David Lee does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under Creative Commons licence. These preconceptions can be extreme, ranging from humour to disgust, or simply a refusal to believe that people in their seventies and eighties have sexual interests or needs at all. Thankfully, such assumptions appear largely inaccurate. There are the individual stories of those open to sharing their experiences , as Patricia, 81, did with author Iris Krasnow:.
Sexual Activity Among Older Populations
Why do women have less sex as they age?
Horny old broads, dirty old men. These commonly used terms speak volumes about how society views older people who are interested in sex. Experts say such derogatory labels reflect a deep level of discomfort in our youth-oriented culture with the idea that seniors are sexually active. Sex is identified with reproduction, youthful attractiveness, and power -- and most young and even middle-aged people do not want to confront the inevitability of growing old.
Sexuality in older age
Sexuality in older age concerns the sexual drive , sexual activity , interests, orientation, intimacy, self-esteem, behaviors, and overall sexuality of people in middle age and old age , and the social perceptions concerning sexuality in older age. Older people engage in a variety of sexual acts from time to time for a variety of reasons. Desire for intimacy does not disappear with age, yet there are many restrictions placed on the elderly preventing sexual expressions and discouraging the fulfillment of sexual needs. Sexuality in older age is often considered a taboo , yet it is considered to be quite a healthy practice; however, this stigma can affect how older individuals experience their sexuality.
While the frequency of sex often declines with age, many older adults—of course—can and do have sex. In fact, roughly 40 percent of men and women ages 65 to 80 are sexually active, according to a survey, and women in their 70s often express more satisfaction with sex than women in their 40s. Although sexual activity is considered an important measure of the quality of life for the majority of older adults, there are a number of problems that can arise with age. While treatments have improved for conditions such as erectile dysfunction in men and vaginal dryness , incontinence, and uterine prolapse in women, people may not bring these concerns to their doctor's attention. To add to the problem, far too few doctors ask.