Across the globe, both in developed and developing countries, the population is rapidly ageing. In the fields of sexual and relationship therapy and sexual health, ageing has not been an issue of priority. Too often, ageing is thought of as a process that relates to problems, deficits, and taboos, and less to pleasure, change, growth and diversity. It is treated as a separate life stage and not a process throughout the lifecycle. Sexuality and sexual health are important parts of the lives of older people, as they have a significant impact on quality of life, psychological well-being and physical health, as well as social and family life.
This book brings together contributions from those currently writing on and researching ageing as it relates, in a therapeutic context, to gender identity, to sex and sexuality, and to intimate relationships. This book was originally published as a special issue of Sexual and Relationship Therapy.
Introduction - Moving towards understanding greater diversity and fluidity of sexual expression of older people Walter Pierre Bouman and Peggy J. Kleinplatz
1. Older women and sexuality – are we still just talking lube? Lyba Spring
2. Are sociodemographic characteristics, education and training, and attitudes toward older adults’ sexuality predictive of willingness to assess sexual health in a sample of US psychologists? Margaret Flaget-Greener, Cesar A. Gonzalez and Eric Sprankle
3. Sexuality of the ageing female – the underlying physiology R.J. Levin
4. Relationships and sexual expression in later life: a biopsychosocial perspective John DeLamater and Erica Koepsel
5. The influence of health over time on psychological distress among older couples: the moderating role of marital functioning Laurence Villeneuve, Gilles Trudel, Luc Dargis, Michel Préville, Richard Boyer and Jean Bégin
6. Individual and relational contributors to optimal sexual experiences in older men and women A. Dana Ménard, Peggy J. Kleinplatz, Lianne Rosen, Shannon Lawless, Nicholas Paradis, Meghan Campbell and Jonathan D. Huber
7. The association of an open relationship orientation with health and happiness in a sample of older US adults James R. Fleckenstein and Derrell W. Cox II
8. Sex, desire and pleasure: considering the experiences of older Australian women Bianca Fileborn, Rachel Thorpe, Gail Hawkes, Victor Minichiello, Marian Pitts and Tinashe Dune
9. Social connection, relationships and older lesbian and gay people Catherine Barrett, Carolyn Whyte, Jude Comfort, Anthony Lyons and Pauline Crameri
10. To date or not to date, that is the question: older single gay men’s concerns about dating Yiu Tung Suen
11. Old and desirable: older women’s accounts of ageing bodies in intimate relationships Rachel Thorpe, Bianca Fileborn, Gail Hawkes, Marian Pitts and Victor Minichiello
12. Midlife menopause: male partners talking Lih-Mei Liao, Sarah Lunn and Martyn Baker