People around the globe are living longer and healthier lives. As a result, people above 60 remain active in many areas of life, including sex. So why do we seem so uncomfortable to talk about it?
“Society plays a big role in how we deal with sexuality. Media often portrays sex as something natural for young people, but we hardly see older couples on television, movies and advertising. Talk about sex in a later age is still taboo for many people. It’s common to see women who believe that their sexual life is over after menopause and it isn’t like that,” explained gynecologist and sex therapist Wani Leite.
Carlos, 67, has been living together with Cesar, 60, (both names have been changed) for the last 10 years. He believes that the free time of retirement made the couple fall in love again.”Being retired gives you time to be really dedicated to a relationship. We have more time to be together. As we are both retired, so we can travel for long periods, prepare dinner together and pay more attention to each other. This daily romance is reflected in everything, including sex,” Carlos said.
When Walter Araujo, 72, lost his wife in 2010, he thought that a relationship and sex were closed chapters in his life. Things changed when he met Georgina Sales, 65. They’ve now been dating for two years and Araujo was Sales’ first boyfriend since her 2002 divorce. Together, they rediscovered love and sex.
“At first, I put pressure on myself and wanted sex to be like when I was younger. Things started to go better when I relaxed and paid more attention to things like touching and being close. Today, quality is more important than quantity for me,” said Araujo.
“Age changes your life in many ways. When you are 60, you do not run as easily as when you were 30, but you can still do it. Sexuality changes with time, but it never disappears,” said the sex therapist Eliana Martins.
For some women menopause can also cause a decrease of sex drive due a treatable drop of estrogen levels. But most of women keep their libido regardless the age.
Gorete Bezerra, 62, claims that her sex life remains just as interesting as when she was young. “I don’t think the desire disappears with age. What happens is that most women don’t feel secure about their bodies or are no longer close to their partners, even if they are married,” she said.
She was married for 43 years when her husband passed away in 2012. Gorete is proud to say that they were able to remain in love and had a great sex life throughout their marriage. She now lives with her new boyfriend.
The retired lawyer and great-grandmother of two also believes that taking care of herself is one of the keys to her vitality. “I work out every day and I am a ballerina. I feel very good in my skin and sex is just as important to me now as it was 40 years ago,” she added.
“If sex wasn’t important earlier in life, it’s unlikely it will become important when someone grow old,” Martins said.
Indeed, Mara de Carvalho, 64, believes that her sex life became better with time. She defines her first years of marriage as disappointing. “We didn’t talk about it and I thought he had to guess what I wanted. After a few years, I was reading more about sex. I became more open to talk about it and to take the initiative when I want something. Sex is supposed to be fun and it is how we both face it,”she said.
She believes that self-esteem and imagination helps to keep sex alive after so many years of marriage. “I love taking care of myself, using creams, choosing a beautiful lingerie. Exercises are also part of my routine,” detailed Mara.
“I have no problem going to sex shops. I also enjoy erotic movies and books. It’s important to keep the imagination alive,” she said. “Sex will be always part of my life. Even if one day I can no longer do it, I will always enjoy reading and talking about it. I am even writing my first erotic novel.”