No one wants to picture his or her parents being intimate. So, many people – mistakenly, as it turns out – assume that most seniors are no longer sexually active. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
By: Daniel Faxtor of LivingSenior
Seniors are apparently taking the old adage, ”use it or lose it” to heart these days. It’s estimated that as many as 80 percent of seniors between the ages of 50 and 80 are having sex. Unfortunately, that also means that the occurrence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, and HIV has more than doubled among the 50 to 90-year-old group over the last ten years.
Why? There are many reasons. Most seniors probably had little to no sex education classes back in the day. That doesn’t mean they didn’t figure it out – by the looks of things, they did – but they may not be educated about the risks attached to what they are doing. Except for what they may have learned while serving in the military about syphilis and gonorrhea, little effort was made to prevent the spread of sexual diseases. And since many of these folks have been monogamous for a good share of their lives, there was no real need to worry about contagious diseases.
Then there are the baby boomers – the group that virtually started the sexual revolution. Is it any surprise that this group is still sexually active after all these years? And now that they finally don’t have to worry about unwanted pregnancy, they no longer need to use a condom, right? Wrong. That’s the kind of sexual freedom that can lead to more trouble than a baby would ever have been.
And don’t forget recent contributions from the pharmaceutical leaders. In previous decades, seniors may have wanted to stay sexually active, but their bodies didn’t always cooperate. Today, there are drugs for that. In fact, one study noted that the steep rise in STDs among seniors just happens to have started around 1998 – the same year that Viagra was introduced.
Online dating may also be a factor. In fact, people over 50 are considered the fastest-growing group turning to dating websites. Many are new (again) to the world of dating and haven’t prepared for what comes after that first kiss.
And of course, senior living has changed for the better – way better. Nursing homes used to be reserved for the sick and the senile. Today, many vital – and apparently virile – seniors are choosing to live among others their own age at active senior living communities. While some are married, there are a great number who are single – by death or divorce – who are meeting new and attractive members of the opposite sex. And who’s to stop them from doing what the young folks do?
Maybe it’s time for adult children to have “the talk” with their parents. Someone has to set these crazy kids straight!
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