'Fifty Shades' blamed for STIs rise amongst older couples
The erotic novel 'Fifty Shades of Grey' has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs. But now a leading doctor is warning that the global best-seller could be linked to an increase in the number of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among older couples.
Dr Charlotte Jones, the chair of the British Medical Association's GP committee, said the book had encouraged older people to become "more explorative" in the bedroom, but that there was a risk they were failing to use protection.
The novel by EL James depicts bondage and sado-masochism and is being made into a film after selling more than 100 million copies. Since the book was published in 2011, there has been a rise in the number of infections in people aged 45 years and older. While the main characters may be in their 20s, Dr Jones suggested some older people appeared to have been inspired to seek out new experiences in the bedroom.
"When it comes to forgetting about safe sex we always think of the vulnerability of young people, but there's the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' effect where older people are being more explorative but not necessarily remembering to use a condom," she said.
"Anyone, of any age, going into new relationships should be thinking about safe sex and particularly the role of condoms."
Figures from Public Health England show that in 2011, there were 1,281 cases of new STIs among people aged 65 and over – not including chlamydia. This rose by more than 7 per cent to 1,374 in 2012. Among those aged 45 to 64, there were 19,896 cases in 2011 and 20,445 in 2012, an increase of nearly 3pc.
Independent News Service