Life in the Boomer Lane: Ready for caressing tonight?
Good news for older boomers and seniors: A new study based on the National Health and Sexuality Survey, in which 1,939 heterosexual older people participated, shows that 62.3 per cent of men and 37.4 per cent of women are sexually active. “The most common practices are kisses, caressing and vaginal penetration. On the other hand, the least practiced are masturbation and oral sex.”
For those of you who are now completely fixated on thoughts of masturbation and/or oral sex, Life in the Boomer Lane is throwing a virtual bucket of cold water onto your head and telling you to snap out of it. Instead of thinking about the last sentence, let us concentrate on the first part of the next-to-last sentence:
“The most common practices are kisses, caresses….”
While LBL understands that most people would not consider kisses and caresses to be in the category of sex, she must remind you that recognizing these activities as falling under the sex category would greatly enhance most people’s self-image.
No longer would people have to feel bad about themselves when reading the never-ending deluge of articles in popular magazines and online periodicals, such as “Why Boomer Sex is the Best Yet,” “How to Have Wilder Sex Now Than You Had in Your 20s,” and “Fifteen Reasons Why Boomer Sex is Hot Hot Hot.”
LBL doesn’t know about you, but even just the thought of the acrobatics involved in her long-ago 20-something sex life is enough to get her joints inflamed, rather than her libido. Although her memories certainly still involve body positions that would now need manuals to achieve, she would welcome any research that would take into account her current arthritis and other unmentionable issues.
And then there is the added bonus of being able to free up one’s valuable time. “I used to have to take up about 20 minutes of my day for the nookie nookie,” said 67-year-old Alicia deLuga of Barcelona. “Now, with this new definition of sex, I can get it on, even while scrapbooking or cutting coupons.”
Mr. deLuga heartily agrees. He loves the caressing. “We leave the TV on, turned to the sports channel. Alicia does that scrapbooking or coupon crap and I get to watch the games. We just sort of run our hands over each other, and that’s that. The only downside for me is that I can get stabbed or get glue on my hands. Aside from that, it works fine.”
This is not the first time that sexual health in an older population has been measured. In 2006, a study published during the XXVI Spanish Family and Community Medicine Society Conference showed that 60 per cent of people over the age of 65 said they had sex on average four times a month. In that project, which was carried out with over 100 people by family doctors, the majority said that although their sexual intercourse had changed as a result of age, it was not “less satisfying.”
“We have sex all the time,” Jose Montalvo bragged. In the kitchen, I stick bananas in her ear. In the bathroom, we squirt shaving cream on each other. Of course, in bed we really go wild. She puts a pillowcase over my head and I have to find her. As long as I don’t trip over the cat scratch post, it’s a lot of fun.”
New data backs up a survey carried out in the U.S. and published in New England Journal of Medicine in 2008, in which 73 per cent of Americans between 57 and 64 years of age had sex. The number dropped to 53 per cebt for those aged 65 to 75, and dropped to 26 per cent for those aged 85 and up. It is not clear what, exactly, the term “sex” implied, but the study did rile a lot of over-75’s. Seventy-eight-year-old Bob McMannus said, “This study is bogus. My wife and I nap together all the time. Napping is a perfectly good way of having sex. In fact, we have recently gone from one nap a day to two, we are so hot for each other.”
Renee Fisher blogs at lifeintheboomerlane.wordpress.com. She is co-author of Invisible No More: The Secret Lives of Women Over 50.