A Creative Writing Workshop on Sexuality and Ageing: A Spanish Pilot Case Study
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Negative stereotypes about old age abound in our present-day society, which often considers older people as sexually incapable or even asexual. On the other hand, active ageing ideologies foster the practice of sex in later life as a sign of healthy and active ageing. The aim of this pilot case study was to examine the impact that poetry on sexuality, ageing and creativity had on older individuals. In total eight participants, aged 49–76, participated in a workshop offered by the University of Lleida (Spain). The initial hypothesis was that the participants, following the example set by the poems, would produce pieces of creative writing in which they voiced their own concerns and experiences about sexuality in later life from the distance that metaphor grants. While some of the participants’ writings engaged with the poems that deal with sexuality in older age, none of the participants’ creative pieces contained explicit instances of sexual experiences. The analysis of the participants’ creative pieces suggests that: first, they regard intimacy in older age as essential; and second, their unwillingness to write about sexuality in older age is partly rooted in their upbringing during Franco’s dictatorial regime, in which sexuality for non-reproductive aims was constructed as immoral.