Baby boomer sexual health L_Kirkman This link takes you to the presentation I gave at the Ninth Asia/Oceania Regional Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics on 25 October 2011. Below are my reflections about attending that conference, and working out how I feel about ageing and sexuality in general, and mine in particular.
Reflections 6 Nov 2011
Going to an ageing conference was a bit confronting. I felt out of place on the first day, but on the second day hung out with friends, met new people and started to feel as though I was with my tribe. This was because I met up with Sue Malta. Her presentation was really interesting, and added more information to my topic. The specific concept I learned was Living Apart Together (LAT) which seems to be a growing phenomenon, and has been researched in Europe but less in Australia. After her talk someone wanted her to speak at a conference in Brisbane next year, and she pointed me and my work out, and maybe we will get a symposium together? Very exciting stuff.
I did start to get freaked by the whole ageing concept. Maybe it is the “Keep young and beautiful, if you want to be loved” concept. I don’t agree with it, but there has to be some influence of mass media. I was pleased when my friend and PhD colleague Sue wrote,
I would love to read your reflections about your own worries about ageing as it seems that worries about ageing may be central in conceiving yourself as a sexual being – if you are worried about it you are less likely to be prepared and take precautions – so again that lived experience is so important in finding ways to connect with people about their sexual practices – sexuality is so deeply personal and private
I think too of all those relics of women goddesses who are so lush and powerful and think that not a lot of them of them are firm and young – there is potential in ageing and sexuality I think –
Those lush and powerful goddesses are certainly persuasive, and this notion gave me heart.
My reflections on ageing? It’s a very relevant suggestion, because if I am to study it my work will be enriched by such reflections, and probably my daily life, and attitudes to myself. I’ll do a free think.
Wrinkles; wisdom; physical decline; reduction in social acceptability, but an increase in perceived respectability – middle aged women are seen to be trustworthy, not like teen age boys, which is unfair to teenage boys; uncertainty; I’m gorgeous; employment; unemployment; being alone, or fear of it; finding a person to be with; forgetfulness; assumptions that I’m technically incompetent; patriarchy.
Wonder what all that says about me! Not brave and fearless, that’s for sure, but a mix of anxiety and some positive self talk thrown in. I’m holding myself together, but started to feel things unravelling yesterday. I’m not sure if the unravelling is a good thing or not. My carapace keeps me upright, and without it I might just pour everywhere. If that is unleashed, maybe what is left will have less baggage and be lighter?
Yes, Sue, I will have to reflect more on my attitude to ageing, and what it means and what attitudes I carry, and what I’d like to carry. Thank you for asking.
Suggested APA citation for the presentetion: Kirkman, L. (2011, 25 October). Sexual health policy and practice for baby boomers. Paper presented at the Ninth Asia/Oceania Regional Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics, The Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, Southbank, Melbourne, Victoria.retrieved from http://latrobe.academia.edu/LindaKirkman/Papers/1092364/Baby_boomer_sexual_health_policy_and_practice