This may come as a shock. Unless you are in fact a member of this group, in which it probably comes with a knowing smirk.
According to a survey by the National Poll on Healthy Aging, 40% of people between the ages of 65 and 80 are sexually active. Moreover, 84% of men and 69% of women in that demographic believe sex is vital in relationships, regardless of age, and 73% identify as “satisfied” with their sex life.
The biggest reason for that sunny outlook? Easy: less risk. As urologist Jamin Brahmbhatt once told us about the benefits of vasectomies, when you “take out the stress” of risk factors (read: pregnancy), “you can experience much more pleasure.”
One concerning aspect of the poll was that only 17% of those surveyed have talked to a health professional about their sexual activity. With sexually-transmitted diseases on the rise among Americans over the age of 45, collecting this kind of information ensures participants get the attention, education and protection they need to go about their business safely and responsibly.
Now, all this data may contradict what you thought you knew about old people and sex. Namely, that they don’t do it, because they’re settled into boring, complacent routines or physically unable to perform. But we prefer to think of it as a glimmer of hope: everyone is, to some degree, terrified of aging, mostly because we assume that it means sacrificing the things we enjoy most.
But you don’t give things up because you get old. You get old because you give things up. And in our subjective opinion, nothing invigorates the body more than a good old-fashioned roll in the hay — ’70s decor notwithstanding.