News Item

Return to list of news items

Older but maybe not wiser...?

Men’s Sexual Health has dedicated February to raising the awareness of the need to support the older generation. As evidenced by this year’s LGBT History Month campaign theme and the recent news of the increasing rate of Sexually Transmitted Infections amongst the older population, it’s clear that now, more than ever, is the time to act!

So why has there been this sudden rise? It comes down to a number of possible factors:

With divorce rates increasing, men and women are “getting back out there” with new partners and unfortunately picking things up along the way. The older generation may not have had the sex education which the youth of today have and may not have kept up with the facts since. STIs have changed and new ones have emerged since their days at school. Also, older people don't get targeted with the “stay safe” sex campaigns like today's teenagers do.

With the advent of online dating it has become even easier to have casual sex, both for those who are part of the above newly single group, as well as those seeking to have an open relationship. Dating sites are springing up every week trying to tempt people with the offer of love and romance, but with no guidance or support on how to make those encounters safe and the kind that you will want to remember - for all the right reasons!

Then there is, as some people like to call it, ‘the miracle drug’, the little blue pill Viagra; giving the older man who may suffer from erectile dysfunction the chance to have sexual encounters - this new drug has helped so many men get their confidence back in the bedroom that they may forget that pit stop at the pharmacy to get some condoms.

Many women who are post-menopausal don’t think to worry about contraception as they can no longer get pregnant and the idea of catching a sexually transmitted infection probably doesn’t even cross their minds.

Some are also citing the popularity of the ‘Fifty Shades’ books as bringing the UK to a sexual awakening and we have since seen a massive rise in sales of sex toys. More people are exploring their sexual desires and fantasies due to the literary success - but again, condoms are probably not at the forefront of their minds during these thrill seeking moments!

1 in 5, 30 to 40-year-old women have had unsafe sex in the last 3 months

33% rise in cases of Genital Warts

41% increase of 45 to 64-year-olds who have had Gonorrhoea

58% more divorced women over 60 from 2001 to 2012

60% more cases of Chlamydia between 2004 and 2008

400% increase in Gonorrhoea since 2010


So please keep in mind the following:

-       If you are having sex with someone outside your marriage, ensure that you use a condom. The chance of you passing something on to your spouse is not a pleasant idea and the consequences that come with that, will be far greater.

-       Regardless of how few partners the person may say they have slept with, just having slept with one person without contraception puts anyone at risk, so respect them and respect yourself, use a condom.

-       Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed if you have caught something, it’s best to go to your local GUM clinic and get treated as soon as possible because leaving some STIs can cause long term issues.

-       Also, many STIs don’t have symptoms so you may not know you have one, or the symptoms may go away but that doesn’t that mean you have cured yourself. If you’ve had unsafe sex then it’s simple: you have put yourself at risk and for 100% peace of mind get yourself tested!

If you would like any advice or support about STIs, testing, or contraception please get in touch.
Please note we provide FREE condoms for men who live in Swindon.