Despite numerous reports that the elderly are constantly getting it on, many people still think that once they hit old age their sex lives will be far less enjoyable. However, scientists have now confirmed what you should have picked up from watching The Golden Girls: Many women still have a very satisfying sex life well past age 60.
According to research published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, women between the ages of 60 and 89 say they're still happy with their sex lives, even when their overall health deteriorates. The researchers surveyed 1,235 women enrolled in the San Diego site of the Women's Health Initiative study. Though sexual function, including desire, arousal, and the ability to orgasm, did decline with age, the women remained generally satisfied with their sex lives across all age groups. 67% of the 60 to 69-year-olds said they were "moderately" to "very satisfied," with what's going on in the bedroom, and the number only dropped to 60% for those in their 70s and 61% for those in their 80s.
The study did indicate that women have less and less sex as they age. Among women who were married women or in a committed relationship, 70% were still having sex in their 60s. However, only 57% of subjects in their 70s and 31% of subject in their 80s had had sex in the past six months. Women in relationships had more sex than single women, but the amount of sexual activity decreased with age for all groups.
Perhaps people don't expect to have great sex lives when they're older, so they remain satisfied even if they aren't having as much sex. It's also possible that older people are fine with fornicating less frequently because the sex they do have is more pleasurable. If wisdom comes with age, that should theoretically extend to sexual maneuvers.
Either way, the researchers say the study proves that older people are still able to enjoy sex for many years. Co-lead author Wesley K. Thompson adds:
"This is especially true of older adults who maintain a higher level of physical and mental health as they grow older. Furthermore, feeling satisfied with your sex life — whatever your levels of sexual activity — is closely related to your perceived quality of life."
As Grandpa Simpson once angrily declared, it's true that not all older people are "vibrant, fun loving sex maniacs." However, the study suggests that those who are may be happier and healthier.
Image via Yuri Arcurs/Shutterstock.