Tuesday 24 October 2017

Sex workshop for over 60s fails to arouse interest

Library Image. Getty Images
Library Image. Getty Images

John-Paul Ford Rojas

It was supposed to help put the swing back into the over-60s, but a seminar on having sex in later years has proved to be a flop.

Organisers of the scheme in Portsmouth in the UK have been left embarrassed after they had to cancel it due to a lack of interest.

It had been hoped that the workshop would help break the “taboo” around sex among the older generation.

But it failed to arouse the excitement of the amorous elderly. Perhaps they were too busy playing bowls or looking after their grandchildren to notice.

The move appears to fly in the face of recent surveys indicating that those in their later years were enjoying more carefree times than ever, with attitudes shaped in the swinging Sixties and lifestyles liberated by paying off their mortgages.

The free scheme, called Generation Sex, was launched in Portsmouth with the aim of encouraging older people to practise safer sex.

The session was to have been part of the council’s 60+ festival, “aimed at exploring the realities of sex in the 21st century” because “sex over 60 can be largely seen as a taboo subject”.

It was due to be run by Scott Deacon, 45, a sexual health therapist, who said as the scheme was launched: “It’s all about practising and negotiating safe sex. No matter if you are 16 or over 60, it is all the same.”

The event, billed as “frank, fun and factual”, was due to have been held at a library yesterday. While it was a free session, residents would have required proof of age to attend the “interactive” event.

A council spokesman said: “As part of Portsmouth City Council's annual over-60s festival, residents were invited to a discussion about sexual health in older people.

“The background was the risk of sexually-transmitted diseases in older people and the need to practise safer sex.

“It was decided to cancel the event because too few people booked places.”

Twitter was soon full of comments about the announcement, which one poster described as “hilarious” - as well as suggestions on the reasons behind the lack of interest.

One user of the micro-blogging site, Andrew Sanger, wrote: “Hopefully because they manage without any advice!”

A further post on a local newspaper website said: “If you get to the age of sixty without knowing the full facts then you really haven't lived at all!”

Figures published recently would appear to indicate thriving love lives among those above a certain age.

Research out last week showed people in their forties were having more regular sexual intercourse than those half their age.

Two-in-three over-40s were found to have made love in the past month, a higher proportion than those in their teens or their 20s.

A survey in February for Saga magazine discovered that more than 60% of over-50s found sex more fulfilling after 50 than when they were in their 20s and 30s.

Last year middle-aged divorcees returning to the dating game were targeted in the first sexual health campaign aimed at the over-50s.


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