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While it’s not the most comfortable subject for many young people to face, the number of senior citizens who are remaining sexually active is on the rise. So, apparently, is their willingness to talk about it.
Recently, the findings from the most comprehensive study ever undertaken on seniors’ sex lives was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. More than 3,000 men and women between the ages of 57 and 85 were interviewed for the study.
More than a quarter of the group indicated having sex at least once in the past year, challenging previous patterns that saw a significant dropoff in interest and practice after 70.
Additionally, the sex practiced was found to not be limited to standard intercourse. Among 57- to 75-year-old men and women, more than half said they still received or performed oral sex. Only about a third of those 75 to 80 said the same.
“Most indicated having sex
two to three times a month.”
Of those remaining sexually active, most indicated having some form of sex about two to three times a month. At each age level surveyed, men were found to be more active than their female counterparts.
Among the group, roughly half indicated having experienced some sort of performance issue, ranging from an inability to sustain an erection to a lowered level of overall desire.
Those who reported being in excellent health were found to be almost twice as likely to remain sexually active compared to those experiencing health concerns.
Lead author and University of Chicago gynecologist Dr. Stacy Tesser Lindau said research like this is important to understanding the significant social shift occurring, which she hopes will lead to better improved communication between patients and doctors.
“This subject has been taboo for so long that many older people haven’t even talked to their spouses, let alone a physician,” she said.