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Does a sex life matter after 50?

Article by Cat Williams
do we need a man in our 50s image
Ingrid Tarrant has been interviewed by the Daily Mail about her endorsement of celibacy at the age of 59.

Ingrid says “we are all conditioned to think we can’t function as complete people without a red-hot sex life. But after a bit I stopped missing it and these days I don’t think about it at all. I have never felt more liberated.

I think it works the same way as with food. If you have three square meals a day, you find that you are perpetually hungry. If you are starved of food, you lose your appetite. That’s how I see the meaning of the term ‘sex-starved’. You don’t have it and as a result you’re not hungry for it any more. You go beyond it… you find that after six months or so you can comfortably live without it.

I suggest that more women my age – I am 59 and will celebrate my 60th in October – start to live life on their own terms and stop accepting society’s judgment that they need a man.

And I don’t mean just for sex. I mean in terms of friendship and finances, running a home or business, backpacking with the kids or doing DIY.” (read full article)

I, Cat Williams, am a relationship counsellor and a contributor to Fab After Fifty.  I have been asked to go on This Morning to sit on the sofa with Ingrid and put ‘the other side’, – that a couple relationship and a healthy sex life is important, no matter what your age.

Do you agree or disagree with Ingrid?

Do you defend the importance of love and sex for the over fifties?
I would to hear your views on the subject! Please help me before I am grilled on the sofa of This Morning!
Many thanks, Cat x

Cat Williams

Cat Williams, author of 'Stay Calm and Content' is a relationship counsellor who qualified with the renowned UK relationship charity, Relate, in 2007. She has had the pleasure and privilege of talking to hundreds of people about their common but difficult issues, and of helping those people come through them as calmly and contentedly as possible.

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  1. Louise Haywood

    April 30, 2014

    I am now 55 and met my husband 5 yes ago . I have always enjoyed sex and still do. But not as frequently or as extremely as when younger my best sex was probably in my 40s . But I think there is no right or wrong unless I am with the right person I could go for yrs without sex and have done !

  2. Alessandra Smith

    April 30, 2014

    Like with everything else, it depends on what a woman over 50 feels comfortable with and wants and also on her situation. I’m 55 in a relationship and I enjoy the physical side of my relationship too. If I started a new relationship now, I’d like to have a sexual relationship too. But there’s no right or wrong: the important thing is not to be pressurized one way or another and choose freely.

  3. Jan Burns

    April 30, 2014

    I have just turned 60 and after being on my own for a couple of years started dating, all doomed to fail, so I’ve decided it’s not worth the heartache!

  4. Karen Henry

    April 30, 2014

    Why polarise this issue – there is no right or wrong, just individual differences. I’m 55, happy in a relationship with a man and sexually active but I don’t think this suits everyone! I believe it’s important to emphasise that many people enjoy and want sex well into retirement and this shouldn’t be regarded as dirty, disgusting or ‘past it’ etc. Why give up one of the great pleasures in life – and a need that most people can’t or don’t generally meet with their other non-partner friends? I occasionally have what in men would be referred to as ‘wet dream’ so my body clearly agrees with me too, despite being menopausal…..! 🙂

  5. Betty

    April 30, 2014

    I’ve been married for 34 years to my wonderful husband. I don’t ‘need’ sex but I enjoy it nevertheless. We have always worked as a team and I’m sure I could cope on my own but don’t want to or need to. Now our family is grown and gone we are really enjoying just being ‘us’ again. I’m not giving up what I’ve got to prove a point for Ingrid or anyone else.

  6. Cat Williams

    April 30, 2014

    Thank you for these wonderful comments. I was asked earlier this evening whether I could appear with Ingrid tomorrow on This Morning so, at the last minute, I find myself in London and heading to ITV in the morning. I am very grateful to be armed with the opinions of members of this website. I will be agreeing with Ingrid’s right to choose celibacy, but will be highlighting our human instinct for emotional and physical closeness, and the precious benefits we gain from a mutually satisfactory and loving relationships. Do tune in if you are free in the morning!

    Best wishes, Cat xx

  7. Joanna Marsh

    May 1, 2014

    I have been single for 8 years now (after having been married for 23 years) I have had a couple of brief relationships since my marriage break up. I also recently tried internet dating. I have come to the same conclusion as Ingrid Tarrent, and Cat. I don’t feel desperate for sex or a man anymore, and I am happier and more content with my life than I have ever been. So I decided to stop looking, and live my life ‘just me’.

  8. Georgina Hadrill

    May 1, 2014

    I strongly disagree with Ingrid and agree with Cat Williams. As to Ingrid’s comment about going without food and then not being hungry any more , as she not heard about the life threatening condition Annorexia Nervosa what an irresponsible attitude . Firstly we ALL need food to live or we die of malnutrition and we also need love and to be loved is vital to a happy existence . Denial of food and love strikes me as the a person that does not love themselves very much and is not happy with who they are! I for one will be sticking with sex and food!

  9. Cat Williams

    May 8, 2014

    Thank you Joanna and Georgina, I enjoyed meeting Ingrid and my time on This Morning. I found it most difficult not to ‘counsel’ her i.e. I wanted to ask her what she felt ‘liberated’ from and to explore the impact of Chris’s 7 year affair , I wasn’t there for that though so I just gave her my card! I remain committed to empowering all of us to find and feel comfortable with our true selves, either within a relationship, or without one. Best wishes and thank you so much for your comments and assistance with what was a fairly tricky subject to discuss live on national tv! Cat xx

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