Paradigm shift needed…
It’s time to rethink the belief that old people don’t have sex — and if they do, it’s disgusting, embarrassing, or shameful.
First of all, this belief is from another century when women wore corsets, did not have the pill, and Viagra was wishful thinking. And secondly, it’s just not true.
Many seniors are having sex, and some are having the best sex of their lives, i.e., passionate, loving, erotic, orgasmic sex.
Benefits of Senior Sex
As it turns out, Sex is a natural elixir for a variety of ills. For seniors, it can be the fountain of youth. Research shows that orgasms and the physical act of sex have health enhancing properties that pharmaceuticals only wish they could replicate. And the bi-products of physical intimacy are just what seniors need to live longer and stay healthy.
Advantages for women
Research at Wilkes University found that women who have sex more than twice a week have 30% higher levels of Immunoglobulin A. This large, Y-shaped antibody boosts the immune system to fight viruses like flu and pneumonia. Sexual activity also releases oxytocin, a hormone that lowers blood pressure, anxiety, and stress levels. It is has known to increase feelings of happiness, well-being, and emotional bonding.
Research at Rutgers University found that women who have sex regularly may be able to raise their pain threshold more than 100%. A recent study at the Sexuality Resource Center in Madison, WI reported that just one orgasm a week has the potential to reduce depression and risk of heart disease in women by a whopping 36%!
So an orgasm a day keeps illness at bay…
Good news for men
But the most provocative study to date on Senior Sex comes from Queens University in Belfast. Researchers tracked 918 men, aged 45-59, for 14 years to determine the relationship between frequency of sex and life span. They found that the more orgasms men in the study had, the longer they lived. Furthermore, men who had at least 3 orgasms a week cut their risk of heart attack and stroke in half!
These are astonishing findings when you consider no medication can approximate that success. Yet most Americans rely on pharmaceuticals to prevent stroke and heart attack. Additionally, the effectiveness of beta-blockers, the medication most frequently prescribed for cardiovascular disease, has been questioned for use with older patients.
“To Touch Can Be to Give Life”
Michelangelo intuitively understood the incredible power of touch. Touch is an instinctive language that is “ten times more powerful than verbal or emotional communication” (Saul Schanberg, 1995).
Scientists have verified that touch is crucial for maintaining good health. Lack of it can result in lowered immune response, delayed growth in children, allergies, asthma, dermatitis, and cardiovascular disease, even death in babies.
Loving touch has the powerful, positive effect of enabling people to feel safe and emotionally secure. It also has the amazing ability to balance the right and left sides of the brain. Therapeutic massage has the capacity to release blocked energy, heal chronic pain, and lower depression, anxiety, and cortisol levels in ways science can measure but not yet explain.
There is no reason to believe seniors ‘outgrow’ this basic human need. In fact, it may be that as we age, our capacity to give and receive loving touch increases.
It’s all about Connection
Even more so than our simian cousins, human beings are social animals, meaning our bodies crave connection and touch with other bodies. In fact, recent research determined that older folks who feel lonely have a significantly higher risk of death than those who feel connected. Women who identify themselves as lonely have a 64% greater chance of going into a nursing home and developing dementia.
Thus, it behooves each of us to combat the tendency to isolate ourselves as we age. Our health improves when we reach out to others, get involved and create relationships that sustain us.
Paradigm shift: Encourage Senior Sex
Bottom line: Hard data indicates that sex in all forms plays a large part in keeping us healthy, so we seniors should enjoy more of it. The good news is there is nothing about Aging that inevitably diminishes our desire to be touched, our sex drive, or how often we can have an orgasm.
According to many, the skin is the largest, most sensitive sex organ in the body. Pleasure is always right at your fingertips– free, without side effects, utterly delightful. So I encourage you to consider the health giving benefits of Senior Sex. And while you’re at it, imagine the aliveness you will feel with more loving touch and sexual intimacy in your life.