Why 1 in 5 Adults Over Age 50 Say Their Sex Life Is Way More Exciting Now
Societally, there's a belief that, as people get older, their sex life becomes less exciting or dries up altogether. Well, a new study is debunking that stereotype by proving that things really do get better with age—like way better.
Lumen, a dating app designed for singles over 50, recently interviewed over 2,000 sexually active people ages 50 to 80 in the United States. Asked everything from how often they have sex to what their favorite sex position is, the questions go deep into what sex is like as you age.
It turns out there's lots of action that people over 50 are getting in on.
What people's sex lives are like in their 50s, 60s, and 70s.
People between ages 50 and 80 have sex twice a month on average, the survey found. While 37% reported not having sex anymore these days, 27% said they have sex at least once a month if not more. Among singles in this age group, 14% were down to have sex on the first date, and 30% were up for it within the first three dates. (On average, people preferred waiting at least six dates before getting in bed with a new partner.)
If you've ever worried about your sex life getting dull as you age, take in this good news: 22% of people reported they have become more adventurous in their sex life as they've gotten older, and 8% of people have become much more adventurous. Another 22% said their sex lives are as adventurous as when they were younger. When asked why their sex life has improved, 57% of people tied a lower inhibition to more enjoyable sex. And 18% of women, in particular, said they simply just have a higher libido now that they're older.
And these aren't quick romps in the sack by any means. On average, respondents reported that a sex session often lasts 24 minutes. (Let's be honest: That's longer than a lot of younger people go for.) Funny enough, 24% of people actually credited having a better sex life to the fact that they have more free time now. Now that's what retirement is really for.
While some respondents believe they'll stop having sex in their 70s, many of them are planning on getting busy for a long time. With great sex as motivation, it's no surprise that 51% of people said they're going to keep having sex until they are literally unable to. Even better, 14% of those surveyed said they don't think they'll ever stop having sex.
Whoever said your libido always goes down with age hasn't met these people.
Why older people have better sex.
A lot of it has to do with the confidence you naturally gain as you get older, explains Charly Lester, Lumen's co-founder and CMO, who's also a dating expert herself.
"I think the older you get, the more comfortable you are in your own skin. The more sex you have, the more you understand what works for you and what doesn't," Lester tells mindbodygreen. "And with people taking better care of themselves when it comes to fitness and diet, 50 is getting younger and younger, so it makes sense that people are continuing to have more fulfilling sex lives later in life."
If you're wondering how to keep your sex life fresh after 50, 60, or 70 years old, Lester stresses the importance of communication: "Be honest about what you enjoy and what you don't," she says. Past research on older people's sex lives has also indicated not being able to talk about their sexual needs and desires is a big barrier, so opening up is a big step here. (Here are a few ways seniors can do that if you're not sure where to start.)
What you like may change, and trying new things can be a great way to discover how your sexual desires have evolved. Plus, there are some great, super low-key products on the market that you can use during that exploration: "Most sexperts we've consulted suggest experimenting with a range of different lubricants to find out what works for you, and explore sex toy options to increase your enjoyment with and without a partner. And remember to always practice safe sex, even after menopause," Lester says.
If there's one key take-away from this survey, it's that age doesn't define how great your sex life can be. If anything, just like how well you know yourself improves, so does the sex.
Sarah Fielding is a freelance writer based in New York City. Covering a range of topics with a focus on mental health, sex, and relationships, her work has appeared at Healthline, The Huffington Post, Men's Health, INSIDER, Bustle, NYLON, and more. Fielding received her bachelor's in international fashion and business management from FIT, and also spent time living in Italy and Australia, writing as she traveled. She's the co-founder of Empire Coven, a space for highlighting trailblazing women across New York.