Keep the dance in your pants: Sex, seniors, love and life quality
February 1, 2021 | View PDF
Sexual intimacy among “horny old broads and dirty old men” is a subject people don’t talk about much. Especially around the grandkids. There’s a widespread misconception that seniors lose interest. Oo-la-la, au contraire.
Unclench please, we’re all adults. Don’t get uptight and mentally censor or deem sinful the urges that come naturally. A University of Michigan/AARP survey finds 40 percent of people ages 65 to 80 are sexually active. Nearly 72 percent of individuals in that age range have a romantic partner and of those, 54 percent are sexually active. More than half of those surveyed also report sex, intimacy, is important to their quality of life.
“Sex and sexual health among older adults doesn’t get much attention, but is linked closely to quality of life, health and well-being,” says Erica Solway, University of Michigan’s co-associate director of the poll.
While some seniors may give up strenuous sports, sex is a physical pleasure many older people readily enjoy. “There’s no age limit on sexuality and sexual activity,” reports Stephanie A. Sanders, PhD, associate director of the Kinsey Institute sexual research group. “However, sex hormones testosterone and estrogen decline with age, but these changes affect everyone differently.”
According to the National Institute on Aging, naturally occurring changes in body shape and size may change some people’s desire for sexual relations, as can medication side effects. Having chronic health conditions doesn’t help matters. If you don’t feel well, you’re not going to be thinking about sex; talk to a doctor about it. Many causes for decreased libido are treatable.
Regarding seniors and sexually transmitted disease (STDs), age doesn’t protect anyone. According to the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging, a high midlife divorce rate and online dating may also be factors.
“We assume seniors know about safe sex, but many don’t,” says Jennifer FitzPatrick, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.-C., founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc. “Seniors who are sexually active outside of a committed relationship should use condoms.”
The 2018 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that among all age groups, rates of STDs are going up, and the greatest rise appears to be among seniors. An analysis by Athenahealth showed in-office treatments for chlamydia, herpes simplex, hepatitis- B, trichomoniasis, gonorrhea, and syphilis were up 23% from 2014 to 2017. Treatment for these same diseases rose by 11% in younger age groups.
Nutrition and sexual function
Both genders must understand most sexual health hitches can be improved through plant-based nutrition, regular exercise, and medical help. Foods high in Omega-3 help the body’s nervous system, neurological functioning and enhance circulation, which aids sexual function. Salmon, tuna, trout, walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, chia, and flax seed are wonderful for overall health and sex life.
Foods rich in L-Arginine: sugar-free granola, oatmeal (not instant), dairy, green vegetables, root vegetables, garlic, ginseng, chickpeas, onions, whole grains, eggs, dark chocolate, and beans, also increase circulation. Avocados are sexually potent foods high in antioxidants, potassium, and vitamin B6, which promotes blood flow.
Everyone should strive to eat from nature’s garden and take food-based multiple vitamins with trace minerals that create overall health, energy and happiness. Wholesome nutrition and specific vitamin supplements can enhance sexual performance, impact hormone levels, boost blood flow, libido and more.
Other than faded love or physical infirmities, there’s mixed information why sex drive decreases as we age. Both biological and psychological factors affect sexuality. For example, sex hormones such as testosterone and estrogen decline with age, but these changes affect everyone differently.
Prime rib, baked potato smothered in sour cream and bacon bits, and a slab-o-cheesecake or pasta and pizza are a hard-to-digest prelude to disaster. Additionally, excessive alcohol can dull sexual desire, decreases arousal and sensitivity, and may lower inhibitions leading to unsafe decisions and deceive one into thinking they’re a Casanova doppelganger.
The reality is, when blood flow is actively aiding digestion, there’s precious little available
for other regions, resulting in the tragic assault with a dead weapon or falling asleep rather than sharing intimacy with your loving sweetie pie.
Geriatrics expert Walter M. Bortz, author of three books on healthy aging as well as several studies on seniors’ sexuality says, “If you stay interested, stay healthy, stay off medications, and have a good mate, then you can have good sex all the way to the end of life.”
A Duke University study showed that some 20 percent of people over 65 have sex lives that are better than ever before.
Rather than assuming desire is lost, examine diet and lifestyle. Prepare a quixotic supper at home where you can create a romantic setting with music, flickering candles, and mindfully prepared, easy-to-digest food using proper ingredients. Perhaps, consider intimacy before dining.
Regardless, keep the love of life alive from wedding day to everyday with healthy intimacy from the fountain of love, sweet love – the ultimate aphrodisiac.