Most human beings remain interested in sex throughout their lives. This interest has inspired a 21st century cottage industry of books devoted to sex for seniors. The bar for adding something novel to this genre is high. Sex Beyond 60 distinguishes itself in several important ways. First, Dressler culled many of the 350 frequently asked questions from colleagues, friends and family that address concerns that people over 60 have about aging and sex.
Second, Sex Beyond 60 addresses sexual dysfunctions that may interfere with the many physical and emotional benefits of engaging in sexual activity as people age. In the United States, for example, erectile dysfunction affects 30 million men. By 2025, ED is expected to affect 322 million men worldwide. Dressler presents a wide range of Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved treatment options and promising experimental treatments for men and women that have increased dramatically in the past 20 years. Erectile technology is the new sexual revolution.
The third way in which Sex Beyond 60 distinguishes itself is on the chapter on sex and seniors with health conditions and disabilities. Strategies to engage in sexual activity for those older adults with heart conditions and arthritis, for example, are included as well as sex toys for people with disabilities.
Many older adults find it easier to engage in sexual activity than to talk to their potential sex partner about his/her sexual health history. Seniors, unlike young adults, never received the message about using condoms to prevent sexually transmitted infections. The fourth way that Sex Beyond 60 is unique is it provides questions to ask your partner about his/her sexual health and how to share your own sexual health history. These communication skills include strategies to negotiate safer sex with a potential sex partner.
The fifth way that Sex Beyond 60 distinguishes itself is the chapter on sex in long-term care. Nursing home administrators are bracing themselves for a surge of residents. Most boomers are sexually active and many as they age will move into long-term care. The boomers who came of age during the sexual revolution of the late 1960s through the 1980s will demand the right to sexual expression in long-term care. Many boomers are currently caring for elder parents in long-term care. They are faced with issues, for example, a parent who has Alzheimer’s disease, engaging in sexual activity with another resident. Although some progress has been made in allowing sexual expression in nursing homes, more staff training on sexuality and the right of residents to sexual expression is necessary.