Most people see ageing as a negative process, including when it comes to our sexuality. Optimal sexual experiences are deemed to require a young, supple body with endless endurance and capacity for circus-type positioning. Those over 60 are seen as undesirable, incapable of having “real” pleasure and thus no longer interested in sex. But many of these stereotypes are inaccurate. If we talk to actual people over 60, we can hear a very different story. The Optimal Sexual Experience Research Team at the University of Ottawa interviewed folks over the age of 60 who have had positive sexual relationships of at least 25 years. You may be surprised to learn that they shared very different inspiring stories to the mainstream narrative. They actually revealed that they were having the best sex of their lives at midlife and beyond.
Not so different
According to this study, most older partnered adults have sex about as often as their younger counterparts. They value their sexuality as important to them as younger people do for themselves. Of course some older folks experience problems with desire, arousal, orgasm, and/or sexual pain; some older men struggle with erectile difficulties. So do younger people, often with a similar degree of frequency. The difference is that those over 60 don’t let these realities prevent them from having vibrant sex lives.
To read the rest of Carlyle’s article for Tonic, click here