There’s a lot of talk about young people and STDs. Those over age 50 might think privately that the young are irresponsible and perhaps even feel a bit smug. After all, they’re past the age where they have to worry about STDs or HIV.
It would be nice if that were true, but it’s not. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that people over 50 now have a higher rate of new HIV infections than those 40 and under. It’s likely that this same trend holds true for STDs also.
Chastity Does Not Begin at 50
When people live longer and remain fairly healthy, many continue to be sexually active. That’s fine for a monogamous couple, but many seniors are not living in happy, monogamous relationships. A spouse can be lost to divorce or death. Some people choose to never marry. Older people value intimacy. In fact, they may value it more than the young because they have more experience with loneliness.
Many medical problems can interfere with a man’s ability to perform sexually, but the purple pill and other aids can often restore function. Combine this with the ease of finding a partner and STDs become more of a possibility. Since there are more women than men and the disparity increases with age, most men who wish to play the field will have no problem doing so.
Older women no longer have to worry about pregnancy or birth control. The children are grown and busy with their own lives. For perhaps the first time, she is free to do as she wishes. More dating websites for people over 50 seem to appear every other week. She may or may not be looking for a permanent relationship, but there’s no reason not to enjoy life in the meantime.
Safe Sex is Not Only for the Young
Insisting on safe sex makes sense at any age. It may be uncomfortable to have this discussion with a new partner, but acquiring an STD is guaranteed to be more uncomfortable. This is especially important for older people because their immune systems don’t work as well as they once did, making it easier to catch a disease.
Routine testing must become a way of life for sexually active, non-monogamous seniors.
For real stories about real women, visit betterafter50.com. Find tips on health, beauty, relationships and fashion for women over 50.