Publication details

Trajectories of intimacy in later-life : a qualitative study of Czech and Polish narratives

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Year of publication 2023
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Culture, Health & Sexuality
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Web article - open access
Keywords older adults; intimacy; cross-cultural; Czech Republic; Poland
Description Intimacy has been identified as an important component of satisfying sexual activity in later life. While the existing literature reports that the importance of intimacy increases with age, the mechanisms behind this process have not been extensively researched. Even less is known about later-life sexual intimacy among women and men from former communist countries. This study explored the nuances of sex and intimacy by interviewing 50 Polish and Czech women and men aged 60 to 82. Data were analysed thematically using an inductive approach. Three main themes were developed to represent the extent to which intimacy was part of participants’ lives: 1) lifelong representation of sex as an intimate connection between individuals; 2) later-life shift towards intimacy-oriented sex for two main reasons: health-related necessities and a new relationship context; and 3) no intimacy whatsoever. The study findings indicate that a later-life refocus from an instrumental, penetrative-oriented view of sex towards a wider variety of intimate behaviours may be beneficial, not only for improving quality of sexual life, but also to gain new ways to express emotional connections between the partners.
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