I knew that applied to neurons and gift certificates, but I had no idea it was true of female genitalia. That tissues grew thinner and dryer after menopause, yes, but not that visitor-free vaginas can actually atrophy: grow shorter and narrower. I didn’t know it because no one ever talked about it, any more than they talked about how people can enjoy satisfying, passionate sex into their 90s—if they make it a priority and embrace the ways sex changes over time.
Just heard about the work of Joan Price, an author and speaker whose mission is to prove that "society's view of seniors as sexless is wrong, wrong, wrong!" Also to explain how sex changes, for better and worse, as we age. That's the topic of her award-winning book Naked At Our Age, which I'm ordering today.
Most animals, from shrimp to shrews, decline swiftly after reaching sexual maturity. Humans, on the other hand, experience middle age: a several-decade plateau during which most biological systems deteriorate very little. This stage of life, argues writer and zoologist David Bainbridge in this excerpt from Middle Age: A Natural History, represents a remarkable evolutionary achievement that should gratify, not depress.
In Slate’s geezer-centric issue, Daniel Engber takes a lucid look at sexual activity — or, more likely, its prohibition — in an article titled "Naughty Nursing Homes." Engber cites an August 2007 article in the New England Journal of Medicine about sexual activity among older people. Some predictable findings: people who described themselves as healthy were more likely to be sexually active, women were less so then men, and sexual activity declines with age. But not so fast!