Isolated people, including older adults, can find like-minded people with similar sexual orientations though Internet search engines. Leading American sexologist, Dr. Pepper Schwartz, cites an example of a senior living alone in South Dakota who likes to dress up in animal costumes. "All she has to do is enter 'sex + furries' in Google and she can safely contact people with her sex habits," said Schwartz in a special AARP video.
The Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington in Seattle, considers the Internet to be a positive outlet for loners, even though society at large might consider their preferences to be freakish.
"I absolutely think that older people are less intimidated by the Internet," Dr. Schwartz said. "But, they're on a steep growth curve." She praised the Internet as medium where older adults can explore their sexuality in ways that are low risk, and encouraged over-50s to engage with dating sites and chat rooms.
Dr. Schwartz mentioned rooms for grandparents and older professionals. She recommended Craig's List for erotic investigations, with cautionary measures in place.
"There's a site for everything you can think of," she told AARP. "I know of a site for gay men who used to be ministers, and a site for foot fetishes." She laughed about the variety of fetishes for feet and rejected the 'vanilla' approach to sex. "On the Net you can let your imagination go, and it can stay in cyberspace."
The downside: Dr. Schwartz talked with AARP about the online dating tendency for people to "blow each other off" because there's so many available people. The Internet permits people to be disposable when they'd be more considerate in person, she said.
Watch the AARP Video: http://aarp.us/LN8Vil