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Sex for LifeFrom Virginity to Viagra, How Sexuality Changes Throughout Our Lives$
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Laura Carpenter and John DeLamater

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814772522

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814772522.001.0001

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Starting Over

Starting Over

Dating Risks and Sexual Health among Midlife Women after Relationship Dissolution

Chapter:
(p.180) 9 Starting Over
Source:
Sex for Life
Author(s):

Bronwen Lichtenstein

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814772522.003.0009

This chapter explores how women who become single in midlife approach dating risks and sexual health. Anxiety about finding someone, uncertainty about how to date, and risky behavior are common themes among midlife women after relationship dissolution. Income levels, parental status, and partner availability affect STI/HIV risk as well. Health providers need to be aware that newly single women might be unfamiliar with condom use, uncertain about negotiating safer sex, and unwilling to initiate discussions about safer sex with partners or health providers. Providers should also understand that newly single heterosexual women in midlife usually date older men who resist condom use through force of habit, male prerogative, or fears of impotence. It would be helpful if newly single women were informed that transitional sex is normative and that safer-sex scripts and/or a ready supply of condoms are essential tools for sexual health in the long run.

Keywords:   midlife single women, dating risks, sexual health, STI, HIV, safer sex, transitional sex

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