Busting Common Myths About the Sex Lives of Seniors
Our society as a whole tends to harbor many common misconceptions about the romantic lives of the elderly population. Here, we will examine some opinions to the contrary that serve to debunk these established stereotypes as well as the research supporting these differing claims.
Myths Surrounding Sex Lives of Seniors
There are many myths surrounding the sex lives of seniors. Often, these are based solely on assumption and a general lack of understanding of the role sex and libido continue to play in peoples' lives as they age. Here are just a few of these myths:
Libido Automatically Diminishes With Age
Many younger people often opine that the sex drive (libido) of older persons diminishes simply because they have reached an advanced age. Such circumstances might occur but typically have little do to with a person's age and more to do with naturally-occurring biological changes that occur inside their bodies.
When both men and women reach senior age, their systems produce less of the vital sexual and reproductive hormones such as testosterone, estrogen and progesterone. In women, these hormonal changes are often caused by a natural condition known as menopause. During menopause, the ovaries cease production of these critical hormones. Many men are impacted by a phenomenon called andropause, which causes their bodies to experience a precipitous drop in testosterone production. Manifestations of either condition may bring about issues like a diminished sex drive. That said, a hormone-induced waning of libido can be overcome through treatment protocols like hormone replacement therapy, exercise, dietary changes or through the use of various natural products known to boost the sex drive.
The Body Loses Its Sex Appeal With Age
Body image is a common issue in today's world. Unfortunately, many younger people are tied to the belief that the body becomes unattractive or aesthetically unpleasing as one grows older. Even the media tends to foster the notion that only young bodies are sexually attractive and worthy of admiration.
The Sexual Organs of Older Individuals No Longer Function
There are those who believe that with old age, the sexual organs cease to function properly, precluding the elderly from engaging in regular and pleasing sexual encounters. Of course, some men experience sexual difficulties like erectile dysfunction and menopausal women could experience symptoms like vaginal dryness. Though these issues could make sex a bit more challenging, they can often be overcome with the proper treatment.
Sex is Boring To Older People
A segment of the younger population opines that sex is a mundane activity that old people have engaged in enough throughout their lives and it no longer interesting or provides a source of enjoyment or excitement.
Sex is Not Important in the Relationships of Older Persons
Certain people believe older individuals focus more on other aspects of their relationships besides sex, such as companionship.
Sex is Undignified After a Certain Age
There are those who cringe at the thought of older people having sex. Many of these individuals suggest that sex is activity reserved for the young and the thought, let alone the action of intimacy is taboo in persons that have reached a certain age.
What Are the Sex Lives of Seniors Truly Like?
Enjoy Frequent and High-Quality Sex
The results of a senior sex study reported that more than 60 percent of all women and in excess of 70 percent of the men polled claimed to be satisfied with the amount of sex they were engaging in as well as the quality of these intimate encounters.
Have No Reservations About Discussing Sex
In the aforementioned sex study, more than 80 percent of both the men and women queried said they felt little, if any, reservation either thinking about or discussing the topic of sex. Many of these same individuals did not even object to speaking about sex with their doctors.
Feel That Their Desires Are Being Satisfied
A study undertaken by researchers representing the University of California at San Diego's medical school concluded that senior-aged women not only yearned for sex on a relatively regular basis but also felt like their partners were meeting their sexual needs.
Sex is an Important Part of Their Life and Relationship
University Of Michigan Medical School scientists discovered that roughly two-thirds of the people they interviewed claimed that sex is still a crucial component of not only their lives but the health of their relationships.
Though it may be concluded that the myths about seniors are sex are a bit off-base, scientists did conclude that external issues, not prevailing attitudes, often play into how sexually active older individuals might be. Researchers found that the most prevailing external factor was health
and those seniors who were stricken with some moderate to severe illness or disability were less likely to be sexually active.