Many of us don’t discuss or even think about the sex lives of seniors, but it’s a real thing. Although many believe that sex slows down with age, a new poll would suggest otherwise.
The poll was conducted by the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation and uncovered that 40 percent of Americans aged 65 to 80 are sexually active. Two-thirds of respondents stated they still have interest in sex regardless if they had a partner, and over half suggested that sex was part of a good quality of life.
Sex therapist Kimberly Resnick Anderson was not surprised by the poll’s findings and explained, “Although it is true that our sexual functioning changes as we age, the idea that the ‘good old days’ are behind us is simply incorrect.”
Being sexual is part of being human, and this doesn’t really change much. Yes, it may be more challenging to have sex as we age due to health problems, but it’s still very possible. Although many seniors may not be engaging in intercourse, they still long for closeness and intimacy.
Sex therapist Lawrence Siegel added, “The definition of sex is usually greatly expanded for seniors. The focus tends to be more on intimacy, erotic connection, self-validation and feelings of satisfaction rather than performance, ‘potency,’ and orgasm.”
Seventy percent of respondents stated they were satisfied with their sex life, which goes to show that this group of people have different expectations and contentment with their sex life.
Many doctors don’t discuss sexual health with seniors. Many seniors don’t have the medical advice to cope with challenges like disability, hormonal changes, and other health issues. So they don’t have the right information in order to pursue a sexual relationship.
This is also problematic because sexually transmitted diseases continue to increase among the older generation as divorcees and widows jump back into the dating ring after years of being in a relationship. Without conversations between doctors and their patients, this problem will continue to grow. STDs are particularly dangerous for seniors because symptoms may overlap with those of other health conditions.
If you’re a senior and want advice about sex as you age, don’t be shy to raise the question with your doctor, or better yet, seek out a sex therapist for guidance and advice. Just because you’re older doesn’t mean you can’t continue to have a healthy sex life.
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