Sex, Sexual Attraction & Being
Sexual Attraction and Being Over 50
If you listen to your media sources and others who are generally clueless about aging, the idea of sex after age 50 is somewhere between quaint and gross, if it happens at all. Despite an aging population that includes boomers who drive markets, there is still a complete misunderstanding of the relationships that we all want to have once we reach the half-century mark.
In reality, most people over age 50 describe their sex life as the most satisfying in their life, even if it doesn’t happen with the same frequency or intensity as it did when they were younger. There is no reason that an active sex life cannot exist well into the 70’s and beyond, though there may have to be some concessions made to timing and physical abilities.
Unfortunately, it is these concessions that have made the only public comment on emotional and sexual intimacy, resulting in commercials for medical sexual aids such as lubricants and pills to treat erectile dysfunctions.
Senior sexuality and media myths
So where does the theory come that sex rarely happens after age 50? Generally, it’s driven by the stereotypes and attitudes of the Madison Avenue crowd that only mention sexual issues in the 50-plus generations in light of the above. They find it easier to assign the greatest “sex appeal” to those with the firmest body parts and whitest teeth.
One can hardly blame them. First, most have no idea what older people find sexually appealing. They assume that ideas of sexual attraction remain the same throughout life and they find those qualities lacking in older adults. The assumption is therefore, that if those qualities are lacking, there isn't any sexual attraction.
Second, older adults learn that there's more to being sexually attractive than simply a tightly compacted gluteus maximus. Older adults also find attraction at much deeper levels, and these are hard to portray in a 28 second commercial.
While few people ever tire of looking at the latest cute starlet, the idea of sexuality and sexual attraction change as we age to include more than physical beauty. The reality differs from the stereotype in that true sexual attraction extends to personality attributes and these become far more important than they were as teenagers.
Real sexual attraction
Older adults also see an attractiveness in character and loyalty, and we generally become more patient and tolerant of the foibles of others. Such attributes become an integral part of the basis for attraction, leaving other physical attributes far less important. We learn that while white teeth are nice, emotional maturity, intelligence, common sense, and the ability to carry on conversations are more important than perfect skin tone.
As we age, we learn to appreciate the value of the relationship, not just the moment. We’ve also learned that outward beauty is subjective and is far from a guarantee of inward beauty. In fact, we’ve learned that there’s no value to outward beauty when the insides are an emotional train wreck or volcano, waiting to erupt.
Older generations have also learned that no matter how cute someone is, there’s always someone who’s tired of taking his/her junk, there’s always someone cuter, and going from relationship to relationship is just plain a lot of pointless and useless work. We’ve learned that there is no such thing as a perfect relationship and everyone has their issues.
These are the realizations and understandings that develop and become the stronger components of attraction; and it is attraction, not the volume or exact placement of collagen that matters. It’s why boomers are finding that sex is more satisfying past age 50 because there is so much more to sex than they ever dreamed.