Here’s a text conversation I had recently with my dad:
Dad: Hey, I ordered your book! Can’t wait to read it.
Me (texting with panic): Oh, Dad, that’s great, but really. You don’t have to. My books are for the ladies.
Dad: Ha ha. Of course I’m going to read it. You’re my daughter!
A week passed. Another text from dad:
Dad: Just finished your book. I loved it!
Me (feeling the combustive burn in my face): Oh. Well, thanks Dad.
Then I crawled away to hide.
Actually, I didn’t. My dad’s cool and always supportive. He’ll read whatever I write, by God, and nothing’s gonna stop him. Part of my mortification, of course, is related to the fact that I don’t want my dad knowing what his daughter knows about, you know, sex. I mean, really, just … no. Ach. He’s my dad. But the other part of me wonders whether my cringing is solely related to that or honestly, if there’s a part of me that just doesn’t want to think about – gaah! – older people as sexual beings who are having sex.
I think I can safely argue that plenty of people don’t like the thought of senior sex. A sexually active man in his 30s is a stud. In his 70s he’s a dirty old man. How far one falls as the years pile on! Clearly the latter moniker reflects society’s negative view on the thought of older folks doin’ the down and dirty. But why? Hey, we’re all getting older. I don’t intend to put the brakes on in the bedroom just because a few grey hairs show up to the party. But are we as a society now so youth oriented that the thought of seniors and sex make some go “ewww”?
In Japan this doesn’t seem to be the case. A recent article on Time.com cited the rocketing rise of “elder porn” in Japan. Yes, Japan. It’s a country that repeatedly comes out in surveys as one of the world’s most sexless societies, with 25% of married couples stating that they go for a year or more without making love, and 38% of 50+ couples stating they have no sex at all. So what’s a 50-or-more-something to do in sexless real life? Watching elder porn appears to be the answer. Thirty percent of films in the largest adult video store in Japan have “mature women” as the theme.
The interesting thing is that statistics show older people are indeed getting it on, despite sex at an older age posing some potential problems. Joints get stiff but other parts don’t (heyo!). Women can experience vaginal dryness, either sex could collapse from a heart attack, etc. etc. The list can go on, but where there’s a will there’s a way, and seniors are indeed having their way. With each other.
Our Lady Smut frequent commenter Charmaine Gordon writes what she calls “mature romances,” in which her hero and heroines can be 50 or even 60 years plus, and there are romances out there with the h/h over 40. What I really don’t see, however, is romance, especially erotic romance, featuring seniors. As in retirees, or the “above 70” crowd. I have to wonder if that’s going to change. The 70+ population now was raised in a much more conservative era. Will 20-something erotic romance readers of today be sexually active seniors tomorrow and, in turn, consume erotic romance featuring heroes and heroines like themselves?
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