Bring It on, Golden Years: Most Older Adults Report They’re Satisfied With Their Sex Life

Photo: Stocksy/GIC
Not excited about wrinkles and gray hair? Well, a new survey found one saucy perk of getting older that you can look forward to. (And pro tip: Healthy habits like abiding by certain diets and using all-star essential oils can stave off the effects of aging.) Basically, having more candles on your vegan carrot birthday cake just points to a satisfying sex life.

For the National Poll on Healthy Aging from the University of Michigan, researchers surveyed 1,000 adults in the United States aged between 65 and 80 years old. Not only did they find 40 percent of respondents were having sex, but regardless of their state of sexual activity, 65 percent said they're interested in sex, 54 percent said sex is important to their quality of life, and 76 percent said it's an important aspect of their relationship, no matter their age.

"This survey just confirms that the need for—and interest in—sexual intimacy doesn’t stop at a certain age." —Alison Bryant, PhD

While sexual activity might decline with age (but take note that participants in better health were more likely to be having sex), most respondents still reported feeling fulfilled. In fact, 73 percent revealed they were satisfied with their sex lives. "This survey just confirms that the need for—and interest in—sexual intimacy doesn’t stop at a certain age," Alison Bryant, PhD, says in a press release.

Despite these promising findings that sex drive thrives into the golden years, there was a discrepancy between desire and communication with medical professionals about sexual health. Just 17 percent of participants said they've chatted with a provider about sex in the past two years—and of those people, most said it was not the doc who initiated the conversation. “It’s important for older adults and the clinicians who care for them to talk about these issues and about how age-related changes in physical health, relationships, lifestyles and responsibilities such as caregiving, affect them," says Erica Solway, PhD, co-associate director of the poll.

So, remember to speak up—about whatever you want and need—and encourage those you care about to do the same. And the next time you have a romantic-world woe (ugh, orbiting), consider getting sex advice from your grandma, a veteran navigator of love landscapes, instead of your besties.

Here's how to have a healthier—and better!—sex life this year. Or, find out how a good sex life could pay off in the office.

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