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grandma and grandpa are having sex
by lucy lediaev

From Senior Journal, August 23, 2007 - The first comprehensive national survey of sexual attitudes, behaviors and problems among older adults in the United States has found that most people ages 57 to 85 think of sexuality as an important part of life and that the frequency of sexual activity, for those who are active, declines only slightly from the 50s to the early 70s.

The "New England Journal of Medicine" just released a report on a study of sexual activity of people over 50. Health, rather than age, was the most important factor in sustaining interest in sex and in the ability to participate in sexual activity.

Senior sex, though, is so taboo and is such an unknown that most people over 50 rarely talk to their doctors about sex. The one exception is men asking their doctors for Viagra or another remedy for erectile problems. In addition, doctors and social workers have had little knowledge, until this study, of the extent and kind of sexual activity prevalent among seniors. About half of both men and women reported at least one bothersome sexual problem. Identifying these problems will allow medical professionals to ask salient questions and assist seniors in resolvng the problems, assuming they are sufficiently comfortable talking to Grandma or Grandpa about sex.

Mentioning sex to children or grandchildren is absolutely forbidden. Grandma and Grandpa having sex has a tremendous "ewwww" factor in our culture. Not only don't we talk about it; we don't even want to think about two wrinkly aging bodies coupling, not to mention deriving orgasmic pleasure from the activity. In addition, in my experience seniors don't talk much to each other about sex, unless it is with a partner.

One of my acquaintances, a 40-something, has a web site where she publishes erotica. She tells me that based on her research on search engine queries, there is a market for senior erotica. The real question is: Who will write it? The likelihood of an author under 50 writing senior erotica is remote; it would be like writing a travel piece about a remote and forbidden part of the world the author has not yet visited. So, it's up to writers in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s to fill the void. Not only will senior erotica provide stimulation for seniors, it will educate the rest of the population that Grandma and Grandpa really do have sex. They play dress up, they indulge in every kind of activity known to their kids and grandkids, and they simply have fun!


A freelance writer and full-time grandma, Lucy Lediaev retired recently from a position as web master, tech writer, and copy writer in a biotech firm. She is enjoying retirment more than she ever dreamed and is now writing about topics that are, for the most part, interesting and fun. She also has time to pursue some of her long-time interests, such as crafts, reading, sewing, baking, cooking, and the like.

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alex b
8.28.07 @ 1:29a

Wow. Even though Hugh Hefner is living proof of this study, I never gave much thought to senior sex existing as a whole- "ewwww" did pop to mind.

But, if these stats are right, I'll do my best to torture my kids about it when I'm 70.

tracey kelley
9.2.07 @ 10:59a


Who will write senior erotica? Lucy, I nominate you. :D

robert melos
9.11.07 @ 10:19p

I've touched on the topic a bit in the American Gothic Redux stories I've posted here. Just touched on it, not really delved into it.

It doesn't surprise me that older people have sex. We are living longer, and striving to maintain our health and by that extension our sex lives should be extended into our 70s and 80s. Still the thought that "grandma's a screamer" is disturbing.

Wasn't there a recent film with Peter O'Toole as an elderly man in a sexual relationship with a young woman? Also Harold and Maude touched on the subject.

I think it's wonderful that grandma and grandpa are getting it on.

lucy lediaev
9.12.07 @ 4:09p

There's no reason for Grandma not to be a screamer....

Responsiveness may slow with age (and for women that can be a very good thing), but the intensity and quality of the experience can be just as good (if not better) and as strong as in earlier years.

In addition, the quality of the experience can be enhanced, because there's no fear of conception, no concern over being overheard or interrupted by kids, and the likelihood of fewer day to day stresses than in earlier years.

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