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24 December 2007


C.S. Lewiston

So, in these days of abstinence-ed, added to the traditional American stereotype of over-40's as over-the-hill (I've been over lots of hills in my lifetime, with more on the horizon, but anyhow...), why should we be surprised that HIV education for our age group is only slightly better than HIV education was for the general population back in the Reagan years, when our government washed its hands of the matter and most people considered HIV to be those peoples' problem?

A lot of us who were fortunate enough to become sexually active in the P-4 years (Post-Pill-Pre-Plague), the golden age of barebacking, are naturally going to think of condom use in terms of the kinds of condoms that were around back then. Old Trojans were like bicycle innertubes. There was no "Pleasure Plus", "Inspiral" or "Kimonos" (where is "Mentor" when we need it?). The only lube around was Vaseline (worst sex lube in the world for a lot of reasons besides latex-incompatibility) and the ever-so-clinical K-Y jelly (whose manufacturer finally smartened up and de-clinicized its packaging). What's needed is not only informing people about the dangers of unprotected sex, but marketing, convincing the old Trojan-avoiders that using protection is a lot better than it was during the lava-lamp or leisure-suit decades. That prepping for safer sex can itself be sexy, that it can and should be incorporated into foreplay.

The biggie, apart from resisting our Dear Leader's efforts to take us back to the 16th century, is going to be burying the popular myth of older people being useless and asexual to boot. Hey, better it than us!

Sue Katz

Now that's a welcome piece of history. I didn't have much truck with condoms in the past, so you've certainly filled in a hole, as it were, in my understanding.

As for lube, I have so much to say about lube that I'm going to save it for a long article.

Thanks, C.S.,

Joan Price

Great post, Sue! I linked to it on a similar post of mine called "Condom Sense" (http://betterthanieverexpected.blogspot.com/2008/01/condom-sense.html), where I discuss the stats on HIV among the 50+ population and how to have the "condom conversation."

Thanks, Sue, for such a well-reasoned and eloquent post. It's up to people like us to open up this issue for sexually active seniors, because the community programs and doctors just aren't doing it.

Joan Price

Author of Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty

Join us -- we're talking about ageless sexuality at http://www.betterthanieverexpected.blogspot.com

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