What women fancy in older men

Melody Rousseau

The babyboomers invented sex, drugs and rock'n'roll, or at least democratised them, and as they move into middle age and beyond, many are no more interested in settling into cosy sexual conformity than they ever were



A survey commissioned by the makers of the Complan Active energy bar quizzed some 8,000 over 50s and found that over half are having the best sex of their lives.

What's more, it seems that many are enjoying it with a measure of wild abandon that might make the kids blanch were they to know what's going on in kitchen, the bathroom and even in the garden.

A separate survey of 1,000 men and women questioned for Vielle (the makers of the first medically licensed clitoral stimulator - since you ask), found that the over 50s were more than twice as likely to be satisfied with their sex lives than those aged between 25 and 30.

In addition, the survey discovered that 85 per cent think it's more important to please their partner than themselves and that women in this age group are less likely to fake an orgasm.

"With more leisure time, children off their hands and often a little more spare cash, the over 50s can take advantage of what can be the best era for sexual imagination!" commented Joy Rosendale, psychosexual therapist and member of the British Association of Sexual and Relationship Therapists (BASRT).

"Sex in mid life is often more about having a wider range of intimate behaviours rather than seeing the orgasm as the be all and end all of sexual experience. This in turn leads to a more relaxed and ultimately more satisfying sex life."

Be that as it may, we live in a world where we're constantly faced with impossibly youthful, sexy images on TV, in newspapers, magazines and films and it's all too easy to be persuaded that no one could possibly fancy you if you fall way below those standards of physical 'perfection'.

Clearly we're not all doing it with the lights off, so it can't simply be that we don't mind about looks because, as the old saying has it, 'all cats are grey in the dark'.

Complan's survey claims that over 80 per cent of the over 50s still fancy their partners, but that does imply that 20 per cent don't. So what are the factors that are the real turn-offs and most likely to put smiles on the faces of the makers of impregnable night clothes?

Back away from the beige

Trudy Jones is a leggy blonde who has just celebrated her sixtieth birthday and a divorce from her husband of 34 years. A forthright Northerner, Trudy offered a succinct assessment when asked what were the major turn-offs in men her age and older: ‘Beige!’ She elaborates: ‘You know those people who go around in a sort of beige burka of matching windcheater, trousers, shoes and cap. It just shrieks “pensioner” to me. It says “I’m old and I’ve lost interest in being sexy”.’

Included on Trudy’s list of no-nos are a bad hairpiece and dyed hair, following a date with a man sporting hair not his own. Her advice? ‘Just shave your head! It’s trendy now’. As an active horse rider and grandmother of five, Trudy has no time for couch potatoes either. But, reassuringly, she doesn’t expect perfection in a prospective partner. 

‘As long as your clothes fit and you don’t smell you can’t go wrong as long as there’s chemistry’. She says of her current partner, ‘When I first met him, he had a terrible old vest and tatty underpants that he washed every night by hand – they’ve gone pink now – but they’re clean and I fancy him so it doesn’t matter.’ And Trudy’s partner seems to agree, saying admiringly ‘I never knew grannies could be so sexy!’

Stella Asquith, 58 and a divorcee, has some sympathy with Trudy’s view. ‘As long as a man’s clean and well groomed, a bit of cragginess can actually look good. I don’t mind grey hair or baldness.’ She too has an aversion to couch potatoes and a hatred of beige for much the same reasons as Trudy. 

‘Beige means dressing old, giving up. But I can’t bear men trying to look young in groovy clothing either, and I think that white socks should be banned on anyone over the age of 19, likewise white shoes. As for gold, ugh! Gold chains are absolutely out. I prefer classic clothing and I like men to look their age.’

For Stella, ‘The very worst things are personal habits like picking noses or scratching spots…things like bad table manners or strange eating habits are difficult to live with. Good manners are essential.’ 

In fact, personal traits top Stella’s list of qualities for an ideal man. ‘In the 50s and 60s there are usually quite a lot of things that are dropping off, but personality can make up for much of that. Kindness, tolerance, consideration for others, a zest for life, intelligence, life experience, energy, enthusiasm, grooming, an openness to new people, places and ideas, modesty, independence, confidence, enthusiasm, being well-read, outdoorsy. These are the ideal qualities. But if someone was overweight for example, that could be counterbalanced with lovely manners.’

However, Stella says that although she feels very lucky to have been born a baby boomer, ‘A lot of men in my age group were brought up in an age when men were much more important and I can’t bear to be dominated. I always expect to be an equal partner. So that might be the only good reason I can think of for a younger man!’

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