Civil Liberties

"And Then They Started Having Sex"

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Melinda Henneberger at Slate writes about 82-year-old Dorothy and 95-year-old Bob, whose love affair at the nursing home for dementia patients is considered adorable until it turns sexual.

To justify keeping the two apart, Bob's family frets about the danger posed by his bad heart (which Dorothy's doctor firmly dismissed as just plain wrong), and then more or less admits that they're opposed to the relationship simply on principle: Old people should be contemplative and chaste. Period.

But what it really comes down to is the money:

Dorothy's son-in-law, who is a doctor, suspects Bob's son of fearing for his inheritance. Bob had repeatedly proposed for all to hear and called Dorothy his wife, but his son called her something else–a "gold digger"–and refused to even discuss her family's offer to sign a prenup.

Families don't want their mentally unsound loved ones entering contracts that will leave children and grandchildren sorting through a mess of legal entanglements–fair enough. And something like the "sexual power of attorney" suggested in the article might be a good option. But do we really want to say that forgetful old people shouldn't be allowed to have sex, just because they're, well, forgetful and old?

If boomers are going to make a case for restricting their parents' liberty in the last few years of life, perhaps they should first look their own futures and ask themselves if they want their children oppressing their sexual appetites in the year 2030.

More reason on dementia.

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  1. I think it’s shameful…him chasing after younger women like that.

  2. Gold digging knows no age barriers.

    QED

  3. If boomers are going to make a case for restricting their parents’ liberty in the last few years of life, perhaps they should first look their own futures and ask themselves if they want their children oppressing their sexual appetites in the year 2030.

    Considering the colossal hypocrisy of the shithead boomers concerning drugs, sex, trusting people over 30, and lots of other things, I can’t wait for them to have this bite them in the ass.

  4. I’ve heard that those retirement homes are freaking Melrose Place with the extra-curricular action.

    Good for them.

  5. But what it really comes down to is the money:

    Shocking!

  6. Considering the colossal hypocrisy of the shithead boomers concerning drugs, sex, trusting people over 30, and lots of other things, I can’t wait for them to have this bite them in the ass.

    Amen.

  7. ChicagoTom,

    Sarcasm right? Cuz doctors are awful when it comes to money. Not making it, using it responsibly.

    And about the old people sex . . . eeeeeewwwwww!

  8. I spent much of my childhood in and around homes for seniors, both custodial and apartments… I’ve noticed two things… the men don’t do very well when they lose the loves of their lives, and the women tend to be VERY focused on spotting and catching the ones who are available.

    High school has nothing on the retirement home.

    In the case of dementia patients a custodial institution has a really difficult challenge. The good ones are very cognizant of their obligations to provide the opportunity for, or at least not impede, their residents’ exercise of basic human rights (‘bills of rights’ are posted on almost every wall), while simultaneously ensuring that someone not exactly ‘compos mentis’ isn’t abused by another resident.

    It’s a bit Solomonic.

    I do like one thing about this… it reminds us that simply because folks might be older or less visible, that they’re no less needful or human. A little time in Asia gave me some perspective on the good aspects about ancestor worship.

    I’m as Darwinian and utilitarian as the next libertarian, but I think the treatment of aging people in America is suboptimal at best and criminal at worst.

  9. A libertarian need not be either “Darwinian” or utilitarian.

  10. A libertarian need not be either “Darwinian” or utilitarian.

    I think you will need magical powers to convince some of these people here of that fact.

    It is ingrained or something.

  11. So, if the state was the custodian of these seniors rights, the old people would be better off than under the care of the greedy families, is that it?

    This is not a libertarian issue. The implied solution is worse than the original problem (that I admit is very real).

  12. Y’all are overlooking the pregnancy risk.

  13. I wonder if they are in one of the States that decides for you that you are married if you act like you are married, the so-called “common law marriage” States?

    If so, then the son of the old guy may actually be expressing a rational fear of the overbearing power of the State.

  14. “A libertarian need not be either ‘Darwinian’ or utilitarian.”

    It’s sad that we need to even state something that should be so obvious.

  15. A libertarian need not be either “Darwinian” or utilitarian.

    That was admittedly tongue-in-cheek for the benefit of the people to whom joshua refers.

    I mean what fun is it if I don’t get to be a gaia-raping, money-grubbing robber baron someday? They promised me that when I took the world’s smallest political quiz.. or should anyway.

  16. I think this is the perfect opportunity to bring up the libertarian position of ending the governments sponsorship of marraige. There should be be no automatic legal rights involved.

    I just loved having to pay my ex-wife the the privilage of supporting her and her kids for four years. Luckily, no children of the marraige and very limited spousal support in Texas. I got off easy.

  17. I think this is the perfect opportunity to bring up the libertarian position of ending the governments sponsorship of marraige.

    I believe you are a few min. late 😉

  18. A libertarian need not be either “Darwinian” or utilitarian.

    A true libertarian is Darwinian because he/she will always fall of the side of overwhelming scientific consensus… well, except when it comes to climate change, of course.

  19. There in a nursing home with dementia. I’m pretty certain that they have lost control of their assets.

    Could it be a legal fuck story? YEP.
    Mildred and Richard Perry Loving’s marriage was a legal fuck story as well. That was a good thing.

    I probably should not get into a discussion with Dorothy’s greedhead son-in-law. Bad things could happen.

  20. Perhaps there is a government solution to all of this . . .

  21. nice subtle Logan’s Run reference, Guy.

  22. Art,

    It was even too subtle for me. Not remembering Logan’s Run quote.

  23. Y’know, the guy’s a friggin’ doctor and he’s worried about his mother in law’s money. Nope, I shouldn’t meet him.

  24. I’d rather die from a sex-related heart attack than from something less pleasurable, like choking on my own drool.

  25. J sub D-

    What makes you think that the guy would want to meet you?

  26. Guy,

    Oh…I was certain you were referring to Logans Run. What was your gov’t solution (and don’t say funding for more research!)?

  27. Boomers don’t have to rely on their children. It’s a well known fact that our government owes them and will take care of them in their old age.

  28. Well, a certain class of feminist considers a girls who has had one single beer as being too incapacitated to consent to sex, so I can only assume that this situation is rape.

  29. co-mingling…

    with the…

    withered flesh…

    sagging…

    breasts…

    and…

    flabby…

    buttocks…

    makes me want…

    to vomit.

  30. What makes you think that the guy would want to meet you?

    My good looks, charm and conversational skills. Things you lack.

  31. Oh Harold, I’ve got just the thing for you.

    Click my name.

  32. “Click my name.”

    Access Denied

  33. I’d rather die from a sex-related heart attack….

    Yeah, but it ain’t so shit hot for the girl.

    Old HS buddy supposedly died from a sex related heart attack. The down side is that he was a long fargin’ way from 95.

  34. Access denied?

    That’s strange. It is working for me when I click.

    Here’s the URL

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pW4RX-9Q5GQ

    This is also for JOHN!

  35. Yeah, but it ain’t so shit hot for the girl.

    Yeah, but it’s hard to gauge how many necrophiliacs there are out there because nobody ever admits to it.

  36. There’s something to be said for a woman with experience.

  37. But do we really want to say that forgetful old people shouldn’t be allowed to have sex, just because they’re, well, forgetful and old?

    Yes, ewwww. And don’t forget fat people

  38. Yeah, but it’s hard to gauge how many necrophiliacs…

    I once knew a chick…..you really needed to be into dead girls……

    [ducks]

  39. I think in the original quote “Darwinian” was meant to reference social darwinism, but I can’t be certain.

    I will also venture to speculate that *most* libertarians are classical liberals in the tradition of John Locke rather than utilitarians.

  40. Experience is great, Chris. Marc Bulger has experience.

    That doesn’t mean you start Steve Grogan next year.

  41. …just because they’re, well, forgetful and old?

    The upside (heh) is it’s like doing a new chick every time.

    and, once again…..Moose, this is for you:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pW4RX-9Q5GQ

  42. This just screams out for a mention of Airtight Grannies (scroll down for joe’s excellent raise).

  43. I salute the elderly. Growing old sucks. Any joy they can suck out of life, they deserve.

  44. Any joy they can suck out of life

    Oh har de har har 😉

  45. joe,

    As a child, my first view of mating was walruses bumping the uglies on Marty Stouffer’s Wild America. It takes a lot to make me sick.

  46. J sub D,

    Maybe the source article which I didn’t FR gives more detail, but from what I see here, I don’t know why you would assume Dorothy’s doctor son-in-law is motivated to be okay with the relationship by the lure of Bob’s inheritance. Maybe he just wants Dortothy to be free to have a good time?

    And to all you boomer-bigots, I know I’m swimming upstream and I hate being a nag but, FUCK YOU. You’re being stupid and, well, bigoted.

  47. you really needed to be into dead girls……

    I’m listening…[ducks]

  48. I bet she tea-bags him with her teeth out.

    And those titty-fucks must sound like balsa wood being sanded…

  49. I’ve heard that those retirement homes are freaking Melrose Place with the extra-curricular action.

    I can’t wait. It’s gotta be better than the action I’m (not) getting now.

  50. 71 today. Too old for football too but I still like to watch.

  51. It’s gotta be better than the action I’m (not) getting now.

    I’m glad to hear that.

  52. And those titty-fucks must sound like balsa wood being sanded…

    Either that, or a Corsican washer-woman slapping wet drawers on a rock.

  53. Why not? His mother has for the last 20.

  54. “you really needed to be into dead girls……”

    I don’t care if their dead, as long as they aren’t too cold yet.

    50 points for a source to this quote

  55. I’m happy for old people to have all the sex they want. As long as I don’t have to read articles about it.

  56. Bob’s family . . .more or less admits that they’re opposed to the relationship simply on principle

    As I read the article, Bob’s family declined to comment at all.

  57. I got a heart attack masturbating.

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