are Saying 'More Sex Please'

Sex is far more important to over 65s than we think, as a recent survey conducted by the charity Independent Age has just proven.

 Photo credit: Lotte Meijer.

Photo credit: Lotte Meijer.

We often assume that once people hit their 60's, their sex drive diminishes, the need for companionship increases and that they are content with living life at a much slower place. However, it seems that these assumptions based on ageist stereotypes are completely false.

As reported by BBC News, a survey was conducted on 2002 Britons by Independent Age, to discover what their attitudes reflected when it comes to the topic of sex in later life. Over 50% of participants stated they wish they had more, or rather, that they felt they weren't having enough sex. 

Generally, it is known that people aged 65 and over find it more difficult to find suitable partners; for romance, sex or companionship. There are very little opportunities for older people to meet others, aside from attending specific classes for hobbies or community trips to local amenities. Even in this instance, it depends if such classes or excursions are available in your area. The sheer lack of opportunity could easily account for very little to no sexual activity in some over 65's. 

Independent Age also found from the results of their survey:

  • Almost 1/3 are happy to have sex on a first date.
  • 1 in 10 over 75's have had multiple sexual partners since turning 65.
  • 1 in 6 of 80 year olds and above said they felt they had enough sex.
  • 1 in 4 over 65's that are currently in a relationship that started within the last 10 years said they had met their partner online.
  • 1 in 11 over 65's said they don't use protection against STI's when having sex with a new partner.

We know that people's attitudes towards sex and sexuality is rapidly changing. Could it be with all the sex-positive news topics, demonstrations, raunchy cinema releases and tv shows, that adults of all ages are slowly starting to feel more confident in discussing and exploring their sexuality?

"The generation that is reaching 65 and older now is the baby boomers. I don't think anyone has ever told them they should be stopping.
"People of that generation have a slightly different approach to sex, maybe, than the 80 to 85-year-olds did." - Lucy Harmer, director of services at Independent Age.

Last year, we shared a report from USA Today, concluding very similar findings i.e. that the majority of over 60's still enjoyed having sex and with regularity. However, it was also discovered that due to the number of over 60's that weren't using any protection against STI transmissions, the number of cases involving the contraction of syphilis and chlamydia infections had massively increased.

"There is still very little discussion of the sex lives of older people, with the vast majority of conversations, education and sexual health campaigns focusing on young people.
"This has created the assumption that sexual health and STIs are only issues for the young - and that needs to change." said Debbie Laycock, head of policy and parliamentary affairs at the Terence Higgins Trust to the BBC.

The call for sex education and relationships advice so far has been purely for young people; students of primary and secondary school age groups. While this information is essential for people to obtain early in life, similar courses should be accessible to adults of all ages who didn't have this education.

After all, as a millennial I know that the sex education we received was not only rudimentary, it was largely impractical, ultra clinical and with zero mention of any type of enjoyment or pleasure. It mostly came from the angle that 'people do this because they can and mostly to have babies'. I can only imagine what the sex ed would have been like for those over 65... if they had any at all.

If we can expand the focus on sexuality, sexual activity and health from young people to those above legal and consenting age, we will gain a much better insight into human interests, behaviours and challenges so that society as a whole can become better informed, and that individuals can feel safe and content with their decisions, whether it involves sex or not. 

 

Written by Brenda Adiyiah for Burn the Night

In association with Rose Talks Sex radio show.

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