Image for ‘Age is just a number’: Rankin portraits celebrate sex in later life

‘Age is just a number’: Rankin portraits celebrate sex in later life

Renowned photographer Rankin has teamed up with a relationships charity to shine a light on intimacy in later life, via some striking portraits

Renowned photographer Rankin has teamed up with a relationships charity to shine a light on intimacy in later life, via some striking portraits

From long-term love and tender intimacy, to new and more risque adventures, a series of images by Rankin captures what sex can mean in later life.

Shooting individual images of five older couples and one woman in intimate settings, he joined forces with the relationships charity Relate to tackle the stigma around the topic.

According to a poll by market research company 3Gem, two-thirds of over-65s say sex and intimacy for their age group is rarely or never represented in the media.

The Let’s Talk the Joy of Later Life Sex images, which have appeared on billboards across the UK, feature a range of older people, from Andrew and Mark who have been together for 31 years, to Chrissie who has had a double mastectomy, pictured above with her partner Roger.

Research points to a significant link between our sexual life and our overall wellbeing.

'We all need intimacy now more than ever,’ said Rankin, who shot the portraits for free. Image: Rankin

Gail Thorne, a sex therapist at Relate, said: “It may seem as though it’s only young people with ‘perfect’ bodies having sex and being intimate, but of course this isn’t true.

“We see every day how not feeling able to talk openly about needs and desires can lead to a lack of fulfilment and be damaging for individuals’ self-confidence and couples’ relationships. This is what we want to change.”

Rankin, who shot the campaign for free, added: “The simple fact is that we all need intimacy now more than ever – and age, of course, really is just a number. The greatness of love and affection – the very things we can’t stop writing books, films and pop songs about – doesn’t need to change as we find our later years.”

He added: “This campaign sets out to break convention, and that’s what it did, both before and behind the camera.”

Main image: Rankin 

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