- The Washington Times - Friday, June 1, 2001

Sex in public? What would Granny say? Better ask Granny herself, perhaps.
Things are hotter than usual at one Arizona retirement community, where amorous senior citizens are pitching woo in swimming pools, parked cars and even golf carts.
Swinging at Sun City West, apparently, has little to do with 5-irons and big bands.
"We can giggle about all this, but the situation has violated our sense of decorum and created a health issue besides," said Mauryne Hall, spokeswoman for Sun Citys $70 million recreational center complex, which sees to the playful needs of the 31,000 residents, all between 55 and 103 years old..
"Yes, there are jokes, like 'Sex at Sun City isnt a sin, its a miracle. But these incidents constitute inappropriate conduct on public property," Ms. Hall said.
Its not like the good residents have turned the spot into Sodom and Gomorrah. So far, there have only been two dozen sightings in the past 18 months. They include amorous encounters between both heterosexual and homosexual couples in spas, on park benches and other spots.
The golf carts in question are of the "street legal" variety for those who prefer the downsized vehicles to a second car.
"After one incident, we had to drain one of the pools completely, and add new chemicals and so forth," Ms. Hall sighed. "And we have notified the sheriffs office. A sheriffs posse has actually spotted a few of these encounters."
Residents of the community, which is 14 miles north of Phoenix, have had a range of reactions.
Some are appalled by the sudden, titillating publicity on local and national television and talk radio and in newspapers.
"The media side of it is completely out of hand," Ms. Hall said. "But we thought it appropriate to speak out about the situation."
Indeed, one newspaper headline read, "Officials tell seniors to 'get a room."
Other residents — and the average age is 70 here — are unfazed by it all.
"In the really big picture, this is good for business," Ms. Hall said. "Its proof you dont go to a place like Sun City to die. The people here are still very vibrant and connected with each other."
With seven golf courses, six pools, 30 bowling lanes, 27 tennis courts and 24 pool tables, the facilities have something for everybody.
There are 200 social clubs as well, including a singles club and a ladies tap-dance league.
And if the national norm is any gauge, folks should not get too excited about the doings down in Sun City.
Last year, an AARP survey found that it is a "myth" that older folks no longer enjoy the sexual activities of their salad days. The majority of midlife and older adults said "a satisfying sexual relationship is important to the quality of life."
The survey found that more than six in 10 men between age 45 and 59 and a similar number of women reported they had weekly relations; one in four persons over 75 reported similar frequency. About 59 percent of men between age 45 and 74 still found their partners "physically attractive," and 62 percent of those over age 75 agreed. About half of women in both middle and old age said they still found their hubby quite attractive.
In the past five years, other studies have claimed "senior sex" helped the memory, circulation and mental outlook, among other things.
Meanwhile, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he was coordinating patrols with the Sun City West Sheriffs Posse, a neighborhood volunteer group that is on the prowl for lewd behavior. Posse commander Dick Cherry said his lookouts have spotted several couples engaged in "intimate behavior."
But thats not enough for recreation center officials. Ms. Hall said a new policy is going into effect to curb the clandestine billing and cooing.
"Well suspend their membership at the centers, which is a very serious consideration here," she said.
"Were happy these people are active, but we wont tolerate disrespect to our citizens or our property."


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