I wonder every day, how and why it is the norm to expect people to age OUT of their sexuality?
Why is the idea of an older adult who is sexually active and INTERESTED in sex, still a taboo?
As a society we increasingly accept images that use younger and younger girls and boys in sexualized costuming and body stylings to sell us dreams and products. If you doubt this, just consider the new, sexy stylings of the Strawberry Shortcake doll and Bratz dolls here
The idea of older adults who live in a care facility seems even more abhorrent and I don't understand why. People who live in care facilities have been adults for most of their lives and many of them have lived with a partner or spouse for most of their lives as well. Many of the women have been widowed and many of the surviving men who live in care, are alive and well in the sexuality department.
I understand the dilemma that arises (no pun intended) when sexual interest emanates from someone with a dementia because this raises the issue of CONSENT.
But life in a care facility aside, why can't seniors be sexy?
Part of what makes humans so social, is the need for touch. Without touch human beings fail to thrive as was shown by landmark studies by Harlow in the 1950's (link to studies). Why would a human being stop needing to be touched merely because they have reached some chronological milestone, retired, become widowed or moved into a care facility?
I say that older adults need touch - and by this I mean CARING, loving touch, not care giveing touch which comes with ADL's or toileting. I say that if an older adult can find pleasure and joys in touch with a partner, then age should be of no concern.
I say sexuality is the right of every person and the right to enjoy one's own body or that of another, willing partner, should not be taken away or be shunned because of wrinkles, gray hair, poor mobility or poor vision.
I say, embrace the sexy senior. Why? Because that's life and that's living. The future seniors, those in the Baby Boomer generation, will not accept being robbed of their personhood OR their sexuality the way it is expected and accepted of seniors today.
Be prepared to see more of the sexy senior because the Baby Boomer generation will be bringing their sexual revolution into the senior era of the future...
- ▼ 2010 (12)