A very rare sighting of panda bears mating is making the rounds. Did you know that less than 2000 panda bears exist in the world today? This includes pandas both in captivity and in the wild. No surprise that pandas are among the world’s most endangered species.
Curiosity piqued, I ponder how pandas could find themselves in such a precarious predicament. Here’s what I discovered. Female pandas, in stark contrast to their human counterparts, are notoriously known to seldom be in the mood for sex. And I mean literally almost never. Female pandas are in heat for only 24 to 72 hours just once a year each spring.
If a male panda doesn’t make his move in that narrow window of time, he will totally miss his chance to mate and must wait until the following year. This brings new meaning to “dry spell”.
It also explains why panda sex is such a rare occurrence and why panda bears are nearly extinct. Okay, I get it. No wonder Yang Yang and Long Hui’s sex tape has gone viral.
It occurs to me that the panda population plight is in very stark contrast to that of the human species. Just take a glance at the world’s population clock. Yikes. Over 7.4 billion people on the planet. Now that took a helluva lot of sex.
Despite all this human mating underway, however, sexual intimacy among older people is seldom discussed. I wonder why this is so? A study conducted by the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) published in a 2015 journal called Archives of Sexual Behavior entitled, Sexual health and well-being among older men and women in England. The study included 6,201 participants between the ages of 50 and 90.
According to data, older people continued to have active sex lives well into their seventies and eighties. More than half (54%) of men and almost a third (31%) of women over the age of 70 reported they were still sexually active, with a third of these men and women having frequent sex – meaning at least twice a month. There’s positively no doubt that older people enjoy having sex well into their golden years.
So why is the subject of sex among older people taboo? In an article entitled “The Secret Lives of Sex in the Elderly”, Dr. Tamara McClintock Greenberg postulates that people generally have a tough time thinking about their parents or grandparents having sex. There is also a premium placed on youthfulness. These are just a couple of factors that may influence a prevailing yet wrong notion that seniors don’t engage in sex or that senior sex is repugnant and uncool.
Dr. McClintock Greenberg suggests that society’s discomfort with thinking about older people having sex has led to a kind of discrimination against senior citizens who want to engage in normal sexual activity but are often denied privacy in care facilities and may even be labelled as pathological.
But here’s the glaring irony. Baby boomers were the original architects of the sexual revolution that occurred between 1960-1980. It was our generation that gloriously sparked the dramatic shift in traditional values on sex and sexuality. Boomers radically transformed our culture. As a result, sex outside of conventional norms was forever redefined.
So here we are in 2016 and baby boomers are aging. The time has come for another seismic paradigm shift. A sexual revolution for people growing old. These prevailing beliefs that older people can’t, don’t or shouldn’t have sex are utterly ridiculous. Just go ask a panda.