Thursday, November 18, 2010

This Week: Strictly for the Grown and Sexy

In '04, Usher, Lil John, and Ludacris sang (or yelled, in John's case) about 'Lovers and Friends', and gave casual sex partners a new anthem. They probably didn't anticipate finding a common ground with the 23% of the US population who was recently reported to be taking full advantage of that 'friends with benefits' package. The National Survey for Sex and Behavior reports that 50-somethings were "highly likely to engage in these casual sex encounters." That's right, folks. Swap mid-life crisis for mid-night coitus, and we may have a serious problem on our hands. Why? The study reports that these partners are very likely to engage in casual sex unprotected.

Down here in the District, HIV and AIDS have reached well over epidemic proportions. The generally accepted benchmark for a condition to reach severe epidemic concern is 1%- D.C. is at 3%. And to put this nearing-retirement trend in context, 70% of the people infected in the District are over the age of 40. D.C. officials are making concerted efforts to lower the rates of transmission. There are needle-exchange programs in place, and plenty of interventions to make adolescents and young adults more cognizant about safe sex practices. And, the message is spreading. The study, conducted at Indiana University's Center for Sexual Health Promotion, showed that 80% of male teens (14-17) who were sexually active used a condom the last time they had sex. But, how do we spread the word to those whose Viagra just kicked in and are ro-ar-ring to go? At their age, few are looking for everlasting love, and simply want to enjoy the company of another without any strings attached. The 50+ year-olds' rate for condom use the last time they had sex- a staggering (not!) 25%.

So, health promotion people, I'm talking to you! Do we put Rap-It-Up campaign ad's in More magazine? Offer "FREE CONDOMS!" incentives for prostate exams? There are lives at risk here, and something's gotta give!

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“Ultimately, happiness rests on how you establish a solid sense of self or being. Happiness does not lie in outward appearances nor in vanity. It is a matter of what you feel inside; it is a deep resonance in your life. To be filled each day with a rewarding sense of exhilaration and purpose, a sense of tasks accomplished and deep fulfillment- people who feel this way are happy. Those who have this sense of satisfaction even if they are extremely busy are much happier than those who have time on their hands but feel empty inside.” – Daisku Ikeda