Changes happen in our bodies as we age, and those changes can impact sexual function and increase the risks of contracting a sexually-transmitted infection. Don’t worry – there are ways to meet those risks with creativity and celebration!
The LGBT Health Resource Center of Chase Brexton Health Care will address “Sex After 60,” during a SAGECAP Lunch and Learn set for February 9th and presented by Jacq Jones, owner of Sugar on the Avenue in Hampden.
We asked Jones a few questions about what LGBT elders need to know.
What motivates you to try to educate others about sex after 60?
Jacq Jones: Sex is, for many folks, a vital and rewarding part of life. While each part of our life span brings different challenges, they also bring different rewards. Pleasure is our birthright. And that never has to stop.
Why do you feel people over 60 are so hesitant to talk about sex, and in some cases, take steps to protect themselves?
J.J.: They are? In my experience, there’s often a freedom in aging that makes talking about sex easier. That’s certainly not true for everyone. Many of us have been taught shame and secrecy around sex and sexuality. That can be especially true for folks who have needed to, or chosen to, live closeted in various ways throughout their lives. No matter your age, making choices that protect yourself and your partner(s) is a critical part of healthy sexuality.
What should LGBT individuals 60 and over be concerned about regarding sex that they may not know?
J.J.: STIs and HIV are things we need to be concerned about, regardless of age. In fact, Baltimore has one of the highest rates of HIV of any city in the U.S. About 38% of men who have sex with men are living with HIV and only around 25% are aware that they are infected. Age doesn’t protect us from sharing disease with each other. The good news is that both testing and treatment are available thru Chase Brexton.
In addition to STIs, our bodies change as we age. Those changes can have an impact on our sexuality in multiple ways. We may need to learn new positions to accommodate the way our knees bend. Or add additional stimulation to make up for reduced blood flow. Sexual response times can slow, arousal cycles can lengthen. We may explore medical interventions such as topical hormones for people with vaginas. Or we may need to use sex toys as adaptive devices to help with erections, positions, sensation and more. It can be a time to seriously enjoy exploring and bringing creativity to our sex lives.
What do you hope attendees to our Lunch and Learn will take away from the experience?
That sex can be delightful and fulfilling at any age.
Anyone interested in attending should RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org, call 410-837-2050 x1107, or visit Conta.cc/2jbthsP.
Kelli Abbott works at the LGBT Health Resource Center of Chase Brexton, SAGECAP