Do You Think They're Sexy? They Sure Do Seniors Show They Won't Let Age Put Brakes on Sexuality

Article excerpt

Byline: Kara Spak Daily Herald Staff Writer

Blanche Devereaux, the fictitious "Golden Girl" who shamelessly flaunted her sexuality, flitted from one retiree to the next and invited men on the popular television show to "dip their toes in the lake known as Blanche" is alive, well, and living all over the country.

Senior citizens are now more open about their sexuality, experts say. Tonight, 25 seniors who are proud of their bodies, their talents and their age will dress up and saunter down a runway at Elgin Community College. The "evening gown" competition kicks off the Ms. National Senior Citizen pageant, an affair that concludes Sunday afternoon at the Hemmens Cultural Center.

Ms. National Senior Citizen clearly isn't about sex. But seniors confident in their bodies and such physical talents as dancing and acting are feeling sexy, said Marcelle Bear, pageant director.

"Are you kidding? These women think they are very sexy," Bear said. "Come in here and see them - how they dress, their makeup."

For America's older generation, sex and sexuality remain critical aspects of their lives, according to a survey by the American Association of Retired Persons/Modern Maturity magazine.

Sixty-seven percent of men and 57 percent of women (all senior citizens) said a satisfying sexual relationship was an important component to a positive quality of life, a component that came out of feeling physically fit and active.

Annie Young, director of the Centegra Wellness Center at Sun City Huntley, said seniors' sexuality is not a new phenomenon, but talking more openly about sex at all ages is.

"The attitudes are relaxing a little more," Young said. "Seniors are not about blue hair and rocking chairs. They are busier, more social."

"Look at the Golden Girls, even Sophia," said 65-year-old Rita Matichak, a Joliet contestant taking her second shot at the title. …