Funny or Offensive? Please tell me.

Of course yesterday’s New England Journal of Medicine report on senior sexuality prompted not only a respectful and informative media blast, but also the kind of stereotypical response we’ve come to expect, such as “Senior Sex Study Shows Nana and Papa Still Getting It On
by Ted Gay. An excerpt from Gay’s satirical site:

Jane Stacy, a ninety-four-year-old paraplegic who is cared for by her husband, Van, said that their love life was sparked after she showered and he placed her in her chair to dry and fell face down in her twat.“I said, ‘as long as you’re down there, Van, tend to the clitoris,’ which I was most happy to say he did,” Jane said.When he was asked what Jane tasted like, Van shrugged his shoulders and said, “Depends.”

Is this funny? I know, Postcards is a satirical site, and it even says, “the editorial content on this page is fictional. It is presented for entertainment purposes only. We cannot be held responsible for the actions of anyone who takes this sort of thing seriously.” What I’m bothered by is that the elderly seem be fair game for ridicule, and that’s what I don’t like.

Am I oversensitive when I say this is the kind of senior sex stereotyping and putdown that I resent? Should I just laugh, as I’m sure Gay intended? Or is this just one more example of our society’s view of elders as pathetic and ludicrous if they enjoy and/or desire sex?

What do you think? Please tell me.


  1. RICK on July 17, 2008 at 11:28 am

    Personally i think it was very funny, and that it would have been if the couple were in their twenties.
    It’s not the paraplegia or even the age that is actually funny to me, these are incidentals.

    The accidental sex is what i found humorous.

  2. bored on February 10, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    This just boggles my mind I thought all senior’s were like my husband dead when it comes to sex. It just up and died it needs to be buried. He is 75 almost 76,but it has been dying the past few years. Finally it just gave up the ghost.
    He says he is depressed, one thing I do know for certain alcohol does not help the sex drive, it kills it. I think that is what is wrong with my husband, as he has drank all his life and a lot.
    My ex was a big time alcoholic and when we were first married 1975, both in our 40’s, he went to the drug store and asked for something to give him an irrection, the druggist told him to go see his Dr. It was his beer causing it! So our 18 years together was not fun in bed, just drink, and more drink beer or anything else he could lay his hands on.
    I have written a book called Vodka and Roses about living with him for so long.
    Now this man we have had some great sex at times, but he will not go see a Dr about it, just complains he can’t do anything. He has the thought but that is all. So we each just go to our seperate bedrooms and go to sleep.

    It really bothered me at first for quite awhile but now I don’t even think about it. So reading this really blew my mind. But more power to the people that still can enjoy a good romp in the hay. Have some sex for me.

  3. gratitude on August 26, 2007 at 11:37 pm

    This is in response to Harry’s comment.

    I was talking with a group of teen women one day and they told me about the “sex education” they have at school. It’s all neocon, right wing garbage about how there is no such thing as safe sex, and how the only thing to do is to wait until you’re married. (And take your chances that you’ll end up with someone who pleases you — if not I guess you’re just stuck, and well, too bad.) They have no instruction in the mechanics, let alone the emotional aspects of sex. And absolutely nothing is said about preventing STD’s. How incredibly damaging this must be to so many kids! It would be better if they just had no sex ed at all.

    These were grounded sensible intelligent women, and they had all gone to the bookstore to find out what they needed to know. One of them, age 17, had been with the same lover since age 14. But what about all the young people who won’t think to go to the bookstore, don’t have an older adult to talk to, and will just accept what they’re told without question?

    In the fifties and sixties when I was young we did have pretty good sex ed, but none of it was about learning good techniques or how to please a partner. Still it was something.

    But this is gone nowadays, what with some politicians and their minions attempting to return us to the “good old days” of the nineteenth century.

    I think it was sometime in the 80’s that this “new” approach to sex ed started, along with the antiabortion fervor and the U.S. removing all of our sponsored family planning programs around the world. The U.S. also turns a blind eye to the sexual abuse of women and young girls which is happening in many countries including our own.

    A friend of mine has parents who took a “nap” every day, the only time when no one was allowed to disturb mom and dad. They’re a family of eight children and overall one of the happiest bunch of folks I know.

  4. Harry on August 25, 2007 at 5:08 pm

    I found this quite funny but his language may offend some. Yes, by all means publish items like this. It connects younger people of today with us olderfolk on a sexual level and is needed. I never thought of my parents as a sexual couple yet I well remamber Sunday afternoons when they stayed in their bedroom to have a “nap”.

    Younger couples get Sex Ed in school which we never had. I experienced oral sex for the first time when I was 65 and enjoyed giving it very much. Young people today enjoy sex in ways we never did. We need a bridge and yr blog is important as that bridge. Masturbation is another subject seldom discussed yet so necessary at times at our age or any age.

  5. gratitude on August 24, 2007 at 11:07 pm

    Ted Gay’s article is probably funny to some people, but almost everyone having sex is funny to someone. Personally I think it would be hilarious to watch Paris Hilton have sex.

    We could have a field day with Ted Gay’s name. Just wait till my husband gets going on that later tonite, sort of in the Southpark vein. And we have gay friends and think being gay is fine by the way.

    The point is I don’t think we can start having groups being exempt from ridicule without interfering with our first amendment rights. If people like Ted Gay want to waste their time putting stories like this on the net, making fun of someone, take your pick, it’s their right to do so. Maybe they need that to work out something in themselves. Those same laws protect our right to freely discuss or learn about older age sexuality and any other topic we choose.

    Like Frank Zappa said, “as long as it doesn’t cause a murder.” I would draw the line at web sites and articles which advocate violence, especially against living things. Stuff like that I take serious issue with, but how do we regulate the internet without messing it up?

    Personally I do find most of what the Gay guy says kind of offensive, and stupid, and age-o-phobic.

  6. Karen Rayne, Ph.D. on August 24, 2007 at 10:05 pm

    I think this is great, Joan! It’s a presentation of seniors as enjoying their sexuality and being proactive in asking for what they want sexually from their partner. Can you explain more why you find it offensive?


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