Desire doesn’t fade when you get old, says broadcaster Dame Joan Bakewell, 85, who reassures younger women that their sex drive won’t ‘run out’
Dame Joan Bakewell (pictured) says that your sex drive doesn’t run out just because you’re old
She’s been married twice and famously had an affair with Harold Pinter which he used as the basis for a play.
And at 85, it seems passion still plays a part in the life of Dame Joan Bakewell.
The broadcaster – dubbed ‘the thinking man’s crumpet’ in the 1960s – has said that sexual desire does not die out when you get older.
Speaking about the role sex plays in her life as an older woman, she told Radio Times: ‘I’ve got so many other things happening in my life that it doesn’t occur to me as something that I should be worried about.
‘If it crops up, that’s nice. Younger people always ask older people about their sex lives because they are wondering what happens when it runs out.
‘And it doesn’t actually technically run out, unless you’re physically in decline or you lose your partner. So your mind doesn’t suddenly switch off – you just go on being the same, but a bit older.’
Dame Joan hosted Late Night Line-Up on BBC2 from the late Sixties and currently presents Portrait Artist Of The Year on Sky.
She said that one change she has noticed since she was young is that women now treat sex as ‘a hobby’.
The Labour peer said: ‘My grandchildren, my daughters, can’t believe that we didn’t have the Pill, that you just expected to get pregnant, so didn’t have sex, or you were anxious about it, or you took a risk. Now women don’t think of sex as a risk, they think of it as a hobby.’
The broadcaster (pictured, left, in younger years) told the Radio Times (right) that younger people shouldn’t fear their sex drive declining
She also said that while fathers have become more involved in parenting, women still bear the burden of the childcare. ‘So they’ve got to solve all those problems. They do solve them, but it’s somehow still more their responsibility, and not the man’s,’ she said.
She went on to praise ‘completely courageous’ women in the media now, contrasting their roles with her own experiences as a journalist in the Sixties and Seventies.
‘They just walk down the street, analysing the EU or finance. And they don’t worry about whether they can do it or not, because they can do it,’ she said.
‘I was very timid. “Oh, I’d like to thank you very much for giving me that job.” Even now there’s something a little bit tentative if I’m given a new task. I don’t think, “Oh good, I can do this” but, “Hmm, I wonder if I’m up to this”. Which is a sort of leftover early feminist anxiety.
‘Now women say, “I’m qualified. I’m available, and I’m equally as entitled to it as any man”. It’s been wonderful to see it change.’