If we include solo sex, then the proportion of sexually active elderly undoubtedly increases considerably.Several studies suggest that in older adults, masturbation is common. The news media generally ignore sex in older adults. Aging changes it, gradually eliminating penis-vagina intercourse.Now that it’s OK to get married in Ireland if you’re gay, can we accept that single and widowed elderly people like sex too? Yet a senior citizens’ building complex in Dublin has all but banned double beds, even though many of the residents want them. When you’re a student maybe, but over the age of 65, no, you don’t. But why assume that the 99 residents of Fr Scully House are going to stay single merely just because they’re living in Fr Scully House?Older people are just young people with ageing bodies. The fact that they are living as single and widowed in Fr Scully House may greatly diminish their chances of remaining single, in fact.Apart from questionable religious reasons, if that’s indeed why the double beds aren’t being allowed, there are social reasons why the idea of old people having sex disgusts a lot of people. “Touch is so important, older people may still need to stroke and be stroked, to hold and be held and to look into each others’ eyes,” says Irish sexologist Emily Power Smith.“This obsession with older people having sex outside marriage is the Catholic Church getting way to obsessed about sex yet again.” In Scandanavia, residences for older people facilitate intimacy by providing double beds and rooms because research there has shown the benefits for older people in close and intimate relationships, she adds.
The federally funded research, led by a Michigan State University scholar, is published online in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.
Having sex frequently – and enjoying it – puts older men at higher risk for heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems.
For older women, however, good sex may actually lower the risk of hypertension.
When they cover it, the tone is often incredulous: Whadya know? Fortunately, there are marvelously satisfying ways to enjoy sex without intercourse. Women over 40 start to experience menopausal changes: Vaginal lubrication declines. And libido and sexual self-esteem frequently decrease.
Men over 40 start to notice that arousal takes more time.
Older men who had sex once a week or more were much more likely to experience cardiovascular events five years later than men who were sexually inactive, the study found. “Strikingly, we find that having sex once a week or more puts older men at a risk for experiencing cardiovascular events that is almost two times greater than older men who are sexually inactive,” said Liu.