The stereotype is that no one is having sex after 60. When people find out there is all sorts of senior sex going on in retirement communities and nursing homes, they are often shocked.

People believe that older adults lose interest in sex. However, research shows otherwise. The widespread availability of erectile dysfunction drugs, combined with a more liberal modern sexual mindset, has lead to an increase in adults having sex after 60.

In fact, senior sex is happening well into the advance age of 70s and 80s. And sex and aging is no longer a taboo topic.

Frequency of Sex After 60

A 2018 National Poll on Healthy Aging (NPHA) asked adults between the ages of 65 – 80 how often they had sex.

The poll results offer some interesting insights about the average frequency of sex after 60. The survey found that 40% of seniors between 65 and 80 were sexually active. 54% were active if they were in a romantic relationship.

Frequency of sex after 60

The poll also found however that people’s desire dramatically dropped after the age of 75. 46% of seniors between 65-70 were still sexually active and 39% of people aged 71–75. But only 25% of those between the ages of 76 and 80 were still active.

How Long Can a Man Be Sexually Active?

Research has shown that men can be sexually active their entire lives.

Men are more likely to report being sexually active than women, the NPHA poll found, with 51% of men still having sex. While challenges with erections do arise in older men, a man does not necessarily need to have an erection to continue to have wonderful and fulfilling sexual interactions.

Some erectile dysfunction can be treated with ED drugs, though not all men can take them. Men with certain heart conditions or taking specific medication may not be able to take these drugs. For some, they might not be effective at all.

At the same time, men can have orgasms even if their penis is only partially or not at all erect. It is important that men – old and young – get the message that sex is more than just intercourse. Instead of focusing solely on penis stimulation, men should be taught to cultivate full-body pleasure.

At What Age Does a Woman Stop Being Sexually Active?

There is no reason a healthy woman ever needs to stop being sexually active. The NPHA poll however found that only 31% of women between 65 and 80 are still having sex.

It is true that women’s sex drive often drops during or after menopause. It is also likely that the negative messages women get about sex during their entire lives end up having negative consequences. They can greatly affect their frequency of sex after 60.

Sex and Aging

Girls and young women often receive the message that sex is not for them. In response, they shut down their sexual desire to avoid experiencing slut shaming.

This sexual freeze can mean they do not cultivate a strong connection to their desire and don’t have a good idea of what gives them pleasure. When menopause arrives, their motivation declines even further and they give up on sex altogether.

The fantastic sex-positive feminist, Betty Dodson, recently turned 90, but is still going strong. Betty started masturbation circles in the late 1960’s to help women learn to orgasm, and to this day, she is a strong advocate for women. Her goal is to help them cultivate their sexual desire and arousal so they can enjoy sex well into their twilight years.

Sex and Aging

Sex and aging is an important topic we should be talking about as a society.

We now know that older adults can have pleasurable and joyful sex lives for as long as they are interested. It is time to stop treating senior sex as a taboo subject. We need to make sex and aging a topic of conversation in retirement communities, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities.

People need to learn about the type of pleasure they want as their bodies change with age and should be given access to ongoing education.

What’s more – because people are now having sex well into their twilight years (and may be having sex with new partners), there needs to be good STD education. Access to condoms and STD testing needs to be facilitated so senior sex can be both joyful and safe.

How a Sex Coach Can Help

Sex coaches can be very helpful to men, women, and couples as they go through the aging process.

They help men deal with the shame that can arise as their sexual function changes, and teach them to enjoy a full palate of sexual pleasure.

A sex coach also assists a woman with getting in touch with her desire. Particularly psychological arousal, since that can become much more essential as hormones drop.

Finally, a sex coach can help couples get out of sexual ruts or revive their sex life if they have been living in a sexless or low-sex marriage.

Need help with these issues as you age? Find a Sex Coach in Your Area.

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Danielle Harel
Danielle Harel, PhD is the Co-creator of the Somatica® Method and the Co-Founder of the Somatica® Institute. She trains coaches in the Somatica® Method of Sex and Relationship Coaching. She has her own private practice in Sunnyvale, where she supports her clients in having amazing sex and relationships as well as passion-fueled lives. She has published original research on Orgasmic Birth and is the co-author of two books, Cockfidence - The Definitive Guide to Being the Man You Want to Be and Driving Women Wild and Making Love Real - The Intelligent Couples Guide to Lasting Intimacy and Passion. Danielle Has her Masters in Clinical Social Work From Haifa University in Israel and her PhD in Human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS). She is a Clinical Sexologist and a Certified Sexological Bodyworker. Danielle is a Certified Body Positive Facilitator and took many trainings in embodied and mindfulness based therapeutic approaches such as Hakomi.