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Just feeling a naked body close to you: Men, Sexuality and Intimacy in Later Life
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Social Work. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2013 (English)In: Sexualities, ISSN 1363-4607, E-ISSN 1461-7382, Vol. 16, no 3/4, 261-282 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Despite an increasing emphasis on sexuality as lifelong and part of healthy ageing, the voices of older men and women are seldom heard. Based on qualitative interviews with Swedish heterosexual men aged 67-87, this article discusses how men make sense of later life sexuality through narratives of intimacy. In the interviews, intimacy is described as something more or other than sexual intercourse, involving both touch and feelings of love and closeness in a committed relationship. Inspired by the work of Ahmed (The Cultural Politics of Emotion, 2004) the article discusses how narratives of intimacy shape the sexual subjectivities and bodies of older men. Intimacy is discussed as making sexual subjectivities and bodies possible beyond a coital imperative. As such, intimacy is of potential use to anti-ageist and feminist theorizing. However, intimacy is also discussed as a possible reinforcement of respectable heterosexuality. The article concludes that intimacy may be a way for older heterosexual men to navigate between current binary discourses of asexual old age and 'sexy seniors'.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2013. Vol. 16, no 3/4, 261-282 p.
Keyword [en]
sexuality, intimacy, ageing, old age, masculinity, gender, men
National Category
Social Sciences Gender Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-80056DOI: 10.1177/1363460713481726ISI: 000318813300002OAI: diva2:545252
Available from: 2012-08-18 Created: 2012-08-18 Last updated: 2014-01-15Bibliographically approved

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