The Sunday Read: ‘The joys (and challenges) of sex after 70’

Today, Maggie Jones explores the overlooked topic of geriatric sex. She profiles older couples for whom it is still important, and looks at the obstacles and joys of having sex over the age of 70, and the way society has begun to talk more openly about in recent years.

As bodies change, Jones writes, good sex in old age often requires new thinking and expansion: a conscious inclusion of more touch, kissing, erotic massage, oral sex, and sex toys. Along with pleasure, other benefits are associated with sex: a stronger immune system, improved cognitive function, cardiovascular health in women and lower odds of prostate cancer, along with improved sleep, stress reduction and a cultivation of emotional intimacy.

The subgroup of older people who have lots of sex well into their 80s can help shape these conversations and policies, while physicians can also do their part by addressing individuals’ physiological barriers to sex. Many sex experts expect more open conversations and policies related to their sex lives for seniors in the coming years.

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Additional production for The Sunday Read was contributed by Emma Kehlbeck, Parin Behrooz, Anna Diamond, Sarah Diamond, Jack D’Isidoro, Elena Hecht, Desiree Ibekwe, Tanya PĂ©rez, Marion Lozano, Naomi Noury, Krish Seenivasan, Corey Schreppel, Margaret Willison, Kate Winslett and Tiana Young. Special thanks to Mike Benoist, Sam Dolnick, Laura Kim, Julia Simon, Lisa Tobin, Blake Wilson and Ryan Wegner.

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