Sex is an essential part of human relationships – no matter what age. Contrary to many ageist assumptions older people do still have ! Recent research found that 85% of men aged 60–69 report being sexually active – as do 60% of those aged 70–79 and 32% of those aged 80 and over. Women were found to be less sexually active as they aged, but studies show that, just like men, many women also want to continue to have sex as they get older.
Importantly, the research found that decline in sexual activity, desire, or function in older age appears to be an important indicator of future adverse health outcomes
For example, men who reported a decline in sexual desire were more likely to go on to develop cancer or other chronic illnesses that limited their daily activities. Men and women who reported a decrease in the frequency of sexual activities were also more likely to experience a deterioration in how they rated their level of health. And men with erectile dysfunction were also more likely to be diagnosed with cancer or coronary heart disease. It’s important to note, however, that changes in sexual desire or function could have been a result of early-stage, undiagnosed disease.
The research also found that older adults enjoy life more when they are sexually active. And those who experience a decline in sexual activity report poorer well-being than those who maintain their levels of sexual desire, activity and function in later life. We also found that men who are sexually active in later life continue to have better cognitive performance compared to those who don’t. The research also suggests that people who engage in sexual intercourse with their partner are also likely to share a closer relationship. And closeness to one’s partner is linked with better mental health.
Access to the full research paper here https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-019-1443-4