ABSTRACT

Online dating appears to be a global phenomenon and is now firmly established in industrialized countries as a socially acceptable means to find new partners. This chapter examines the new frontier of online dating and the potential it offers older people in terms of the increased possibility of identifying a suitable partner and making dating easier. It explores the sexual rights of older people in light of opportunities and limitations presented by the internet. The chapter considers the implications for policy and practice of online dating sites providing ageing members with the necessary protections and information for maintaining their sexual health and wellbeing. Access to the Internet and online dating provides older people with the tools to explore and enhance their sexual expression, by providing the possibility of engaging in erotica, pornography and cybersex. The Internet offers older people choices and opportunities to express their sexuality, but it also presents a number of challenges that have not been well recognized.