Women over 50 like sex.
Now, that's a news flash. To everyone except women over 50, that is.
"There's this popular public perception that as women age, sex becomes unimportant and that women just stop having sex as they get older," said Holly Thomas, a University of Pittsburgh researcher. "From our study, it looks like most women continue to have sex."
For four years, Thomas tracked 354 women ages 45 to 60 who said they were sexually active. One in 10 ranked sex as extremely important. Half said it was moderately important. At the end of the four years, 85 percent of them remained sexually active.
Viagra maker Pfizer's global study is still oft-cited 12 years after the drug company interviewed more than 26,000 people ages 40 to 80 in 29 countries about the importance of sex. Asked how much they agreed or disagreed with the statement "Older people no longer want sex," 64 percent of men and 56 percent of women strongly disagreed. And, when asked how important sex was in their life, 83 percent of men and 63 percent of women said very or moderately important. These results suggest that when older people aren't having sex, it is likely because they have no available partner.
Which brings me to two of my closest divorced girlfriends on opposite sides of the country who, in their searches for Mr. Right, found cads that they've stayed with, looking past their flaws so they can have a playmate. For them, having a regular sex partner, it seems, is better than no sex partner at all, even if the guy's not perfect.
Unfortunately, women (my friends) don't like other women (me) pointing out their man's flaws. So I save my disparaging remarks for the occasional opportunity to pile on when they start bad-mouthing the louses themselves and just hope they someday find a nice man who likes older women who like sex. Maybe a guy like Chuck Nyren, 74, humor columnist and author of Advertising to Baby Boomers.
"I thank my lucky stars I've lived long enough to go nutty over older women's bodies," he wrote last month on Huffington Post's "Post 50" blog.
"With each one, you can't memorize the whole body. There's so much going on! Contours aplenty, shapes galore, curves, mounds, crannies, sections soft, hard, comfy to hold. When they move any which way, they change!
"With younger bodies … they're the same from top to bottom. Same shape, same skin, same rubbery feel. Nothing much there. Unfinished, incomplete. Like they were just hatched from pods — smooth and slippery, no essence yet. And only a few curves and barely any crannies. Bland and simple. Uninteresting," Nyren said.
It's a sweet thought if not a backhanded compliment. Let's just hope the lover of all things soft and comfy has the sense not to whisper words like "crannies" and "mounds" in his lover's ear.
Patti Ewald can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8746.