Why Older Women Need More Than One Lover
Sex and the City’s Mr. Big, Chris Noth, is about to welcome baby № 2 this year. He’s 65. Mick Jagger welcome baby № 8 when he was 73. Billy Joel became a dad again at age 69. Ditto Steve Martin, Nikki Sixx, Eddie Murphy, Hugh Grant, Alec Baldwin.
We’re used to hearing about men having babies well into old age (guys, just stop — your sperm is old, and doing no good), which obviously means they’re still having sex (thanks, Viagra) well into old age. We may question their desire to start over with a baby, but no one questions their desire for sex.
We are a little less generous when it comes to hearing about women having sex well into old age. That’s unfortunate because many older women actually want sex, and are getting it.
In fact, in one Women Health Initiative study of 27,347 postmenopausal women, ages 50 to 79 years, the women who were dissatisfied with the amount of sex they were having wanted more — not less — sex.
So, how can they get it?
Marriage isn’t a guarantee, given the numbers of sexless marriages. And because women typically live longer than men, many older women are solo — they’ve either lost a partner to death or divorce, or they don’t have a romantic partner, by choice or chance.
Besides offering intimacy and connection, which the need for doesn’t end once you hit midlife or old age, sex is important for health and well-being, according to experts.
Here’s one way older women can get the sex they crave while also giving themselves a healthy boost — practicing consensual non-monogamy.
According to a study of older people who practice consensual non-monogamy:
“irrespective of formal relationship status, the non-exclusive sample reported significantly more sexual partners, more sexual frequency, better health, and were much more likely to have had an HIV test than the general US population; the non-exclusive sample also reported being significantly happier than the general population, with the exception of married men, who reported being as happy as the general population sample.”
Which means, married or not, they had more sex, better health and were happier than the general public (well, except for married men, which again proves that marriage benefits men more than women).
There are limitations to the study, but it, as well as other studies, seem to indicate that having multiple partners is a plus for older people, and — no surprise here — “some of the ‘benefits’ of open relationships were more pronounced among women.”
That’s because monogamy isn’t all that great for women, despite the narrative society has thrust upon us and that women have internalized.
Given that, women need to change the narrative. Younger women might want to consider feminist polygamy to find the kind of work-life-family balance they desire, while reaping the economic benefits of marriage. Then, when they’re older, they just might want to invite more lovers into their life — if not for more sex than at the very least for their health.
Then again, why wait?
Want to learn how to individualize your marriage? (Of course you do!) Read The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels (Seal Press). You can support your local indie bookstore (please do) or order it on Amazon. And we’re now on Audible.
Find more articles on my blog, OMG Chronicles