When we speak to the younger set, it’s not unusual to see disgusted looks on their faces when the subject of sex in the over 50s is discussed. It’s part of the fixture that children cannot image their parents having sex. Well, in many cases they have it and the following relationship story is an example of to what degree.
Jim was in his early 70s and Sue was 10 years younger. They had been together about 10 years. Jim was wanting to have sex four times a day – some would call him a sex addict. Sue was finding this overwhelming. At her request, they sought counselling. In the negotiations, Sue was prepared to have sex up to twice a day, but with more foreplay. Jim felt this was unacceptable – he needed it, at least, four times. The relationship broke down, and Jim found himself a younger woman who was prepared to have sex at his desired rate of frequency. Sue found a lovely man who felt that he had struck gold when he concluded that she was a very sensual lady and was willing to have sex more frequently than he had ever imagined.
Jim and Sue may appear extreme to most, but recent surveys indicate that seniors in many cases are highly sexed. In a Sunday Telegraph Stella Magazine survey, it was found that: “29% of retirees had sex more than 11 times per month, compared with 24% of people in full-time work and 20% of those in part-time employment.” The survey also found that the gap has widened among those same groups for those who have sex more than 21 times a month.
The frequency is not so relevant unless the couples are mismatched in their desire. Even when a couple is well matched in their sexual drive, this may change over the years as they each face physical and physiological challenges. This shift in the balance of sexual need may cause frustrations and resentment.
Recently, we gave a talk to a group of seniors. We asked the group, “Who likes to have sex?” There was much giggling in the room and most put up their hands with some commenting, “When I can get it.” The issue seemed to be a lack of opportunity not a lack of desire.
For the ever growing numbers of single seniors, whether because of divorce, the death of a partner or, increasingly never having had a long-term relationship, the big issue is finding a partner. Many things in our lives can be resolved by the questions we ask ourselves. The following issues relate more specifically to the sexual relationship that you would love to have.
We encourage you to think outside the box. Since in groups over 60, there are more women than men, do you share a partner? Do you look for someone younger? What other alternatives can you find?
We are aware of several couples where one is no longer having sex, and may be disabled, and have encouraged their partner to find someone else to fulfil that need. They have their rules about the choice of the third party and how it relates to their primary relationship. With some couples, there is a geographic boundary, such as another suburb, town or even state. Occasionally, we have seen the threesome all live under the same roof.
We don’t make a moral judgement about these issues, it is simply that some seniors are choosing to select differing options. Sexual intimacy is a vital human need. When speaking to senior groups, we find women are outnumbering men and as people live longer, this is more noticeable. It’s great that at any age, people can still enjoy a sex life with all the positives that it entails. So we say, to the younger generation, “Get over it!”