One of the most prevalent stereotypes about aging is that we become sexless beings. This is akin to the invisibility we feel, experience, or fear, especially women, as we face the years ahead of us.
This invisible sexuality is particularly ironic with leading edge Boomers, the generation that brought the first sexual revolution. Are we prepared to start the next one? To spark not just a revolution but an evolution in how we embrace our sexuality at every age and stage?
Not only do the current generations have a very different mindset toward sex than past generations—we are also living longer healthier lives than ever before. This puts us in the unique position to redefine what it means to be sexual beings and to change the way the world sees and limits sexuality.
Our sexual health is an important part of our holistic health—physical, emotional, mental. The forms our sexuality takes are far more varied than our society and media portray, and this is true at every age. Our sexuality is as unique as our personality, differing from person to person and even differing within an individual at various ages and stages and in different circumstances.*
But sexuality is itself ageless, an ever-present part of who we are as human beings, one of the many forms of our creative energy and our bodily expression.
To deny this in ourselves or in others is to deny an important part of our humanity.
It’s long past time that we began demanding a change in our portrayal in media and advertising, as well as in the multigenerational conversations we have. This demand can take the form of choosing to use our significant spending power with companies that recognize our full humanity, including our sexuality.
It can also take the form of speaking out about our sexual health concerns just as we do about other aspects of our health. We deserve to have them taken seriously in medicine and in society, for women as well as men, addressing the real needs and desires we have, not just the oversimplified male-focused needs that can be addressed with a pill (see, for example, “Owning Our Bodies, Our Businesses”).
Our sexuality is more than that. We are more than that.
This Valentine’s Day, I invite you to step out from behind closed doors and embrace your sexuality visibly, however you express it and define it. The revolution begins with us. It always has.
*If you’re looking for ways to explore your sexuality at every age, I highly recommend the work of sex educator Betty Dodson, one of the visionary women I interviewed in my book Visionaries Have Wrinkles. Check out my book and her website with Carlin Ross at dodsonandross.com.
Featured image courtesy of On the Issues Magazine, creative commons license.