A riddle of sorts kicks off a salacious story in Sunday’s New York Times and the answer is supposed to surprise you: They have sex with friends, acquaintances and people they’re casually dating. Many have never been tested for H.I.V. or any other sexually transmitted disease, but they rarely use condoms. Who are they? “Teenagers, duh,” you’re supposed to think.
But the “irresponsible scoundrels are not teenagers,” they’re “50-something singles,” says the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior. Then the Times explains fuck buddies:
It turns out that “friends with benefits” — a sexual partner who is “just a friend,” and neither a soulmate nor a romantic interest — isn’t just for teenagers and college students anymore, and maybe it never was. Young adults may have given the practice a new name, but it probably started during the ’60s sexual revolution, when the middle-aged Americans of today were young themselves.
Imagine the loose, wrinkly bodies of core Times readers rising on Sunday morning from their stellar, pill-enhanced romp the previous night. The man is professorial, with wire frames and next to him, a ravishing Betty — no spring chicken — rolling over in the revealing morning light. They flip over to page WK2 of the New York edition and have a nice guffaw over this: “Young teenagers are far more responsible than older adults about using condoms, and they are not nearly as sexually active as many people think they are, the study found.”
But it’s serious:
Only 25 percent of those 50 and over who were single or had a new sex partner or more than one partner in a year said they had used a condom the last time they had sex, the study found. Almost 40 percent had never been tested for H.I.V., and a significant number didn’t know the sexual history of their partners.
Blame Nancy Meyers.