If we include solo sex, then the proportion of sexually active elderly undoubtedly increases considerably.Several studies suggest that in older adults, masturbation is common. The news media generally ignore sex in older adults. Aging changes it, gradually eliminating penis-vagina intercourse.
Erections become balky: slower to rise, less firm, and increasingly prone to wilting due to minor distractions.
Finally, both men and women become more likely to have medical condition and take medications that have sex-impairing side effects.
And many women lose interest by menopause, and have dryness which makes intercourse painful, though lubrication is supposed to help.
And in a partnership, all it takes is for just one of the two partners to be unable to have intercourse.
Even those prepared for age-related sexual changes typically find them disconcerting. Physicians and the news media either ignore sex in the second half of life, or spread misinformation (the Bloomberg report).
As a result, many older people are unprepared for the sexual changes aging brings, and instead of adapting, they withdraw from sensual play. I know many people in their seventies and eighties who are actively, happily sexual. I'm 60 and want just as much sex as when I was less than half my age, including intercourse.
After 50, especially after 60, these changes intensify.
In women, the vaginal lining thins (vaginal atrophy), which may add to discomfort during penetrative play, even with a lubricant, and partner loss often limits sexual possibilities. Finally, medication use becomes more prevalent, with interactions among multiple medications often aggravating sexual side effects.
Not Much." The Bloomberg News story said a new University of Chicago study of 6,000 Americans showed that "the average person's sex life ends by age 70." No way, I thought, so I read the study in the current British Medical Journal. It said that in every age group, people in good health report interest in sex, but that after age 75, because of medical conditions, the drugs used to treat them, and partner loss, only 39 percent of men and 17 percent of women have regular partner sex.
But that finding is misleading because many elderly don't have partners.
It is a good thing that women in my family get menopause in their 60's.