You’re getting “older” (a relative term to be sure). Are you losing your interest in sex? How do you compare to others of your age? Do you even care? How about your spouse/significant other?
What are the two most difficult topics for couples to discuss? You’re right, sex and money. Some people get so defensive about this topic that they do not even want to read about it. Are you still with me?
Making love, sex, is a topic that couples dance all around about. Why? Try these labels: vulnerability, rejection, embarrassment, anger, disappointment, capacity. Any of these fit you? Of course they do; you’re human and have sensitivities in these areas.
What do research studies indicate about seniors and sexual activity? Two reports are indicative of the findings:
1. NCOA (National Council on the Aging) “found that nearly half of all Americans age 60 or over have sex at least once a month and that nearly half wanted to have sex more frequently.”
2. AARP survey:“Among 45 to 59 year olds with sexual partners, some 63% said they had sexual intercourse once a week or more. Among 60 to 74 year olds, 30% of men and 24% of women have sex at least once a week, as did more than a quarter of those 75 or older.
What are some of the experts in this area of research saying? Dr. Stephanie A. Sanders of the Kinsey Institute, states, “There is no age limit on sexuality and sexual activity.” Dr. Walter M. Bortz, of Stanford Medical School encourages people to“use it or lose it”. … If you stay interested, stay healthy, stay off medications, and have a good mate, then you can have good sex all the way to the end of life. … People that have sex live longer…the more intimate the connection, the more powerful the effects.”
(Hot off the press is a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine: If you have twenty one orgasms a month you reduce the probability of prostate cancer by 30%!) Dr. Pepper Schwartz adds this in regard to sexual activity and staying healthy: “You can almost tell who’s still having sex from the positive energy they project.” (Look around you, people, what do you see? For those of you not having sex, put on a smiley face. Fake it til you make it!)
So, what about those people who are not having sex? There are legitimate reasons and there are excuse reasons. Only you, dear reader, may know the true reason.
1. Health: thyroid disorders, diabetes, medications, libido strength and desire, menopause, testosterone loss, etc… can be serious deterrents to sexual ability. (Here it is particularly pertinent to remember that “it is the journey, not the destination that is important.” Love-making not orgasm is what is most important.)
2. Psychological issues: depression, attitude, and capacity for intimacy factor into one’s sexual life. Oft times if your head is not into it, nor will your body be.
3. Relationship issues: being in a relationship and the emotional closeness involved directly affect one’s sexual activity.
4. Time: having the time or prioritizing the time to be sure that this health benefit is a part of their regimen affects a couple getting together amorously.
The capacity for sex is an essential part of our being. Mother Nature gave us this ability to nurture, procreate, and enjoy the pleasure of connecting sexually in a loving way. If this aspect of your life is not present enough for your liking (or your partner), explore options. Examining your life, communicating with your spouse, seeking advice and remedies from a medical doctor and/or trained mental health professional could assist you in enjoying the health benefits that the majority of seniors experience.