spacemaker

" ನಿಮ್ಮ Mane, NAMMA ಜವಾಬ್ದಾರಿ "

" ನಿಮ್ಮ Mane, NAMMA ಜವಾಬ್ದಾರಿ "

Since her 2014 study, Sue Malta has also focused on older people and their sexual health, a chronically understudied topic

Since her 2014 study, Sue Malta has also focused on older people and their sexual health, a chronically understudied topic

On the other hand, LAT arrangements can simply be a way to preserve a new-found freedom. Says Malta: “For a lot of women, it’s the first time in their life they’ve never had to answer to anybody, the first time they’ve never had to consider someone else’s needs within their own house or care for somebody else. You heta estniska singlar can see the attraction of that.”

Even though McCarthy and Marsh are now married, they still maintain their own apartments in different suburbs. She spends three or four nights a week at his place and the rest of the time by herself at her own, a choice that is more hers than his.

“I like to come over here,” McCarthy says, sweeping a hand over the faux-mink throw on the long sofa, “get into my plushy robe, scrub my make-up off and watch movies, or read. Warren isn’t a reader or a movie watcher. My hairdresser is over here, my dentist, all of that world you build up over time. I’ve been here since 1988. Your home is your home.”

“Picking a partner at this age, it’s like, ‘I don’t need money, I don’t need sperm, I can choose to be here … or not.’ It’s very liberating.”

Every woman I mention the “Living Apart Together” thing to thinks it sounds like a brilliant idea. The best of both worlds, if you can afford it. Men can be more lukewarm. Warren Marsh, for one, would prefer to have Annie McCarthy living with him full-time. He likes the idea of their buying a bigger place together. His idea of being a “couple” isn’t quite the same as hers: he feels they should do almost all their socialising together, as he did with his previous wife; she wants to be more independent and still be able to see friends on her own when it suits.

It’s like people of any age: some are really interested in being in relationships and others couldn’t care less

Maggie Owens says that while the feelings in older age can be just as intense, especially in the first flush, as they are earlier in life, your needs and circumstances are likely to be very different. “You have a whole other realm of choice when it comes to picking a partner at this age. It’s like, ‘I don’t need money, I don’t need sperm, I can choose to be here … or not.’ It’s very liberating in that sense. You’re not raising children, you haven’t got a mortgage, so you’ve got a very different sense of freedom.”

Annie McCarthy and Warren Marsh are hoping for a “good 10 years together” in each one’s third marriage. Credit: tonypottsphotography

Okay, so what about the sex?

Challenging? Perhaps it’s telling that I feel I have to whisper this question to Owens as we sit in the middle of a busy cafe. On the other hand, it’s probably safe to assume none of the Millennials here will either care, or believe we could be talking about people approaching pensionable age.

“I remember going to my book club early on and telling them I’d stayed the night,” Owens recalls. “Everyone was like, ‘Wow! How did you do that? I can’t imagine taking my clothes off in front of somebody else.’ It seems to me there’s no real difference at this age than earlier. I was self-conscious but I would have been feeling nervous and inadequate when I was young, too. It was always fraught.”

She is wary of the popular stereotypes, which tend to be limited to “racy senior”, high on Viagra or HRT and gagging for it, or “asexual oldie”, kind of withered and dead inside.Says Malta: “There have been lots of papers out about the ‘sexy oldie’, for example, and how that pushes people into thinking this is the norm, when it’s not. Some have said to me, ‘I hope I never have to go back to being in a romantic or sexual relationship.’

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