Sex, More or Less

Posted on October 29, 2011


(The following is the first in my new series, “Old Posts to Dredge out on Slow Weekends Because When I Posted Them Originally People Cared More About the Economy and World Peace Than My Blog.” Although nothing has changed, it’s a slow weekend.)

AARP just came out with a 105-page sex survey of people 45 and older. The report is entitled, “Sex, Romance, and Relationships: AARP Survey of Midlife and Older Adults.” The Washington Post has kindly reduced the 105 pages to a very short article. This is really handy, since, unless 100 of the 105 pages of the actual report contain easy-to-follow illustrations for people who have had recent knee replacement, Life in the Boomer Lane won’t be reading it. The researchers made some astonishing discoveries:

Married people have less sex than people who are dating. This is pretty shocking, since everyone knows that paying bills, taking out the garbage, and cleaning the litter box can be powerful aphrodisiacs, whereas being on your best behavior, dressing up, and going to exciting places can be sexual turnoffs. LBL has a friend who has been having a torrid affair with the same man for 35 years. Their world consists of the bedroom, toys (not the ones my grandson favors, although I’ve never actually asked her), costumes, substance enhancements and never actually spending the night together. Sounds like a real drag to me.

Men aged 45-49 place good sex ahead of spiritual well-being.  Had there been a bit more money put into the research, the researchers probably could have come up with about 135 other categories that also lag behind good sex for men of that age. A few of these would have been food, clothing, shelter, and world peace.

The favorite fantasy of both men and women is sex with a stranger. Number Two for men is sex with two or more people. LBL is really surprised by this one. Her guess is that Numbers one through 17 of men’s fantasies would have been sex with two or more people. Numbers 18 through 20 would have been sex with two or more people who could also cook.

The Number Two fantasy for women is sex with a celebrity.  LBL has heard this before. She, personally, has never engaged in this particular sexual fantasy. Call her wacky, but she just can’t wrap her mind around Robert Downey Jr. or Johnny Depp or Dustin Hoffman (Sorry, she thinks he’s really hot) wanting to leap into bed with her. Even in her wildest fantasies. Even in a drug-induced pre-surgery stupor.

The researchers found that, in spite of more and more liberal views regarding sex over the past 10 years (this includes hetero sex, same sex partners, married and unmarried, and sex with inanimate objects smaller than a microwave oven), they find that LESS sex is being had. They attribute this to the rough economy for undermining everyone’s libido. LBL is especially surprised at this finding because, aside from walking around Costco and eating all the free samples, sex is the absolute cheapest way to have fun.

The Gray Panthers are interesting and completely predictable with regard to sex. Judy Lear, age 66 and national chair of the Grey Panthers, is quoted as saying “I love sex.” She goes on to talk about her wonderful relationship with the man of her life and how she feels no need to be married or live together. It would have been a lot more interesting if she had said, “I’d love to be married, but I’m afraid I’d probably prefer baking for my husband rather than…” Maggie Kuhn, the founder of the Gray Panthers, said “Learning and Sex until rigor mortis.” Maggie is now deceased, so there’s an obvious joke here, but LBL won’t print it.

Twenty-one percent of men aged 70 and older fantasize about sex more than once a day. Zero percent of women that age fantasize about sex. At all. Under any circumstances. Ever. (Apparently, none of the women age 70 and over who were interviewed for this study were members of the Gray Panthers.)

LBL would like to end with something that wasn’t quoted in the Post article but might be in the 105 page document: There are a lot of people at midlife and beyond who are out there having sex. There are even more people at midlife and beyond out there who are fantasizing about having sex. There are even some people at midlife and beyond who are trying to remember what it was like to think about sex or to have sex.

LBL has a lot more to say about sex that she can’t cover in this column. If you’d like to know what it is, send her a really big check and a self-addressed, stamped envelope.