Sunday, October 31, 2010

Second Childhoods

I am not sure that the Baby Boomer generation will be having a second childhood.
At least to me, I didn't leave the first one behind. Fun, excitement, living in the moment, and pleasure have been our trademarks. I see us beginning to "retire" but I don't see us stopping. Now one thing is for certain, we worked hard. There were lots of us, and competetion was stiff for just about everything from parking space to college entry. And, then of course, we came of age during the first oil crisis in the 70's, where there were no jobs and the economy went south. Then we picked ourselves up and enjoyed the prosperity of the 80's and 90's. Those of us who did well may still have a nest egg. The rest of us will continue to work, for a while at least.

Now I remeber hearing about old folks who had second childhoods. They stopped being stern and grumpy and started to enjoy the simple things all over again. They laughed, played and felt at home with themselves. I don't think the Baby Boomers, a la Dennis Hopper's Amex commercial, have left that behind. Just look at any highway on a Sunday. Grey haired bikers, convertible couples, and fun seekers with arthritis are all over the place. Of course, I am in Florida, but just the same.................

I just came back from a trip to Epcot this weekend. It was terrific! Sun, fun, grazing at the Food and Wine Festival, thrill rides, whew! Then plopping myself in the Lazy River in a tube for a few hours and hot tubbing with my Margarita.. Now that's my childhood........................................

I looked at the 30 somethings with the twins in the strollers, saddled with their overstuffed diaper bags, and backpacks. No thank you, been there and done that. If I ever have a grandchild, there will be no stopping us. Remember Auntie Mame? That woman is ME. Just one adventure after another tasting the delights life has to offer. So I say no to a second childhood.

My advice - don't give up the first one.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Behind Closed Doors

Indiana University recently published  The National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior.
Interesting reading for us gyn geeks. It seems that casual sex is bimodal, for those under 25 and those over 50. It's just riskier with a 50+ man. They only use condoms 25% of the time, while 18-19 year olds use condoms 80% of the time. Makes one wonder if the cougars know something.

This is not an unusual conversation I have with my over 50 patients. How to have that "how do we deal with std" conversation. See my earlier blog entries regarding herpes for some details.
It is now a fact, and will be a focus of public health efforts, that you should get the AIDS education along with your AARP card. Us old folks have been around the block. That means more time to accumulate little gifts that keep on giving. Again, see earlier blogs for the herpes virus heartbreak.

Now it seems that most of the sex is happening between ages 20-40. No big surprise. There is a progressive decline in reported sexual behavior with a partner after age 40 for women and men. The varieties of sexual behavior that was surveyed included solo and partnered masturbation, oral sex given and received by same and opposite sex partners, anal sex given and received , vaginal intercourse,  and condom use. It seems that most everyone has tried oral sex, but less than half anal intercourse.
Vaginal intercourse is still the mainstay of experience, however partnered masturbation was a surprise, at least to me. Non coital sex is an important part of the national repetoire.

The purpose of the study was to shed light on contemporary sex practices to focus on the future needs of public health campaigns. This surveys a  comprehensive statistically valid sample of Americans. The last such survey was about 1990. The survey was published in a supplement to the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Until next time,

Sunday, October 10, 2010

In the confessional : GYN 101

Hello out there

After a few visits, and sometimes just one, women approach me with their deepest concerns, fears, and secrets.  Frequently it starts out as a question, but as the conversation flows, the information is shared. 
This is a challenge for me. I am not a priest. But I do have an oath of confidentiality sworn or go to HIPPA Hell.
I have never revealed a confidence, as many women reveal their secrets of past lovers, current amours, pregnancies lost or terminated,, sexual practices, I sometimes wonder if I were meant to hear all of this.

There are days I don't think I get paid enough to listen, or to share advice mother certainly should have done years ago, but here I am. Somehow I manage to maintain an open nonjudgmental attitude and discern what my patient wants and needs from me by the telling. Mostly acceptance, sometimes affirmation, sometimes just someone to listen. Then there are those who want intimate advice regarding their sexual function, and need pointers. Good luck if they are looking to me for help. I am a pretty straight shooter. 

I once had a woman reach into her purse and pull out a split of champagne and two glasses for us to share. She was wildly in love, but with a married man. Until he left his wife and was free to date openly, secrecy was necessary. We had known each other for years, and she wanted to share her unbridled joy. 
We drank a glass, hugged, and a year later she was a married woman, pregnant with her first child.

When I go, so do the details. I never write this down, its too intimate for insurance companies, however I always remember.
Until next time,