LifestyleAlice Tillett (1)

The Over-65’s: Sex, Social Media and Start-ups

Imagine someone 65 years and over in your head? Do you have an instant image of a cuddly grandma baking in the kitchen, or a pottering grandpa at home in the greenhouse  or is it more along the lines of someone wistfully looking back and wishing they could relive their youth?


While this image can still be true, 'old' people are starting to change, challenge, and re-define, society's stereotype of what it means to be 65 +. Rather than 'ageing' being a dirty word, over 65's are embracing their 'pre-retirement' using their time, energy and money to sexually experiment, become social media celebs, and forge new careers.

The Over-65’s

The idea that old-age kills your sex life is fast becoming a big misconception. The Independent reported in 2016 that during the last decade, there has been an increase of over a third of STI diagnoses in people aged between 50 and 70. A statistic so staggering that it prompted Pornhub (a site usually aimed at the 18-45yr olds) to release a sex ed video for the over 65's, with 58 year old pornographic actress Nina Hartley as the star. From how to properly put on a condom to safe yet tantalising positions, Pornhub is benefitting from a much ignored audience.

And social media… no longer the domain of the millennial, the over 65's have become big 'influencers' in their own right and demonstrated that they have a unique and compelling take on a life worth sharing.  Take 89 year old Helen Van Winkle, better known as @baddiewinkle, whose motto is 'stealing your man since 1928'. Since getting her start in 2015, and reaching over 1 million followers on Instagram that same year, she now counts Rihanna and Miley Cyrus as fans and fronts a campaign with millennial clothes brand favourite Missguided.

And in start-ups too, the new anti-hacking software, Infosci, was founded by John Kittelberger and John Ellingson, both 75yrs along with 80 year old Phil Dean. Their years are defying the tech start-up stereotype of a Silicon Valley grad. And rather than letting their age be a hindrance, they have proved it is a real asset by exposing some of the darkest hacks for decades. To put in perspective, Infosci's founding team have probably been mastering their craft for longer than the twenty-something's they're competing against have even been alive. And they are not going ignored - Amazon Web Services have already started to run an early version of their software and with plans to license their technology, Infosci show no signs of old age slowing them down any time soon.

So why is this important? The over-65's are not just knitting and napping; they are living life to the full.  They've never had such freedom, such incomes or been in such good health. Old people are redefining what it means to beoldand they certainly can't be lumped into the much ignored box of 'tick here for 65 years and over'.

At 2CV we want to get to the core of what it means to be 65+ in today's society.  We're conducting a large-scale study to truly recognise this audience for who they are, a largely overlooked yet important, group in society whom we should start paying attention to…. Watch this space for more info.

Alice Tillett

2CV London