He says it's so nice to wake up next to me." Her mastectomy two years ago after contracting breast cancer hasn't changed her self-image as a sexual being, primarily because Wellborn has had a lifelong positive attitude towards sexuality.

"Sex keeps you active and alive," says the former businesswoman.

"I think it's as healthy as can be, in fact I know it.

"There's strong data all over: It's a matter of survival," says Dr. "This attitude creates a block to many seniors who want to be sexually active," he says.

The topic may well lose some of its taboo status, however, as the baby boom generation enters its later years.

"It might be the heart medication he's taking that causes the problem, because he's a very virile man.

So we just have sex in a different way -- I don't mind at all -- and we're also very affectionate.After the children left home and her husband retired, the couple had more freedom to express their sexuality.She says that she and her husband had sex three to four times a week when the children lived at home; once they were alone they made love almost every day.Bortz, 70, author of three books on healthy aging as well as several studies on seniors' sexuality. Bortz, a professor at Stanford Medical School, is past president of the American Geriatrics Society and former co-chair of the American Medical Association's Task Force on Aging."If you stay interested, stay healthy, stay off medications, and have a good mate, then you can have good sex all the way to the end of life," he says. The more intimate the connection, the more powerful the effects." But older people may encounter an obstacle they hadn't expected: their adult children, who may be less than pleased to see their aging parents as sexual beings. These commonly used terms speak volumes about how society views older people who are interested in sex.