Relate NI have teamed up with colleagues from across the UK and renowned British photographer, Rankin, to shine a spotlight on the often unseen but important topic of sex and intimacy in our later years, which is integral to our wellbeing as we age, in a new campaign: lets talk the joy of later life sex.
Shooting five older couples and one woman in their most intimate settings, the team set out to show what sex and intimacy can mean in later life in a way that’s never been done before. The campaign aims to tackle the stigma around this unspoken subject and improve wellbeing in aging people as a result.
According to a poll undertaken by 3Gem market research, only 20% of people think society is OK talking about sex and intimacy in people aged over 60.
The majority (60%) of people aged over 65 aren’t comfortable talking openly to anyone about sex and intimacy, citing embarrassment as the top reason at 66%. This was followed by, ‘it just wasn’t talked about when I was younger’ (64%), not wanting to make others uncomfortable (63%), not knowing when to bring it up (58%) and lack of confidence (57%).
Good quality relationships are the foundation to our health and wellbeing throughout our lives and as we age, the impact of healthy relationships on wellbeing can be even greater, especially for those who spend more time at home.
Evidence demonstrates that people who have good quality relationships have lower blood pressure than those in poorer quality relationships whileclose couple relationships can slow the rate of decline in people with dementia and even delay admission to hospital or care homes.
Sexuality doesn’t diminish as we age. Sex and intimacy remains fundamental to healthy couple relationships and the positive effects these have on our wellbeing. That is why we have launched this campaign to lift the taboo on sex and intimacy in later life.
This campaign champions the importance of sex and intimacy in later life, exploring everything from long-term love to new adventures, tender intimacy to the more risqué. The series of images and videos feature a whole range of older people, from Andrew and Mark who have been together for 31 years, to Chrissie who has had a double mastectomy and her partner Roger, to Daphne and Arthur who still hold hands when they walk. The people featured are of varying ethnicities, sizes, shapes and sexualities, aiming to show that we can all feel empowered to think and talk about sex and intimacy as we grow older.
Whether you’re facing difficulties, looking to strengthen your relationships, or want help thinking things through, Relate NI is here to provide support. Please click here to find out about the services available which include Sex Therapy and counselling for couples, individuals, families children & young people.
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I felt the weekly questionnaire, coupled with counsellor's understanding of my needs helped contribute to my own understanding of my mental health and needs throughoutService Attended Adult Relationship Counselling For Individuals
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