|Free love has not ruled since the 1970ís but apparently unprotected intercourse among older unmarried Americans is on the rise. (Shutterstock)
Free love has not ruled since the 1970ís but apparently unprotected intercourse among older unmarried Americans is on the rise. According to a recent A.A.R.P. study of singles in the 45 plus category, only 12 percent of the sexually active single men and only 33 percent of sexually active women report using condoms.
While more than 30 percent of boomers are living the single life, this segment is also the fastest growing group of subscribers for on-line dating. (Source: 2007 Lehman Brothers Equity Research). As a result of the love boom, sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis and HIV are on the rise among mature adults.
Dr. Terri Orbuch, a relationship consultant to SeniorPeopleMeet.com, the nationís largest online dating site devoted to boomers, is in the trenches addressing the epidemic. According to Orbuch individuals in this age bracket still lack the confidence and vocabulary to discuss sex, STDís and condoms with partners. Many also maintain the double standards that exist among the sexes.
Whether you fall into this category or have a parent who does, the team at SingleEdition.com thought it would be a good idea to share these safe sex suggestions with the aging love generation:
The Age of Aquarius is Over: If you came of age before the HIV epidemic and have been thrust back into the dating scene itís time to let go of your hippy ways. If you cannot bring yourself to talk to a physician, you can always turn to sites on the internet like WebMD or the MayoClinic.com for an anonymous crash course in sex-education, or be on the lookout for a prevention workshop or clinic in your area. In Broward County, Florida, for example, the Senior HIV Intervention Project does presentations almost daily at centers and health fairs to educate mature adults about HIV and STD risks.
Age is Not a Safety Card: You may be past your child-rearing years but donít use menopause or birth impossibility (i.e. vasectomy or hysterectomy) to justify unsafe sex. A recent survey revealed that more than one-third of 1,000 respondents aged 50 to 65 surveyed about their sexuality habits were willing to sleep with someone on the first date. STDís do not discriminate and with casual sex on the rise the chances of contracting one are greater. Itís no oneís duty but your own to come prepared and to feel confident enough to discuss condom use and testing with prospective partners.
Make No Mistakes About Marriage: In past generations, the assumption was that long-term marriage meant fidelity, but the statistics have changed. One British survey revealed that baby boomers born in the Swinging Sixties were far more relaxed about infidelity than younger people. If you find yourself newly single after years of marriage donít make assumptions about peopleís sexual history regardless of how long they were married to the same person. Second time around daters should insist on screening. Confidential STD blood testing services are available online at JustGetTested.com.
Donít Want More of the Waiting Game: Spontaneity in the bedroom is not always the best way to start a new relationship. Waiting until you know your partner well Ėmeans safer sex and better sex, advises Dr Orbuch. Adding to her point Orbuch insists that if you hold off: a) sex is more likely to be planned, b) sex is more likely to be talked about before having it, c) partners are more likely to get tested, and d) sex is more likely to be protected.
Being intimate can bring out a whole set of fears and behaviors so make sure you are emotionally prepared to deal with the consequences. So keep in mind that setting boundaries and learning how to say no will help you do what feels right to you when the time comes.
SingleEdition.com is the premier lifestyle destination for singles women and men of all ages who have never been married as well as those who are divorced, solo parents or suddenly alone.