First of all, relax.
This is a family newspaper.
What follows would be labeled a Walt Disney “G” or earn an old Catholic Legion of Decency rating of A-I for “General Patronage”. Well, maybe an A-II for “Adults and Teenagers”, but probably not an A-III for “Adults”, let alone A-IV for “Adults with Morally Objectionable Parts.” I always wondered if this was an anatomical reference. If so, it probably wouldn’t be a hard guess what might fit that category.
Using Roman numerals seemed to add a certain ecclesiastical cachet.
Times were much more restrictive back then. In the 50s, you couldn’t say “pregnant” on the radio. Even Lucille Ball couldn’t describe her condition with that word when she was “expecting” little Ricky in 1952. Another forbidden word was not allowed. S-e-x. Sex.
Here’s who’s having “it” among seniors:
Among high school seniors - 62%.
Among college seniors - 57%.
Among senior citizens 70 years of age and older - 54% of men and 31% of women.
In fact, The New England Journal of Medicine reports that a majority of older adults who were married or had intimate partners remain active through their 80s and “a significant number” well into their 90s.
A comparable study by Indiana University’s Center for Sexual Health Promotion found somewhat similar results with 43% of men and 22% of women over 70 reporting they regularly engage in sexual activity.
More research by the National Commission on Aging found that women say sex over 70 is more satisfying than that experienced in their 40s. The Senior Citizens Guide stresses that we should erase “the long-held myth that aging inevitably dampens the desire, and that older people are not interested in or able to have sex.”
Yet sex remains a sensitive topic for all ages - particularly cringe-inducing for the young commenting on behavior of the old.
When I joined a local gym upon turning 50 or so, one of our daughters sternly cautioned me to “not be like all those creepy old men staring at young girls working out.” I made an instant mental note to stash my Playboys in a more secure location. And dump all copies of Penthouse where I left those Hustlers.
Looking at sex from a purely mechanical perspective, it seems silly. Can there be a more vivid illustration of ecstasy ignoring embarrassment? We follow powerfully transcendent instinctive inclinations and gain ultimate pleasure in unqualified surrender. That’s why sex can also lead to potentially dangerous, even criminal behavior.
It’s not control of sex by community consensus, but degrees of repressive restriction that threaten common decency in a democratic society.
Even those of the 10 Commandments in Judaic/Christian/Islamic culture often cited as being sexually prohibitive were nothing more at the time of origination than property laws - in the good old days when almost everyone knew men owned their women.
Many anecdotes about senior sex can now be safely and publicly shared.
Hearing that her elderly grandfather had passed away, little Suzie rushed to comfort her 95-year-old grandmother. When asked what happened, Suzie was told he had a heart attack while they made love that Sunday morning. Horrified, Suzie told her grandmother having sex at such an advanced age was looking for trouble.
“Oh, no, my dear,” replied Granny. “Many years ago, we figured out the best time to do it was when the church bells would ring. It was just the right rhythm, Nice and slow and easy. Nothing too strenuous.”
“If that darned ice cream truck hadn’t come by, he’d still be alive today.”