Sex and older women

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New insights from researchers on a joint Victorian and New South Wales study have debunked many stereotypes about sex and older women. The study, Sex, Desire and Pleasure: Considering the Experiences of Older Australian Women, has found that the sexual desires of many women in their 60s, 70s and 80s actually increases, and that older women know what they want from a sexual partner and are more confident about expressing their desires.

It seems that once women are free from the exhausting day-to-day routine of family life and no longer have to worry about pregnancy, they become more enthusiastic about their sexuality – and have a greater need for the benefits of a satisfying sex life.

“Some women did experience that kind of gradual decline, particularly as they went through menopause, [however] for other women they experienced a great increase in sexual desire. For a lot of women their sexual desire was quite fluid across their lives,” says Dr Bianca Fileborn, of La Trobe University’s Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society. “A lot of women have periods in their lives, for example when they had young children, when they weren’t all that interested in sex, presumably because they were exhausted. So it wasn’t that linear decline, it’s something that ebbs and flows across the life span.”

The study’s findings have clear implications for health professionals who should consider more closely the sexual needs of older people, including more information about medications that may interfere with sexual function, and counselling for those who undergo procedures, such as prostate surgery, and how they may affect a patient’s sex life.

The researchers also found that many older women were keen for their partners to expand their sexual repertoire. Due to various health issues associated with ageing and menopause, many of the study’s participants also expressed a desire to engage in more non-penetrative sexual activities.

The study highlights the need for health practitioners to broaden their own repertoires, to include discussions of alternative forms of pleasure for older women. 

It also raises many issues that confront an ageing society in which many will increasingly enjoy good health and longer lives and shows that, contrary to the myths; older people can still be sexually active.

Read more at The Age

Opinion: It gets better with age

Okay, so many young people don’t want to think about their parents having sex – let alone their grandparents. But does that make it right to completely ignore the fact that they may be hot-blooded lovers in the sack? If I’m being honest, I don’t know how to answer that question.

I’m a big believer in people keeping what happens in the bedroom (or any other room) to themselves. People’s sex lives are their own business. We shouldn’t kiss and tell.

That doesn’t mean I think sex should be a taboo subject – far from it. After all, sex is quite possibly one of our two most important biological functions. Sex and eating. Maybe eating comes first, because you need energy for sex. Either way, it’s important.

The most important function of a health professional’s job is to maintain, or improve, the quality of life of their patients. So it is imperative that the sex life of a patient is included in that ‘quality of life’ equation.

Indeed, the sex education we had as teenagers should be relayed again to older people who are in need of a sexual re-education.

This study makes huge leaps into the otherwise under-resourced, often misunderstood area of the sexual issues associated with ageing. I find it strangely comforting that older people are still having sex. And if sex can be treated like a fine wine that gets better as it ages, then we’re all in for a real treat.

What do you think? Are you still sexually active? Do you have any suggestions for others who may be a little shy about their sexuality? Why not share them? (Just keep it clean please!)

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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103 Comments

Total Comments: 103
  1. 0
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    Going on to 62 and no partner, I find that loss of sexual activity has created a problem for me with regards to penetration. As I never had natural childbirth, having had 2 caesarians, and because of no intercourse, it is painful if I attempt intercourse. I think women should be warned about this especially if you are single. My gynecologist has me using dilators to possible assist with this – I am eager to be involved again sexually and it is depressing not to have that intimacy that I feel more confident about now. I think sub consciously that is why I have never found anyone – I can scared..

    • 0
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      Magnolia, good for you for doing something about your issue. You’re not alone – I was the same. When the right person comes along you’ll be ok. Hint: take the time to become really aroused. If he’s not co-operative, he’s not the right one. Best wishes.

    • 0
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      The best of luck with it all, Magnolia. You certainly
      deserve happiness – including sexually.

    • 0
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      Maganolia. I have had trouble all my married life (43 years) with pain during intercourse. For two reasons, 1. I had difficult child births that have left me scarred and torn making penetration very painful and 2. lack of readiness. Since his death I have found a new wonderful partner who is gentle and is very careful in what he does and is willing to take the time needed to get me ready. I agree with Alula, your partner needs to take the time for you to be become really aroused. I was apprehensive about sex and said I would never bother with sex again, but now, with a different man, it is very enjoyable. It is now love making not sex.

    • 0
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      The best non sex for 28 relationship was the best in the world even a married situation…no hassles he told me when we first met no sex as he diabetic and two divorces…I couldn’t believe my luck…we stayed great friends travelled overseas etc and Oz for about 27 years, worked together at one time etc etc..sex isn’t all that to rave about cos nothing really lasts does it………I had the best and I trying to find the rest……..and I`m certainly not frigid…..lolol

    • 0
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      Magnolia – I had the same problem for years. After my divorce after 43 years and wanting to get involved again I visited a sex shop and the beautiful lady was amazing. I got some toys and most important some lubrication (water soluble) works. I now have a wonderful man and he has made it amazing. He takes his time to get me ready and I now enjoy my love making more than ever. Best wishes and good luck

  2. 0
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    Where do they get their information from? My personal experience would indicate that ‘older woman’ couldn’t give a rats A whether they had intimate relations.

  3. 0
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    Bah Humbug. or is it that after over fifty years together ………………………… give me a break. he he

    • 0
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      They say women can go off wanting sex because after 50 years together the attraction is not the same. And there is nothing romantic about having a heavy weight bearing down on you huffing and puffing for a couple of seconds and then collapsing into a heap, snoring. I’m afraid men forget their romantic ways and are only interested in getting what they want and not pleasing the woman. At least I have my memories of my darling husband and how romantic he was.

    • 0
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      I’ve known some that Go Off !! 🙂

    • 0
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      The missionary position is not the only position!
      In fact, the reverse is better for the woman as well as a side on one with legs intertwined.
      Women also need to learn how to achieve orgasms to make sex more enjoyable and this may be done at least initially with masturbation and, if necessary, also use your fingers on yourself during sex.
      My GP once told me that approx. 75% women have NEVER HAD AN ORGASM!
      I was totally shocked by that!

  4. 0
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    Is it true that men are more likely to be visually stimulated by women, while women are more likely stimulated by other factors such as touch, romance, money….? What happens to men when the visual stimulus becomes less visually stimulating?

  5. 0
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    Are you kidding Leon? Which planet are you on mate?

    Anecdotal evidence is that once women’s hormones change then so does the biological need to reproduce. So that’s the end of a physical relationship for most. So why do you think middle aged+ men get young girlfriends? This should not be rocket science……and it ain’t the lack of wrinkles.

    • 0
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      Hi Mick,
      May I suggest that you read the linked report. It may help you have a better idea of the information I am passing on.

    • 0
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      I went to the link Leon but it looked like a copy of War and Peace. I normally fall asleep when I read articles of that length.
      A survey would get a result in our own community so lets get some of the readers making a call.
      I still believe that anecdotal evidence is against you but a quick google may well be on your side of this argument.

    • 0
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      mick, you have no idea! Still shooting the messenger and disposing the facts. Many women have a noticeable lack of desire following childbirth but in later life when that is all behind them they are able to focus more on their intimacy and sexual needs.
      If you are still married, may I suggest you show your wife more respect and treat her like a woman.

    • 0
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      mick, mick, mick! Are you for real? Did you read the article? The research shows that it is because women no longer have to worry about reproducing and childrearing that they re-ignite their desire for sex. Not only that but they become way more adventurous and know exactly what they want and are more confident about expressing it!!

      Why do so many middle-aged men get young girlfriends? I’ll tell you. They can’t face their own mortality. They still want to be the rooster and not the old cock they have become. You are correct on one thing: “This should not be rocket science……and it ain’t the lack of wrinkles.”

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      The facts may be against me. Not sure. But the white flag is up either way. Lets call it a draw.
      Frank: Its good you did not enter into your normal political trolling. Thanks for the attack, but for what it is worth to somebody like you my wife is my best mate and I treat her well.

    • 0
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      Jeepers, you’re copping it today mick, should have voted independent.

    • 0
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      Mick these two are again ratting off about nothing they don’t know much about………….

    • 0
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      tia-maria, I know a woman’s needs are many and complex. I also know how to find out what those needs are. Having said that, I am also willing to be open to more research to uncover that “nothing I don’t know much about.”

    • 0
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      Are YOU KIDDING MICK?
      Women’s libidos keep increasing to the level where one can have 2 or 3 orgasms during sex whereas men cannot!
      SURPRISED?
      It’s a fact!
      You perhaps need to improve on your lovemaking techniques or either you both have fallen out of love.

  6. 0
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    “Tell ’em, they’re dreamin”………..I’d rather have a steak sandwich 😀

  7. 0
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    The ‘anti-women commentators here may just want to have a look at themselves and ask why is it that the women in their lives may not want sex. Is it that the women really don’t want sex (apparently not according to the research) or is it that they don’t want sex with YOU?

  8. 0
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    Just turned 70 and enjoy the intimate side of my relationship far more than I did when I was younger. So gentlemen don’t tar us all with the same brush.. It takes two to tango guys,,,maybe you are not playing the right sort of music,,

  9. 0
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    Lots of ageist comments so far, from aged men. I still find my hubby attractive and sexy and we continue to enjoy a good sex life in our mid 60’s.

  10. 0
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    And what if you want intimacy and sex and your man isn’t interested any more? (61 yrs and 69 yrs)

    • 0
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      Maybe he’s lost interest because he’s having a problem getting or maintaining an erection? Talk to him about it and if erection difficulty is the problem he can solve it with the magic pills.

    • 0
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      Or get yourself a toy-boy?

    • 0
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      If the man finds visual stimulation the key to desire along with intimate touch, then it may be necessary for the woman to take the initiative if there is little left for the man to be visually stimulated by. If the woman does not feel comfortable with initiating intimacy, then this may be a reason why men seek out more visually stimulating youthful sexual partners. I think there is no one solution for all. In this instance, men and women often find comfort with having sex with themselves. It’s not easy to be a turn on when you’re fat and wrinkly.

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