How do we navigate sex as we age? How do common health issues and medications affect sexual desire? How can you use nutrition and exercise to improve sexual wellness? How do you keep sex hot, whether you’re partnered or single? These are some of the questions discussed on Saturday, April 25, 2015, at “Older Men’s Sexual Health,” an LGBTEI Conversation designed to foster a sex-positive, inclusive and affirming community discussion.
Presenters & the Program Video
Dr. Thomas Wood, a therapist specializing in sex and relationships, opened the program with a comprehensive model of the different facets of human sexuality. Wood told the audience that, “there are as many different types of sexuality as people on the planet.” He also emphasized that, “sexuality is lifelong.”
Jim Hart, a nutrition and fitness expert, discussed the role that testosterone plays in both sexual and overall health; natural decline in testosterone with age versus symptoms that are concerning; and how to boost one’s testosterone levels naturally through holistic methods.
Mazzoni Center’s Dr. Andrew Goodman talked about common health concerns of older men, how to recognize them, how they are treated, and how both conditions and medications for them may affect desire and sexual performance. Goodman acknowledged that many men are hesitant to visit the doctor to ask about sexual concerns. He emphasized that, “If you can’t talk to your provider about sex, you need a new provider.”
Penn pharmacist Wayne Marquardt reviewed the pharmaceutical aspects of erectile dysfunction. Many medications for conditions of aging such as diabetes and high blood pressure can negatively affect men’s desire for sex and ability to maintain an erection. Interactions between medications can also contribute to erectile dysfunction (ED). Marquardt also discussed pharmaceutical and surgical treatments for ED and shared helpful tips for bringing it up with your doctor.
Stephanie Chando, a palliative care social worker at Penn and education coordinator at the Sexploratorium, focused on the importance of communication to keeping sex hot as you age, regardless of what’s going on with your body. She gave tips for exploring what you want and communicating it to a partner or partners. Chando also passed around sex toys available at the Sexploratorium, including butt plugs, dildos and handcuffs.
Collaborating Partners & Sponsors
“Older Men’s Sexual Health” was a collaborative effort of the LGBT Elder Initiative, the William Way Community Center and Penn Medicine CAREs. COLOURS provided safer sex supplies and information.
This program was made possible with support from Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund, PNC Bank, and the Philadelphia Gay News.