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Do we really want to be having sex at 85?

AFTER their triumph with the male pill Viagra, scientists are racing to develop an orgasm pill to boost women's sex lives well into old age. But do we really want to be craving passion in our eighties? Here, partners and sex therapists Anne Hooper, best-selling writer of Anne Hooper's Ultimate Sex Guide, and Phillip Hodson, author of The Cosmopolitan Guide To Love, Sex And Relationships, put the case for and against.

NO

Says agony uncle Phillip Hodson

REPLACING courtship with something as unsexy as chemicals will change the face of human love-making for ever.

Men will no longer be able to ask meaningfully of their partner: "Did the earth move for you?"

Because the answer will be: "Darling, the earth always moves. I've taken my Millennium Pill."

It's no surprise that women who haven't had an orgasm for years, reading of the wonders Viagra has worked for men, want a pill that will do the same for them.

Given it, they are going to be bolder. They are going to take the initiative and make the advances.

They are going to demand: "Can you satisfy me?"

But where will that leave men?

At the heart of male sexuality lie problems of self-doubt and anxiety. When a woman announces that she has taken her Millennium Pill, many men may feel threatened and unable to rise to the challenge.

Men already die nine years earlier than women. The new passion pills are likely to see many off even sooner.

Rampant sex in old age cannot be good for those with heart problems and high blood pressure.

Many, striving to satisfy their own and their partner's urges, may well find these pills will be the death of them.

Result: a growing army of geriatric women, popping Millennium Pills and desperate for a man to share their bed.

For a short while, Viagra put a smile back on men's faces. They knew they could go all night if they had to.

But with sex no longer the private plaything of the beautiful young but also, at the drop of a hat, the eager not-so-young, they are going to feel under pressure.

YES

Says sex therapist

Anne Hooper

THIS pill will be an earth-mover for middle-aged women.

Why shouldn't we be able to enjoy sex right up until the age we die? I'd certainly take it.

As the menopause approaches, reaching climax gets more difficult. You therefore lose the incentive to be sexual. You stop making the moves, you don't flirt.

So a kind of Viagra for women might help the sex side of marriages last longer and that has to be a good thing.

Women give up. Now they won't have to. Even if their husbands, warped by the madness of middle-aged love, leave them, women now have a sexual future.

This new pill will be brilliant for women over 45 whose sex drive and ability to respond has slowed down.

A lot of women in that age group who have money and experience will go for it in a big way. So will many attractive women who are no longer in a marriage because they've been dumped for another woman.

At that age, women tend to stop putting out the spark that attracts men because they no longer feel very sexual.

If that feeling can be restored then they will want to find other relationships with men of any age.

And while Viagra will undoubtedly increase performance pressures on men, it might stop men abandoning women for dolly birds when the first wrinkle hits.

I've never subscribed to the theory that older men only go for younger women. I believe that a lot of older men would like a relationship with a middle-aged woman, but until now the women haven't wanted to.

There could be a lot more opportunities for both sexes.

I'm thinking seriously of investing in a singles bar for females of that uncertain age, throwing open its doors in about two years' time.
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 8, 1998
Words:663
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