elderly sex

1 in 3 men in their golden years is sexually active.

A study of men’s attitudes toward sex in their golden years confirms what some have long suspected:It ain’t over until it’s over.


One in three men ages 75 to 95 remain sexually active, defined as having had sex at least once in the past year, according a long-running study of 2,783 Australian men published in today’s Annals of Internal Medicine.

Among sexually active men, 57% were satisfied with their sex life, and 43% wanted to have sex more often, according to the study, which followed men from 1996 to 2009. Among those not having sex, 40% said they simply weren’t interested.

Nearly half of all men viewed sex as at least a “somewhat important” part of their lives, the study says.

“It’s defying all the stereotypes out there about old people,” says Sharon Brangman, president of the American Geriatrics Society, who wasn’t involved in the study. “People’s sex lives do not stop just because they get old. They like to do the same things that younger people do.”

The results are consistent with earlier research. Still, the guys in the latest study may not accurately represent all men, because only relatively healthy men participated, says study author Zoe Hyde of the University of Western Australia. Also, because the study wasn’t anonymous, some men may have been too modest to answer honestly.

Some call the results encouraging.

“People don’t expect their grandparents to be doing these things,” says geriatrician Sharon Reed, of Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk. “The brain is the most powerful sexual organ we have, and if their brains are still wanting that, we should encourage it.”

Men with significant health problems were less likely to be sexually active, the study says, as were those whose partners were uninterested or no longer able to have sex. Men tended to be less interested in sex if they took antidepressants or beta blockers, which treat heart disease. Both drugs can lower the libido.

Brangman says some of her patients have stopped taking beta blockers so they can preserve their sex lives — something she doesn’t advise.

One man “was someone who had had a heart attack,” Brangman says. “But he was willing to take a risk.”

Because so many therapies can affect a man’s sex life, doctors need to address that problem with their patients, Hyde says.

Brenda Coffee, 60, of Boerne, Texas, wasn’t surprised by the results. She notes that her great-grandfather, who died in 1980 at age 102, remarried when he was in his 90s.

“If anyone wants to study women, of a certain age, let me know,” Coffee says. “I’ll be the first one to sign up.”

Via USA Today