Ita Buttrose
Ita Buttrose Contributed

Aussie seniors still interested in fifty shades of grey

WRINKLES and good sex can go together. Really.

That strong message is one that sex educators and some older Australians want to get out to our youth-focused society following comments by Australian of the Year and ambassador for NSW Seniors Week Ita Buttrose.

Ms Buttrose, 71, and always a trailblazer, told a Sunday newspaper that it may come as a shock to Generation Y that their grandparents still enjoy an active sex life.

"Young people have this misguided belief that older people don't think about sex at all," she said.

Brett McCann, president of the Australian Society of Sex Educators, Researchers and Therapists commented: "We live in a society where women are encouraged to look and stay young not viewed as objects of beauty throughout their lives."

The idea of older people having sex was painted undesirable, driven by a porn-style sex culture that was driven by consumerism, he said.

"At the moment what we hear about is how to give a blow job, or how to keep your husband happy," said Mr McCann.

"We do not talk about how sex changes or how to have intimacy in a lasting relationship."

Mr McCann believed Australians needed to move to a more European style culture where sex and sensuality were encouraged even in later years.

Ms Buttrose's assertion about active seniors is backed up by research from the Monash Institute of Medical Research that show one-third of men aged over 70 are still sexually active.

At the same time, a study published in the Medical Journal of Australia found a quarter of married women over 76 still had sex.

Mr McCann welcomed the research which he hoped would open the way towards greater dialogue about sex for seniors.

This year's NSW Seniors Week, which will run from March 17 to 24, will apparently include gay and lesbian-themed cinema and an afternoon in which to discover how to write erotic literature.

It's a step forward for Australia's increasingly grey population, with figures from the ABS showing that between 1992 and 2012, the proportion of the population aged 65 years and over increased from 11.5% to 14.2% and the number of people aged 85 and over increased by 160%.



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