Your Age May Be Golden – But Sexuality is Rusting
Tips for maintaining sexual health at any age
By Gila Brunner, Sex Therapist, Center for Sexual Medicine at Sheba Medical Center
Sexuality and old age, is this combo possible? The term “sexuality” usually conjures up images of vigorous, spontaneous, and passionate sex – scenes that are only possible between young people. In contrast, thoughts of old age typically symbolize life with limitations, disease, a lack of energy, and a lack of sex.
However, the truth is quite different. Sexuality is a basic human need that accompanies us throughout our entire journey from birth to death. It is much more than a string of erotic experiences and sexual relations, and it comprises both erotic and non-erotic parts of life. Sexuality includes the expression of many significant emotions, including love, affection and compassion, as well as meaningful touch, such as soothing, embracing and stimulating.
Additionally, our ability to give or receive love, give or receive a hug, feel and respond with excitement contributes significantly to our physical and mental health, particularly to sexual health. Numerous studies have shown that non-erotic sexuality helps to reduce stress and anxiety, relieve pain and enhance feelings of optimism in both the giver and receiver.
Erotic experiences are obviously also an important part of sexuality, such as sexual intercourse, stimulation, masturbation and orgasm. These activities have also been shown to contribute positively to physical and mental health.