You could never imagine your parents having sex, could you? When you are young, sex is an exciting discovery. It seems to belong to your generation, to beautiful bodies, to smooth skin, to perfect curves and six packs.
How can it be possible for the Wrinklies? Do they turn the lights off or what?
Of course we don’t! Dark is dodgy at 80. We would probably fall over climbing into bed! But being old doesn’t mean you stop being a normal human!
Human sexuality is a delightful pleasure for all ages. That 30 % of 80 year old women still have good sex…more would if we weren’t short of men in our age group…is not as well known as it might be.
For the young sex gets mixed up with love, lust and thrust. As it should. That is what hormones do to humans, get us to pair up and breed. But when you are older you have got past that. Then the other lovely elements of a good sex life come into their own, and if anything, get better and better.
How to explain? First, good sex is not about orgasms. Nice? Yes. A relief? Yes. But I think most of us would say you might as well masturbate if that is all you want. Or get a good vibrator.
Good quality sex is much more than that. Its about two of you cherishing and caring on a mutual pleasure journey. It is Sensuality. The stroking, the soft soothing, the sensitive touching……even scratching….all much better done by someone else ……..And of course, knowing stimulation, by someone who cares what you will feel, is absolutely the best.Not much can beat a lover who is a good masseur, can it? With beautiful scented oil of course.
Yes, of course we still do the candles, a special meal, a good wine, music and dance. We still have the fur rug and the right arm chair. (Though maybe we need to borrow the Gardeners kneeling stool to get up again….)
But do you know what is the real pleasure of sex when you are old?
It is time! Mornings can be long and lingering. Tea in bed, catch up on e mails? No hurry. A hand slides across and before you know it you are having to explain to the postman or the neighbour that ” No “you aren’t ill. Just needed a lie in. They sympathise…..and smile kindly.
And a mornings walk followed by a joint shower? Well of course us Oldies need a nap after lunch, don’t we?
Why am I telling you this? Because the reality that older people still have sex lives stares you in the face everyday. And I would be happy to bet that the majority of younger people just don’t see it!
The standard stereotype of old age does not include sex.
But start looking, eyes open wide, and you see it. Everywhere. The hand holding…yes they can walk without help. The little nuzzles and pats, an arm round a waist….just lovely! Fat, wrinkled, grey hair, bald, age spots and all, they are still in love.
Again, why am I telling you? Because this stereotyping of older people as in some way different from other humans is totally unhelpful to everyone. Being old is normal. It is the third stage of human life and nothing to fear.
Rather, your third age is a special time, a time to enjoy and be happier than you ever were.