Kiss & Tell: Are You Optimistic About Your Future Sex Life?

What do you think your love life will look like when you are a senior (and remember that is technically over the age of 62)? We think the grey-haired couple having a smooch is sweet but anything else — oh no ick. Even the ads for Cialis have mature lovers in separate bath tubs. The benefits of senior citizenship include Medicare health insurance coverage, discounts on movie tickets, Alaska Airlines and Applebee’s, and even 50 percent off your Amazon Prime membership. Most would not anticipate a benefit to be friends with benefits. Yet statistically intimacy, with some modifications, can last a lifetime. There is more to look forward to than a Viking River Cruise. 

It’s hard to have a mature discussion around mature sex in the ocean of immaturity around “doing it.” Think even of the language. Did you “get laid”? I mean come on, that is what a chicken does to produce an egg — which kind of makes you wonder what roosters say around the water cooler. Or “banging.” The typical sex scene of a mutual lustful furtive glance leading to being hoisted up on a wall with your skirt or Spanx around your waist is a recipe for sacroiliac injury instead of satisfaction (let alone assault.) And I will never forget the euphemism for finding a woman’s sensual center as “finding the turtle in the giggle patch.” (I can only imagine what my Google search suggestions will be after this column.)

I understand many would like to think their parents had sex once to have them and that was it. But it’s not realistic or even healthy. Given that sex can lead to a stronger immune system, improved cognitive function, cardiovascular health, stress reduction and improved sleep why isn’t that on Dr.’s prescription pads more than Lipitor? The caveat is that it is enjoyable and not obligatory. Mainstream media as referenced above plays into the myth that sex is fast and easy, when actually, happy couples say the keys to success are trust, communication, and vulnerability. It is about being in synch and speaking up. Many women discover that often it’s not that they don’t like sex, they just didn’t like it with their particular partner. And sometimes the worst lovers are those who think they are god’s gift to women.

Nursing homes and senior centers are also taking a more modernized approach. One woman was offended when a nurse said she helped her patient when she asked for her vibrator. The nurse retorted, “Not only did I give it to her, I also made sure the batteries worked. It’s no different than making sure the batteries work for her hearing aid.” All the rules still apply at an age that consent and safety are paramount. But having a hot body is not at all a prerequisite. And cue men, the sensual skill set is not about Viagra.

One of the most interesting studies was asking men and women from 45 to 50 whether they were optimistic about satisfying sex later in life. When they checked back in with them fifteen years later, they found that optimism was the greatest factor in determining the outcome of a good sex life, even if they faced physical problems or diminishment. What I didn’t see was a breakdown of how men and women thought about this. I imagine that women are less optimistic because society is brutal on the youth and beauty standards it sets for women. But with the love of a good person, and double C battery self-love, there is something to look forward to. But I still want the Viking River Cruise.

Heather Buchanan

Heather Buchanan is an award-winning writer with the accolades of "Best Column" and "Best Humor Column" from both the National Association of Newspaper Columnists and the Press Club of Long Island. Having first dipped her toes in the beaches of Sagaponack at three weeks old she has a long lens on Hamptons real estate both as a journalist, marketer, and buyer and seller before joining Sotheby’s International Realty. With her in-depth knowledge and personal dedication, she has been helping clients realize their dreams of a home in the Hamptons. When she is not working, she is perfecting her secret pie crust recipe, mastering the nine iron or making peace with pigeon pose.

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