Sex After 65? Many Seniors Say Absolutely

40% report sexual activity and more than half say that intimacy adds to quality of life
By Janet Cromley,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2018 1:44 PM CDT
Poll Says Seniors Are Having Sex and Happy About It

Are seniors having sex? The survey says … yes. A new national study of 1,002 adults ages 65 to 80 has found that although frequency of sex declines with age and illness, many are still having sex and most older adults are happy with their sex lives. Investigators at the University of Michigan conducted the National Poll on Healthy Aging in late 2017 with funding from AARP. Among the findings reported in Time and USA Today:

  • Overall, 40% of seniors report being sexually active
  • Overall, 31% of the women and 51% of the men said they were sexually active
  • 46% of respondents age 65 to 70 reported being sexually active
  • 39% of respondents age 71 to 75 reported being sexually active
  • 25% of respondents age 76 to 80 reported being sexually active

  • 76% overall say that sex is an important part of a romantic relationship at any age
  • 65% overall are interested in sex
  • 50% of men, but just 12% of women described themselves as “very” or “extremely” interested in sex
  • 54% overall say that sex adds to quality of life
  • 18% of men and 3% of women had used medications to boost sexual functioning
The survey also revealed areas in need of improvement. In the last two years, only 17% of respondents reported discussing their sexual health with their doctor or medical provider. In the report, the authors recommend that providers encourage more older adults to do so. "Sex is an important part of the lives of older people and a part that probably doesn’t get the attention it deserves,” sociologist Erica Solway, associate director of the poll, tells USA Today. (More sex survey stories.)

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