everywhere are fascinated with sex. I am not the first to say so. We wonder the other
people do so when and just what this means for them. And some wonder how long it
I was within my 20s, I naively believed that sex was only for that young. It simply
did not occur to me that individuals over 40 continued with such activities.
was nothing to do with any link with child-bearing, but simply towards the
assumption that just the young had an appetite for – or interest in – sexual
we age, we learn more – about this as well as anything else. There is, of
course, much more research now.
will explain concerning the extent of intercourse at different ages. But few of
these involve people over 70. And we're often unwilling to enhance the issue
with people we know.
The Story of My Parents
all the stories I tell about my family, the one which always gains immediate
attention is one about my father.
parents lived in an independent apartment in a retirement community in central
Pennsylvania. They moved in when they were both roughly 80 and died within
three months of each other, 10 years later. Which was nearly 20 years ago.
about 5 years, my mother developed vascular dementia. This really is, obviously,
every married person's worst fear. The spouse is no longer the things they
were in the past, but you're still married. And it is progressively difficult to cope with
the sheer physical demands.
mother remained in the household apartment for more than annually, having a caretaker having
been hired to help together with her daily needs.
But eventually, it had been an excessive amount of in my father to manage, and it was agreed that she would proceed to the Assisted Living portion of the community. She was looked after, but he could play several times a day doing.
rarely complained, a minimum of in my experience. It was just something which had happened.
An Affair Begins at 90
the meantime, his eyesight had worsened, and that he was losing certainly one of his great
pleasures – reading. He listened to lots of audiobooks (and complained that
there was no easy way to find the place where you went to sleep).
had a friend, a rather younger woman, who came in to read to him. He was
terribly pleased about this and talked about it – and her – often in
our regular telephone calls.
should have seen it coming. Whenever a man starts mentioning a lady (or vice
versa) frequently, it tends to mean that some thing than friendship is
involved. But it just didn't occur to me.
daughter suggested it's possible and that i thought, no, that's
unlikely. Not since the thought upset me, however they just seemed too old.
visited visit at about the time of his 90th birthday, when we were
holding a party for him. Right after I arrived, he sat down and clearly wanted
to speak something in my experience.
had never sought very intimate discussions, but this time was different. He
mentioned the name of the woman, who I never yet met, and said he wanted me
to understand that they become 'an item'. I recall thinking the term was odd.
was very clear. This was not 'simply kissing and cuddling', it was the real
thing. Indeed, he explained his doctor think it is terrific for his health. There
was no reference to love, but that didn't seem important. The key thing was that
he was happy. And that he was. He ended up being 90 and she was 83.
was surprised, but also delighted. Whatever my views about fidelity in
marriage, they don't include the time when one partner is effectively no
longer there. I chose to make this very clear and could see him visibly relax.
had wanted me to understand but had been terrified of my reaction. He said his worst
fear was that another resident would tell my mother, however it didn't look
like that had happened. He still continued to go to her as before.
My father and the girlfriend never moved in together, although perhaps they stayed in every other's apartments when I was not there. I didn't press for such details.
continued to be a regular presence in his life until he died. Indeed, the night
he died, she visited the hospital and sat with his body for a long time.
When Do People Stop Having Sex?
don't know when – and when – people stop having sex. I suspect there is lots of
it about. Certainly, within the retirement community, it was common for couples to
spring up quite quickly following the death of a partner.
I do know about my dad. And when I tell this story, I have never heard a
reaction other than “what an excellent story” or “so, there's hope then”. I'm
sure he would be delighted for you to know.
do you think about having sex in the decades after 60? So why do you think this really is
a taboo topic? Please share your ideas in the comments below.