A recent study found that the average person’s sex life ends at the age of 70 (click here for more information). Relationship factors, social pressures, and failing health are mostly to blame. Interestingly, even though the study found that men lose more years of sexual activity than women, it also found that 40% of 75-85-year old men are still sexually active, but only 17% of women in this age group are. Older women tend to be healthier than men, but there may be other issues at play here. Unlike men, older women certainly aren’t viewed as “sexy” or “distinguished.” There are also few images of older women in the media today. Falling levels of estrogen during menopause may also contribute. Estrogen is responsible for many things, but decreasing levels have been linked to vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse.
One of my goals in educating people about human sexuality, is to help them understand the normal changes involved in aging and how these changes may affect sexual functioning. We’re all going to get old – but learning how to take care of ourselves and maintain good health will certainly give us the opportunity to have a longer, healthier, and more satisfying sex lives.