In June 2014, the British television station Channel 4 news has made a coverage of topics about sexuality and the elderly at the age of the Internet. The taboo that surrounds elder people’s sexuality remains strong. Contrary to popular belief, sexuality isn’t limited to youth, which is what Channel 4 news wished to prove by investigating sexuality and sexual practices for the elderly in Great Britain.
“Dating websites on the Internet have made sex accessible to men and women over 60 years old. It has also exposed them to new dangers such as STDs”. According to a survey conducted by Channel 4 News, 51% of people over 60 say they are sexually active, and a large part of them claim to have a rewarding sex life. The 60-year-old demographic doesn’t behave the way society thinks it does. “We believe we still have the right to be sexual beings […] We’re not just grannies”, says 67-year-old Margaret who takes part to the Channel 4 News coverage on sexuality for the over-60-year-old demographic. From classic dating websites to specialised websites for the elderly, as well as mobile apps for meeting between homosexuals, the elderly use the Internet and new technologies more and more to find new partners.
The elderly experiment more things
New means of communication help the older people meeting each other as well as living healthy sex lives. Some of them admit having experimented new sexual practices. Solange is 79 years old and comes from the Wales. She confides about orgasms: “I was around 40 when I started to see what it was like. At 60, I actually understood what it was. And now that I’m around 70, I can say I know what it is!”
The survey conducted by Channel 4 News reveals these new practices are not without risk. People over 60 are just as likely to get STDs as everybody else. Despite this, the survey shows that 23% of women think condoms are no longer necessary after menopause. Overall, the elderly believe STIs is a matter for the youth. Justin Gaffney, an consultant in sex health, explains: “Elder people can be naive about those topics and think they aren’t exposed to the same risks as everybody else. Overall, 64% of the elderly who engage in new relationships do not inform themselves on prevention.
Swinging sixties: older people and sex in the internet age 1/2
Swinging sixties: older people and sex in the internet age 2/2