Yup, that’s a bubble bath they’re enjoying.
Until recently, surveys of sexual activity in Americans excluded the older population. Age fifty-nine was the cut-off because older adults were considered irrelevant, not enough activity going on to generate enough data to bother with.
Well, guess again.
Our generation is happily generating plenty of data, according to two new studies, one conducted by the University of Chicago and one by Indiana University.
Here are some facts from their studies:
Among long-lived Americans, 20-30% are sexually active into their 80s.
Sexual activity gradually tapers off with age. In the Indiana study, 35% of men ages 80 and older had intercourse a few times or more in the past year. In the Chicago study, 38.5% of the men ages 75 to 85 had sexual activity with a partner in the previous year.
Older women are less sexually active than older men.
Partnered sex was given high marks for satisfaction by 78% of men over 50 and by 68% of women in that age group.
Masturbation is common. Most men, 63%, and 47% of women over 50 reported masturbating in the past year.
Good health makes a difference, especially among men. Diabetes had a greater negative effect than did either arthritis or high blood pressure on sexual satisfaction for both genders.
Sexual problems are common. Among men, 37% had difficulty achieving and maintaining an erection, 28% had lack of interest in sex, 27% had anxiety about performance and 20% were unable to climax.
Among women, 43% reported a lack of interest in sex, 39% had difficulty with lubrication, 34% were unable to climax, 23% had no pleasure from sex and 17% had pain during sex.
Many men take something to improve sexual function. In the Indiana study, 17% of men 50 and older used erectile dysfunction drugs, In the Chicago Study, 14% of the men and 1% of women relied on drugs to enhance performance.
Source: Harvard Medical School Healthbeat, July, 17, 2012 Chicago study published in The Journal of New England Medicine, August 23, 2007 Indiana study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, October 4, 2010