When the Shanghai's first sex hotline for the middle-aged and
elderly opened in August, operators quickly found out that many of
their callers' biggest problem was loneliness.
In response, the hotline, run by No. 411 Hospital of the
People's Liberation Army, said yesterday it planned to organize
events to give their single callers a chance to find new friends -
and perhaps something more lasting.
"Sex is an important part of healthy living, even if a person
has passed through the menopause. (Through the hotline) we wanted
to give proper direction to people with sexually related diseases
and problems," said Dr Bai Yingtang, director of the hospital's
male disease department and head of the hotline.
"However, one-third of the some 5,000 calls we have received
have been from single people complaining about physical and
psychological depression due to a lack of proper communication with
anybody. They want us to help them find a husband or a wife."
The hospital will hold lectures on sex and health where guests
can mingle with other participants.
The hospital also said it might organize a trip to the city's
sex museum on the Bund.
Hotline operators have also fielded calls from many people with
misunderstandings about sex, Bai said.
"Influenced by the traditional concepts, most elderly people are
too shy and conservative to talk about sex problems or ask
questions to their doctors," the doctor said. "Some callers don't
ask sex-related questions until they have spent 20 minutes talking
about other diseases and family disputes.
"Many callers think it inappropriate for the elderly to have
sexual feelings and worry that such feelings are bad for their
According to doctors, a regular sex life can help keep elderly
people healthy and prolong lifespan.
The hotline can be reached on +86 (21) 5696 9799.
(Shanghai Daily March 21, 2007)