The dating apps, the singles events, the constant push to find yourself a partner, are all geared toward the hopes that you’ll eventually find someone to grow old with, right? But have you ever spared a thought about what romance looks like for older couples? Do intimacy and aging have an inversely proportional relationship? What does senior citizen intimacy look like?
In the midst of a blossoming relationship, physical intimacy is often at its peak. The palpable excitement of a new romance is apparent through how the lovers just won’t be able to keep their hands off each other. But once the same couple has been together for a decade or two, what do intimacy and sexuality in older adults even look like?
It’s an interesting dynamic, really. Intimacy among senior citizens can range from relationship to relationship, but let’s focus on just one today. Let’s take a peep at what older couples’ intimacy looks like, through the story of this couple in their 60s.
Intimacy And Aging: The Romance Of A Couple In Their 60s
We are a couple in our 60s, our children are far away from us currently. Dinner was laid on the side table in the bedroom, which is where we prefer to eat. The usual scenario unfolded, my husband cribbing about the food, I being the indifferent wife developing instant deafness, watching TV.
“You should teach the cook how to make mashed potatoes the way I like it,” he said, to which I replied, “The cook’s wife gets pregnant every year.”
“What has that got to do with the mashed potatoes?” he said, followed by total silence in the room.
“Okay, I’m watching the match,” he said, grabbing the remote and turning on the TV. The rain had washed out the match, and some rerun was being shown. My husband watched it with the same enthusiasm and passion as a live match, which I found extremely bizarre.
“Are you crazy, watching the match with so much emotion when you know the result?” I asked, to which he snappily remarked “Aren’t you crazy, watching this Real Housewives saga all the time?” Mutinous silence followed. It’s not like there are communication barriers between us, I didn’t have much to say, really!
And then the evening sprinted back to normal, I told him about the lunch I was invited to but how in the end we all split the bill and how conniving the hostess was. Most importantly, perhaps, how horrible everyone looked! I naturally didn’t tell him that I had got myself botoxed and bought a cotton dress from some local designer since everyone seemed to have one. I bought it for $200, though it looked like something worth $50.
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He bitched about a couple of his clients, and then we both decided to have a drink after the disastrous dinner, and he convinced me to cook eggs for him, which like a fool I did. Despite the ugly verbal fights, I know I will go the extra mile for the guy.
We are best friends but with no sex. I can have monologues and dialogues with him for hours. And we have really not felt the need for sex at all since we entered our late 50s. Maybe a drunken New Year’s Eve or some salacious show which eggs on our progesterone and testosterone levels for a tired tumble in bed. But not much else. This is what intimacy and sexuality in older adults looked like, well, in our dynamic at least.
Intimacy Among Senior Citizens: How Other Senior Citizens Indulge In Intimacy
Another day, I’m out with my friends at a mall. While I am choosing cooking oil for lowering cholesterol, my friend is checking out the latest condoms near the medical counter. “Why are you checking out condoms?” I asked her. “Haven’t you passed the age of conception at least 100 years ago by now?”
“Haha,” she laughed. “But, you know, all these latest flavors are very tempting.” As tempting as they may have been, I was a bit perplexed by her shopping decisions. “Seriously, do you have a young lover? Are you having an affair?” I asked
“No, love, It’s my horny old man.” She said, much to my surprise! “You mean to say you two still do it!” I asked
“Come on; we are not old!”
I sighed. How do some women have all the luck?
“How often in a month?” I asked her.
“Month? Are you crazy?”
“In a year?” I asked her, hopefully.
“Twice a week,” she said.
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“Wow!” I said. Secretly although, I thought to myself, “Isn’t her husband pushing 65 and diabetic?” He was probably on Viagra. “Alright,” I thought, “She gets her happiness from a bang and me from Botox and shopping. Not a bad exchange,” I grimaced.
I kind of wanted to mention it to my husband, but refrained from doing so. Suppose he got inspired and wanted to do it! Thank you, but no thank you. I think I had become like royalty — touch me not. Or suppose he thought I was taunting him for his lack of libido? He might cancel my credit cards, which to me was a fate worse than death! Better I zip my mouth, or I’d end up digging my own grave.
Did my friend’s sex life really look all that enticing?
Ten days later, my friend and I were out again, and she tripped on her Jimmy Choo heels. She had the same bag that she’d been carrying when she was buying condoms. Her bag opened up and out came at least 10 packets of condoms. The condoms she bought when we were together, seemingly untouched since then. There I was worried about intimacy among senior citizens at seeing my friend the other day, but her sexual dynamics turned out to be similar to mine!
Shamefacedly she quickly put the packets back. “Hey, what happened to your macho man?” I giggled, “Or are you buying them to put in your showcase?” Like a true friend, I found this pretty amusing and laughed loudly. I wrote a number on a tissue paper and gave it to her.
“What’s this?” she asked. “The number of a psychiatrist for people who live in an imaginary world,” I said, barely able to control my laughter.
“Bitch!” she said.
I laughed and said, “Why don’t you write a novel, you have so much imagination!”
“Bitch!” she said.
“How many people are you planning to tell about this?” she asked.
I laughed and said, “Only one, but if you treat me to red wine, I will reconsider.”
She said, “I just wanted to turn you green; you have been looking too pink lately.” I still haven’t told this to anyone. I might with a no-names clause, but right now, I am so looking forward to red wine and cheese at her house!
According to studies, couples in their late 50s make love around 20 times a year. The study also notes that intimacy and sexuality in older adults decrease with age. However, since every relationship is inherently different, there’s no right answer to this question. Senior citizen intimacy is only to be decided by the people in the relationship, no one else!
In a survey of 1303 women aged 40-100, half reported being sexually active. Moreover, they reported they’re now more satisfied with their sex life than they were before the age of 40. On the other hand, another study reports that women tend to avoid sex post-menopause, largely due to bladder problems and other concerns.
Therefore, there’s no particular age post which women tend to stop being sexually active. It all depends on the needs and wants of the person.
It’s no surprise that men are more prone to Erectile Dysfunction as they get older. Studies back this claim up, by stating that men may start experiencing increased occurrences of ED past the age of 50.