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Health & Sex

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The Golden Age of Sex

Many Baby Boomers, Seniors Say Their Spark Is Still Going Strong

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.

Many had health problems, including 42% with high blood pressure, 35% with high cholesterol, 28% with arthritis or rheumatism, 22% with back problems, 16% with diabetes, and 10% with depression. (Each person could report more than one diagnosis.)

A lot of participants had also tried medicines, hormones, or other treatments to improve their sex lives. That included 22% of men, a substantial increase since 1999, says the study.

Among men, 31% said they were moderately or completely impotent, and 17% said they had been diagnosed with impotence, says AARP.

Baby boomers and senior citizens still need to protect themselves from HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, says Satcher.

Gender, Racial Differences

"Sex is far more important to the overall quality of life of men than women," says the survey. Men who took the survey thought about and engaged in sex more often than the women. Only about 3% of men said they didn't particularly enjoy sex, compared to 15% of women.

Sexual satisfaction was reported most often by Hispanics (56%) and least often by Asians (49%). Blacks and Hispanics were more likely than whites and Asians to say that their partner was extremely satisfied with their relationship, says the study.

Additional surveys were done to ensure diversity.

Changing Practices, Traditional Views?

The survey showed an increase in people seeking information about sex, reporting sexual thoughts, and citing sex as important in a relationship, says AARP. But that doesn't mean the participants had an "anything goes" mentality.

Nearly three out of four people (73%) agreed or strongly agreed that society places too much emphasis on sex. Only 7% of those with regular sex partners said they would try or ask their partner to try sex outside of marriage with their partner's consent.

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