Seniors in the United States are having a pretty good time when it comes to their sex lives – a survey reports that 40% of American adults ages 65-80 say that they are still having sex, and 73% of them are satisfied.
The survey does show that sexual activity declines with age and illness, and found that older men claim that they are more sexually active and sexually interested compared to older women. But women report feeling more sexually satisfied, USA Today reports.
Among elderly couples, 54% said they remain sexually active. Erica Solway, associate director of The National Poll on Healthy Aging at the University of Michigan and sociologist, said,
Sex is an important part of the lives of older people and a part that probably doesn’t get the attention it deserves.
The survey takes a look at older Americans periodically, and asks them questions on a range of topics. The poll on sex took place in 2017, and included 1,002 randomly selected participants, funded by the advocacy group, AARP.
The patterns on age and gender in this survey are roughly similar to a larger one conducted with older adults as participants, published some ten years ago from the University of Chicago. However, the two surveys used varying methods and are therefore difficult to compare, Solway said.
Joan Price, author of multiple books on senior sex, said that these findings represent a diverse reality, “There are older people who are much freer sexually than some younger people, and vice versa.”
In addition, the survey confirms an issue Price said she frequently hears from her audiences: seniors rarely discuss sex and sexual problems with their doctors. Only 17% of the participants in this report discussed sex with a professional in the past two years.
Price added that too many people think that “if things don’t work the way they used to, we might as well give up on sex.”