The White Picket Fence and Midlife Sex

Walker Thornton #cconfence CatalystCon East - March 16, 2014


  1. The mainstream woman has few resources when it comes to talking about her sex life. She is often afraid to approach her physician, uncomfortable taking to a partner and may feel a sense of shame around the topic. Resources on sexuality are not geared to this age demographic. The prevailing message for older women is that sexual activity comes to a grinding halt after menopause. Men, on the other hand, benefit from different cultural expectations and fewer challenges around being sexually active. We will look at the challenges in talking about sexuality for the over 50 adult when mainstream media has written us off as non-sexual. How do we shape education that is helpful for the older adult who may be less open to erotic content and explicit language? How do we start the conversation about sex when the language is laden with ‘taboo’ and shame? The goal of this presentation is to talk about the sexual experiences of older women and think about ways we can provide education and resources to older adults in the mainstream culture. How can we reach women who are uncomfortable with sex, who have abandoned their sexuality due to menopause, lack of knowledge or sexless relationships?