The Sexy Sixties: Boomers and the Second Sexual Revolution

25 Oct 2018 Blog

Nearly 80 million Americans came of age during the social and sexual revolution of 1960s and ’70s. The era was characterized by rebellion against parents, society, and conformity in general. About a third of the members of this free-loving generation are now single — either divorced, widowed, or never married in the first place. While many Baby Boomers are now parents of the decidedly less sexy millennials and even grandparents, their interest in sex shows no sign of slowing down. The dating app Match.com reports that 50-plus is the fastest-growing demographic on the site. And a survey from OurTime.com, an online dating site for older adults, found that 87% of 50- to 70-year-old single users say that physical attraction is a requirement for a potential partner.

According to recent research in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, the average American adult has sex about 60 times per year, so a little more than once a week. For the 2015 and 2016 studies, researchers analyzed polled data on adult sexual habits from the General Social Survey. And who’s having the most? Compared to subsequent generations, Boomers have the most sexual partners over their lifetime. Boomers average 11 partners – compared with millennials who have a projected average of 8. And the X Generation comes in second with an average of 10 partners. I see patients in my practice everyday confirming that Boomers are trending up while, surprisingly, younger generations are trending down in terms of sexual interest.

The Boomers, who launched the sexual revolution in the ’60s, are now well into their 60s. For them, the revolution rages on.

Which is the sexiest generation of them all?

Hands down this distinction belongs to Boomers, who, as they age, continue to push the boundaries of sexuality. It is no surprise that the same generation of women who first benefited from the introduction of the birth control pill in 1965 are now demanding fresh solutions to keep enjoying sex. A movement is afoot – one that challenges long-held assumptions about aging and sexuality, asserting that adults in their 60s and beyond can have healthy and happy sex lives.

When the Food and Drug Administration approved Viagra in 1998 to treat erectile dysfunction, it changed the sexual landscape for older men, adding years to their sexual health. Urologists for men were dedicated to male sexual health and proactively finding solutions to maintain their vitality. Meanwhile, for decades, women with age-related sexual concerns were left high and dry with limited options and few physicians who would listen. My female patients have been tragically underserved by conventional medicine; however, with the emergence of laser medicine, I am thrilled to offer my patients science-proven solutions to meet all of their sexual wellness needs.

Unlike their Viagra-popping partners, Boomer women have been left high and dry…I’m thrilled for you, honey. Really.

Boomer women demand solutions for sexual wellness

Not only did gynecologists fail to rise to the occasion for their female patients, but the findings of the 2005 Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) set women’s health back irreparably by concluding that Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) was not safe for women. I see the repercussions of this inaccurate interpretation negatively affecting the lives of my patients on a daily basis. I have been treating women for over 25 years and I am astonished by the myths my patients believe. But more so by how misinformed many of my colleagues are on the role that testosterone therapy plays in preserving women’s libido and sexuality, maintaining bone and brain health, and preventing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and breast cancer. Yes, I said that human-identical testosterone therapy prevents breast cancer in women. Longevity cannot realistically be achieved without balanced hormones.

In my clinic, one of the first treatments I recommend to my Boomer women is hormone replacement with BioTE pellet therapy. With the return of the libido, women cannot wait to reclaim their sexuality. Each woman suffers from a unique combination of the many common sexual problems that accompany aging along with structural changes resulting from childbirth – things like incontinence, vaginal laxity and dryness, inability to orgasm, pain during intercourse, embarrassing hemorrhoids, and concern with the appearance of their external genitalia. Propelled by a growing market of women like these demanding solutions, the industry has finally realized the vast nature of this opportunity. Over the past decade, explosive technology – especially in the field of lasers – has emerged to serve the diversity of women’s sexuality.

This is an exciting and rewarding time for older women – and men, too – when it comes their sexual health.

Benefits of the bedroom

Of course, sex is lots of fun – that’s because during arousal, the brain releases powerful “feel-good” chemicals. But, sex also has many positive physiological and emotional benefits so it plays a major role in our overall health. People who have more sex report higher self-esteem, life satisfaction, and quality of life. They make better parents and happier employees. Other benefits of spending more time in the bedroom include:

  • boosts your immunity
  • regulates blood pressure
  • reduces stress and improves mood
  • improves sleep 
  • increased longevity

People with healthy sex lives possess greater confidence in and out of the bedroom. But, for Boomers, the pros of more sex come with new responsibilities and consequences.

Doctors don’t talk to patients about sexual health. Here’s why they should:

More often than not, healthcare professionals don’t ask about their patients’ intimate lives. This is especially true for older individuals, about whom physicians may have preconceived notions that they are not sexually active. Sexuality should be part of a physician’s review of systems – no matter what a patient’s age. Intimacy should be an essential component of the patient-doctor conversation. I ask all of my patients about their sexual health. Questions like:

Are you with a new partner? Perhaps more than one? Are you using protection? Would you like an STD screening? Are you satisfied with your performance and do you achieve orgasm? And, equally important, are you satisfied with your partner’s performance?

Boomers are used to giving “the talk” to their children. Many need to learn to take their own advice.

Why should Boomers talk about sex now?

With the increase in older people dating, high numbers of Boomers are now having unprotected sex. As a result, the increase of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) for older people is startling. In a report by Global News about sexually active seniors, they shared the following alarming statistics:

Recent studies have shown that in the U.S. STDs in the 50 to 70 age group have increased 38 percent from 2014 to 2017…. People over 50 years old made up 21 percent of new HIV diagnoses.

So, why is this happening? Well, it’s multi-factorial. Boomers are not using protection for a broad range of reasons.

  • No longer a fear of pregnancy – when Boomers started having sex, pregnancy was likely the first and only issue they considered. Now that this no longer a concern, older people do not realize that protection is necessary.
  • Unaware of symptoms – sexually transmitted infections (STIs) often can be present without any visible symptoms. Someone can be infected and not even know it. 
  • Not in the habit – many older people had previous long-term sexual relationships where protection was not necessary. Boomers carry these same assumptions from prior relationships into new sexual encounters without considering the consequences.

Sexual avoidance is a thing too

As we grow older, both women and men experience a drop in vital sex hormones, which is usually accompanied by a drop in sexual desire and performance. To make matters worse, as our sex hormone levels decline, we experience a whole host of other unwanted conditions. We have trouble maintaining our weight, difficulty sleeping at night, decreased muscle strength, and lack of energy and fatigue. It’s no wonder that many of us become less interested in sex as we age. HRT is the cornerstone of my sexual wellness philosophy – it’s so critical, that I dedicated a microsite to the topic. You can learn more about hormone pellet therapy here.

For many Boomers, not having sex – even avoiding it altogether – is also not uncommon. Some of the reasons are physical but, oftentimes, they are physiological or psychosocial. Changing bodies and changing priorities are among the many stumbling blocks Boomers face in their ongoing pursuit of love. Boomers represent one of the most stressed-out demographics today. Most are still working full time but many are also tasked with care for aging parents and increasingly helping to financially support adult children. Some simply don’t have the time, or emotional headspace, for romance. For others, the cause could be medical.

Why are Boomers avoiding sex?

Although Boomers are bucking the trend, historically in old age, people tend to have less sex. Some of this is because older people lose their partners and don’t necessarily start dating again. But being in poor health, or taking certain medications, can also make people less interested in sex. Among those who are not actively seeking sex, some Boomers are attempting to avoid it. Women more commonly avoid sex than men – in fact, up to 40% of women avoid sex some time in their lives. However, men too have their motivations for opting out of sex.

These are some of the reasons Boomers are looking for excuses:

  • Pain during sex for women
  • Incontinence and the embarrassment that comes with it – 80% of women experience incontinence during their lifetime.
  • Low libido among women and men
  • Inability to orgasm – 10% of women never climax
  • Metabolic conditions like diabetes and obesity
  • Many medications such as antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs reduce libido
  • Low levels of testosterone for men – men lose 20% of their testosterone per decade
  • Dissatisfaction with their partner
  • Erectile dysfunction for men – 60% of men over 60 experience ED
  • Lack of opportunity is cited by men

Fortunately, we now have a plethora of solutions for many of these concerns. The second sexual revolution for Boomers could not have come at a better time.

Laser Love: New science so you stay sexy

A number of revolutionary and noninvasive treatments are available to address the complexity of issues impeding sexual performance and desire. You just have to know where to look. At HealthWellnessMD, we offer an array of non-surgical solutions for your most intimate concerns. We perform all of these procedures in the comfort and privacy of our medical spa with little to no downtime.

  • Vaginal Rejuvenation with the FemiLift

The FemiLift is for every woman. Every woman who suffers from incontinence, every woman who wants less discomfort during sex and greater sensation, every woman of every age who wants to feel rejuvenated. This minimally invasive laser stimulates collagen production and increased blood flow to the vaginal walls. The FemiLift has the dual effect of both improving urinary leakage and increasing your sexual sensation, lubrication, and overall intimacy.

  • Internal and external Vaginal Rejuvenation with Votiva 

Votiva uses radiofrequency (RF) to tighten pelvic muscles and treat the effects of vaginal laxity such as urinary incontinence and loss of sensitivity. This safe and comfortable treatment addresses both internal and external vaginal health issues without surgery. If you suffer from low blood flow or sensitivity, pain with intercourse, or decreased libido, Votiva may be perfect for you. Votiva can also address age-related loss of elasticity and wrinkled appearance of the labia and vulva.

  • Male performance enhancement with GAINSWave

Many men equate a healthy sex life with their ability to have a strong and long-lasting erection. They spend billions each year on temporary male enhancement treatments such as Viagra and Cialis despite the numerous and alarming side effects. Any man who wants to take back his sexuality naturally—without risky medication—can benefit from this gentle and pain-free therapy. The GAINSWave™system uses pulsating acoustic waves to increase blood flow to the penis resulting in a firmer, more resilient erection. Using acoustic waves increases the number of blood vessels, removes micro-plaques, and promotes soft tissue growth within the penis, so it stays firmer longer, while also increasing sensitivity. Greater blood flow means stronger erections and optimal sensation.

  • The O-Shot® for Women

The O-Shot®, or Orgasm- Shot, procedure is a very specific method of using blood-derived growth factors from your own platelet-rich plasma (PRP), to rejuvenate and regenerate the vagina. The O-Shot® helps relieve urinary incontinence, sexual problems, and increases sexual pleasure. For many patients, The O-Shot® improves lubrication and arousal from clitoral stimulation and may decrease pain for women who experience pain during intercourse.

  • The P-Shot® for Men

This groundbreaking new treatment uses platelet-rich plasma (PRP) from the patient’s own body to rejuvenate damaged and aged tissue. The P-Shot® entails safe, pain-free injections of a patient’s own PRP to rejuvenate the penis and stimulate new tissue growth, resulting in improved erections that are larger, firmer, and more frequent. Because the PRP comes from your own body, it is a natural and effective treatment for erectile dysfunction as well as Peyronie’s Disease. And because most men see almost instantaneous results, you can enjoy sexual relations on the day of the procedure.

  • Vaginal Revision with Laser Labiaplasty

Labiaplasty is the fastest-growing type of cosmetic surgery today. We offer a nonsurgical alternative for the many women who experience discomfort or limit activities, such as riding bikes or going to the beach, because of their pronounced labia. We can also help women who are embarrassed because they lack labial symmetry. I want all women to know that you can have perfectly symmetrical labia without going under the knife. After my in-office laser labiaplasty, you go home the same day, with little downtime, no stitches, and the symmetrical appearance you’ve always desired.

  • Hemorrhoids with Laser Hemorrhoid Removal 

Hemorrhoids are not only uncomfortable, they can be embarrassing and interfere with your desire for sexual intimacy. With the rise in oral sexual activity, this condition can be especially awkward. As many as 80% of American suffer from hemorrhoids and most are unaware of a simple and minimally invasive technique to eliminate them. Using our CO laser, we permanently remove external hemorrhoids. This laser vaporizes the content of the hemorrhoid as well as the remaining skin sack. So, you can enjoy your sexuality with confidence again.

Your sexual health and wellness is too important to ignore. With such advances in laser technology, there is no reason for Boomers to lack confidence in the bedroom due to medical, performance, or cosmetic concerns. You can feel great about your appearance and enjoy an active and fulfilling sexual life.

Taking it to the sheets: The second Sexual Revolution

Boomers are once again challenging the status quo – this time, they are upending assumptions about aging and sexuality. During the ‘6os, they were taking it to the streets. Now more than fifty years later, they are revolutionizing the way the medical establishment approaches sexuality and longevity. While there will never be another Summer of Love, with all of these science-backed solutions for sexual health, Boomers can come pretty darn close. Future generations say thank you.

 

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