Do Not Disturb: Grandma’s Having Sex
December 21, 2012 10:43 PM   Subscribe

Adults over 50 are the fastest growing demographic for online dating sites, according to a recently [sic] study from UCLA’s department of psychology. Yet while older adults often value companionship over passion and marriage, experts say frisky behavior by seniors should never be underestimated. “I hesitate to generalize that they’re only having gentle, intimate moments,” says Melanie Davis, co-president of the national Sexuality and Aging Consortium. “Older adults can have really hot sex.” But not, typically, in long-term care facilities.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey (34 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Is this why I get a lot of 'Meet Older Women' ads on MeFi when accessing the site while logged out? I
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 11:02 PM on December 21, 2012


Since when does over 50 mean "senior"?

Why would anyone be surprised that the folks now over 50 are having sex? After all, as everyone knows, we invented it!
posted by Goofyy at 11:19 PM on December 21, 2012 [14 favorites]


“Untrained staff may feel very uncomfortable because of attitudes towards older people and sex.”

I find it amusing, this prevalent assumption (or perhaps wish) that after being horndogs since they were teenagers, suddenly people's attitude about - and interest in - sex goes through some magic radical about-face transformation once they pass some arbitrary age boundary. Why? Is there any reason for this idea other than because it squicks out the youngsters?
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:22 PM on December 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


There's a lot of high school drama over boyfriends and girlfriends in nursing homes. And STDs to boot.

And 50 is not really a senior citizen, is it? Isn't that 65+?

And I don't know but when I'm an old lady, I hope I don't have my present drive. I don't want to have that desire that takes so much of my energy and spend it on older men who pop Viagra. I want to be done with it later in life.
posted by discopolo at 11:40 PM on December 21, 2012


I find it amusing, this prevalent assumption (or perhaps wish) that after being horndogs since they were teenagers, suddenly people's attitude about - and interest in - sex goes through some magic radical about-fac

Well, hormone levels do play a large role.
posted by discopolo at 11:46 PM on December 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I took a pretty wonderful Human Sexuality class back during my undergrad. My adviser taught it, I knew her well. She had been a gerontology nurse before getting her PhD in public health. As a consequence, we got treated to many, many stories about old folks getting it on.

Senior apartment complexes are like Melrose Place. Apparently, the men (of whom there are fewer) get their pick of the ladies, particularly if they are still driving.

A old nurse's trick in long term care was to buy a bunch of Playboys and put them in library style binders that attached via plastic cord to the nightstands next to their beds.

This finally became more of an equal opportunity pastime when a female Alzheimer's patient was masturbating in common areas. Someone had the bright idea of using that same plastic cord to attach a vibrator to her nightstand. This idea grew in popularity until every woman on the floor had one of her own. My professor recalled one quiet night, the supervisor calling to check in, and her coworker saying, "Oh, yeah, we're fine. Everyone's just buzzing away up here."

I hope I get nurses like this should I ever need them.
posted by Athene at 11:51 PM on December 21, 2012 [53 favorites]


I guess, I am considered one of the better looking ladies at my complex. I was coming in for some unwanted male attention, but one really nice guy somewhat younger than I and I got together.
At first we were good friends. It's about both companionship and sex, we have a nice, low drama relationship.
Fortunately, my kids like him, even my grand-kids do.
His friends all say he looks happier and better when we run into them around town.
Times have changed. Even people in less than perfect health can enjoy love and sex. It's better actually. No periods, no pregnancies, and a man in decent cardio-vascular condition doesn't need Viagra.
I think it's sad when nursing homes break up couples.
I also think it's very bad that Social Security benefits and SSI benefits are compromised if two recipients marry.
I can see it if one person has a higher income.
Washington State's new Same Sex Marriage law included legal language allowing Domestic Partnerships for opposite sex couples over age 62. I was delighted to see that! I think it helped a lot of older people see their way to voting for this law.
It's true that relationships can be a cause of drama in these places though.
Having the physically most imposing guy in this place has added to my peace of mind, and he gets to eat better. Not that he's a bad cook. He's ex-Navy. He's a good cook.
We make life nicer for each other. Well most of the time!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 2:35 AM on December 22, 2012 [46 favorites]


My husband and I have no children so we're de-facto on our own as we age. I spend a LOT of time pondering what retirement communities / care facilities / sheltered accommodation will look like in the future, for one or both of us. More importantly, I spend a lot of time thinking about what I want it to look like, and how to make that happen. Sexual autonomy is pretty high on my list; it's right up there with excellent WiFi.

Washington State's new Same Sex Marriage law included legal language allowing Domestic Partnerships for opposite sex couples over age 62... I think it helped a lot of older people see their way to voting for this law.

That's absolutely fascinating, Katjusa, I had heard absolutely nothing about that.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:16 AM on December 22, 2012


I don't want to have that desire that takes so much of my energy and spend it on older men who pop Viagra. I want to be done with it later in life.

As Wanda Sykes has noted, if a man wants a prescription for Viagra, he should be required to supply a note from a woman who wants to have sex with him.
posted by she's not there at 4:59 AM on December 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


Is it any surprise that the people who lived through the Sexual Revolution, and who now constitute the major bulge in the baby boomer bump, still want to have sex? Geez, it's all we we can do to stop them from dropping acid and dancing naked on the beach.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:00 AM on December 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


Old people sex is when two people take outdoor baths in separate bathtubs while holding hands, right?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:04 AM on December 22, 2012 [10 favorites]


she's_not_there: supply a note from a woman who wants to have sex with him.

I didn't realize viagra was only needed by heterosexuals.
posted by Goofyy at 5:28 AM on December 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh boy. I always worry that when I talk about my marriage and my sex life it comes across as bragging and/or lying. But I do like to counter the common misconceptions of age and marriage. Here are a few facts:

I am 55.
My husband and I have sex at least 4 times a week, sometimes more.
It is very skilled, very hot sex. We are both better at it then when we met.
My sex life is far, far better now then when I was in my 20's.

I do know quite a few older women who have given up "all that" as being too much trouble. I put some effort into making myself appealing as does my partner. The pay off is worth it to us not just in the sex itself but in the bonding of the afterglow.

Will I still be having sex at 75? I sure hope so.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:57 AM on December 22, 2012 [15 favorites]


Why would you want to stop them dropping acid and dancing naked on the beach?
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:02 AM on December 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


What Secret_Life_of_Gravy said, only we're both guys. OMG. Like they say in those videos these days, "It gets better!", only, more than they've been letting on about.
posted by Goofyy at 6:13 AM on December 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


I didn't realize viagra was only needed by heterosexuals.

Wanda's a lesbian - so, maybe she gets a pass for not thinking through all the possible permutations re male sexuality?
posted by she's not there at 7:56 AM on December 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Somebody has acid?

And where's this beach you all are talking about?
posted by she's not there at 7:59 AM on December 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


62 year old single heterosexual here. I still have sex with myself and with women about the same age as myself and it´s still good and hot and exciting and rewarding. Long may it continue. I found my sex life got richer as I got older and as I became more experianced and learnt to enjoy my partners pleasure as well as my own. There also seems to be a much better communication level and much less urgency.
And on preview in Europe there are very many beaches to dance / lie naked on. That is one of the reasons I will be back there next summer.
The thought of growing older alone without companionship and sexual contentment is something that haunted the back of my graying mind. But now I look at sites like OK Cupid and as I travel through different cultures I find that there are very many females similar in outlook to myself out there who are looking to share their later years and I realize that my demons may not be demons after all.
posted by adamvasco at 8:09 AM on December 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


I look forward to being older and making younger people uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable.
posted by tommasz at 9:02 AM on December 22, 2012 [15 favorites]


Seniors!?! At age 54, I am in the prime of life, I am still dating women half my age. Relationships (especially marriage) where the men and women are almost the same age, is a relatively recent phenomenon. Up until about WWI, men were expected to marry only once they had achieved their "full position in life," like bought a house and had a stable income. So it was quite common to see women in their young twenties married to men in their 50s.
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:50 AM on December 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Of the many changes that came about when my son's child was born, the most startling might have been the realization that I was now enthusiastically boinking somebody's grandfather.

A bit of advice for those of you who will someday also have that realization: don't suddenly burst out with it during sex, and you probably shouldn't start laughing either.
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 10:59 AM on December 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Katjusa Roquette wins the 2nd-half-of-life prom queen, I see.

Fine. Me and my goth friends at the senior center are way too cool to notice.
posted by surplus at 11:11 AM on December 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


When I got my ballot and read the law, that's when I personally found that out.
Not too many people knew about this special Civil Union clause. It wasn't all that well publicized.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 11:24 AM on December 22, 2012


Relationships (especially marriage) where the men and women are almost the same age, is a relatively recent phenomenon.

The more egalitarian a society is (at least regarding gender), the more age-equivalent the marriages are. As a woman, I can't comment on your relationships, but I can say that I'm thrilled not to have to marry someone who is quite a bit older than me just so that I can be financially secure. It sounds like a really unpleasant way to look at a lifetime companionship of the sort we're now expected to have with our spouses.
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:03 PM on December 22, 2012 [7 favorites]


tommasz: I look forward to being older and making younger people uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable.

Same here. My role model is the old guy with the bandage on his head who masturbates on the bus.
posted by dr_dank at 12:25 PM on December 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am in the prime of life, I am still dating women half my age.

/preen

Up until about WWI, men were expected

Thank Zeus those days are behind us.
posted by nacho fries at 12:50 PM on December 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


As a woman, I can't comment on your relationships, but I can say that I'm thrilled not to have to marry someone who is quite a bit older than me just so that I can be financially secure.

I assure you that the younger women I date are absolutely not looking for financial security. They know I'm broke.
posted by charlie don't surf at 3:01 PM on December 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


“Untrained staff may feel very uncomfortable because of attitudes towards older people and sex.”

Trained staff may, too.

One of the more cheek-blanching, eye opening tasks I ended up performing as a Case Manager was explaining sexual consent rules to clients where it was relevant, as well as teaching the steps one taks to talk about sex before having it, how to get and use protection, etc... You know you've arrived when you're drawing a diagram of a woman's reproductive system to show how getting your tubes tied works!

I ended up being really grateful for things I'd read about broaching sex with children (my clients aren't children, but I frequently have a parental-style relationship with some of them) and how to discuss sex in a straightforward, but not too graphic manner.

Consent is important, though, imo - as is the expectation of enjoying sex and remaining as safe as possible. I feel like I would have failed if I pawned off these questions instead of addressing them in a straight forward manner. Nothing in my 8+ years of education prepared me for them, though!
posted by Deoridhe at 3:13 PM on December 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


she's not there writes "As Wanda Sykes has noted, if a man wants a prescription for Viagra, he should be required to supply a note from a woman who wants to have sex with him."

Is this supposed to be some sort of revenge thing for historical oppression? It sure would suck to desire to masturbate and be unable to because of an easily treated medical condition.

twoleftfeet writes " Geez, it's all we we can do to stop them from dropping acid and dancing naked on the beach."

This is only one of the reasons I plan to retire someplace consistently warm.
posted by Mitheral at 4:22 PM on December 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is this supposed to be some sort of revenge thing for historical oppression? It sure would suck to desire to masturbate and be unable to because of an easily treated medical condition.

Sorry, my error - I thought everyone knew that Wanda Sykes is a comedian. (link to 2009 White House Correspondents' dinner.)
posted by she's not there at 5:21 PM on December 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


“Nobody wants to hear about grandma having sex,” says Gayle Appel Doll, director of Kansas State University’s Center on Aging.

Damn straight. I don't just wanna hear about it, I wanna watch it.
posted by symbioid at 7:48 PM on December 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


--Symbioid Damn straight. I don't just wanna hear about it, I wanna watch it.

Plug "Granny" or "grandma" into your free-pron site search window and you'll be thoroughly rewarded. :D

--Katjusa Roquette [A] man in decent cardio-vascular condition doesn't need Viagra.

To quote Jack LaLane, godfather of American bodybuilding & exercise, "“I wake up every morning with an erection a cat couldn’t scratch.” He was 85 when he said that.

Before Jack, there was Bernarr Macfadden, father of American Physical Culture who taught exercise, diet and regular sex were the keys to health, even as one ages. Can't find the quote, but there was a comment about BM from someone who worked at his publishing house, that "It was always Sex O'Clock with Macfadden".

Fuck that Viagra shit, push-ups, salad, and nookie are the plan for this monkey's senior years.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 11:30 AM on December 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have older relatives who are seniors (well into their seventies, some of them) who speak rather frankly about intimate matters...so it never really occurred to me that people stopped having sex for age-related reasons. My family tends to look quite youthful, too. I think this Macfadden dude had a point!
posted by xenophile at 9:13 PM on December 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


As someone who grew up in and around nursing homes, those people definitely are still having sex. I once came upon a 104 year old man fingering a 93 year old woman in a wheelchair in one of the lounges, by the fish tank.

It should be like "hey, right on!" right? But our libelous culture has unfortunately made it quite complex. At one nursing home I have worked at, a resident (woman) was having a sexual relationship with a resident man. The woman's grandson, who had power of attorney privileges, found out and sued the nursing home for abuse, claiming that the nurses ought to have been watching her more closely and prevented her from having sex. What? Really? And so the nursing home got an abuse check-mark and had to settle out of court for six figures. Sigh and alas.

I hope that if I live long enough to have to eat my steaks as shakes, I'll at least be able to still enjoy some of life's little pleasures.
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:22 PM on December 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


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