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Horny old devils? 'I think most would rather have friendship and a cup of tea'.

Byline: By SALLY WILLIAMS AND ADRIANNE MASLEN Western Mail

An advertising campaign has caused raised eyebrows by describing the over-50s as 'horny' as well as being 'happy and healthy'. The month-long campaign aims to change the way middle-aged people are seen and to portray them in a more positive light. But it seems that while the older generation doesn't mind being described as happy and healthy, some feel the use of the word horny takes things just one step too far.

Many believe the campaign, which features adverts on the side of buses, is inappropriate and should have been subjected to wider consultation before being released onto the streets - although the evergreen Sir Tom Jones would probably be thrilled to be described in such a way.

And indeed others see the funny side or even agree with the use of the slang term.

David Griffiths, a member of the Association of Retired and Persons Over 50 in Swansea, said, 'Horny? That's a bit naughty. They needn't have done that, it sounds like a T-shirt slogan.

'I suppose some singletons would be on the lookout for love but I think our members would rather have friendship and a cup of tea.'

Grandmother Barbara Philips, a member of Laleston Ladies, a social club for older ladies in Bridgend, said she could see the funny side of the debate.

She said, 'I think horny is quite a funny word and although I am not offended by it and we are not prudes, it is just not a word used by our generation of over 60s.

'One of our members is 92 and I doubt that she would approve of the word, what do you think it means exactly?'

Nick Lia, 53, sports facilities manager at the Welsh Institute of Sport, said he had no objections but could not speak for his entire generation.

'I have no hang-ups about that. I quite like it myself and I think quite a few people would be the same,' he said.

'I am all of those things but maybe people who aren't those things may be offended.

'Yes I am horny. Exercise does keep you active in that area, with endurance and stamina.'

His colleague Lynne John, 60, a receptionist and former netball player who now coaches, also said she was happy to see the ads.

'I don't particularly find it offensive but for a lot of people my age and over it's a different generation.

'They were brought up not using words like horny and sexy.

'It's a different language today to when they were brought up. Quite a few people would find it offensive at that age.

'I play badminton and do circuits but whether it has any effect on that area of life or not I don't know.

'By the time you come home from circuits you are shattered.'

Mandy Sprague, a spokeswoman for the 50+ Positive Action Partnership which organised the campaign with Caerphilly County Borough Council, admitted it was designed to be controversial.

She said, 'What we wanted to do was to get people's attention and start to generate a discussion about some of the important issues facing the over 50s.

'Some of those are perceived as taboo, such as sexual health, abuse of the elderly and low income.'

But Pat Ramm, manager of the Bargoed Young at Heart Centre, said, 'Even young people I have spoken to about it have been shocked.

'They don't like to think of their grans or grandads like that.

'It also gives the impression of dirty old men. Our members do not want anything to do with it.

'It's something that should be left to the imagination.'

Richard Guppy, 81, from Cwmbran served in the Second World War and has been married for 53 years. He added, 'I think it is grossly offensive and I think it sends out the wrong message to the young people. It is demeaning of older people. 'I think it is very important to be happy and healthy as those are two very important aspects of ageing. 'But what about our grandchildren? Are they looking at us thinking we are rampant old men? It's just not on.': It's causing a stir, but how does the dictionary define the word 'horny'?:Horny Pronunciation Key: (hOrn) Adj. hornier, horniest 1. Having horns or hornlike projections. 2. Made of horn or a similar substance. 3. Tough and calloused: horny skin. 4. Vulgar slang. Desirous of sexual activity. Sexually aroused.
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 27, 2006
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