When do older people stop having sex? According to studies — never! Sure, as teens we cringed at the thought of our parents doing it, but if your folks were going at it and still are, good for them. Older adults may slow down a bit in the bedroom with age, but that doesn’t mean they stop having sex. Nor should they.
What makes some older adults stop having sex — or not have sex as often as they used to?
The human body will undergo changes as they age. These changes can affect a person on a physical and hormonal level. Both of which will make it difficult for older people to maintain the sex life that they had when they were younger. However, that doesn’t always mean that it’s impossible for them to have sex.
Both men’s and women’s hormones change as they get older. According to a Harvard Health Publishing blog, men’s testosterone levels drop by 1% to 2% each year starting somewhere in their 20s to 40s. When this happens, their libido can decrease and their erection may also become difficult to attain or maintain. Women, on the other hand, will go through menopause sometime around the ages of 45 to 55 — this significantly lowers estrogen production, which can make it difficult for them to feel aroused.
Fortunately, there are a few medical treatments or solutions that physicians can suggest. Some doctors recommend older adults start hormone therapy if their patients want to have or maintain a healthy and active sex life. But their physician can also suggest other options. Depending on which one it is, it’s typically the medical expert’s recommendation that should be followed — as they’re the ones who know their patient’s history and current health best.
Eventually, older adults will stop being as active as they used to be. As people age, their muscle and bone density will decrease and their organs will get older. As a result, their cardio, lungs, strength, agility, speed, and flexibility will decline. Since sex can sometimes be an exhausting activity, some older people will find it too physically draining to engage in.
Older people need to have themselves regularly evaluated by a physician. If they have no underlying problems, sex can still be possible for them. However, the lack of a physical illness doesn’t necessarily make a person “healthy.” One should still maintain an active lifestyle by exercising and following a healthy diet. If these are followed by older adults, then they won’t have to completely stop having sex!
How often do older adults have sex?
In a survey by the 2015 UK National Research, 59% of men aged 70 to 79 had sex in the past year. And 39% of women of the same age group also had sex in the past year. However, the older they got, the frequency of their sexual activity decreased (especially as they approached the ages 80+ to 90+) — but what they found wasn’t entirely because of the decline of their physical state. But rather because of the taboo surrounding the topic of older adults having sex, medications that could alter their sexual performance, and the fear of disease.
Furthermore, in a study by Nils Beckman and his peers at the University of Gothenburg, 27% of older men they interviewed still had sexual desires. 5% of older women also still had sexual urges. Moreover, over 30% of older men and 18% of older women thought about sex. However, we don’t often hear about this as they don’t seem to be asked about sex and sexuality a lot.
Additionally, according to researchers from the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, in their study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, 72% of individuals below 60 years old are sexually active. And 57% of people aged 60 and above remain sexually active.
The Indian Journal of Psychiatry researchers also wrote in the introduction of their study, “Although recognized as a fundamental driving force, human sexuality is frequently misunderstood and particularly in the elders, neglected. Human beings are actually never too old to enjoy a happy and healthy sex life.”
They added, “Despite this, many people, young and old alike, are astounded at the idea of people remaining sexually active in their sixties and beyond. It is frequently assumed that elder persons lose their sexual desires or that they are physically unable to perform.”
The researchers also said in their study’s introduction that older people still enjoy sex as it’s not only an intimate and romantic act, but it’s also somewhat a reassurance for them that their physical conditioning can still endure sex — and that it can still be pleasurable, not physically taxing.
How do older folks benefit from sex?
Intimacy is always healthy, no matter what age group — and it need not be going all the way, all the time. In a research published by the Western Journal of Communication, hugging can reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and many more. Sexual acts, on the other hand, also have tons of benefits — especially for older adults. It can help them sleep better, relax their muscles, and relieve pain.
Intimate acts can also relieve stress and potentially decrease the likelihood of depression in older adults. It can establish or maintain a romantic connection between them and their partners.
Sex is a super healthy and fun past-time for consenting adults of any age. Older people don’t stop having sex just because they’ve aged, or because society thinks it’s cringeworthy. While age may bring some new challenges to the bedroom, those can be overcome or at least helped with physical health interventions. So go at it at your heart’s desire and reap the many benefits of old people sex. Whatever you do, don’t stop having sex!
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