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30-10-2011, 22:37   #1
JuliusCaesar
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s*xuality and the older person

Watching Cloud 9 on TV (BBC 4) made me realise that the only depictions of sexuality, or sex scenes, with older people that I've seen are on German cinema*. Which makes me realise what a taboo it is! The famous Sex-&-the-City sex-with-bra-on was so sanitised in comparison.

So - what do you all think? Should it be acknowledged? Should it be seen on screen? Is it actually disgusting?

*twice! I don't think German cinema is obsessed with this!
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30-10-2011, 23:11   #2
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if anyone sees me posting in this thread will they please pull me away from the keyboard and sober me up, as I will get myself banned, I just know it
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30-10-2011, 23:25   #3
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31-10-2011, 00:14   #4
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The vast majority of sex scenes in films are very little to do with the relationship between two people and everything to do with titillating the viewer. Since most people apparently want their sexual fantasies played out by desirable bodies, directors almost never use less than beautiful bodies when they want to depict a positive encounter.

The average punter would assume (probably correctly) that if the bodies were in some way risible - ie less than perfect - the audience is supposed to interpret the scene as either mocking or embarrassing. Given, then, the imperfections that come with age, it would be a very skilled and sensitive director who could show passion and tenderness and still keep the audience on side.

tl/dr: people find the idea of their parents having sex both embarrassing and ludicrous!
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31-10-2011, 08:39   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by looksee View Post
The vast majority of sex scenes in films are very little to do with the relationship between two people and everything to do with titillating the viewer. Since most people apparently want their sexual fantasies played out by desirable bodies, directors almost never use less than beautiful bodies when they want to depict a positive encounter.

The average punter would assume (probably correctly) that if the bodies were in some way risible - ie less than perfect - the audience is supposed to interpret the scene as either mocking or embarrassing. Given, then, the imperfections that come with age, it would be a very skilled and sensitive director who could show passion and tenderness and still keep the audience on side.

tl/dr: people find the idea of their parents having sex both embarrassing and ludicrous!
Sadly the idea of me having sexual encounters is both embarrassing and ludicrous these days. Embarrassing to admit that too.
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31-10-2011, 11:05   #6
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I think Victoria Wood captured this topic very well....




...."beat me on the bottom with a womans weekly"...
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31-10-2011, 21:11   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuliusCaesar View Post
Watching Cloud 9 on TV (BBC 4) made me realise that the only depictions of sexuality, or sex scenes, with older people that I've seen are on German cinema*. Which makes me realise what a taboo it is! The famous Sex-&-the-City sex-with-bra-on was so sanitised in comparison.

So - what do you all think? Should it be acknowledged? Should it be seen on screen? Is it actually disgusting?

*twice! I don't think German cinema is obsessed with this!
I dont think any cinema is obsessed with this. I think that its is visibly under explored.
A british film Venus explores older/ younger sexuality beautifully. But sex amongst Ouldwans and Ouldfellas remains noticeably invisible, as far as i know!
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01-11-2011, 22:22   #8
JuliusCaesar
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I think Victoria Wood captured this topic very well....
That men go off sex as they get older?
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05-11-2011, 21:58   #9
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That men go off sex as they get older?
well...no...that was just a lighthearted slightly OT digression. ...

But in fairness, unless the story line in a film is about older people and sex, I don't think there's a whole lot of money to be made from the topic.....and that's what films do at a basic level...make money....hence the lack of examples out there?
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05-11-2011, 22:09   #10
JuliusCaesar
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My point was not so much about films, commercialism or whatever, but rather that in other cultures it is accepted that older people have sexuality, that this isn't confined to the young. (There was a thread here somewhere about a young man who stopped talking to his mother when she told him she was pregnant with his younger sister.) The myth in this culture is that older people are asexual; and this myth is backed up in films and other cultural iconography, and so is perpetuated.

There was a guy who worked in Hollywood (California, not Co. Down) who said that being surrounded by beautiful people made him more dismissive of ordinary-looking people, including his own wife. And so it is probably important that films etc reflect reality as much as they are aspirational or idealistic. The idealistic version gives us a very distorted view of reality, if it isn't balanced by a more realistic view.
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05-11-2011, 22:30   #11
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t in other cultures it is accepted that older people have sexuality, that this isn't confined to the young..
To support this i would show Japanese societyhttp://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...818203,00.html
I would also say that from what i can see japan has a long tradition of elder sex. I'm thinking about pillow book images from 19th century, ,, i tried looking these up online but cant find the ones I mean. Anyway the point i wish to make is that sexuality among olderpeople is noticeably invisisble in western culture.
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05-11-2011, 22:49   #12
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JC, GV...good posts both.... my question at this point is: What is the real state of "older" sexual behaviour in Ireland/Western society..? Any research out there you have access to?

Films don't necessarily reflect reality..especially due to their commercial nature...would be interesting to see some studies on this just to contrast how far away films are from reflecting reality..
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06-11-2011, 09:10   #13
JuliusCaesar
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Well, I just did a quick google (amazing! )

One from the Guardian:
Quote:
Sixty-one percent of women between the ages of 50 and 75 questioned for a UK Film Council survey of 4,315 people said women of their age were portrayed on the big screen as not having sexual needs or desires. Half said they were comfortable with older women being seen as attractive to younger men. Seven in 10 also felt that their group was generally under-represented in films and that younger women were glamorised. …
Mary FitzPatrick, head of diversity at the UK Film Council said: "Film has the ability to change behaviour and shift opinion, so we in the industry all have a responsibility to ensure that these findings are not ignored.
"The figures speak for themselves in demonstrating there is a real opportunity for the industry to more accurately portray these groups in film.”
From Der Spiegel:
Quote:
The American film "Boynton Beach Club," a story about the love lives of American retirees, is not a tragedy about aging by any stretch of the imagination. Rarely has an American film dealt so skillfully and uninhibitedly with two topics that have long bordered on taboo in the prim United States, both alone and especially in combination: sex and old age….. The Washington Post celebrated its "brilliant cast of discarded '70s-era Hollywood stars." Dyan Cannon and Sally Kellerman are prime examples. They are both 69 years young. … it is clear that the ailing movie industry could use the extra ticket revenues from older moviegoers. Especially now that younger viewers are increasingly being lured away by the world of the Internet and video games.
And from the New York Times:
Quote:
Julie & Julia: Several aspects of the matrimonial portrait are astonishing, at least for a Hollywood movie. For starters, there’s the sex: the old married folks have it. “I don’t know why everybody is so surprised,” Ms. Streep said. “I guess people don’t attach sexuality to people who look like their parents.”
I wonder does this mean there'll be a flood of stuff aimed at older people in the cinemas soon?

Japan:
Quote:
"Japan's Booming Sex Niche: Elder Porn" begins by profiling Shigeo Tokuda, a 74-year-old Japanese porn star. This old man has done over 350 films in the last decade and a half ...

Last edited by JuliusCaesar; 06-11-2011 at 09:10. Reason: fix link
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06-11-2011, 09:23   #14
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Well, I just did a quick google (amazing! )
I meant actual research into sexual habits of older couples...here's an article from the BBC in 2008...it would appear that research is relatively thin on the ground in this area....

Quote:
More couples over 70 are having sex - and finding it satisfying - than in previous generations, a British Medical Journal survey suggests.

Swedish researchers asked 1,500 older people across a 30-year period about their sex lives.

The number of people saying they had sex increased - as did the number of women reporting having orgasms.

A UK expert said the older people of today grew up in more sexually liberated eras.
Although there are plenty of studies about sexual "problems" associated with old age, there is relatively little research about "normal" sexual behaviour later in life.

The scientists from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden interviewed 70-year-olds in 1971-2, 1976-7, 1992-3 and 2000-2001.

They found that the number of 70-year-olds reporting sexual intercourse rose in men and women, married and unmarried.

More than two-thirds - 68% - of married men in the most recent survey said they had sex, an increase from 52%, while the percentage of married women having sex rose from 38% to 56%.

The number of men reporting physical problems, such as erectile dysfunction or ejaculation dysfunction increased.

The number of women who said they were highly satisfied with their sex lives rose too.

When sexual intercourse stopped, both men and women tended to blame men, in line with the findings from earlier surveys.

Professor Peggy Kleinplatz, from the University of Ottawa, said that doctors should now be trained to ask all patients - regardless of their age - about any sexual concerns.

She said: "Sex is an important and positive part of the lives of their 70-year-old participants, and more so for the current cohort of men and women than for their predecessors in 1971."

................................

"I am slightly concerned that this will be interpreted in a way that suggests that if you're not having sex in your 70s, you are doing something wrong.

"There are still plenty of people who choose not to have sex."

Meanwhile, a report by Finnish researchers says older men who have more sex will experience fewer erection problems.
full text here:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7494731.stm
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06-11-2011, 09:53   #15
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When we discuss sexuality and the older person, I wonder what age most people on here would consider "older" from a sexual perspective.
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