Bette Davis once said that getting old is not for sissies.Well, many women would argue that the same comment applies to dating after 60.For 50-plus types unwilling to walk — possibly rewalk — the path that leads to romance, rings and relocation, the prospect of a "friend with benefits" is looking less and less like a millennial indulgence.After all, it gets awfully lonely waiting around for "the one." Perhaps you've decided that what you need at this point in your life is someone to talk to and laugh with — someone with whom you can share the sheets, but not the tax refund.Not only are there statistically fewer men, but the dynamic of human engagement, and style of personal connection, has changed dramatically since we were dating in our 20’s.Also, a lifetime of love and loss has made many women distrustful and unwilling to get back into the dating game.
Indeed, many surrendered to that lure in actuality: 36 percent of female respondents (but, surprisingly, just 21 percent of the men) had spent a night with an old flame, typically at a class reunion.
Sixty-something sexologist Joan Price, for one, endorses "gray hookups," but with a couple of strong caveats: The people involved must be emotionally capable of handling their status as noncommitted bed partners, and they must protect themselves against sexually transmitted diseases.
In a national study conducted in 2012, the Center for Sexual Health Promotion found sex partners over 50 twice as likely to use a condom when they regarded a sexual encounter as casual rather than as part of an ongoing relationship.
Is that a deplorably manipulative state of affairs?
Possibly — until you stop to consider how many of us are comfortable with being unpartnered but how few of us are willing to remain untouched.
Can a casual sexual relationship exact an emotional toll?