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Sexual Reawakening Or Geriatric Porn?

3 min read

When Tom Ford launched his campaign “For Ever Love” on Vogue France several years ago, many people felt embarrassed seeing mature couples caught in the throes of passion. So much that someone called it “geriatric porn”

It’s easy to understand why. That campaign was raw, glamorous and edgy representing sexuality and older people. Something that it’s usually hidden. 

 “I am tired of the cult of youth – Tom Ford said-. The cultural rejection of old age, the stigmatization of wrinkles, grey hair, of bodies furrowed by the years. I am fascinated by Diana Vreeland, Georgia O’Keeffe and Louise Bourgeois, women who have let time embrace them without ever cheating. Society today condemns this, me, I celebrate it. I imagined a man and a woman who had been together for a long time, faithful to each other and always incandescent with desire.”

In reality, sex is an important part of our life, at any age. Yes, sex drive might change when over 50 but that doesn’t mean it declines. Unfortunately, people don’t talk about that a lot.

According to Age UK, there’s a common misconception that as people age, they lose their interest in sex and capacity for sexual behaviour. But as a UK survey shows, this isn’t the case.

Indeed, the survey found that 85% of men aged 60–69 report being sexually active – as do 60% of those aged 70–79 and 32% of those aged 80 and over. Women were found to be less sexually active as they age, but studies show that, just like men, many women also want to continue to have sex as they get older. Studies in the US report similar levels of sexual activity across these age groups. And the fact that so many people are still having sex as they age is good news, because, the less sex older people have, the more likely they are to experience mental and physical health problems.

Since Tom Ford’s “For Ever Love” Campaign launched, some further steps have been done towards an unapologetic and celebrating representation of modern mature romance in the media.  However, the phrase: “geriatric porn” remains quite offensive. We’d prefer to call it sexual reawakening. There’s still love, lust and happiness ahead and ageing can be liberating.

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Our libido is not a fixed entity,” says Marianne Johnson, relationship therapist and founder of The Thought House Partnership. “It fluctuates and can depend on both internal and external factors. Getting older can mean you learn to view yourself less harshly, bringing an opportunity to focus more on your own pleasure“. 

On the same page, Gynaecologist Dr Susan Hardwick-Smith, author of the book “Sexually Woke“. has re-framed the second half of life as an open field of possibility in which to play, explore, and finally be your true self outlining the misconception and conditioning around our attitudes to mature sex. 

Having researched a group of over 1,000 women between the ages of 45 and 65, in my book, Sexually Woke, I tell you with absolute certainty that you can – she explains-. Most of us are missing out on this great truth and the hope it offers. Unequivocally, our best selves and our best sex lives don’t have to end at 50, 60, or 70. The truth is, our life has the potential to grow richer and fuller with every moment we’re blessed to be alive. That includes sex life“.

In the end, our sexual being is a huge part of our complete, authentic self. As senior sex expert Joan Price often reminds us: “at any age, it’s important to advocate for yourself and make space in your life to enrich and enhance your sexual self. You deserve to live a full life you can enjoy for as long as possible, free from shame or stigma, and with the tools to help you enjoy your sexuality throughout every era of your life. Sex can drop off in our final decades. But for those who keep going, it can be the best of their lives.“.

Let’s embrace the delights your body can give you, despite the challenges. 

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