Senior First-Date Sex, STDs On Rise

Over-50 singles are a growing population...and an increasingly high-risk one, thanks to their penchant for "jumping into bed after only a couple of dates."

While the idea of swingin' seniors may make some smirk, it really only stands to reason that the free-love generation would continue to be frankly sexually active. It's the alacrity with which what the ever-subtle Daily Mail terms "silver singletons" round the bases that's surprising researchers: first-date hookups are apparently common, twice as common with the over-50 set. And, really, why not? These are adults, many of them married before, who know what they want and probably feel like they can dispense with some of the formalities — and stress — of "dating."

The bad news:

According to government statistics, there has been a dramatic rise in the incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the over-40s since 2000. Experts blame this on the fact that the older generation assume they don't have to worry. They no longer have to consider contraception, and they assume they no longer have to think about safe sex either. In fact, such is the scale of the problem, experts are calling for sexual health education to be specifically targeted at what they are dubbing Generation Grey Sex.

A lot of people who've been in long-term relationships don't behave as warily as younger people raised with sex-ed; others, post-menopausal, probably don't consider the risks beyond pregnancy. (Remember that "hilarious" exchange in Something's Gotta Give? When questioned about birth control, Diane Keaton answers, "menopause.")

While we could do without the alliterative sobriquet, anything that brings attention to sexual health at any age is a good thing. And with the over-65s about to hit an unprecedented volume, maybe the idea of seniors having sex will lose some of its snicker-factor and just become another thing we can talk about openly —for everyone's sakes.

Sex And The Silver Singletons
[Daily Mail]