Putting The 'Boom' In Boomer

In one living room near Dallas, smack dab in the middle of the Bible Belt, the subject is sex.

Tonna Werry, representing a company called "Girls Night Out," enthusiastically peddles her wares: lotions and potions and devices and, well, a lot of jaw-dropping paraphernalia.

Think of this as a kind of Tupperware party, if Tupperware were rated XXX, reports CBS Sunday Morning contributor Susan Spencer.

Thousands of such parties are being held every day across the country and aging baby boomers are some of the best customers.

"Older women are my favorite crowd," says Werry, herself 46. "They're more established. I think they know their sexuality more. And I can go in and do a party for a group of baby boomers, you know, that age group. I can go in and do a party for them, have only five or six women there. And probably do at least $900 to $1,500."

Werry and her husband, Kevin, both in their mid-40s, certainly know what they want.

Asked how their sex life is, Tonna believed it is good. Kevin agreed. "Actually I'm over sexed, I think. But I think it's perfectly normal," he said.

At least once a week, the Werry's load boxes of sex toys into their pickup and head off to another party. That a couple their age would take such open joy in all this comes as no surprise to Steve Slon, editor of the AARP magazine.

"The baby boomers believe that they invented sex. And they still think so," Slon says.

In an AARP study, "Sexuality at Midlife," researchers found that, in fact, the baby boom generation is different from generations before it, both in behavior and in overall attitudes.

"Sex is a more important part of their lives. A, a strong majority say that sex is critical ingredient in a healthy lifestyle. A much smaller number of older folks say that," Slon says.

And after all, for the boomers, it's always been that way, coming of age as they did in the midst of a sexual revolution, with one basic rule: if it feels good, do it.

"It was the '60s and the '70s, it was a time of free love. People were sleeping around with other people more casually. So maybe they learned a little more about sex, they had more partners," says Barbara Bartlik.

Pointing to the birth control pill and Viagra, Bartlik, a sex therapist at New York's Weill-Cornell Medical Center, says modern science has meant that the generation that won't take no for an answer, hasn't had to.

"In the past, there was a lot of ignorance. And when people encountered an obstacle, they just stopped having sex," Bartlik says.
  • Sean Alfano

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