Love scenes on TV are reminiscent: Scenes with sexual content are principally played by young, attractive actors. The media usually views sex among seniors as something for cabarets. This comes as no surprise. For decades this topic was frowned upon for religious reasons, due to societal expectations and oftentimes according to people’s own perceptions that the aging population was just too old for sex. The public liked to believe that sexuality would disappear with advanced aging. And honestly, who at a younger age did not think that the wiser parents, some even frail, were too old for sex?

We are Never Too Old for Sex

Am I Too Old For Sex?, Sex, AgeBut now, we witness something revolutionary. While the group of older people grows in dramatic dimensions, the issue revolving around the question "am I too old for sex?" has become more significant than ever.

“Doctor, does one ever become too old for love and sex?” I was asked more than once. “No.” I reply. There is no specific “age-sexuality” just like there is no specific “youth-sexuality.” Sexuality is inherited. We are born with it. Those who had little drive in their youth or at mid-age won’t exactly climb mountains at an advanced age either.

Neither wrinkles nor gray hair will bring sexuality to a dramatic standstill. However, time has come to inform the public about sexual wishes and desires. There is a large number of uneducated people who believe that sexuality is not a basic need at any age, nor is the longing for love, belonging and recognition, regardless of whether one is 25 or 65 years old. You can't really blame these people. The sex life of older people has been a taboo topic for generations, as if it did not even exist. Millions only know from their own experience what sexual behavior at an older age is all about. But, what kind of changes are considered “normal” and which ones are not? What is the truth behind the myths about senior sex?

When You Should Be Concerned

In my practice, I always point out that there is one instance when one should be at high alert: When it comes to sudden changes. This could be a sign that something is wrong. Behind a sudden lack of desire and low libido oftentimes hides a severe physical symptom. This has to be addressed by the physician. In the past, I have explained the connection between erectile dysfunction, diabetes or heart diseases. Also, emotional turmoil, the consequences of accidents, injuries and trauma have to be considered as underlying reasons. Those possible causes for sexual dysfunction have to be excluded first.

Are you too old for sex?  In my opinion, sexuality is the most misunderstood aspect of aging. Regardless what the reason, the consequences are serious. The American Center for Longevity found out the following: 39 percent of seniors want more sex than they are having.

By: Dr. Gerd Jansen, MD