If you thought only teenagers and twenty-somethings have high rates of venereal disease (VD)--now referred to as sexually transmitted diseases/infections (STDs or STIs)--you need to think again. Don't look now, or maybe, yes...envision this: Your middle-aged mother, father, aunts, uncles, even grandparents are likely still “kickin’ it,” “getting their groove on,” getting “rug burn” or doing the “horizontal mambo.” And that's a good thing. Better than milk, sex does a body good, regardless of one's age. Some of the benefits of sex include:

Better Quality of Life: Medical research and psychological studies have proven that sex and intimacy have a definite, proven positive effect on your physical and emotional well-being.

Relieves Stress: Sex relaxes the entire body, head to toe!

Improves Sleep: As people age, they may not sleep well or through the night. Great sex can ensure more zzzzzzz's and you can wake up refreshed and ready to 'go' again.

Aerobic Exercise: Sex not only improves circulation, it also burns almost 200 calories per average act of intercourse. Now, would you rather be on a treadmill for an hour, or have sex with the man you love? Which sounds like more fun? [See "Sex...: Treadmill or Titillation?": http://bit.ly/wnZz7o ]

Reduces Chronic Pain: Regular sex has been shown to decrease ongoing chronic pain. This occurs via sustained endorphin release. Endorphins are the “feel good” hormones.

Emotional Benefits: People who have regular sex have less depression, fewer suicidal tendencies and decreased anxiety. Sex—especially if it’s great—can put a smile on your face.

But with that great endorphin-stimulating sex, comes some risk. Still.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), coupled with some medical researchers here and abroad, have found climbing rates of many STDs in this demographic. Herpes, Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and even HIV and AIDS are no longer diseases only for the young. In fact, in seniors (ages 45-64+), rates for most of these infections has almost tripled in the past ten years.

Why is this happening? The reasons are many. 1) There is a large number of "never married, no kids" middle-aged singles; widows/widowers, and recently divorced seniors in our society; 2) cougar women are on the prowl, and many young men may seek a woman with some experience and has a sense of ‘adventure’; 3) socializing by the senior-living (even nursing home) residents; 4) many seniors engage in the once-forbidden online dating; 5) when free from the rigors of a busy job, many seniors are out having fun—taking cruises and participating in social clubs; plus 5) the proliferation of drugs for erectile dysfunction ("ED"). Given these factors, many seniors aren't monogamous and, because they think they no longer have to worry about pregnancy (which may not be true for all), many don't use any protection from STDs.

So while you get your freak on, be sure to recognize that some mature women might still get pregnant, and men and women can get STDs. Have fun, but use discretion and pick your partners wisely. Also use protection, unless you're (somehow) sure you're in a truly monogamous relationship and have seen documentation of your lover's clean bill of sexual health.

For more info about this, and how to let your hair down a bit and start having fun, see Living Well, a book about health, sex and happiness, with a foreword by Pauletta Washington, wife of Academy Award winner, Denzel Washington; and endorsed by psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere. The book includes current comparative data for Black, White, Hispanic, Asian and Native American women. (print and eBook).

Copyright © 2013 Dr. Melody T. McCloud. All rights reserved. Feel free to share this post on your social network pages, with author credit and link to this page. Bitly: http://bit.ly/140TLyi .

For some erotic love poems: Melodies of the Heart: Poems of Life & Love (an eBook with poems about love, faith, sex, death and more)

It's always a time for relationships. See the latest E-Book: First Do No Harm: How to Heal Your Relationships Using the Wisdom of Professional Caregivers,

Sex banned in nursing homes? Click here.

"It's been so long since I had sex, I forgot who ties up whom."-- Joan Rivers

About the Author

Melody T. McCloud M.D.

Melody T. McCloud, M.D., is an obstetrician-gynecologist and the author of First Do No Harm: How to Heal Your Relationships Using the Wisdom of Professional Caregivers.

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