Sex later in life are conversations that need to be had. Picture: Wikimedia.org
Sex later in life are conversations that need to be had. Picture: Wikimedia.org

LOOK: UK charity Relate spotlights ’joys of later-life sex’ and it’s the most beautiful thing

By Marchelle Abrahams Time of article published Apr 29, 2021

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Life begins at 40, they say.

What they forgot to add is that gravity starts playing a part.

Suddenly, body parts starts sagging, you find ourself out of breath, and things that used to come easily takes more effort, like sex for example.

Nobody warns you that a moment of pleasure could land you in the emergency room or that five minutes in, one of you are shouting out a safe word because your leg pulled stiff while trying out a new position.

And yet, there’s something so emotionally freeing about sharing intimacy with a partner that you’ve been with for years. Knowing every inch of each other’s bodies brings with it a sexual freedom that most only dream of.

So why then are the joys of oldie sex not celebrated? It’s not something you see very often in a movie or a TV series. Instead Hollywood glosses over sex scenes with young bodies slithering between sheets in ecstasy.

Could it be our predisposition towards not wanting to see, saggy bits? Or that we’ve been programmed into thinking that old people just don’t have sex?

And that’s why it’s so important that campaigns like Relate’s 'Let's talk the joy of later life sex' matter.

The UK charity recently undertook a massive initiative across all its social media platforms to shine a spotlight on the unseen – sex and intimacy in our later years – with renowned British photographer Rankin.

Why? Because sex later in life are conversations that need to be had.

Various studies even support the notion.

In 2018, researchers found older people were far happier if they had made love in the past 12 months, suggesting it could be down to feelings of post-coital bliss or the benefits of the exercise involved, the Daily Mail reported.

Lead author Dr Lee Smith, an exercise expert at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, said: “There is a misconception that older people are not interested in sex, but it is important and can reduce their risk of heart problems and early death.

“We found sex can improve people’s enjoyment of life.”

Another study published in the journal Sexual Medicine found that sexual intercourse may be more important for older men than women in terms of well-being, while women’s enjoyment more closely related to other sexual activities.

“If encouraging and supporting people to continue to enjoy a healthy sex life in old age could help boost well-being, there may be benefits both for the individual and for the sustainability of health services,” said Sarah Jackson, senior research associate from the University College London, told IANS.

For the campaign, Relate spoke to couples from various backgrounds.

One couple named Billie and Cora, discussed the role sex plays in their marriage.

“Sex is nothing to do with the age.

“I think some people once they reach a certain age they never talk about it, but for me it’s you discuss it and make fun of it,” they said.

Margaret reflected on her sex life with her late husband and talked about the importance of making memories.

“My sex life with my husband was intense through the whole of our marriage.

“As we got older, it got better!”

Visit www.relate.org.uk/later-life-sex for more info.

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