By Tom Blake
I have a buddy who lives in Laguna Woods Village. He’s single and shared with me his observations about senior dating and sex. Because of the personal nature of his email, he requested that I not use his true name, so I am referring to him as Jerry.
While sex with or without a commitment is an important topic to most seniors, including me, I seldom write about sex, because it’s so personal. It’s beyond my comfort level and makes me squirm. But, today, I’ll give the topic a try.
Jerry emailed, “It is weird being out there at age 81. Many of the women with whom I talk say that all the men they meet just want to get into the sack with them, but with no real ongoing relationship. Generally, those women state that dating is not worth the bother. Consequently, many senior women simply avoid the dating scene entirely.
“It is my impression, but when you start sleeping together, it becomes more emotional. At some level, that implies more of a commitment.”
So far, I’m comfortable with what Jerry has said. And I agree about the commitment aspect as well. Yes, it’s more emotional.
Jerry continued, “I really like sex, but I have not been pursuing it, because I don’t want to hurt the other person by not following through with an emotional and enduring commitment. The other side of that is I am picky, so that is frustrating as well. I suspect I am not unique in my feelings.
“Here is the quirky thing: Laguna Woods has a population of approximately 18,000 people over the age of 55. Of those, 6,000 are men and 12,000 are women. I am assuming that 5,000 of the men are married, which leaves 1,000 single men.
“The 5,000 married men are likely married to women of Laguna Woods, which leaves approximately 7,000 unattached women living here. That represents an approximate ratio of single women to single men of seven-to-one. I have heard the ratio is more like eight-to-one, also a ballpark figure.
“Some women—consistent with the lack of interest in dating that I mentioned above—are not available to date. Regardless, there are lots of single ladies out there.”
Comment from Tom: I refer to this ratio as “the dreaded senior single dating ratio.” The ratio makes dating for senior women more difficult than dating for the men.
Jerry continued, “I have some lady friends that appeal to me on one level or another, but it just hasn’t reached the physical stage, a la the Olivia Newton-John 1981 record. I suspect it will come, but who knows when? ’Tis a conundrum.
“While a woman might appeal to me, I might not appeal to her. It is not her fault that I don’t float her boat.”
Tom’s comment: I would think an 81-year-old single guy living in Laguna Woods Village—where approximately 7,000 single women over the age of 55 live—could find a compatible woman living there who appeals to him physically, and she to him.
And then there is the commitment issue that Jerry referred to above. Is he willing to commit to an exclusive relationship as a condition for intimacy? Are other men willing to commit exclusively?
OK, I’ve squirmed enough today. Let’s hear what readers have to say about this touchy subject. Email your comments to email@example.com.
Tom Blake is a retired Dana Point business owner and resident who has authored books on middle-aged dating. See his website at findingloveafter50.com. To comment: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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