Photographer Rankin launches campaign to break taboo around sex in later life

Glasgow-born photographer Rankin has launched a new campaign to reduce stigma around sex and intimacy in later life.

A couple is photographed as part of Rankin's new photo series. Picture: Rankin

The Let’s Talk The Joy of Later Life Sex campaign has been developed in partnership with relationship support charity Relate, which offers counselling for couples, families and individuals, as well as sex therapy, mediation and training courses.

Five couples and one woman were photographed in intimate settings to champion the importance of intimacy in later life.

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The people featured are of a range of ethnicities, sizes and sexualities, which organisers said aims to show that everyone can feel empowered to think and talk about sex as they get older.

The campaign champions the importance of sex and intimacy in later life.

It comes as a poll by 3Gem market research found two-thirds of over-65s said sex and intimacy for their groups is rarely or never represented in the media.

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Just 20 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds said the same.

The majority (60 per cent) of over-65s said they were not comfortable speaking openly about sex and intimacy, with embarrassment the top reason why.

Five couples and one woman took part in the campaign.

Rankin said: “The simple fact is it that we all need intimacy now more than ever – and age, of course, really is just a number.

"The greatness of love and affection – the very things we can’t stop writing books, films, and pop songs about – doesn’t need to change as we find our later years.

"This campaign sets out to break convention, and that’s what it did, both before and behind the camera.”

Relate sex therapist Gail Thorne said: "It may seem as though it’s only young people with ‘perfect’ bodies having sex and being intimate but of course this isn’t true.”

She added: “What we’re trying to do today is open up a society-wide conversation about the fact that sex and intimacy – whatever that might mean – can be as important for older people as it is for anyone else.

"We see every day in our sex therapy services how not feeling able to talk openly about needs and desires can lead to a lack of fulfilment and be damaging for individuals’ self-confidence and couples’

relationships. This is what we want to change.”

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