I categorize old people into two groups: The sweet grandmother and grandfather who mellow with age, hobbling about on their canes and doting on everyone who crosses their path. Then, in the other corner, there are those who grow curmudgeonly and bitter, and would like nothing more than to take you out with aforementioned cane, because you smiled at them or offered to help them cross the street.
Well, a new study sheds some light on what may push senior citizens to be sweet as sugar, or acrid as your husband's sweaty gym clothes. And the answer is really no shocker at all, except that it applies to the AARP set. It's sex. That's right. Turns out, grandma and grandpa get sexually frustrated just like the rest of us. The study, presented at the Gerontological Society of America's (GSA) 64th Annual Scientific Meeting in Boston, found that the more often married seniors do the deed, the more likely they are to be happy with their lives and their marriages -- proving that the need to copulate does not disappear just because you hit the Golden Years.
While the fact that grandma and grandpa are getting it on might make you wrinkle up your nose and say, "Ew, come on, don't talk about my parents (or grandparents) that way," I'm shaking my pompoms and jumping up and down with glee, screaming, "You go, grandma!"
In her book, People Are Unappealing: Even Me, author Sara Barron remembers how the discovery of her grandmother's vibrator buoyed her. "I felt hopeful knowing a woman's body still wants a vibrator once she's over eighty. I may not be the most ambitious person in the world, but I've got goals, and that's one of them: I'd love to see my hot pocket keep popping for another sixty years. I was inspired by my grandmother's physical needs and desires. In fact, I admired them. I admired her."
Now that I'm creeping up on 40, I'm half way between retirement age and college age. While that fact alone kind of freaks me out, the thought of losing my sexual side would sadden me even more. I always just kind of assumed sex fell to the wayside after a certain age. I don't know that many people in my age group who are enthusiastically hopping in the sack a few times a week, unless they're trying to make a baby. Having so few sexual role models in midlife just made me assume that it gets even bleaker from here. If you're too tired, busy, stressed out for sex now, how could you ever muster the energy to seduce to your partner when a trip to the mailbox demands a mid-afternoon nap? So the fact that sex doesn't stop the day I turn 70 is (porno) music to my ears. And while picturing grandma and grandpa getting frisky with each other might not be the most tantalizing image, at least we know we've got something to look forward to.
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