Sex & Intimacy as a single male/female mid-life and later in life.
This subject has popped up again this week, specifically on the ITV Breakfast telly, where Dr Hilary Jones talked about the ever-rising cases of STDs in the over 65s!!
Analysis by Public Wellbeing England has revealed that STIs among the many over-65s are at an all-time excessive, with instances greater than doubling previously ten years amongst this age group within the UK.
In my capacity as Recovery, Dating and Relationship Expert for Singles in their 50s, 60s & 70s, I was contacted yesterday by a few media outlets to give my opinion on why this was the case.
In My Opinion:
These statistics are mainly taken from older singles exploring the online dating scene and swiping right!
There is a possibility if these people have been married for a long time, they are less likely to have recent experience using condoms or getting STD tests.
If women are post-menopausal or men have undergone vasectomies, they don’t always consider contraception as a requirement.
Older people tend to think that this is a young person's problem.
Not enough awareness and information readily available for older singles on this subject, and the thought of 'getting tested for an STD in your 50s, 60s, or 70s is, to say the least, quite daunting and has a certain stigma attached to it - even if no-one else knows!
A few months ago, I was invited onto BBC Radio Solent to chat about the controversial subject that arose within the media regarding condoms being packaged in lookalike seed envelopes and available to buy in Garden Centres across the UK. (The recording of this interview is at the bottom of the page)
After a brief discussion on this subject, we went on to discuss in greater depth the subject of sex and intimacy for singles later in life (which is a subject I am better acquainted with) and the obstacles that older singles (male & female) will have to deal with mentally before considering embarking on a new relationship.
Sex & Intimacy later in life - Is this a taboo subject?
Or are we all open to talking about it?
I and my audience are all singles in our 50s, 60s or 70s ……we have become single (either due to divorce, bereavement, or never really found the one), and many have been on their own for longer periods of time - the thought of meeting someone, getting intimate with them scares the bejaysus out of you/us!
Keep an open mind. For many reasons, in mid to later life, we worry about our ageing bodies, by their performance or illness, and we find the subject embarrassing and unmentionable to friends and family.
Regularly I chat with singles in their 50s, 60s and 70s. They feel more comfortable divulging their concerns and worries with me and sharing the anxiety of getting intimate again after being with one person for many years rather than family or friends - simply because it removes the fear of being judged. I find that it is always good to have confidential, open, supportive and respectful conversations about subjects that affect us mentally and block us from moving forward in seeking the contentment so dearly desired for the possible last chapter in our lives.
This is a big part of the journey both male/female mature singles go on when deciding to date later in life. We find by explaining that a good sex life—at any age—involves a lot more than just sex and to focus initially on the importance of tenderness and communication - moving on from there when the time is right. Sex & Intimacy bring physical, mental and emotional health benefits to people, regardless of age.
If you are thinking about entering the dating world again and one of your primary concerns is becoming intimate with a new partner, then put this particular thought/worry to the side for now - get out there,
If you're embarking on a new relationship, then again, when the time is right, chat so that you both know what you want from your time together.
Many of us feel self-conscious when we're with a new partner. Remind yourself that they probably feel the same way.
Have a fabulous weekend, and I hope to see you soon.
Jacqui B x