Wrapped Up In Books


Sad, or about time, depending on how you look at it
August 17, 2008, 7:06 am
Filed under: A, For Your Health! | Tags: , , , , , ,

I found out last night that Sue Johanson, of Sunday Night Sex Show fame, has retired. She is 78 years of age (a year younger than my grandmother) and is still sexually active.

Sue was a groundbreaker for young women’s sexual liberation in the ’70s when she set up a birth control clinic in a Toronto high school in 1972. In more recent times, she hosted a call-in sex advice show that was not only educational, but also amused many a teenager (and perhaps more juvenile adults, too). I had the (awkward) pleasure of seeing her at my own frosh week and two years later at another frosh event. My calculations put her at 72 and 74 years of age, respectively. I realize this has little direction, but I think I wanted to just acknowledge her work and all she’s done to make people feel sexually normal, but also to further equalize the sexes. There’s something that makes you feel less weird about asking a question or watching the call-in show when the person explaining it has loads of life experience and generally looks incredibly innocuous. She was a trailblazer and I know she’ll be missed, but I hope that someone will be coming in to fill the void soon. We’ll all need it, whether we know it or not.

In other news, I’ve just recently read a Swedish study that reports more women (and men) in their 70s are having both increased quantity and quality of sex. When I read this, I immediately thought back to my summer between first and second years of university to when I was working in a local nursing home. Apparently it was a frequent occurrence for employees to walk in on residents hooking up. Oh, the woes of not having locks on your doors!

Regardless, this post is not to poo-poo my elders having sex. By all means, if it keeps them happy, they ought to do it. I used to want to study geriatrics (this choice has now made a complete 180 and I’m pursuing obstetrics instead) if only because people should not be written off just by virtue of being old. Furthermore, anyone who writes off elderly people for this very reason has their own issues to deal with (most likely some sort of fear of dying, or more superficially, losing their good looks).

My own postulations would lead me to think that this would increase the quality of their mental health and, as such, would be obviously reflected in their quality of life. I think that at this stage in one’s existence, they should be entitled and encouraged to pursue anything that would make this happen. Our society is still getting through the muddy issues of feminism (this will be a whole other post), but both males and females grow old, so in the meanwhile, let’s not be ageist. Besides, one act has a positive feedback for both parties involved – and that reward seems necessarily worthwhile.

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