We also checked out what prominent authors Shirley W. I felt like I could say what I wanted to say, do things I wanted to do, and wear things I wanted to wear. At 50, if you use condoms it's for safe sex, not for avoiding pregnancy. Mitchell (Fabulous After 50 and Sensational After 60) and Jane Ganahl (Naked on the Page: The Misadventures of My Unmarried Midlife) had to say about women aging, then sprinkled in a few observations from 60 Minutes' crusty humorist Andy Rooney. You can toss the minivan and really indulge yourself. We've learned that being older is the perfect excuse to get out of something we didn't want to do anyway. You've learned to appreciate spontaneous humor, for it gives life a spicy flavor. Women know themselves, what looks good on them, and dress to complement the assets they have. There's no such thing as "dressing 50." We're past the point when someone can say you're dressing too young. Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over 50 is far sexier than her younger counterpart.
But there are many ways for older Americans to meet and get to know one another, many geared specifically to their cohort: • Online dating and social networking sites, like , offer tuition waivers or discounted classes for seniors. Just as older Americans aren't letting the years stop them from dating, they're not letting it end their sex lives, either. The study published August 23 defines sex very loosely to include mutual activity that doesn't require intercourse.For many women, their careers and hobbies rank higher on their priority list than do romantic relationships, according to Belove.As Margaret Murchie, a 52-year-old realtor in Honolulu, Hawaii, a self-proclaimed independent woman who dates but has never been married, puts it simply, "They have to make me happier than I am now on my own." A 2003 AARP study of 3,501 singles aged 40 to 69 showed that about one-third of those surveyed were either in a relationship or dating one person exclusively. You know yourself sexually -- and if you don't, this is the time to find out. I lost weight and my style of dressing has changed. A woman over 50 looks good wearing bright red lipstick. I am working out, shopping, traveling, and enjoying my friends more and often. As she ages, her sexuality becomes more important, and she is better able to enjoy it. I am now wearing hip-hugging jeans, leather -- everything. "It is time that our society's traditional thinking that disconnects old age and sex be revisited," says Ruth S.Jacobowitz, author of "150 Most-Asked Questions About Midlife Sex, Love, and Intimacy." "We're all living longer, so our needs to relate sexually are lasting longer." But older Americans who are sexually active face health issues, too. The NIA doesn't break down transmission rates among this demographic -- for example, through drug use, heterosexual or homosexual contact -- but the institute does point out that older adults in general tend to know less than younger Americans about how HIV/AIDS is transmitted and the necessity of using condoms.• Although HIV/AIDS is a threat to Americans of all ages, about 19 percent of Americans infected with HIV/AIDS are 50 or older, according to the U. They are also less likely to be tested for the disease. Both men and women may find that it takes longer to become aroused as they grow older, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).This may be caused by health problems like heart disease, by medications being taken to treat health conditions, or simply by stress or concerns about a changing appearance as one ages.