The sex lives of older gay and bisexual men are often disregarded as dwindling, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Dean Arcuri reports.
While we all hope to have a sex life like Blanche from the Golden Girls as we age, the truth is we assume older people are more like Sophia instead.
But when sex has been a major part of your lifestyle, why does it need to stop just because you’re older?
Kevin, 72, says this decade he’s been having some of the best sex he’s ever had.
“I never thought my sex life would be this good, and it’s because I’m older and wiser now,” he says.
“So I know what I like and focus on doing it.
“Don’t get me wrong – the sex was good 20 years ago, but I probably just had sex for the sake of it. Now I am more particular and I’m not going to muck around.
“My time is limited to maybe another ten years and since I can still enjoy good sex, I want to make the most of it.”
We often assume older people don’t have thriving sex lives because of our own insecurities around ageing, even though we do it daily.
No-one wants to feel past their prime, but thanks to the rise of subcultures around ‘Daddies’, age really is just a number – and the higher the better.
Kevin says being labelled a ‘Daddy’ has worked in his favour as he’s gotten older.
“I even have regular shags in their ‘50s who call me Daddy, which I find odd, but I embrace it because they are lovely people,” he says.
“I was always extremely versatile in my younger years and I keep my versatility strong even though everyone just assumes Daddy is going to be on top.
“My partner and I have several friends in our age group who are still having very active sex lives. An older person knows what they want and can’t be bothered mucking around – that’s why the sex is so good.”
Andy, who recently turned 60, believes gay men spend much of their young lives trying to turn back time, but at some point, need to be practical and play to their strengths.
“You hit your late ‘30s and ‘40s and start acting like a horny teenager again in some sort of desperation to hold onto something,” he says.
“It doesn’t help that gay culture and sex-on-premises venues play to a hierarchy where you need to be young to be seen. But chances are the brunt of their clientele are closer to my age.”
Andy was late to the gay scene, coming out in his mid-30s, so he’s always looked at the ‘Peter Pan Syndrome’ many gay men go through as they age in a different way.
“When you’re younger you race at things because you think it is all going to end by the time you’re 40,” he says.
“Then you hit 40 and realise that nothing needs to stop. You stop being influenced by what you think you should be doing and start figuring out what you want.
“As you get older that feeling of pressure from gay culture to perform a certain way subsides. Your body doesn’t function as it did and that’s a good thing because you don’t have to overdo it just because.”
Many assume that growing old and gay means being that fella perched alone at the bar who never has sex again, but if I told you some of the sexcapades Kevin and Andy recounted in their interviews, we would need to distribute this copy of Star Observer in a sealed plastic bag.
Just as our visibility and rights have evolved over the past 50 years, so has our idea of what it means to be gay and old.
Older people are a little bolder, and a lot less afraid as they continue to dive into their lives.
Social media has played a big part in that.
“The apps do what Gaydar and the phone lines or dark corners in bars used to do. Younger gay men are a bit more honest and comfortable in their own skin and we are now too,” says Andy.
“I’ve met people who’ve said no-one wants me because I am old, and that’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’ll work if you let it! When the sexual revolution came along, I wasted so much time trying to play the game and have half a six-pack, when I could’ve just been talking to people instead.
“We forget how far we’ve come so fast. When I was growing up you were told you don’t want to end up a lonely old man, and if you let it, you’ll be doomed by that identity.’
“As you get older you realise you’ve had a lot of quantity in your life, and that doesn’t have to stop in the bedroom.”