July 10, 2013

We Interrupt the Alaska Program To Bring You This Important Message: "Sex During Old Age Makes You Look Younger"

That was one of the headlines in today's email from Medical News Today. Here's the subhead:
An active sex life during old age could be the key to maintaining and preserving a youthful look.
When I was in my 70s and answered questions about my age, I'd often hear things like "Gee, you look ten years younger!" Today, I rarely get that response. We may have a correlation here.

The MNT report is based on a study by British psychologist Dr. David Weeks that was presented to the British Psychological Society. After examining the effects of having regular sex in old age, Dr. Weeks concluded that an active sex life is essential for preserving youth. The key to looking younger is being active and having a good sex life. He urged society to adapt a more positive view of sexual activity among the elderly.

Why Is Sex Good for Us?
Here's Dr. Weeks' answer:
  • Sex on a regular basis can increase a person's life span. A study conducted at Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, revealed that people who had an active sex life lived longer than those who didn't. A heart disease study carried out in Wales found that "the mortality risk was 50 percent lower in the group of men with high orgasmic frequency (twice a week or more) than in the group with low frequency."
  • Sex releases endorphins which act as natural pain killers.
  • Sex can reduce cholesterol levels.
  • Sex can brighten the skin and reduce a person's risk of dementia.
Good Sex Is As Good As Religion for Quality of Life
Sexual satisfaction is a crucial contributor to quality of life, ranking as high as spiritual or religious commitment or other moral factors.

My Addendum
Elder sex is a big, important subject about which I could write a book. (If my kids are reading this, I know what they're thinking -- DON'T DO IT!) I won't. Just a few brief thoughts.

Older people do experience a drop, usually precipitous, in the frequency of sexual activity, which becomes less important as we age. My sexual thermostat had been set too high in my younger years, so today's lower setting permits me to get obsessed with other things.

Sex may lose much of  its erotic appeal, and orgasms -- even when they can still be achieved -- aren't the main event. Holding, touching, cuddling become more important and enjoyable. The pleasures of friendship now have replaced "the joy of sex" as the centerpiece of my life.

Ronni Bennett, a favorite senior blogger, wrote recently about how elders need to be touched. Here's her reaction to a recent massage:
. . . beginning 15 or 20 minutes into the massage, instead of letting go and drifting off into the calm, it took all my concentration not to weep. When you're fighting against a powerful urge to curl up into the fetal position and sob, complete relaxation isn't going to happen.
Back at home a short while later, the feel of the masseuse's hands was still with me, particularly on my back, and then I did cry.
I wept for the exquisite pleasure of the touch of human hands. Even a stranger's. For the fulfillment of a hunger I had not known I had and the emotional release, the joy I experienced was almost too much to bear.
To touch and be touched. We have forgotten, I think, the importance, the need of every human for the touch of another.
I'll just end with that.

1 comment:

John James said...

Wow... excellent... let's go Nepal, we can arrange a new Wedding Party for you with a very younger one.... ha..ha...ha.....