Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sex and Aging: A Series of Articles from the National Sexuality Resource Center

As part of its mission to promote life-long healthy sexuality, the National Sexuality Resource Center (NSRC), with RH Reality Check, has co-produced a series of four articles that address aging and sexuality:

The first article, “How Are Your Orgasms, Mom?” introduces the series and some of the NSRC's other work surrounding sex and aging. Practicing safe sex, being aware of HIV risks, learning how our bodily changes affect sex and the health benefits of sex are some of the topics. The NSRC is also working on a research project that investigates the sexual needs of people in nursing homes and how they are or are not being met.

In the second article, “Older, Wiser, Sexually Smarter,” the author explains how to prepare for an active, healthy and pleasurable sex life as an older person. She recommends seeing counselors and doing your own research on how your sex life will transform when you reach mid- to late-life. She advocates embracing change in our bodies and relationships as we age and encourages readers to be open and honest about their questions and concerns for their own sexual activity later in life.

In “Viagra, Erections… and Vulnerability,” the author writes about not only the positive effects of Viagra, but of the missed opportunity for older men to redefine their sexual image. Viagra brought a surge of public honesty about the aging process and men's sexual activity, and with it an increased vulnerability of aging men to the expectation of being able to have an erection. Rather than learning to communicate about their insecurities in a relationship, men take Viagra instead, with no added dialogue. She supports men embracing the physiological changes of older age and using “the Viagra era as an opportunity to explore what manhood and aging means to them.”

How do you react when immediately after having sex your lover forgets it ever happened? In this article, “Sex That Mind Forgot,” the author addresses this issue and many others surrounding sex and Alzheimer's disease. Beyond Alzheimer's, the author also discusses sexual activity in nursing homes and sex as a type of therapy to enhance the quality of life.

By Isabel Nicholson, Global Action on Aging
July-September 2009

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