It is the thing that strikes fear into most people, the thing we like to think will never happen to us.
No, not getting to the supermarket checkout and realising you forgot your purse or leaving the toilet with your skirt tucked into the back of your knickers! I am talking about old age, the thing that teenagers think happens when one hits 30.
If something awful doesn’t happen to us, it’s as inevitable as death and taxes, even if we get a nip and tuck or wear body-shaping undies. And as someone who feels pretty downbeat if she goes without action for a couple of weeks, I dread to reach the point when I’m too saggy/droopy/dry/knackered/haggard/generally clapped-out to get any ever again. I sometimes wonder if I’ve already reached that point…
On the other hand, I don’t want to be some toothless old crone gumming a doddery chap’s chemically induced hard-on. Then having to call home care to help me to my feet when my arthritis-riddled knees lock.
So when do we stop doing it? Not for a while if recent studies are to be believed. Apparently, STDs among over 50s have risen dramatically in recent years. In a recent survey commissioned by Age UK a quarter of over 65s said their sex life hadn’t changed as they got older. And 8% were keen to pursue a new sexual relationship while 12% said they wanted to try new things with their partners. I also have a friend in her early 70s who still has sex with her partner, thanks to some ‘special cream’ she gets from the doctor to keep her lubricated – the main problem with women after the menopause.
It does worry me that women’s libidos seem to decline as they get older – without that, I am not sure I will still have a pulse, but maybe I need to plan future hobbies like crochet and embroidery. Men seem to keep going, as long as they can still get it up – something now helped along with modern medicine. But sexually active older men have a habit of chasing after much younger women, leaving us old biddies to fend for ourselves, read our knitting patterns or try our luck with a toy boy.
I also wonder what happens if you are living in a residential home and sexually active. Will staff respect your privacy and leave you to it, or will they treat you like a naughty teenager and ‘ground’ you – “No Countdown for a week, Mrs DSM and from now on you and Albert will not be in the same Scrabble team!”
I fear that it’s the latter, as people over 70 seem to be suddenly treated like they cannot think for themselves, even if they are compos mentis e.g. “Shall we get you out of bed now, Mrs Jones and how about we have a cup of tea?” The tone and language is the same I use with my two-year-old.
Maybe bonking Albert two doors down is the ultimate two fingers up to anyone who condescends and patronises like this.