‘Safe Sex for Seniors’ Video Will Make You Want to Put Your Grandparents on Time Out

Elderly peopleGood skooga mooga, heaven heal my ailing virgin eyes. A video has gone viral of gray-haired folks getting freaky in various positions and it looks like, sans the mile-high polyester pants, the Hawaiian shirts, and the Sophia Petrillo hairstyles, the wild thing isn’t that much different in the golden years than it is now. My favorite: the lady in the handstand. Hip replacements and arthritis be darned. These folks are getting it in.

Thankfully (whew!) the actors in this public service announcement are clothed, because I could not handle any more realistic simulation that what’s played out in this here clip: 

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But there’s a method behind the madness—and not just the wide range of methods demonstrated by Mrs. Witherstone and her man friend from the senior center. The rate of STD infection has skyrocketed among active elders in the last five years, to the tune of more than 70 percent. Syphilis and chlamydia are major issues in the 50 to 90-year-old set (I just fainted a little in my seat thinking of a 90-year-old still being, you know, active). But HIV is a monster that’s also gnawing at the older population, and they need special attention because they haven’t been as… shall we say forthcoming? about their swingin’ sexual activity.  

Inasmuch as it’s awkward to imagine, in this much vivid detail anyway, your parents’ timeshare friends and the ladies from your granny’s canasta club and your grandpa’s fellow lodge members—and your mom and dad and granny and grandpa themselves—may very well be part of this population. Sadly, nearly 27 percent of patients infected with HIV are people over the age of 50. There’s a bill in the works here in D.C., the “Senior HIV/AIDS Education and Outreach Program Establishment of 2012,” that would create Department of Health-facilitated outreach programs for seniors (though I don’t think folks in their 50s are seniors, but that’s neither here nor there). That entails a lot of presentations and workshops in senior centers, nursing and retirement homes, and religious institutions. And that can be effective.

When you’re young, you think older folks should knit a sweater and buy an RV and forget about sex. But apparently the ol’ hormones don’t shut down as soon as you blow out five decades’ worth of candles. And if there is an issue, it’s nothing a little Cialis or Viagra won’t fix. The shock value of this video—and the open conversation it sparks—can invite elders to be more real about their nookie and make them more empowered to protect themselves in the process.

Is this video too vivid for your tender eyes or do you think it needed to be a little risqué to get the point across?

Image via ell brown/Flickr

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