Condoms launched at garden centres after rise in STIs in over 65s

·Contributor, Yahoo Life UK
·5-min read
A new range of horticultural gardening-themed condoms have been launched to encourage older Brits to practice safe sex. (SWNS)
A new range of horticultural gardening-themed condoms have been launched to encourage older Brits to practice safe sex. (SWNS)

A new range of gardening-themed condoms have been launched to encourage older Brits to practice safe sex.

The selection of horticultural-inspired condoms, available at selected garden centres, were developed in response to rising STI rates among the over 65s.

They come in garden seed-style packaging and will be available in six cheeky veg themes, including onions, avocado, plums, artichokes, courgette and aubergine.

Relationship charity, Relate, is behind the ‘The Hornicultural Society’ campaign which hopes to end the stigma among older generations when it comes to talking about sex.

The subject was debated on this morning's Good Morning Britain with agony aunt Caroline Buchanan believing it was a great idea, while journalist Cosmo Landesman thought the idea was silly.

Earlier in the programme co-host Richard Madeley got Dr Hilary Jones' take on the launch.

Read more: Is sex really better in your 50s? Amanda Holden says yes!

"Relate say that people over 65 are in the group most likely now to be developing sexually transmitted infections so they're selling humorously packaged condoms to older people who go to garden centres. What's going on?" he asked Dr Hilary.

Dr Hilary responded: "A nice courgette on the front of that particular packet!" before explaining that older people are more likely to be divorced these days and are therefore starting up new sexual relationships and not using protection.

The condom launch comes after research of 2,000 adults found half of Brits (51%) find it difficult to have conversations about intercourse - 38% of over 65s - with adults avoiding the topic because it makes them feel awkward.

Two thirds, meanwhile, think there is a reluctance to talk about STIs among the older demographic.

The study found 43% of those aged 65 and over feel more confident and liberated now when it comes to sex than at any other point in their lives. while more than half consider themselves to be adventurous in the bedroom.

Watch: A third think toilet can spread STIs.

Commenting on the findings relationship psychotherapist and Relate president, Anjula Mutanda, said: "Sex and intimacy can be as adventurous and fulfilling in later life as it can be at any age.

“It might be different - for physical or other reasons - but it’s brilliant that our research showed it’s still a significant part of life for those who want it to be.

"And we shouldn’t be afraid to talk about the importance of safe sex, regardless of age.”

Read more: Sex guru pensioner, 73, spent lockdown helping couples improve their love lives

The selection of horticultural-inspired prophylactics were developed in response to rising STI rates among the over 65s. (SWNS)
The selection of horticultural-inspired prophylactics were developed in response to rising STI rates among the over 65s. (SWNS)

The study also found 16% of over 65s have purchased or considered buying sex toys for themselves or their partner during the past 12 months.

More than half this age group (52%) have sex once to twice a week - with 12% claiming to have intercourse more now than at any other time in their lives.

Read more: The best sex toys for men, women and couples

However, the research carried out through OnePoll, found 80% of over 65s haven’t bought condoms in the past six months.

According to Age UK, STIs have more than doubled in the past 10 years among adults aged 65 years plus.

While Public Health England data found syphilis diagnoses increased by 86% among the over 65s between 2015 and 2019.

Anjula Mutanda adds: “By bringing the sexual health debate to an unexpected environment like a garden centre, we’re once again trying to help break down taboos and get people up and down the country talking about the joy of later life sex.”

The limited-edition condoms are available from www.relate.org.uk and also in-store at Finchley Nurseries in London.

The condoms are also sustainable and can be planted in a pot to degrade.

Read more: Relate and Rankin pair up in new campaign celebrating the joy of later life sex and intimacy

The condoms are also sustainable and can be planted in a pot to degrade. (SWNS)
The condoms are also sustainable and can be planted in a pot to degrade. (SWNS)

Need further proof that sex doesn't just stop when you reach a certain age? Just look to science.

According to research, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of LELO, people over the age of 50 are having the best sex of their lives.

The survey looked at how the sex habits of 2,000 people aged 50 and older changed and discovered there may be a very good reason grandma and grandpa haven't returned your phone call.

While more than three-quarters (77%) had noticed significant changes to their sex life, for many it was for the better with 45% saying they've had the best sex of their lives as they've aged.

Though many respondents admit to having less sex now than in their youth, citing their 30s as the time they were the most sexually active, an impressive one in eight 50 plus-ers still have sex at least five times a week.

There's been a rise in STIs in the over 65s. (Getty Images)
There's been a rise in STIs in the over 65s. (Getty Images)

A further study, for the National Social Life, Health and Ageing Project (NSHAP), conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Chicago, found that almost three quarters (74%) of women aged 75 to 85 believed satisfactory sex was essential to maintaining a relationship, while 72% of men felt the same.

Turns out getting in on has multiple health benefits for the older generation too.

A recent study published in the journal Sexual Medicine indicates that sexual activity is associated with improved wellbeing amongst older adults.

Additional reporting SWNS.

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