Healthy Aging

Sexual Activity Among Older Populations

December 17, 2018

Although Viagra and other medications have been marketed as the ticket to adjusting changes in sexual performance as you get older, we don’t often talk about what actually goes on in the bedrooms of older adults.

For example, until recently, researchers haven’t explored how often older people have sex. They haven’t pinpointed what types of sex older populations have, or what health dangers they are more likely to encounter.

But more recent research is shedding light on this topic.

Sexual Activity in Older Adults

It has come to the attention of this media that older adults are still having intercourse. Of course, this is no surprise for the older adults themselves. But for the rest of us, some of the statistics uncovered in recent studies have demonstrated particularly enlightening.

For example, according to the Longitudinal Study of Ageing, 31 percent of British men from the ages of 80 to 90 still masturbate and have sex. And just under 60% of men between the ages of 70 and 80 remain sexually active.

Meanwhile, just 14 percent of girls between the ages of 80 and 90, and 34% of girls between 70 and 80, often engage in sex or masturbation.

A study conducted by researchers at Indiana University’s Center for Sexual Health Promotion showed similar results. 46 percent of men and 33% of women over 70 reports that they masturbate and 43% of men and 22 percent of women in the exact same age bracket state they engage in sexual intercourse.

And a study from the National Commission on Aging (NCOA) shows that girls, specifically, locate sex over 70 as or more physically satisfying than they did in their 40s. Sex has been also shown to be emotionally satisfying for both genders.

Sexual Issues in Older Adults

These figures aside, sex does change as you grow old.

Oftentimes, intimacy and sex have to be redefined so as to stay a satisfying part of one’s life. As a woman ages, her lips can shorten and slim, her vaginal walls can become thinner and stiffer, and she’ll undergo less vaginal lubrication. As men age, impotence (also known as erectile dysfunction, or ED) becomes more common.

The causes of these changes in the body vary, but they’re all natural byproducts of aging. Possible offenders, according to the National Institute on Aging, include arthritis, chronic pain, dementia, cardiovascular disease, and depression. Complications can also arise because of surgery, drugs, and alcohol use.

To be able to keep a fulfilling sex life as you grow old, it may be crucial to rethink what intimacy means to you and your spouse. What feels great as some components your own body start to operate differently? Do you still enjoy the very same things in bed, or is it time to try something new?