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Men's Health

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Men's Sex Lives Better at 50 Than 30

Study: Men's Sexual Satisfaction Higher Later in Life, Despite Declining Sexual Function
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Feb. 22, 2006 -- Men in their 50s are more satisfied with their sex lives than men in their 30s, a new study shows.

Findings from the study, published in BJU International, include:

  • Men's sexual function (sex drive, erection, ejaculation) tends to fade with age.
  • Men's sexual satisfaction peaks when men are in their 20s.
  • Men in their 50s are a close second in sexual satisfaction.

In short, men reported sexual satisfaction long after the heyday of their youth had passed.

"Our results show that although men experience more problems and less sexual function as they get older, it doesn't necessarily follow that they are less satisfied with their sex lives as a result," says researcher Sophie Fossa, MD, PhD, in a news release.

Fossa is a professor at Norway's University of Oslo.

Men's Sexual Satisfaction and Age

Fossa and colleagues got their data from anonymous surveys taken by 1,185 men aged 20-79 in Norway. Here is some background information on those men:

  • Most (86%) were married or in an intimate relationship.
  • More than half (57%) reported being sexually active in the 30 days before the study.
  • Few (6%) reported having a new sexual partner in the previous six months.
  • A quarter of the men were on medication to treat high blood pressure.
  • 5% were taking diabetes medication.
  • 6% were taking antidepressants.
  • 5% were taking drugs to treat erectile dysfunction.

The men reported problems with sexual function. They also rated their sexual satisfaction.

Here are the results for sexual satisfaction by decade, from most to least satisfied:

  1. Men in their 20s
  2. Men in their 50s
  3. Men in their 40s
  4. Men in their 30s
  5. Men in their 60s
  6. Men in their 70s

"The results showed a very strong correlation between men getting older and reduced sexual functioning, but not between age and sexual satisfaction," Fossa says.

Fossa also consults for the Norwegian branch of drug companies Sanofi-Aventis and AstraZeneca. The study's funding came from drug companies Abbott Norway, Roche Norway, AstraZeneca Norway, Schering-Plough Norway, Pfizer Norway, GlaxoSmithKline Norway, and Lilly Norway.

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