Tag Archives: rural

Baby boomer sexuality from a rural perspective


This article, published in the journal Rural Society in a special edition on Sex, Sexuality and Place focuses on the rural aspects of my research. I focus on just four cases which highlight the diversity of behaviours, relationships and attitudes of the individuals, and their cultural environment.

Midlife relationship diversity, sexual fluidity, wellbeing and sexual health from a rural perspective.

Abstract: People in midlife are having sexual relationships outside hetero-monogamy and marriage. These relationships contribute positively to their wellbeing; however there is no policy that supports sexual health promotion or encourages sexually transmissible infection testing for people older than 29 years. For rural people who are in a non-traditional relationship, confidentiality, access to sexual health services, and stigma are concerns. In this qualitative research project we investigate the experience and wellbeing of rural baby boomers who have had a friends-with-benefits relationship within the previous five years. Participant recruitment criteria are to have been born between 1946 and 1965, and to live outside a capital city. The 22 participants are 15 women and 7 men who represent diverse sexual orientations including heterosexual, gay and lesbian, with most identifying as heterosexual and bi-curious. The duration of their relationships ranged from 6 months to 15 years. Some were monogamous and some had multiple partners. A fear of judgement about their sex lives for some led to a need for secrecy and concern about being seen with partners. Use of health services for sexual health was mixed: many would not ask for testing and some who did were challenged or refused. Four participants’ experiences when having an unconventional relationship in a rural area in relation to social wellbeing and sexual health are the focus of this article. Recommendations are made for policy, health practitioner education, clinical guidelines, sexual health promotion, and informal community activities to promote good sexual health and relationship wellbeing for people in midlife.

APA 6 citation:

Kirkman, L., Fox, C., & Dickson-Swift, V. (2015). Midlife relationship diversity, sexual fluidity, wellbeing and sexual health from a rural perspective. Rural Society Special Edition on Sex, Sexuality and Place, 24(3). doi:10.1080/10371656.2015.1099272

Rural Society article


Preliminary findings, including sex: pleasure; and safety


Friends With Benefits Relationships As Experienced by Rural Baby Boomers in Australia_IARR This link will take you to the presentation I gave at the IARR 2012 conference in Chicago. It is the first time I used data from participants, and cite people I interviewed. I comment on sex, and pleasure as described by my participants. I have already posted on what it was like being at IARR here; I realised how important what I’m doing is, as well as how unusual.

Suggested APA citation of this presentation: Kirkman, L. (2012, July 12-16). Friends with Benefits Relationships as Experienced by Rural Baby Boomers in Australia. Paper presented at the International Association for Relationship Research 2012 Conference, Palmer Hilton, Chicago, Illinois.retrieved from http://latrobe.academia.edu/LindaKirkman/Papers/1867563/IARR_2012_Prelim_findings_sexual_safety_and_pleasure

Baby boomers continue to explore new relationship types


Baby boomers were pioneers trying out new relationship types in the 1960s and 1970s, and are still pushing social boundaries. Society is evolving and changing, including the way friendships and intimate relationships are conducted. As the divorce rate increases, some people are looking for intimacy, but want independence too.

Relationship types are changing, but not much is known about them, how baby boomers are negotiating those changes, or what impact the relationship has on wellbeing. This research team is interested to find out about the experiences of rural baby boomers who are in friends with benefits relationships and is conducting a research project to explore their experiences. It is hoped that the research findings will have relevance to policy and health promotion.

We are no longer looking for people to participate in this research, but if you are interested in the study and its progress, this site has information.

This research has ethics approval from La Trobe University. UHEC No. 11-078

Who can participate?
If you would like to participate, you must:
• be a baby boomer, defined as born between 1946-1965;
• live in a rural area, defined as outside a capital city;
• have participated within the last five years in a friends with benefits relationship, defined as one where people have an ongoing intimate relationship, but do not consider themselves to be a couple.

What is involved?
Participation in this study involves an individual interview of approximately one hour duration. This will preferably be face-to-face but could also be by phone or an email discussion if face-to-face is not suitable. Face-to-face interviews will be conducted in a private room at a La Trobe University campus convenient to you. La Trobe University campuses are in Bendigo, Albury-Wodonga, Shepparton, Mildura and two in Melbourne, both Bundoora and the CBD. The interviews will be digitally audio recorded, with your permission. The interviews will be analysed for broad themes and will form the basis of a research thesis, presented at conferences, published in journals, presented and discussed in appropriate public forums, such as the media and online.

What about my confidentiality?
Throughout this process your privacy and confidentiality will be maintained. You will be given a pseudonym and the data from the interviews will be de-identified and then transcribed using this pseudonym. Your location, or anything that could identify you, will not be included in the transcriptions, stated in the thesis or any publications or presentations. All material collected will be stored in an approved, secure location.

What if I change my mind?
Participation is entirely voluntary. You have the right to cancel or stop the interview. You have up to four weeks after your interview to withdraw your data from the project and will be given a ‘Withdrawal of Consent’ form to use.

What are the benefits?
It is hoped that this research will contribute to the knowledge about and understanding of baby boomers in friends with benefits relationships. From this might come recommendations for policy or health promotion. Although there are no explicit benefits to you, it might give you an opportunity to reflect on and gain insight into your own experiences.

I would like to participate NO LONGER TAKING NEW PARTICIPANTS
If you are interested in participating in this research please email us at
fwb@latrobe.edu.au and we will provide you with a detailed participation information sheet. If after reading this information sheet you are interested in participating you will be required to sign a consent form prior to your participation.

Thank you for your interest in this project!