SEX & THE SENIOR: FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS

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Sex and Seniors. It’s one of the last remaining taboo subjects, so let’s talk about it and debunk a few myths.  First of all, there is no magical cut off date when we suddenly wake up to discover that we are no longer sexual beings.  We live in a youth oriented society that has been perpetuating the grossly misguided myth that sexuality slowly begins to die the moment that first gray hair appears. I think that motherhood, menopause and the relentless pressure from an unforgiving media all work in tandem to crush women’s desire and enthusiasm for sex, so by the time we reach 50, our sexuality and self-esteem have taken quite a beating. However, it’s never too late to resuscitate one’s mojo.

I for one, have no intention of relinquishing my “sexy lady” card anytime soon, because I think all human beings need affection and intimacy in order to truly thrive.

Whether you approve or disapprove, the sexual revolution happened and women are no longer required to behave in a sexually reserved manner anymore. Back in the day, sex was something we saved for marriage, and if you didn’t, it surely wasn’t something you admitted to, or openly discussed. Many of us married quite young, often due to a raging sexual curiosity, and consequently only ever experienced intimacy with one person. There were good girls (our mothers told us those were the ones men wanted to marry) and bad girls (with loose morals, bad reputations and all of the dates.) Thankfully times have changed, and women can now admit to being sexual human beings and act upon it openly and without judgment from friends, society or that voice inside our own heads!

If you are fortunate enough to have a loving partner and a wonderful sex life, then this article is not for you. However, if like me, you are no longer that fortunate, then do read on.

Studies actually show that seniors who are sexually active live longer, healthier, happier lives, and who am I do quarrel with that?  So, if you’re a single senior out there dating, and haven’t found your soul mate yet, you may want to consider finding a “friend with benefits.”  Sexual satisfaction doesn’t necessarily have to be part of a committed love affair.  It does however, require physical attraction, and above all else, trust. Just to be clear, I am not suggesting that women should take home a stranger for a one-night stand, because that can be very dangerous. Nor do I suggest taking up with any of the young studs who contact you on dating sites, because almost all of them are con artists of some sort. In my opinion, a “friend with benefits” is simply someone who you have dated, like and are physically attracted to, but for whatever reason does not have the potential to be a long term partner.

If the attraction is mutual, this type of man can be someone who you can develop a great sexual relationship with, without the ties of a committed partnership.  While you are out there searching for that next great love, you can also fulfill your need for sexual intimacy at the same time.  I realize this is not for everyone, and that many senior women have simply chosen to eliminate sex from their lives for a wide variety of reasons.  However, if you still crave intimacy, you shouldn’t be ashamed to admit it, and act upon it.  Love and sex do not have to exist simultaneously in the same relationship in order to be enjoyable. I have had very satisfying physical relationships with men who were simply wonderful lovers, but nothing more. Just because a strong physical chemistry is there, doesn’t mean that a man is relationship material. It’s important to recognize the difference between a potential partner and a potential lover and to be honest about what your needs are and what you are looking for. Sometimes this takes a bit of soul searching. It’s not easy to let go of a lifetime of antiquated thinking and open ourselves up to a more liberal way of behaving. However there are some great articles and websites out there that discuss senior sexuality, so if you are looking to explore that side of yourself, possibly start by reading a bit on the subject first. It always helps to feel supported and part of a community of like-minded people who are out there experiencing the same thing.

Here are some good resources:

Joan Price ~ http://www.joanprice.com

Sex After 50: Huff Post ~ www.huffingtonpost.com/news/sex-after-50/)

The Huffington Post ~ http://www.lctabus.com/new.asp?news/senior-sex/

Senior Planet ~ http://seniorplanet.org/tag/senior-sex/

~ Dorrie

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