For 50-plus types unwilling to walk — possibly rewalk — the path that leads to romance, rings and relocation, the prospect of a "friend with benefits" is looking less and less like a millennial indulgence.

After all, it gets awfully lonely waiting around for "the one." Perhaps you've decided that what you need at this point in your life is someone to talk to and laugh with — someone with whom you can share the sheets, but not the tax refund.

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That doesn't mean all casual lovers feel emotionally bereft in the wake of a purely physical rendezvous, mind you.

Many say they're getting exactly what they want and need.

Is that a deplorably manipulative state of affairs?

Possibly — until you stop to consider how many of us are comfortable with being unpartnered but how few of us are willing to remain untouched.

Welcome back to The Attraction Doctor Even with all of the technology connecting us together, finding and meeting people for dates, mates, hookups, and spouses can still be a challenge. Fortunately, the question has been thoroughly surveyed and studied by social science research.

In fact, it can even make meeting someone more confusing! The answer, however, seems to change depending on your personal dating and relationship goals.Sixty-something sexologist Joan Price, for one, endorses "gray hookups," but with a couple of strong caveats: The people involved must be emotionally capable of handling their status as noncommitted bed partners, and they must protect themselves against sexually transmitted diseases.In a national study conducted in 2012, the Center for Sexual Health Promotion found sex partners over 50 twice as likely to use a condom when they regarded a sexual encounter as casual rather than as part of an ongoing relationship.Mature sex partners do not have the best track record when it comes to using condoms, but at least they're likelier to use them when they know very little about a partner's sexual past — or present!Personally, I think it all comes down to a very simple choice at any age: Is enduring loneliness, celibacy and extreme horniness really a better option than exchanging a few "simple gifts" between friends? Pepper Schwartz answers your sex, relationships and dating questions in her blog.En español | You made the mistake of asking your adult daughter if that guy she went out with last night was "anything serious." She gave you a nonchalant shrug and smiled.