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Ageing in Everyday LifeMaterialities and Embodiments$
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Stephen Katz

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781447335917

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447335917.001.0001

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Closer to touch: sexuality, embodiment and masculinity in older men’s lives

Closer to touch: sexuality, embodiment and masculinity in older men’s lives

(p.129) Seven Closer to touch: sexuality, embodiment and masculinity in older men’s lives
Ageing in Everyday Life

Linn J. Sandberg

Policy Press

This chapter explores touch as an essential aspect of ageing embodiment, which also has a significant impact on experiences of gendered and sexual embodiment in later life. Drawing on an empirical study with older Swedish men who were both interviewed and asked to write ‘body diaries’ about their everyday embodiment, the research argues that their narratives of touch constitute alternative representations of both male sexuality and ageing embodiment as phallic discourses inevitably signifying decline and decay. In recent years, the increasing emphases of sexuality as vital to the accomplishment of successful ageing often overlook the more complex nuances of older people’s experiences of sexuality and intimacy, which may involve loss, pain and illness as well as unbounded joys. In contrast, this chapter concludes that a turn to touch directs us to the simultaneous vulnerability and potential for pleasure and excitation in ageing embodiment.

Keywords:   masculinity, touch, sexuality, ageing, diaries

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