Designing for your future self: Let’s talk about sex
22 March 2022
The Design Museum, 224-238 Kensington High St, London, W8 6AG
Can humans ever be too old for good sex?
In this session from the Design Age Institute you will hear from a panel of expert researchers, designers and ageing advocates on designing for our future sex lives, and how design can help us all maintain intimacy and pleasure as we age. Increasing numbers of older adults are continuing to have healthy and satisfying sex lives as they age. In 2016, 60% of men and 37% of women in the UK over 65 reported being sexually active, with many reporting greater satisfaction with their sex lives as they age. But despite the facts and however progressive we are becoming in terms of sexual diversity and inclusion, there remains a tendency to desexualise people once they reach “a certain age”. We are all ageing and for many of us, our bodies, libido and sexual capacity can and will change as we age but that does not mean we stop wanting sex or that we should be denied our need to experience pleasure and intimacy throughout our lives. Yet taboos and negative stereotypes around sex and ageing leave many older adults marginalised and silenced - without the support they need to express their sexuality safely, confidently and joyfully. There is clear evidence of the health benefits of a healthy sex life whether with a partner or on our own – including a reduction in stress, increase in wellbeing and stronger immune response. From sex toys, sexual health services, marketing and dating apps, design has an important role in enabling people to enjoy and express their sexuality at every age as well as helping to break the stigma around sex and ageing and widen the scope of what form of intimacy and pleasure can take as we get older.