'Are You Practicing Safe Sex, Grandma?'

Jennifer Cullen

Old couple dancingDoes your mom or grandmother use condoms?

If she's single, and having casual sex, she should.

Let's say she's a 73 year-old widow. The love of her life, her husband, died a few years ago but she's still young and she misses the intimacy of being married and let's face it, she misses the sex.

So she starts dating. Her current gentleman friend has been out on the dating scene longer than her. You mention something to her about making sure she protects herself but she's thinking, "He's not going to mug me."

Tell her that you're talking about using a condom, not packing mace. And that you don't think she's going to get pregnant. But things have changed since she's been out there. There are STIs, STDs and, of course, HIV.

Results of the latest NSSHB survey reveal that, even though sexual behavior does decline as we age, both men and women are enjoying sex until much later in life, past the age of 70. And a large percentage of them are not practicing safe sex.

More women are finding themselves single and back out on the dating scene at an older age. Why?  Traditionally, women live longer than men and they still seek not just intimacy but orgasm.

And, as is the case of Al and Tipper Gore, couples who have been married a long time, and are no longer happy in their marriages, are choosing divorce. A longer life expectancy allows the opportunity for spouses who have been staying together for the kids, or just because, to start a new, happier relationship.

Plus the quality of older age sex has gotten better.

Medications for erectile dysfunction are widely prescribed. Sexual enhancement items like sex toys and lubricants for every need are even easier to purchase. Condoms have changed too. More variety and they don't all smell like a rubber tire factory.

None of these items have to be bought in the local drug store. Everything can be ordered on line, from the privacy of their own home. (Actually, that's good for everybody.)

Or you can buy them for the older, sexually active single people in your life. And show them how to use them. Keep the older people healthy. They're really good babysitters.

Do you know anyone over 60 years old who is single and dating?


Image via through my eyes/Flickr

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