From caressing to intercourse
Hitting 30 doesn’t have to mean your sex life will take a turn for the worse. Or even 40 for that matter. Quite the opposite: it might just get better. Half of all women over the age of 40 are sexually active – they get aroused, get wet, and have orgasms – well into old age, according to a large US survey of over 800 women.
The average age of the women was 67 and the age range actually went up to 100. They were asked all sorts of questions about their sex lives, including whether they were sexually active in the last month – which could mean anything from caressing their partners, to masturbating, to vaginal intercourse.
It keeps getting better
As expected, sex drive drops with age – about 40 percent of older women aren’t all that interested in sexual activity. And as women age, the amount of sex they have decreases too. Those that have more sex in old age are in better health – both physically and emotionally – aand are more likely to be with a partner.
But for these women, a lower sex drive and less sex may not matter all that much. Sixty percent of all women—whether or not they have regular sex, or a partner to have it with—are happy with their sex lives. Even half of those who aren’t sexually active feel satisfied.
And what’s more, in women over 40, it just keeps on getting better with age – half of all women aged 80 or older are happy with their sex lives, compared to 25 percent between the ages of 40 and 55, the study found.
Cuddling is enough
So why might the oldest women be more satisfied than younger ones? We know that sex drive decreases as women age, but older women, it seems, are less bothered by it. Women between the ages of 40 and 55 might still be coming to terms with a lower sex drive.
For older women, it could be that it’s quality not quantity that matters, so even if they don’t have sex often, when they do, they get aroused and orgasm. Or it could be that after years of being with a partner, other kinds of emotional or physical intimacy, like cuddling, might be just as satisfying as having an orgasm, suggested the authors.