While men over 65 are more than twice as likely to think about sex at least once a week than women are, those women who do think about sex regularly are more likely to engage in sexual activity, and don’t let ill health stop them.
The International Longevity Centre - UK (ILC-UK) have published a series of blogs dedicated to love and sex in later life. Their first two blogs, ‘Sexual desire and sexual activities in later life’ and ‘Finding Love in Later Life’ both include empirical analysis using the latest data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), 2012.
The reports find:
- 75% of men aged 65 or over think about sex at least once a month, and 50% of women do.
- 60% of men and 37% of women aged 65+ had, or attempted to have sexual intercourse in the past year; among them, half had or attempted to have sexual intercourse in the past month
- At least 25% of men and 10% of women aged 85+ had sex in the last year
Unfortunately, ‘Finding Love in Later Life’, a report which examines whether people aged over 50 years are likely to remarry after experiencing divorce/widowhood finds that nearly two thirds of divorcees and three quarters of widowed aged 50+ are women, which leaves heterosexual women with a much smaller pool to choose a partner from.
While only a tiny proportion of unmarried older people (approximately 1 in 20) begins a new relationship after divorce or widowhood, as the ILC-UK found that at least half of all older people still regularly think about sex, initiatives aimed at increasing awareness about dating in later life would be surely welcome.