Ladies, although we want cougar toyboy dating to be all about fun, sometimes we must address the tricky stuff: This week, on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, there was a report regarding the increasing occurrence of STIs in female over-50s. The report concentrated mainly on HIV stressing that, although it was by no means a huge problem, new diagnoses are on the up.
Most of you are likely to be sensible in your midlife sexcapades, but we thought this was worth mentioning because, as the report suggests, cases are often initially undiagnosed in this age group until advanced. This is partly because doctors aren’t necessarily expecting to find HIV in post-menopausal women, so they misinterpret the symptoms as indicating other illnesses, and therefore the disease goes undetected and untreated.
One major reason for the increase is that pregnancy is no longer a risk at that age, removing one of the needs for using barrier protection. With more people divorcing and having affairs than ever before at this stage of life, casual sex is also more common. Some are contracting HIV because their partners have had affairs, others simply because they’re failing to use the right protection. As teenagers, HIV didn’t exist for this generation, but the fear of illegitimate pregnancy loomed large. Perhaps, with the pregnancy issue out of the way, people feel set free to enjoy unprotected sex. When HIV was dominating the media, these women were likely to be snuggled into marital monogamy, possibly believing that HIV could never affect them.
The advice from Woman’s Hour is that if you’ve had unprotected sex, or suspect a sexual partner has, then do trundle down to your local GUM clinic for a road check (don’t worry – they’ve seen it all before).
How about trying the female condom? Early models were notorious for crinkly noises akin to an empty packet of Wotsits. However, recent versions, made from nitrile rubber rather than polyurethane, don’t make quite so much of a racket. They also offer a greater area of protection than the toyboy condom. Have fun! But make sure it’s carefully covered fun.