Age positive

It is the thing that strikes fear into most people, the thing we like to think will never happen to us.

No, not getting to the supermarket checkout and realising you forgot your purse or leaving the toilet with your skirt tucked into the back of your knickers! I am talking about old age, the thing that teenagers think happens when one hits 30.

If something awful doesn’t happen to us, it’s as inevitable as death and taxes, even if we get a nip and tuck or wear body-shaping undies. And as someone who feels pretty downbeat if she goes without action for a couple of weeks, I dread to reach the point when I’m too saggy/droopy/dry/knackered/haggard/generally clapped-out to get any ever again. I sometimes wonder if I’ve already reached that point…

On the other hand, I don’t want to be some toothless old crone gumming a doddery chap’s chemically induced hard-on. Then having to call home care to help me to my feet when my arthritis-riddled knees lock.

So when do we stop doing it? Not for a while if recent studies are to be believed. Apparently, STDs among over 50s have risen dramatically in recent years.  In a recent survey commissioned by Age UK a quarter of over 65s said their sex life hadn’t changed as they got older. And 8% were keen to pursue a new sexual relationship while 12% said they wanted to try new things with their partners. I also have a friend in her early 70s who still has sex with her partner, thanks to some ‘special cream’ she gets from the doctor to keep her lubricated – the main problem with women after the menopause.

It does worry me that women’s libidos seem to decline as they get older – without that, I am not sure I will still have a pulse, but maybe I need to plan future hobbies like crochet and embroidery. Men seem to keep going, as long as they can still get it up – something now helped along with modern medicine. But sexually active older men have a habit of chasing after much younger women, leaving us old biddies to fend for ourselves, read our knitting patterns or try our luck with a toy boy.

I also wonder what happens if you are living in a residential home and sexually active. Will staff respect your privacy and leave you to it, or will they treat you like a naughty teenager and ‘ground’ you – “No Countdown for a week, Mrs DSM and from now on you and Albert will not be in the same Scrabble team!”

I fear that it’s the latter, as people over 70 seem to be suddenly treated like they cannot think for themselves, even if they are compos mentis e.g. “Shall we get you out of bed now, Mrs Jones and how about we have a cup of tea?” The tone and language is the same I use with my two-year-old.

Maybe bonking Albert two doors down is the ultimate two fingers up to anyone who condescends and patronises like this.

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  • Jenniefer M Pickup commented on June 28, 2013 at 01:58

    All I hope for is to still be able to do it, either single-handedly or by two. I would want to hurry up and die rather than let those bits go to waste.The older I get the less icky it is to contemplate, and life would not be worth living if I couldn’t generate an”O”. I have an elderly lady living with me and I know that she hasn’t had any pleasure, self inflicted or otherwise, the entire time I’ve known her, which is more than twenty years. I see how that negation and denial has turned her into a miserable lonely woman. I do not want that for myself, so by fair means or foul I would definitely do what it takes to avoid it. Unavoidable pondering…unavoidable aging.

  • I couldn’t agree more! Even though the body weakens, if we are lucky enough to stay of sound mind, I would still like to be able to at least enjoy thinking about it.

  • Elizabeth. commented on June 29, 2013 at 00:50

    Its not just womens libidos that decline as they get older. Im married to a man 23 yrs older than myself. He stopped wanting sex when he was 46. At that time i was only 23.
    After 7 yrs i had an affair which lasted for 4 and a half years. That ended 5 and a half yrs ago.
    There is no affection either. He did become ill but ten years after he stopped wanting me in the way that a man should want a woman.
    My wants have not waned. I am now 40 and seem to want it more than ever. But my confidence has suffered so badly that i have got it into my head that i need to lose at least 3 stone before i feel able (if i have the courage to) do anything about it. Living this existence for a long time sucks all the joy out of your life and you end up feeling isolated and lonely. i appreciate that at a size 18/20 i do need to lose weight anyway and have already lost a stone. Comfort eating was how i dealt with this issue for a long time. But beginning to look after myself better is just the start because i know i cant stay in this situation forever.

  • Angus commented on June 29, 2013 at 12:17

    You’re looking too far ahead girls. First you may never reach 70 and second pharmaceuticals maybe a game changer in all sorts of directions e.g today’s “special cream” may become even better and may increase your libido. Mrs Angus is not quite 70 but still goes like a train, albeit with a reduced timetable. Yes we do look at younger women but there’s plenty of room for everyone. Saw an interesting program showing collagen injections into the clitoris to create a bigger G spot – chances are by the time you reach 70 you wont even need a man. Meanwhile enjoy your relative youth. If you are pissed off at being 40 – wait till you’re 50 and you would love to be 40 again ….and so on and so on 60 wishing you were 50 etc etc. From your blog DSM you’ll have plenty of memories and more than most … better just hope you keep the ability to remember.

  • This topic seems to have sparked a lot of debate and struck a few cords.
    Elizabeth – I hope you find happiness in the not too distant future. I don’t think your dress size is an issue, it’s about how confident you feel in yourself and being around people who make you feel positive and confident.
    Angus – it sounds like you have a wonderful situation and that you are proof that age is irrelevant if you have your health and your marbles. I agree that we always look back at our previous ages and want them back, whether it’s 30, 40, 50 or more. We should just try to enjoy the here and now – and I need to take this advice myself!

  • elaine commented on July 5, 2013 at 18:22

    I agree that sex is good and I feel sorry for Elisabeth as I too am in a simila r position.My husband has had prostrate problems and although he has recovered and is well he has problems getting and keeping an erection. Consequently our sex life has suffered and I think that he no longer loves or wants me. He doesn’t want to touch me or cuddle me even if sex is not on the agenda. He does not take much notice of me and all he seems to think about is work. He is 66 and I am 74 and I am as keen, if not keener than when I first met him, to have sex with him day and night. I have spent a lot of money on sex toys and underwear, stockings etc.
    but he is cold and only makes love to me twice a week at the most. I too am a little overweight but although I am the age that I am I have been told that I look 20 years younger I take an interest in what I wear, have my hair done regularly, wear make up and keep myself looking good. I am in good health. I do not want to have an affair but I dread the thought that my husband might stop having sex with me altogether. In which case I would have to look for someone to service my needs and even now I find myself looking at other men and wondering. If an offer were to be made I might consider it.

  • I have also noted some worrying signs of aging of late. I’m hoping to have enough money for surgery. I do not intend going out gracefully. Especially since I wasted my best fourteen years with the wrong man. I have to relive my twenties all over again but my body is not cooperating.

  • Hi Elaine.
    I am sorry to hear about your situation. Have you talked to your husband about how you feel? I may be stating the obvious. Perhaps he is completely unaware of how unhappy you are. If you are completely frank, you can start looking for a solution together.

    I hope you find a way forward.


  • Elizabeth. commented on September 15, 2014 at 02:00

    Hello. Ive lost 3 stone since i wrote the above comment. My sex drive and confidence are now through the roof. My h hasnt so much as held my hand since 1996. I had an affair several years ago. I had a sexual (not full sex) encounter last week. I feel frustrated and very lonely. Im 41 so im no youth but im not old either. Im so depressed. The encounter last week has showed me what im missing out on. Leaving my husband is not an option. I want to explore whats left of my sexuality and have some affection before its too late.

  • Hi Elizabeth.

    Congratulations on losing 3 stone. I cannot advise you on what is the best thing to do – I am not qualified to do so – but I do hope you find happiness and fulfilment. The positive thing is that you say you feel more confident, so hopefully you can build on that and find a way to be happy.


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