The Golden Age of Sex
Many Baby Boomers, Seniors Say Their Spark Is Still Going Strong
May 27, 2005 -- Don't believe the hype about sex fading with age.
Relationships and sex remain a vital part of life for many people in midlife
and beyond, an AARP survey shows.
AARP has just released a 2004 update to its 1999 sex report. The results
will appear in the July/August issue of AARP The Magazine, says an AARP news
Among the findings:
- More than half (51%) of participants say they're "extremely" or
"somewhat" satisfied with their sex life (52% of men, 49% of women, 63%
with a regular sex partner).
- 31% expressed neutral feelings about their sexual satisfaction.
- 60% agree or strongly agree that sexual activity is a critical part of a
- About half (49%) agree or strongly agree that sex is important to their
overall quality of life.
- 84% disagree or strongly disagree that sex is only for younger people.
- Nearly one in four (24%) said they had consulted a doctor or mental health
professional about a sex problem. More men than women reported this.
Most Are Sexually Active
Half of the respondents say they have sexual thoughts, fantasies, or erotic
dreams at least once a week, with nearly one-fourth saying they have these
thoughts at least once a day.
Participants' weekly (or more frequent) sexual activities in the past six
months were listed:
- Kissing or hugging: 69%
- Sexual touching or caressing: 53%
- Intercourse: 36%
- Self-stimulation: 20%
- Oral sex: 14%
The vast majority (86%) said they had engaged in any of those activities in
the last six months. Younger participants were more likely to report sexual
Two out of three participants were married or living with a partner or had a
regular sexual partner. Most (85%) had been with their partner for at least 10
years. Four percent of the men and 1% of the women had same-sex partners.
Former Surgeon General: Sex Is Not Just for the Young
"Many believe that sexuality is the exclusive province of the
young," says former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, MD, PhD, in a news
"But this AARP study makes clear that, even as we age, sexual health
continues to be important to our general health," says Satcher, who is now
the interim president of Morehouse School of Medicine.
The good news, he says, is that more middle-aged or older men and women are
turning to health professionals to improve their sexual health. "This
means, however, that health professionals must be increasingly better prepared
to deal with issues related to sexual health," says Satcher.
Better Health, Better Sex Life
When asked what would improve their sex life, the No. 1 answer was better
health. That ranked ahead of a better relationship, a more adventurous or
younger partner, more free time, and more privacy.