Here’s something no one wants to think about: their grandparents having sex. But recently published research from The University of Manchester and NatCen Social Research concludes that not only do old folks (those is their 70s and 80s) still have sex, but they still have frequent sex. Remember when news began reporting rampant chlamydia outbreaks in old person’s homes? No? I do. In 2010, the CDC reported that rates of STDs in seniors had doubled from 2000 to 2010. To battle this, Medicare even offers free STD screenings for seniors.
Published in published in the American academic journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, this new study laid out that age has less to do with decreasing sexual activity than things like declining health or “conflicts in partnership,” ie the death of a spouse, or a decline in spouse’s health.
One important thing to note is that the study defines “frequent” sex as at least twice a month. While this may not seem like much sex to those coming twice or more a week, most couples have less sex as they age, which may have less to do with their actual numerical age than it does with general monotony and the departure from the “newness” that once made it imperative to bone during commercial breaks.
I think many young folks like to pretend the elderly have no interest in sex because not only do want to avoid visualizing their cookie-baking, Dancing with the Stars-addicted grannie going at it, they don’t want to imagine any pair of less-than-sprightly bods putting the O in old. “Yuck,” seems to be the general reaction to elderly sex from non-elderly people. But do you personally want to give up sex just because you’re cashing in on social security? In fact, isn’t retirement the prime opportunity to spend your days having sex? It’s better than bingo.
We should all embrace the fact that old people do indeed still enjoy sex nearly as much as the rest of us. We should, however, start reminding them to have safe sex, because unlike Applebee’s, STDs don’t dole out senior discounts.