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  1. Breaking ageist stereotypes: Many seniors go online to discuss, learn about sex

Breaking ageist stereotypes: Many seniors go online to discuss, learn about sex

A new study has suggested that unlike ageist stereotypes, many older adults are going online to dish about the joys of sex and swap advice about keeping their mojos working well into their twilight years, a new study found.

By: | Published: June 12, 2015 1:17 AM

A new study has suggested that unlike ageist stereotypes, many older adults are going online to dish about the joys of sex and swap advice about keeping their mojos working well into their twilight years, a new study found.

Researcher Liza Berdychevsky of the University of Illinois said that many older people preserve both a high interest in sex and a high involvement in sexual activities, adding that the popularity of sex-related discussions in seniors’ online communities suggests that, in a reality of limited alternatives for open and direct sex-related communication, seniors are finding channels to satisfy their needs for information and support.

Berdychevsky said online communities offer notable potential for helping people cope with the three primary sexual vulnerabilities that occur in later life: health issues and life circumstances that affect sexuality, difficulties communicating with health care providers about sex-related problems, and limited access to sexual health information.

Seniors’ discussions of sexual subjects were lively and wide-ranging, the researchers found, with participants swapping opinions and information about topics such as age differences between sexual partners, taboos, same-sex marriage, pornography, prostitution, and the use of sexual aids, toys and sex-enhancing drugs.

For some users, the online discussions provided a form of leisure entertainment, with discussion forums that were characterized by open, lighthearted atmospheres and posts rife with sexual jokes, anecdotes and innuendos.

Some members wrote about how much they relished opportunities to engage in intellectual discussions about sex, and an especially popular topic was societal stereotypes about older adults’ sexuality, the researchers found.

The paper is published online in the Journal of Leisure Research.

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