I want to start off by saying that I am more excited than ever. After some issues with many American customers due to a similarly named company, I am back with a new logo and a new energy. And hopefully, I can carry this excitement into next year when I will possibly graduate. This (possible) graduation is also the reason why I am writing today’s article. I want to give all of you a little preview of what I will be researching for an entire year. And like a true Upperdog, I will not bounce back from a little taboo.
When I started my student-journey, my study was called International Lifestyle Studies. This was later changed to Trend Research and Concept Creation in Lifestyle, a more suiting name if you ask me. What this basically means is that I analyze trends in society in order to find out how this changes human behavior. While most trends have a positive impact, some groups in our society might find it difficult to adapt to the change caused by it. It’s my job to create concepts to help these groups find back their spot in an everchanging society.
The coming year I will dive deep into the world of Silver Sexuality, meaning that I will research the needs of the elderly in relation to sex. Like many people of my generation (I was born in 1995), I was guilty of thinking that sexual needs just fade into oblivion while aging. Unable to even think about 70-year-olds having sex. Of all the things that could’ve changed my mind about this topic, it was actually watching Netflix that made me realize that the need for intimacy doesn’t age.
In the hit series Grace and Frankie, two older women find themselves in quite an awkward situation after their husbands announce that they are gay. The now single ladies take the viewer on a comedic journey of older women dealing with their age and sexuality. It perfectly captures the needs of this generation as well as the problems they face when it comes to this often silenced topic.
Because many people find it hard to imagine that older generations still have or want to have sex, the problems around this topic are starting to stack up. Especially nowadays when it seems that online everything is possible in terms of sex but in the real world it feels absent almost. Talking about sex is viewed as vulgar even tho most of us experience it in some form quite commonly.
The Silenced Issue
With this prude attitude of society, comes the problem older people face. While their need for sexual intimacy exists, society ignores it to a point where people get frustrated and insecure. Research shows that our view of older people causes a feeling of being horrifying to look at and not being worth it. This lack of confidence also prevents them from talking about it thus shutting them down completely.
And then there is the problem of generational differences. With the legalization and industrialization of porn in the sixties came a huge shift in the way people view and experience sex. People in the age category of 18-39 watch porn on a weekly basis impacting their sexuality as well as their relationships with others. Sex is almost viewed as a corporate project by focussing on the achievement of good results, also known as “coming”.
With the elderly, it is known that they like to take their time. The result that is so important for younger generations is not at all prioritized. The need for intimacy is therefore often mistaken. It’s about personal intimacy. The soft touch of someone else’s body, the tickles on the back or just simply being close to another person. We should not view their sexual needs as we view our own. Instead, we should better communicate and listen to what they really want.
The goal (Or should I say Climax?)
The main goal of this research is to destroy this ridiculous taboo. Sex is everywhere around us. It exists so we should not be afraid to talk about it. It’s a basic human need that is not based on age. Especially in today’s world where our relationship with sex changes drastically due to digital innovations.
Futurist John Naisbit introduced us to the ‘High tech High touch’ theory back in 1982. The effects of this theory seem to be more important than ever. The more technological the world gets, the bigger our need for human touch becomes. For older generations who did not grow up tweeting and posting selfies on Instagram, this theory becomes even more evident.
So now I want to hear from you. What’s your opinion? Let me know in the comments or get in touch with me, let’s start a conversation. And if this article sparked some inspiration, do not hesitate and become a guest writer!