We've teamed up with renowned British photographer, Rankin, to shine the spotlight on the unseen – sex and intimacy in our later years, in the campaign: Let’s Talk The Joy of Later Life Sex.

Shooting five older couples and one woman in their most intimate settings, the team set out to show what sex and intimacy can mean in later life in a way that’s never been done before.

The campaign was conceived by advertising and marketing agency, Ogilvy, after seeing advertising failing to represent older generational intimacy.

There is a notion that older people shouldn’t, couldn’t and wouldn’t want to have sex and be intimate. Why? It is rarely talked or written about yet we know that for many older people, sex and intimacy remains a really important part of their lives

According to our research, two-thirds of over 65s (67%) say sex and intimacy for their age group is rarely (43%) or never (24%) represented in media compared with a fifth (20%) of 18 to 24-year-olds. 

Only one-fifth of people across the UK think society is okay talking about sex and intimacy in people aged over 60. Fewer than 10% of people aged over 65 think society is comfortable with it. 

The majority (60%) of people aged over 65 aren’t comfortable talking openly to anyone about sex and intimacy, citing embarrassment as the top reason at 66%. This was followed by, ‘it just wasn’t talked about when I was younger’ (64%), not wanting to make others uncomfortable (63%), not knowing when to bring it up (58%) and lack of confidence (57%)

This campaign champions the importance of sex and intimacy in later life, exploring everything from long-term love to new adventures, tender intimacy to the more risqué.

The series of images feature a whole range of older people, from Andrew and Mark who have been together for 31 years, to Chrissie who has had a double mastectomy and her partner Roger, to Daphne and Arthur who still hold hands when they walk.

The people featured are different sizes, ethnicities, shapes and sexualities, aiming to show that we can all feel empowered to think and talk about sex and intimacy as we grow older.

My sex life with my husband, was intense, through the whole of our marriage. As we got older it got better!
A photo of an older person, the top of lingerie visible as they run their hand down their face smiling
We’ll lie in bed, and we both love reading in bed. And we’ll lie back to back. But feet would be touching and it's moments like that, that are important to you.

As much as you know banging each other’s brains out, to put it crudely.
Mark and Andrew
Two men embrace, their mouths are just touching. They hold their hands on each other's naked lower backs, which disappear out of frame but suggest complete nudity
As we get older we get more experimental, because you're fed up of having rice and peas every day, so you've gotta mix it up.
Lynne and George
An elderly couple embrace, he kisses her neck while she stares off in ecstasy
I know kids think older people don't have sex but I don't think it's necessary tied with age.
Daphne and Arthur
An old man stands behind an old woman, kissing her neck while she closes her eyes. Both are naked.
There are barriers to having sex when you get older. But many of them revolve around health. Particularly if you've had surgery, you physically either cannot have sex or are too uncomfortable to have sex. Then the intimacy, the love that couple share often shines through.
Chrissie and Roger
An older woman lies on her back with her eyes closed, mastectomy scars are visible. Her arms are loosely wrapped around an older man who lies on top of her, his head resting on her naked stomach.
Sex is nothing to do with the age. I think some people once they reach a certain age they never talk about it, but for me it's you discuss it and make fun of it.
Billie and Cora
A couple lie in bed together. It's hinted that they're naked but the covers are pulled right up. One is on the left, lying on his side kissing the cheek of his partner, who is facing towards the camera, eyes closed, grinning with delight

Special thanks

We’re hugely grateful to everyone involved in creating this important and beautiful campaign. Working with Ogilvy UK, Rankin and the wonderful older people filmed and photographed has been a pleasure and we hope it will get people talking about what sex and intimacy in later life means to them.