BootLeg Betty

Older People Like Sex Too! Just Ask Me!

Press Register
UAB researcher: ‘We’re never too old for sex;’ US now embraces notion of sex and seniors
Wednesday, February 09, 2011, 11:59 AM
By Press-Register staff

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Counselors, therapists and University of Alabama at Birmingham geriatricians say the notion that sex is somehow related to youth is changing as the Baby Boom generation ages.

Pushing 90, actress Betty White is still making jokes on TV about sex. Older couples lounge in bathtubs on mountaintops in commercials for erectile dysfunction drugs.

“People want intimacy and physical closeness,” Diane Tucker, a professor in the UAB Department of Psychology, said in a news release. “Those needs don’t change as we age.”

Kay Knowlton, a licensed, professional counselor and certified sex therapist with a private practice who also works with the UAB Center for Palliative Care, said sexuality in older people is just as important as it is at any other time in life. “We’re never too old for sex,” Knowlton says.

“When we’re young, we think sex is for people our own age — maybe a little older,” Knowlton says. “Studies have shown that even middle-age people find it difficult to believe that their parents are having sex at 65 or 75. But we never really think of ourselves as old. Aches and pains aside, most of us believe we’re still the same person we were 30 to 40 years ago.”

Dr. Andrew Duxbury, a professor of geriatrics at UAB, said seniors are looking at retirement as the next stage of an active, meaningful life — not the peaceful rest of previous generations. Sex is still an important part of that life.
Duxbury points out that famous actresses including Susan Sarandon, Cher, Bette Midler, Sally Field and Goldie Hawn have turned 65. “Do we consider them old?” he asked.

Tucker, who also is a psychologist on UAB’s outpatient palliative care team, says the human need for closeness and intimacy doesn’t change, even though the way the way those needs are expressed might change.

“There are times for passion, whether you are 20 or 70,” she said. “But there is also a time when our needs for physical contact may change, when we need touch, closeness and gentleness more than the physical acts of lovemaking.”
Knowlton said that in her experience with palliative care patients, the disruption of physical intimacy often is one of the most stressful parts of coping with major medical issues.

“I talk to spouses who tell me that they lose all opportunity for contact with their long-time partner when that partner is so ill that they can’t even hold them, can’t lie next to them on a bed. At a time when touch and closeness is so vitally important, it’s often impossible to achieve,” Knowlton said.

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3 thoughts on “Older People Like Sex Too! Just Ask Me!

  1. Isn’t this picture perfect to represent Miss M in Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Sunset Boulevard?! Martin was great as a butler.

  2. Can someone tell me where these series of photos are from? I bought the vanity fair magazine I thought they were from, but I got the wrong one I guess.

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