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(Life Wire) -- Like 20- or 30-something singles, older men and women are dating and embracing their sexuality.
But many older singles -- some of whom have already been down the aisle -- aren't looking to exchange their single status for a band of gold.
"If you have a life that you like and things you want to do and interests to pursue, maybe you don't want to sacrifice some of those priorities in order to be someone else's soul mate." This sentiment doesn't just apply to confirmed bachelors, either.• 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)."We are not aiming for great changes in the second half of life, but looking for fulfillment in who we are now," says Sharon Romm, a Seattle-based psychiatrist and author of "Dating After 50: Negotiating the Minefields of Midlife Romance." "Not everyone wants another marriage.Someone might want a companion for going to concerts on Saturday night and not much more. "Many over 50 are no longer looking for that one person, that 'soul mate'," says Dr."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.