Ageism and sex

We seem to have gone from a society who doesn’t talk about sex to one in which an unrealistic version of sex is portrayed for the masses. Not only are the diversity of human body shapes and sizes under-represented, but certain ages seem to be mostly missing from Hollywood and the world of mainstream porn.

I have friends who are twenty-something who feel utter disgust at the thought of their parents, or their friend’s parents, and god forbid grandparents, fucking (I do not use the f. word derogatorily).  And yes, grandparents also fuck. Just ask anyone who works in a nursing home.

Do these twenty-year-olds think they invented sex? Do they think they were created by immaculate conception? Is the thought of your parents fucking that disgusting? Really?

The way we sanitize sex in the media, constraining it to certain body types and age groups, we will soon have the next generation believing that once you get to fifty your sex life is over, not to mention sixty or seventy, and all the “sex education” in the world, does not seem to be helping.

I’m in my late 40s. Wearing just casual gear in Australia, I am almost invisible to the average man on the street (or maybe they’re just so polite).

When I lived in Latin Europe recently, I noticed a different attitude among men there. I jogged regularly, wearing exactly what I wear in Australia. I had men of every age group stare at me, wave at me as they drove past, flash their lights, or move over to the middle of their car to shout leering comments out the window. At first I thought they were encouraging me with jogging. I was plugged in to music so couldn’t make out what they were saying. How nice, I thought, and I would wave back.  Then I realised that:

  1. it was only men who did it,
  2. they were undressing me with their eyes, and
  3. nobody really encourages strangers with their jogging.

Silly me! I started keeping a record. In a two hour run I would get this sort of attention from about 15 to 20 guys. The youngest was in his teens, and the oldest had a walking stick and looked to be in his 90s, but could still do a mean wolf whistle. I feel confident enough of my non-sexual qualities as a person to not mind being treated as a sex object from time to time, especially from strangers I can ignore if I choose. If you ever feel unattractive as a woman and need a bit of reassurance of your looks, go to Portugal or Spain for a few months.

I had a Latin lover for a time. He was 13 years younger than me and didn’t think anything of the age difference. We weren’t exactly planning to have babies. He taught me to be proud of stretch marks on my body, put there by bearing children, just as a guy would be proud of his battle scars. They are signs of achievement and I don’t think anyone’s stretch marks need to be Photoshopped.

A woman can look 50 and older, and still be sexy!

From my experience, male sexagenarians can too.


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