By Carole Railton (FRSA)
I was lucky enough to be born with a good body, although there were some anomalies. For example, when I was a child, I had curvature of the spine, and wore a hospital corset that had metal “bones” in it. This chafed my skin. It also caused unhelpful comments when I was changing for gym sessions - not something any young child needs.
I had done some modelling when I was younger, so I was used to seeing my body.
I never thought I would have to contend with a different frame again though, in my senior years, which is exactly what has happened. The fact that I have a different frame now has affected my confidence.
It has also influenced my sexual beliefs, at a time when sex can be a great tool for protecting and even improving health. Sex is ageless; the need for sexual intimacy generally carries on no matter what your age. This means you continue to worry about sexual encounters, especially if you are single and can see clearly how your body is different from when you were younger.
Although sex in your senior years is not like when you were younger, hopefully, it is still fulfilling. Often, we judge our own sexual performance harshly – even though criticism can help us improve. However, too much, or too harsh a criticism, can stop things progressing.
Age means women do not have to worry about becoming pregnant. Instead, there is the fear of losing our sexual interest entirely. However, we can still try new sexual activities, and these can bring a new dimension and compensate for the things we can no longer do.
It’s great to explore sex and there are many benefits of sex in older life. It helps you escape from some of the harsh realities of the world and cements the closeness of your deepest relationships. A good sex life can expand your life cycle and improve both mental and physical health- a great set of conditions with which to continue life.
Our future is important but a behavioural shift will be required if you have lost your partner. Keeping up your socialising and dressing in your best attire can help you feel more connected to yourself. Taking care of yourself with a healthy diet and some simple exercises will help you to feel much better. And, when or if you start a new relationship, use a condom. Yes, I really mean this. Cases of herpes and gonorrhea are increasing in seniors and you don’t want to be one of the people attending a clinic for venereal disease.
Photo: Carole Railton (copyright). By Carole Railton (FRSA). "A good sex life can expand your life cycle and improve both mental and physical health."