Even seniors need sex…and sex. ed.!

Older people kissing

Despite what you may think, if you’ve ever thought about it at all, senior citizens do indeed have sex. While sex in the media is usually tied to younger folks, we would be very naive to believe that older people don’t enjoy sex as much as younger people. They weren’t always your grandparents!

Senior sex  itself is not a problem. It can boost their mood, and even their health. All the obvious benefits of having sex- improved self esteem, relationship satisfaction, relaxation-seniors can get all of that too. Unfortunately, while seniors reap all the benefits of having sex and people half their age, they also reap some of the consequences of having an improper sexual education.  As many senior women have completed menopause and can no longer get pregnant and have children, many seniors having sex forego condoms because they view them as a pregnancy prevention method. Condoms do help prevent pregnancy, but they also guard against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Because they don’t use protection, from 2010-2014, cases of gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia in people aged 65 and above have increased by 90%, 65%, and 52%, respectively.

Condom Graphic
Condom use is lowest among people aged 61+; condom use decreases with age (National Sex Study)

Sex is not just for young people, and safe sex is not just about preventing teen pregnancy. Anyone who has sex could be at risk of contracting an STD. Seniors today may be less aware because this wasn’t widely talked about when they were in school, but we can change that for future generations by teaching them about what safe sex really means.

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