Sex and ageing can be a taboo subject, but as New Zealand’s population ages we need to talk about it more. Here are a few of the issues older people face.
It’s normal for sexual desires to change throughout your life. While there’s a stereotype that older people don’t have sex, many people do remain sexually active throughout their lives.
Some people let go of the traditional beliefs of what it is to be sexy and find their sexual experiences to be more enjoyable than when they were younger. Others can find change upsetting and difficult to deal with. It can also be difficult to know who to talk to about it.
Here are 5 tips about sex and ageing.
1. Don’t treat sex as a taboo subject
Get advice if you need it. Speak to your GP, find a menopause specialist or clinic for advice, research the issue and check out information available from organisations like Age Concern and New Zealand Family Planning.
2. Talk to your GP
Sexual desire can be affected by medications, changes in your body including hormone depletion, and poor general or mental health. But lowered drive or desire does not have to be normal, or expected, so seek the advice of your GP if you have any questions.
3. Practice safer sex
Remember you can catch a sexually transmitted infection at any age, so you should still be sensible about sexual activity and take precautions.
4. Remember your rights
Attitudes about sex and ageing will need to change as the population ages. If you live in a rest home or in a healthcare facility, there should be a policy about your rights to privacy and to share a bedroom with your partner.
5. Look on the bright side
Being positive helps at all ages! Friendship and love should not be limited by age.