The going belief might be that with the vigour of youth comes a great sex life, but studies have shown that sex gets better with age — as long as it’s combined with a youthful attitude.
In a study conducted at the University of Waterloo and published in the Journal of Sex Research, researchers examined the attitudes of sex and aging in more than 1,100 adults from the ages of 45 to 75 over a 10-year period. What they concluded was that a young mindset, regardless of chronological age, resulted in better sex.
“Older adults and sexuality is a stigmatized topic, and one we tend to have negative attitudes toward,” Steven Mock, associate professor of recreation and leisure studies at the University of Waterloo, said to Global News. “That’s why we looked at aging attitudes. And what we found was that feeling ‘young at heart’ results in a higher rating of quality and interest in sex.”
The study looked at data collected in the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) study, which tracked the physical and mental health of older adults from 1995 to 2005. Although it didn’t measure the frequency of sex among this age group, it did find that the attitudes were shared equally by both genders.
“Given that the quality of sex is important to a lot of people, and that it has shown to enhance and maintain relationships, as well as offer health benefits, doing things to remain active and feel young at heart is an important message for older people,” Mock says.
Chalking up another win for maturity and sex is a recent survey commissioned by contraceptive app Natural Cycles that found women over the age of 36 reported better orgasms, according to The Independent.
The survey polled 2,600 women of varying age groups and organized them into categories of younger (under 23), middle (24 to 35) and older (36 and over). It turned out that 80 per cent of respondents in the latter age group reported feeling more confident and sexually attractive. This was compared to 40 per cent of women 24 to 35, and 70 per cent of women under 23 who reported “feeling happy with their appearance.”
Better yet, the older women reported better and more frequent orgasms (nearly 60 per cent), compared to 50 per cent of the other two groups. And a whopping 86 per cent of older women said they’d had great sex in the past four weeks, while only 76 and 56 per cent of the other two groups, respectively, reported the same.
“By the time they’re older, people have usually come to terms with many of their insecurities about body image,” couples counsellor Tara Saglio said to The Telegraph. “They’re also likely to have less performance anxiety. The worries all men and women have — Am I boring in bed? Am I too fat? Too thin? Too hairy? — are less acute. And if they’re in a loving relationship, they’re more likely to feel confident about asking for what they want.”