When people start talking about responsible sex and condoms, the targets of the conversations are usually young people. No one even bothers to talk about safe sex with individuals who are in the 50s and above. As a result, some older couples do not bother using condoms when having sex, with most of them just assuming that safe sex is for young people who need to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies. However, what most of these seniors do not realise is that even though there is very little chance of getting pregnant at their age, they are not immune to STDs and might even be at a higher risk of contracting an infection when compared to younger people.
Why people over their 50s don’t wear condoms
1. Belief that condoms are not necessary
As already stated above, most people believe that condoms are not a necessity amongst older couples as there are no risks of getting pregnant. In addition, people above the age of 50 are seniors in the society, and thus viewed as less promiscuous compared to the younger generations. This lessens the need of taking precautions when having sex, thus encouraging unprotected sex.
2. Lack of necessary medical information about STDs
Ignorance on STDs, especially HIV, is another major reason why older couples don’t use condoms. Most people over the age 50 had already settled down by the time the first case of HIV was reported in the 1980s. Therefore, most of them were not beneficiaries of the safer sex campaign that was started after the emergence of the virus. Even now, safe sex campaigns are only targeted at the younger generations, which mean there is less awareness on the importance of practicing safe sex amongst the older generation (http://www.jodivine.com/articles/sexual-health/why-the-over-50s-are-not-practising-safe-sex).
Reasons why condoms are important for people over 50s
1. High prevalence of HIV
HIV is one of the main STDs you are at a high risk of contracting when you engage in unprotected sex. According to several statistics on the spread of HIV, the virus is highly prevalent amongst people who are above the age of 50. In the US, about 16% of new HIV cases are reported amongst the people over the age of 50, while 25% of the people living with the virus are above 50.
The situation is also similar in the UK where 20% of people diagnosed with HIV in 2013 were over 50, compared to 7% in 2004 (http://hivselftest.co.uk/blogs/news/58231429-old-habits-die-hard-safe-sex-for-the-over-50s). People who are above the age of 50 are therefore at a higher risk of contracting HIV, and should thus practise safe sex to protect themselves and their partners
2. High risk of contracting STDs
Infection rates for other STDs such as gonorrhoea and herpes have also risen at an alarming rate in the older generation. According to a report released by the Public Health England on the diagnoses and infection rates of STIs, there was a 206% increase in the number of gonorrhoea cases diagnosed in people over the age of 65 between the years 2010 and 2014. Herpes infection rates were also alarmingly high, with the cases reported increasing by 63% (97% for women). From these statistics, it is quite clear that older couples are at a very high risk of contracting STDs, and should thus use condoms to protect themselves from infections.
3. Very few people in their 50s get tested for STDs
A lot of young people who are sexually active have been tested for STDs at one point in their life (most even go for regular checkups). However, people over the age of 50 rarely go for STDs checkups especially if they are in a long-term relationship/marriage. Therefore, a lot of these people might even be infected with various STDs and are not aware as they have never been tested (http://www.saga.co.uk/magazine/relationships/love-sex/sex-over-50-why-it-pays-to-play-it-safe#).
4. Weaker immune systems
The immune system of a human being weakens with age. Therefore, people above the age of 50 have weaker immune systems that are not very effective at fighting of STIs in case of an infection. In addition, women start experience thinning of vaginal tissues as they age, which increases the risk of the tissues rupturing during sex. Without protection, this increases the risks of contracting HIV.
How to have safe and healthy sex in your later years
If you are in your 50s and above, you can still be able to practise safe sex and at the same time, have fun. You can even spice up their sex life by using various sex products that include:
Condoms offer a perfect combination of safety and fun during sex (https://www.condomania.com/news/condoms-for-those-50.html). Instead of just picking any type of condom, you can go for the performance or pleasure enhancing condoms to increase performance and stimulation during intercourse. Other types of condoms you can consider buying including the ultra-thin ones that increase sensation or the ribbed condoms that will help to increase pleasure for your partner.
Lubricant is one of the most important requirements when having sex at an older age. This is because as women age, the production of oestrogen reduces, which leads to a drop in the natural vaginal lubrication produced in the body. This causes vaginal dryness during sex, which is uncomfortable, and can even lead to the tearing of the vaginal tissues. Therefore, when having sex, you should always use lube to help reduce the friction during sex. Lubricants can also help to enhance pleasure for both of you during intercourse (https://www.condomania.com/personal-lubricants.html).
3. Sex toys
Sex toys are another creative way of enjoying sex at an older age. By using toys such as vibrators, dildos, cock rings, and several other toys, you can be able to revive your sex life and enjoy more satisfying intercourse. You can also have fun with your partner by trying different types of sex toys, which you can easily and discretely purchase from online sex products stores such as Condomania.com.
Getting old does not mean that you should stop having sex, and you can still enjoy it as much as you did in your 20s by using various sexual products. However, you should always practise safe sex to protect yourself and your partner from the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections, which can easily be transmitted by older couples just as much as the younger ones do.