That people over 50 are enjoying sex is hardly hot news anymore. But what’s it like when you get a lot older?
Do people over 80 have sex at all? Yes, they do. And it’s not even a few youthful exceptions. British researchers have interviewed 7000 men and women over 50 about their sex life, about how often and in what way they have sex, and about their thoughts and worries about the future. The survey showed that 60 % of people between 70 and 79 and 37 % of people over 80 were sexually active in one way or the other. As people get older, intercourse becomes less common. Instead, kissing, cuddling and masturbation takes its place.
The reason for not being sexually active anymore was usually that people had lost their partner. It was especially true for women over 80. If you become chronically ill – get diabetes, high blood pressure or another cardiovascular disease, joint pains or asthma, the disease often also impairs your sex life. This risk is greatest for men. Older women’s sex life is hampered by a dry, sore and sensitive vagina, men’s by erection problems. And both sexes feel that their desire for sex diminishes with age.
Women generally don’t worry as much as men if their desire wanes and sex is given up altogether. For the oldest, it does not seem to matter at all. But it’s important to both women and men that they agree with their partner about how often and in what way to have sex. Otherwise, at least one of the parties will be frustrated. The one who wants more sex will feel unsatisfied, and the one who wants less taken advantage of.
What to do? Well, there’s only one solution. Talk about it!