Old People Sex
(with apologies to T.S. Eliot)
by Shamus MacDuff
It starts with talk—a conversation—
At which we set a date for play
Often a day or two away.
Time passes, anticipation simmers,
Thoughts unfold, excitement builds,
And then the chosen time arrives!
Showers happen, nothing’s rushed.
Sheets are pulled back, lube’s at hand,
And sex toys to match our ken.
We begin with talk—a loving flirtation—
Back and forth about who’ll go first,
Taking turns is very sexy!
The receiver makes requests; the giver
Complies gladly. Our “joint undertaking”
May require repositioned stiff knees.
Kissing, touching, then more kissing,
And more touching, all slow and easy,
No hurried strokes, no rush.
Responsive desire fires mutual pleasure,
Slow, gentle, sensuous, and exhilarating,
Spiced with smiles and laughter.
Activities vary, we experiment as we play.
PIV seldom happens; other ways
Prove more pleasurable and fun.
We finish with orgasms, hugs, spooning,
And more conversation—sharing thoughts about
Our past and present lives.
And this is how our date ends, this is how our date ends
This is how our date ends,
Not with a bang, but a cuddle.
I am thrilled to announce this collaboration with a company I’ve admired and endorsed for years. Read what Hot Octopuss has to say about our Senior Sex Hub. — Joan
Sex is Back!
-Over 50s rejoice-
Leading sex toy brand Hot Octopuss brings sex for the over fifties back to the fore with the launch of their Senior Sex hub with the help of ‘Senior Sexpert’ Joan Price
Sex is back! (*well actually it seems it never went away!). Contrary to popular belief, sexual intimacy and enjoyment is alive and kicking amongst the over 50’s. A recent article by USA Today states that “Many adults aged 65-80 are having sex (and most are pretty satisfied)”, the article goes on to say, “Sex is not just for the young: 40% of U.S. adults aged 65-80 say they are having sex — and even more of them, 73%, are satisfied with their sex lives”, the highest satisfaction rate out of any demographic.
A topic often side stepped, it turns out that this demographic is really into sex, so much so that award-winning, London-based sex toy company Hot Octopuss has decided to embrace this by launching a dedicated hub specifically designed to offer these sex positive seniors a sexual well-being destination dedicated to their specific needs.
Leading the charge and directing Hot Octopuss at every turn is world renowned “Senior Sexpert” Joan Price, internationally acclaimed advocate for ageless sexuality, award winning author and now, in-house senior sex expert and ambassador for Hot Octopuss at www.hotoctopuss.com/seniorsex.
It’s about time that senior sex is brought out of the shadows and who better to do this than in my opinion, the world’s most progressive and inclusive sex toy brand, Hot Octopuss. I’m delighted to be partnering with Hot Octopuss on this exciting project and with my own dedicated “Dear Joan” page, I will personally be there to offer candid advice to fellow seniors https://www.hotoctopuss.com/senior-sex/who have specific questions about better sex. From hot solo senior sex, to arousal and orgasm, or communicating better in a long-term relationship, no subject will be off-limits.
As well as having the chance to receive candid advice from a world leading expert, the hub’s focus will be on providing a one-stop-shop for everything senior sex, providing in-depth coverage of topics such as post-menopausal sex, sex with ageing penises and vulvas, ED, arousal, orgasm and masturbation, as well as offering sex toy tips, suggestions and senior reviews.
Hot Octopuss Co-founder Julia Margo explains,
The sexless seniors stereotype is so outdated and simply untrue. A fifth of the toys we sell on our site are bought by customers aged 55 or over. This, along with my own experience talking to older customers and senior sex experts over the last nine years at Hot Octopuss is that information and tools addressing issues such as menopause, stiff joints and erectile dysfunction can make all the difference to an individual’s sex life as one gets older.
Unfortunately, few sex toy companies discuss any of this, or represent older people in their marketing, which contributes to the misconception that the information is unwanted, whereas this couldn’t be further from the truth. We want to do things differently and understand that no matter how old you are, you are never too old to enjoy a fulfilling sex life. We are really proud to be working with Joan on the launch of our ‘senior sex’ hub to give all our older customers the very best in advice, so that they can continue to enjoy the sex life that they want and deserve throughout their lives.”
About Joan Price
Joan Price is the author of four books about sex and ageing, including the award-winning Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud About Senior Sex and her latest, Sex After Grief: Navigating Your Sexuality After Losing Your Beloved. Joan is known by global media as the voice of senior sex. Her blog has been offering sex news, views and reviews since 2005. Aged 76, Joan continues to talk out loud about senior sex, partnered or solo.
About Hot Octopuss
Founded in 2013, this award-winning, London-based brand designs innovative, cutting edge sex toys that not only look gorgeous, but are designed to work with the body. They passionately believe that pleasure is a fundamental right for everyone. Their sex toys have been taken back to the drawing board, and are developed using real people, some serious science and ingenious designs. Their collection of unique toys have been designed for everybody so whether you’re cis, trans, non-binary, have limited mobility or are older, there’s a Hot Octopuss toy to suit.
Do people have sex after 60? How about after 65?
I’m often complaining that little is known about our age group’s sexual behavior and beliefs because no one asks us. So I was delighted to learn that researchers at the University of Michigan surveyed 1,002 people between 65 and 80 about their sex lives as part of the National Poll on Healthy Aging 2018. The report, titled “Sex after 65. Health, gender differences, and lack of communication,” was released on May 3, 2018.
Here are some of the findings:
- 40 percent of people between the ages of 65 and 80 are sexually active.
- 54 percent of those with a partner are sexually active.
- Nearly 2/3 of older adults say they’re interested in sex.
- More than 50% say sex is important to their quality of life.
- 73 percent said they are satisfied with their current sex life.
- 18 percent of older men and 3 percent of older women say they’ve taken medications or supplements to improve sexual function in the past two years.
- Only 17 percent of older adults said they have talked with their doctor or other health care provider about sexual health in the past two years.
- Those between the ages of 65 and 70 were nearly twice as likely as those in their late 70s to be sexually active.
- 50% of men but just 12 percent of women aged 65 to 80 said they were extremely or very interested in sex.
As I read this, I kept asking myself how they defined sex or sexually active or sex lives. Did sex with a vibrator, a partner’s hand or mouth, or one’s own hand count as sexually active or having a sex life? (I say yes.) I asked Erica Solway, Ph.D., co-associate director of the poll, who told me,
We did not define sex because we wanted the response to be based on the individual’s definition of what constitutes sex (or their sex life or being sexually active) from their own perspective. We felt this was important, but it does mean that we do not have information on what activities people were referring to when they reported they were or were not sexually active. It’s possible that two people engaged in the same activities may have responded to the questions differently based on their personal definition.
I agree that our own definition of what constitutes sex is important in a study like this — I applaud this, in fact. But I would have liked that clearer in the poll questions. For example, “Are you currently sexually active?” could have been worded, “Do you engage in sexual activity?” That may sound almost the same, but I have a hunch that many people would interpret the first question as “Do you have sex with a partner?” and the second as “Do you have sex, either with a partner or with yourself?” Asking the question differently would have raised the percentage of people who answered yes to that question, seems to me.
What do you think, readers? Am I off base? How would you interpret the question, “Are you currently sexually active?” (Please answer in the comments section.)
The wording of the questions is a minor quibble, though, because I understand that the poll was multiple-choice, not essay questions, and answered online, not via an interview. In the end, I’m happy that someone’s asking.
This report was all over the news. Here are some of the headlines:
- CNN: “Seniors, new poll says, are still sexy after all these years“
- USA Today: “Seniors and sex: Many adults ages 65-80 are having sex (and most are pretty satisfied)“
- US News: “Study: Many Adults Ages 65 to 80 Continue to Be Sexually Active“
- The Guardian: “Sex a key part of life for people over 65, study says“
- Bustle: “The Sex Lives Of People Over 65 Are Thriving, Study Finds, So There’s Finally Something to Look Forward To“
As glad as I was to see this study in the news, I couldn’t help wondering why the [younger] public is so surprised that we seniors have sex on our minds and in our beds. Why would we give up something so pleasurable? Do they expect that on some predetermined birthday, we’ll just say, “Sex? Been there, done that, moving on. Now help me blow out all these candles.”
Thank you, University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, for conducting the study, and AARP and Michigan Medicine, U-M’s academic medical center, for sponsoring it. Let’s keep talking.
In my newsletter a few months ago, I asked my subscribers several questions. The response was so huge that I devoted an entire blog post to the answer to the first question: “If you’re in a long-term relationship, what tips or wisdom can you share that help you keep a relationship sexy and spicy after decades together?” Read my readers’ answers here.
If you’re in a relationship that’s less than satisfying, what do you wish you could tell or ask your partner to bring the sexiness back?
* I wish she’d realize how difficult it is for me when I’ve tried romantic stuff and she doesn’t respond. I wish she allow herself to get turned on like she used to in her 30s.
* I’m 67, in a heterosexual relationship with a peer, 68, who has chronic back pain with acute flare ups which he fears and dreads. His solution for sex – on back, still as possible – leaves me frustrated. His anxiety has affected me, and I’m wondering how to speak up. Friends have suggested sex toys. I’d like to lose my own inhibitions and ask for more foreplay.
* I’m in a relatively new relationship that was interrupted by breast cancer that required a mastectomy. Months after her final chemo treatment, there is no further evidence of cancer. The drugs that suppress estrogen also suppress libido. We are on uncertain ground. It’s difficult to talk about, because it is such a change from pre-cancer romance. I’m not sure what it is we are talking about some of the time: is it the shock of having had cancer, exhaustion from trying to get back up to speed at work, drug effects, or is it actually the relationship? All the things that used to work, don’t. It’s like we’re starting from scratch with a lot of baggage added. She once expressed her sense of how this relationship has gone for her as, “We were dating. Then I got cancer and everything focused on that. While you were looking after me the relationship grew deeper for you; for me it disappeared. Now I’m back and we are in very different places.” Patience is the key for both of us. Psychological recovery takes longer than physical healing, we both know that. Yes, I’m in love with her and I know she loves me; she says it often.
In what ways have you changed your ideas about the kind of relationship you’d like to have now? For example, would you be happy in a non-monogamous relationship? Friends with benefits? Marriage only? Living together without marriage? Sexually exclusive but not living together? Intimacy without sex?
* My sexual appetite and lack of inhibition are stronger than my husband’s. Part of me — the randier side of me — thinks it would be cool to have another partner. But my husband is emphatic that that would be grounds for divorce. It’s not worth it to me at this time to pursue it. Sometimes I believe that it’s attractive because, after 33 years, it’s just different.
* I am involved now with a man who identifies as polyamorous. I’ve been strictly a one man gal, and it’s been an eye opening experience to process this new paradigm. I love him, but only time will tell whether I can live a lifestyle that is so foreign to me. As I age, I am more sexually comfortable, adventurous and voracious! As a young woman I was painfully shy, inhibited, and sure I wasn’t attractive. Now I feel strong, capable, sexy, attractive and free to express myself sexually and sensually. As challenging as my current relationship is, I have never had richer, more vibrant, freeing conversations with any man I have been involved with. It is a gift, and no matter what happens, I will always appreciate what this man has brought to my life.
What’s the worst thing a date or mate ever said to you? I ask this after a friend told me that a recent sex date said to him, “You’re the kind of person I want to go to bed with — but not the kind of person I want to wake up with.”
* My marriage before it ended: “Not only do I have to have sex with you, but I’m supposed to enjoy it?”
* “You’re too fat to fuck.” Still smarts after all these years.
What else would you like me to know?
* I want to learn how to love without fear, without clinging to the safety of old thinking. How to love extravagantly, with respect at all times for myself and my partner(s).
* I enjoy sex more now at age 66 because after many years, I’m more into the total experience that each encounter brings. When I was young, it was me and my partner getting to the big “O”. Now, it’s so much more. The passion, while still there, is not the rip off your clothes type passion. It’s the patience, if you will, of taking our time and enjoying each other’s bodies. It’s the expression of love and the communication that wasn’t there years ago. It’s the candles flickering in the darkness of the room. It’s the kissing and caressing. It’s the change that comes with each love making session. It’s our willingness to explore different “toys” and lubricants. Can we move and get into positions like 20 years ago – of course not. But what we can and do now that we didn’t do before is we can totally love, accept and appreciate each other for what we are. Seniors who take every bit of love making to the fullest every time.
Do you want to join in the discussion? I welcome your comments!