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Luke Vorstermans
Freelance writer and author

Luke Vorstermans is a graduate of St. Mary’s University (1971) in Halifax, Nova Scotia and has developed a 30-year career in small business management, publishing, business consulting and ecommerce. His is the CEO of The Orion Group Ltd, a health and wellness company and a world leader in innovative aromachology products. (www.scentuelle.com).

He has traveled extensively across North America, Europe, Russia and Southern Africa, speaking, writing, and consulting on the process of change and its impact on individuals, society and the workplace.

Baby Boomers Set to Reinvent Their Sexuality

Aging Boomers are facing the ‘use it or lose it’ proposition when it comes to their sexual health. So they’re getting pumped up to re-invent their sexuality.

When the company where she was employed dissolved in a corporate merger, Patricia Merkle, 48, lost her job as an Account Manager. Asked by a friend to host an in-home party to sell ‘naughty sex toys’ and lingerie to her girlfriends, she reluctantly agreed. That evening marked a turning point in her life. Not only was the party an evening of sheer delight and laughter, she also pocketed $365 in commissions. Now she is hosting parties three evenings a week and can’t keep up with the requests.

“It’s not the kind of party I talk to my mother about,” Patricia says, sitting in her home office cluttered with an inventory of vibrators, lubricants and lacy lingerie. “But I’m making more money working part time and I’m certainly having more fun. These parties provide a setting where women can talk about their sexuality, release their frustration with laughter and get pumped to put some zest back into their love making.”

Patricia’s home parties are not the only event making waves in the lives of the 40+ crowd. Vanessa Timmel, 47, a freelance journalist wears a transparent aroma patch on her wrist that she sniffs regularly to enhance her libido. Barbara Fuller, 54, spends 15 minutes a day doing Kegel exercises, part of a post menopause program to keep her pelvic muscles toned. And in her lavish downtown condo, part of a recent divorce settlement, Paula Savjord and her new (younger) lover are watching an explicit educational video on Tantric Lovemaking for Couples.

What’s up with the aging boomers? Back in the 60s, they championed sex, drugs and rock n roll – life was a party. But shortly after initiating the sexual revolution, boomers were faced with a more sobering reality: raising families, building careers, paying mortgages and college tuitions and managing an increasingly stressful lifestyle. It added up to spending a lot less time on one of their most cherished activities – sex.

The first of the 78+ million Baby Boomers started turning 60 this year and health has become a top priority. One area receiving more than just a glance is their waning sexual health. A recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive revealed that 84 percent of the respondents said physical intimacy was more important than having enough money (72 percent) or good health (78 percent). However, over half rated their intimate physical relationship as unsatisfactory. Like their bulging waists, graying hair and weathering skin, the boomer’s sexual health is also showing the scourge of aging.

Faced with the ‘use it or lose it proposition’, boomers are eager to put some passion back into their sex lives and getting back in touch with their sexuality has become a booming trend. TV and radio talk shows, Desperate Housewives, sexual advice columns, movies, books, DVDs and Internet erotica are all flourishing venues to explore and express their feelings on sex.

Sex therapist Dr. Joy Davidson, PhD., author of Fearless Sex says that dialogue on sexuality has become more public and points to the Internet as a major influence. “It’s had a dramatic impact on sexual openness, with online communities springing up to discuss just about every aspect of sexual expression. Shopping online also avoids the embarrassment of going into a sex shop to buy sex aids and toys.”

Another factor bringing sexuality to the forefront is menopause. Slightly over half of the boomers are women, and with the average age of menopause at 51, most of them will experience menopause by the year 2012, if they haven't already. As can be expected, boomers aren’t buying into the old attitude that entering menopause means the end of satisfying sex.

Menopause is now touted as a time to re-invent oneself. Freed from their monthly periods, birth control and mothering instincts, women are free to be sexy, flirty and hot, even if they are in their 50’s. As anthropologist Margaret Mead said more than 20 years ago, “There is no more creative force in the world than a menopausal woman with zest.”

Liz Paul, who was awarded the 2003 British Female Inventor of the Year award for her efforts to enhance female sexual health, sees menopause as an opportunity to get more sexual. Working with one of the leading researchers in aromachology, she developed Scentuelle, an aroma patch that is designed to boost the waning libidos of both women and men. Launched in the U.K. last year, Scentuelle has become a major sexual enhancement aid in Europe.

“Sexual desire isn’t just about the motion,” says Paul. “A women’s sexual desire starts on the inside as an emotion. Isn’t that where the focus should be?” The patch is being launched in the US this fall and is expected to be a huge hit with the boomer crowd.

Sex shops are shedding their sordid reputations and going main stream with erotic names like Our Pleasure Boutique, BabeLand and Good For Her. On shelves lined with an endless variety of personal vibrators sit arousal oils, sexy lingerie, vibrating rings that fit male genitalia, pleasure-enhancing creams and a whole variety of other devices to heighten the enjoyment of both partners.

Along with pumping iron and aerobic exercise to prop up their aging bodies, women are toning their pelvic muscles often weakened from childbirth and the natural aging process. In addition to simple Kegel exercises, pelvic toning systems are designed to give women more control over the intensity of their orgasms. The added bonus is that healthy pelvic muscles prevent another aging – and embarrassing issue – incontinence.

Sexual health is about intimacy and enhancing sexuality. In their efforts to combat old attitudes about aging and sexuality, boomers are buying and experimenting with a variety of new techniques to spice up their sex lives, re-awakening their libidos and in turn experiencing a deeper intimacy with their partners – or by themselves.
Where will all this attention on the boomer’s sexual health end up? Just as the sexual revolution of the 60s led to self exploration and a change in attitudes towards sex, so will the boomers reshape traditional ideas and attitudes on sex and aging. Once again they are on the forefront of a sexual revolution and pushing back the boundary of what is acceptable. And in doing so they are enjoying a deeper sense of intimacy with themselves and their partners.


Hot Trends in Boomer Sexual Health

Sex Toys – From the widely popular Rabbit Pearl made famous in Sex and the City to body wax candles, there’s a huge variety of toys to enhance every facet of sexual expression.

Libido Aroma Patch - Unlike Viagra and topical creams that focus on intercourse and climax, these aroma patches are designed to provide a feeling of sexual well being all day long. http://www.scentuelle.com

Educational Videos and DVDs – Need help in the ‘how-to’ area? Professionally produced by sex educators and therapists, a wide variety of videos and DVDs provide instructions on sexual techniques and intimacy from basic positions to kinky sex. http://www.sinclairinstitute.com

Home Party Plans - Instead of Tupperware and cosmetics, home party plans allow friends to get together and share in an evening of fun and laughter while browsing over the latest in sexual enhancements.

Online Dating – Dating websites have grown into a multi-million dollar industry with thousands of dating sites that cater to every genre where surfers can find new friends and relationships.



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