Many people believe that the prime years of being sexually active are your 20s and 30s, but in fact, it’s men over the age of 60 that are experiencing a boost in libido. Elly Muhwezi, an executive director for the Mbarara district civil society organizations forum explained, “You find a man at 70 (years) and he is behaving like he just turned 20. He is everywhere, running after old women, little girls, everyone … and he turns into a problem to the family. What causes this?”
Health rights activist Jolly Mugisha explained that a higher libido after 60 may be more of a social construct, saying, “Men want to be perceived as men who are still fully functional, even when performances in ‘that field’ have declined. It is just social. He still wants to fit in and to maybe disprove society who now think that because he is getting older he cannot perform.”
More problems, less sex
Unfortunately, there isn’t much research in the field of sex and old age, but preliminary findings suggest that the older you are, the more pleasure you obtain from sex. One 2007 study found that people aged 56 to 65 were having the same amount of sex as their younger counterparts—at least twice a week. It’s believed that those aged 18 to 25 have the most sex because they have the least amount of problems and that those over the age of 70 continue to have a flourishing sex life because they are more relaxed, similar to those who are younger.
Although being older may have its own challenges, there are still many ways that men and women over the age of 60 can enjoy a healthy sex life.
In an alternative study, researchers found that one in four men over the age of 85 and one in 10 women have experienced sexual activity within the last year. On the other hand, the number of people over the age of 65 thinking about sex drops drastically. Three-quarters of men and only half of women reported thinking about sex. So even though their minds are occupied with other thoughts, these people are still engaging in sexual activity. And yet, even though women think about sex less than men, the ones that do are having sex equally as much as men.
Furthermore, those who engage in frequent sexual activity reported higher psychological quality of life.
The researchers said, “Other studies have highlighted the role of health, as opposed to aging, in influencing older people’s sex life. And undoubtedly, healthy individuals report both a higher sexual desire and more frequent sexual activities. However, even after taking take the role of health into account, we find that sexual desire – i.e. just thinking about sex often or very often – is the strongest driver for sexual activity in later life.”
As mentioned, older individuals may face added challenges to sexual intercourse, but as medicine advances, there are many remedies to these problems. With the rise of Viagra and similar products, men are not being bogged down by sexual dysfunction.
If you are a senior over the age of 60 and still wish to partake in a healthy sex life but have concerns, you can speak with your doctor about your concerns and try and work together to develop a resolution. Furthermore, being open with your partner is important to ensure they are on the same page as you. Having an open communication can also boost the quality and satisfaction of sex.
Although sex may change as you age, it doesn’t mean you have to stop having it. The research so far has revealed that there are many seniors getting busy. Are you one of them?
Related: How intimacy changes as you age