A Healthy s*x Life Is Part of Healthy Aging
Is s*x for older adults just as common, and just as satisfying, as it is for younger adults? In the past, not much research in this area existed. People assumed that, as people got older, s*x became a thing of the past. Now, we know that people aged 70 and beyond are reporting having active, fulfilling s*x lives.
Research on s*x After Age 70
Since 1970, researchers in Sweden have been surveying people over the age of 70 about their s*x lives.
One very interesting thing about the Swedish study is that we can compare this data from the 1970s to data we have today. For example, in 1971, only 52 percent of married men aged 70 and up reported that they were still sexually active, compared to the 68 percent we see in more recent research. Similarly, just 38 percent of married women over the age of 70 reported being sexually active in 1971, compared to 56 percent quoted in more recent research.
For unmarried older adults, there has been a similar increase in reported instances of s*xual activity. 30 percent of single men and less than 1 percent of single women reported being sexually active in the context of that 1971 study. Now, 30 percent of single men and 12 percent of single women report that they are still having s*x.
Okay, But How Much s*x Are They Really Having?
Older adults are having more s*x than you might think. Of all the sexually active older adults, 25 percent report having s*x at least once a week (compared with 10 percent in the 1970s).
Not only that, but at least half of the men and women said their relationships were “very happy.”
Which Older Adults Are More Likely to Be Sexually Active?
A further review of the data found these factors were most associated with being sexually active at age 70:
Positive attitude toward se*uality
Being married or cohabitating
Having a very happy relationship
Having a partner who was physically and mentally healthy
Good physical and mental health
Getting good sleep
Drinking alcohol more than three times per week
At age 70, the study found people were less likely to be still sexually active if their partner was older or if they had diabetes, coronary heart disease, or depression.
Why Might Older Adults Be Having More s*x?
People are living longer and are healthier. The average 70-year-old today is healthier than the average 70-year-old in 1970 and has a longer life expectancy.
s*xual dysfunctions are readily treated. Men have access to a number of medications (like Viagra) to treat erectile dysfunction.
The culture has changed. The expectations of older adults are different from what they were in the 1970s.
You have a better chance than ever to enjoy s*x long into your older years. s*x doesn’t end at age 70, and the majority of those who reach that age in good health and in a relationship continue to have s*x. Attitudes towards s*x have changed over the past decades, and more people are entering older age expecting to continue to enjoy s*x.