Sex, Lies, and The Villages

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I get questions from readers about this topic at least once a month, so I think its time to discuss some of the questions posed to me and put the issues to bed (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun).

If nothing else, I’ll have a place to direct those who pose questions about this topic in the future.

Ryan – What is the truth and background to this article?

The article in question is titled “Retire to the Bedroom” by Stefanie Cohen posted January 25,2009 by the New York Post.

An excerpt:

Welcome to ground zero for geriatrics who are seriously getting it on.

It’s a Thursday night at one of a half-dozen hot spots at the 20,000-acre Central Florida complex called The Villages, the largest gated retirement community in America – and one of the most popular destinations for New Yorkers in their golden years – where the female-to-male ratio runs 10 to 1.

It’s a widower’s paradise, and the word on the street is that there’s a big black market for Viagra.

Keep in mind that this is from the New York Post, which has been criticized numerous times for “sensationalism“.

Mentioned in the article is the book Leisureville: Adventures in a World Without Children by Andrew Blechman. In the book, which many of you have read, Mr. Blechman follows a self-proclaimed “lady-killer” in The Villages he dubs “Mr. Midnight”.

Other questions related to this that I get a lot is on the issue of STD’s.

Ryan – One of my biggest concerns is that every time I mention The Villages to anyone I am told do you know that The Villages have the highest STD in the United States?

Let me share with you that it totally disgusts me regarding the statement!
But now my question is why do people say this all the time?
Is it true?

From another reader:

Ryan – … so many people “back home” bring a topic to our attention when we mention our interest in moving there.  Apparently, The Villages has been noted as having (one of) the highest rates of STD in the country!!  Although we would not plan to participate in furthering this statistic, we are certainly curious about the validity of this statistic and why.  It doesn’t seem to be reflective of the impression that The Villages tries to make on creating a friendly (and healthy) environment for retiring Americans.

Back in 2006 a couple of local (Orlando area) news stations reported on an “increase in STD’s in The Villages.”

You can read articles here and here about this.

The one quote that most of the articles harp on is from a gynecologist who said that:

even in her years working in Miami, she has never seen so many cases.

I later read that in a subsequent article the gynecologist recanted this statement. And as far as the numbers/percentages are concerned, you can see for yourself here that the disease totals in all three counties that make up The Villages combine to be just a very small percentage of STD’s in the state.

Any good statistician will tell you that you can make number say anything you want. You just have to put the right spin on them. The news media seems to be the absolute best at this.

Word about this stuff really gets around travels fast because it’s far from what people expect to hear about life in a retirement community.

But just like everything else in life, you should take what I say and what anyone else says with a grain of salt until you can judge for yourself. I think if you were to personally speak with 99% of residents they would say that these issues don’t affect them at all. Either they are happily married, in a committed (monogamous) relationship, or just use plain old common sense (and protection) in their extra curricular activities.

I’m sure most people would agree that anytime you mix single adults and alcohol, things will happen. Yes, folks, even in The Villages. Do I think that most news articles and books sensationalize the issue for the sake of creating more page views and sales?


Sometimes people forget just how big The Villages is. 81,000 people is not a small community by any stretch. Take just about any other city/town/community in the country of that size and I’m sure you will find that sex, drugs, alcohol are all available in certain quantities there too. Have you seen Sunset Daze, the reality show about life in the Sun City communities in Arizona?

I think it just interests people more because these aren’t the kinds of activities you’d expect to hear retirees partaking in, even if its just a small percentage of the population. Everyone thinks a retirement community should be all lemonade and shuffle board. But these are real people you’re talking about. To my knowledge they are built and wired up the same way as people everywhere else.

I’m sure it can be a pain to have “people back home” bring this up and poke fun at your decision about where to retire. Try not to let it get to you. Just remember that it might be jealousy, because we as humans have a habit of if we can’t have something/don’t like something, we don’t want anybody else to have it/like it either.


  1. Wendy Quattlebaum says

    I have a better one than that!! My daughter-in-law has a friend who’s mother recently moved to The Villages. Her mother told her that the people meet at Katie Belles a! nd “swap keys”! Now I’ve been to Katie Belles a few dozen times and have not seen this going on. If they are going to be “swapping keys” I guess there is a reason that no one has ever offered to “swap” with me!! LOL

  2. Tina says

    Very interesting column, people have feelings whether young or older… ..Using protection would help greatly, but I just can’t imagine The Villalges having any more problems with STD than any other retirement or non retirement community…Thanks for enlightening us on this topic…Tina

  3. says

    I also keep hearing the rumor about rampant STD at The Villages. I suspect it’s made up, probably by real estate agents trying to pump up sales.

  4. bruce says

    I remember visiting my father down at the Villages, I arrive from the west coast. I was behind 3 hrs. and couldn’t sleep, I put on the local radio and start
    ed picking up community annoucements at 2AM, I was floored when I heard someone advertise joining an alternative life style group, you fill in the blanks!

  5. The Villages Man says

    sex , sex & more sex , it’s gonna happen anywhere in the USA , people are just saying things because of a rumor , this can happen any where.
    So to point out the friendleist hometown is wrong , Keep it in your pants

  6. Living the dream says

    Debbie…….another rumor monger. There is absolutely no truth to a statistically higher rate of STIs in The Villages. So says my urologist who is a staff physician at The Villages Regional Hospital as well as Leesburg Regional Medical Center.

  7. Mary G says

    I can add a little to the source of the gynecologist who quoted her statistics as compared to Miami. She was my gynecologist and upon arriving for my yearly checkup, I found her office doors locked. She just packed up and left (maybe back to Miami) and took all of her patient’s records and didn’t even bother to let us know. Now base tests have to be redone and my trust in her advice is zero!

  8. says

    I have lived in The Villages for 12 years. According to the local health department, the STD”s have not gone up even 1%.( I’m a retired RN. This stuff has to be reported) There is a lot of “hooking up” going an here, but most of us grew up during the “hippie” generation, so what’s new!!! That Gyn. MD was an idiot. She couldn’t tell a hemorrhoid from a surgical scar. I saw her just once! That was 1 time too many. I’m married and have been for 47 years to the same man. There are a lot of us too. I love this place and laugh when people “outside” the community as about the STD”s. Just how dumb do they think we seniors are. “Don’t throw stones unless you want them thrown back!”
    And just whom elected the present administration?—– young people. Learn anything????

  9. says

    To Suzanne Kuebler – Great observations! After reading a lot about this, I trust what you have said today! I am going to the Villages for the first time tomorrow with a friend and had heard nothing about this rumor until today! I have heard only great things about the activities, and music, and, of course, the golf! I am putting my trust in you, Suzanne, you make a lot of sense..especially in your closing remarks.

  10. Carol Saputo says

    My minister told me about all these STD’s when I told him I, too, was going to visit THE VILLAGES.
    Well, if any one touches me, they better know not to touch a woman when the hormones are out of sink if they know what’s good for them. I am not interested in any man hovering over me. I have been there, done that! I am hoping it’s a nice place to live but I want to rent there first for a week.

  11. Ken Peters says

    And…the 10:1 woman to man ratio that is reported. How stupid (or malicious) are these so called journalists?! That would mean 91,000 women and 9,000 men. And these (so called) journalists are stupid enough to publish pictures at the squares and Katie Belles which clearly show more or less equal women:men ratios. Certainly not 10:1, not even 2:1. They say one thing and publish evidence to the contrary, AND … the young readers are naive enough to believe it!
    Is this country in trouble or what? By the way: come here and visit. You will see why it is the fastest growing city in the country!
    And oh, by the way: the sex scandals that have been published – sex on the square and on the utility box. Three of those four participants were between 40 and 47 years of age. Not exactly retirees (unless they’re free–loaders.

  12. jim b says

    how disappointing that its only rumors. i guess i’ll stay in venice, florida then where the geezers are. they say the old people live in miami and their parents live in venice and i think its a fact. there hasn’t been a case of a STD here in 30 years except maybe an occasional illegal gardner might have had an issue that he brought in. i guess there just isn’t a utopia for us older than 65 yrs. oh well. got my heart pumping seriously for a moment!

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