How important is sex to older Australians?

The results are in: older Australians let us know if sex is still important.

How important is sex to older Australians?

As you may have read on Friday, we came across an article on Vice last week in which the writer went around Melbourne asking older people if they still thought people their age were ‘hot’.

It was a great read, and it inspired us to create a Friday Flash Poll: Setting the record straight about sex and ageing, where we asked you questions about sex and ageing. It turned out to be one of our most informative and entertaining surveys to date.

Of the 1243 survey respondents, 59 per cent were male, 41 per cent were female, and most were aged between 55 and 74 (84 per cent).

And to put paid to the notion that hotness expires at a certain age, almost seven in 10 (69 per cent) still think people their age are ‘hot’.

When asked at what age they think hotness expires, almost four in 10 (38 per cent) said age is irrelevant, 15 per cent said 85 or older, and seven per cent said between the ages of 55 and 59.

A good sense of humour (16 per cent) is what they find attractive at their age, while kindness (13 per cent), a good talker/listener (12 per cent), good manners (eight per cent) and a positive attitude (10 per cent) were high on many lists. Intelligence and honesty were also popular responses.

As to what they find unattractive, negativity (20 per cent) was the most distasteful trait in older people, while personal odour (16 per cent), bad teeth (15 per cent), those who have given up on life (15 per cent) and a bad attitude (13 per cent) were close behind.

“When women are accused of losing interest in sex with their partner, a major factor is the partner who lets themselves go, as in overweight, bad breath, drinking too much, smoking, snoring, farting, refusing to help with housework, and then wonder why and complain to their mates about it,” wrote MareeIrene.

Around half of all respondents said an ageing body has little impact on sex drive, while 35 per cent think it does. Only 18 per cent claimed the body turned them off sex.

Almost eight in 10 older Australians still think sex, though not necessarily intercourse, is important at their age. Only seven per cent said it wasn’t, with 16 per cent saying, ‘not really’. As to whether sex needed to involve intercourse, 71 per cent said no and 29 per cent said yes.

While sex may be important to older people, it seems there are quite a few not getting as much as they would like, with 400 respondents citing zero times a month. The luckier ones are having sex one to two times a month (22 per cent), three to four times a month (20 per cent), nine per cent having sex five to six times a month, seven per cent seven to eight times a month and six per cent ‘getting some’ more than 10 times a month.

A diminished libido (21 per cent) is the biggest hindrance to having sex, with erectile dysfunction close behind at 18 per cent. Twelve per cent of respondents would have sex but they have no partner, eight per cent say their living arrangements get in the way while 21 per cent say they are still sexually active. Eight per cent said sex is not that important to them.

“When your partner reaches satisfaction with their life, they feel there is no longer any need to be attractive. Got kids. Got a secure future. Got all the money they want. Time to sit on the lounge and watch the soaps,” wrote On The Ball.

Diminished libido occurred mostly between the ages of 60 and 64 (13 per cent), with many others losing the ‘edge’ at 55-59 (11 per cent) and 65-69 (11 per cent). Still, 85 per cent claim they don’t use Viagra or a female equivalent to make up for this.

More than half (56 per cent) say they still masturbate, and 44 per cent say they ‘leave it alone’.

As far as dating apps go, only 23 per cent say they have or would have used one to find a suitable sexual partner.

“The love of my life (since we were both 16 years old) passed away nine years ago … can't imagine sex with anyone else coming even close to what we shared. Sex without real love seems primitive to me … if I wanted it I could do so alone although I don't and don't miss it. I've had a few ‘advances’ from strangers while out and about with friends (compliments on my looks, apparently I still look attractive!) but don't want them although I’m polite and grateful to all,” wrote Loloften.

While the numbers provided a fantastic insight into the sex lives of older people, our members’ comments were where the real ‘gold’ lay. The interactions between members about sex and attraction offered a glimpse into how older people view themselves and each other, and some fabulous advice was mixed in with the acknowledgment of the reality of sex late in life. We’ve included a couple of the more poignant contributions, but we highly recommend heading to the original article to read through them all.

“Sex or lack of it will drive people apart. Sex doesn't stop at a certain age but unfortunately the lack of a sex drive seems to be from the female side – but not always. In fact, women are far less tolerant than men and more women will end the relationships sooner than men because they are not being sexually satisfied.

Sometimes it's not really the sex for a lot of people but the affection and intimacy between two people that's important. Just to be touched, kissed and fondled will do wonders and if one or both get their rocks off even better.

“Most men I know want affection, to be touched, cuddled in bed or on the sofa, a bit of play. But sadly, most women I know that have medical issues as you describe just shut the door and say no more,” wrote 1984.

“Looking at the results, I feel that many people are fooling themselves. It is a natural part of life/nature to have diminished libido and less sex drive as we get older. Look at nature, of which we are a part. It's very clear, but our western culture wants to deny it, as it's bad for business. We come into physical and reach our zenith of physicality around 30-40 years old. After that we slowly go back to spirit, where the veil thins and we become more aware of our essential nature. Everything is cyclical in this world of duality. Love is more important as we get older than sex,” wrote Franky.

And we really think this one is the perfect signoff for our sex and ageing poll.

“People's own self esteem regarding their own attractiveness is the biggest barrier to enjoying intimacy. Everyone enjoys the companionship and sensual touch of a caring companion. Enjoy our bodies. It's good for our mental and physical wellbeing,” wrote Bologo.

How do you feel about sex? Do you think enough is said about it? Or is it swept under the rug after a certain age? Would you like to see more information about sex and ageing? Why not give us some suggestions in the comments below?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    3rd Dec 2018
    "And to put paid to the notion that hotness expires at a certain age, almost seven in 10 (69 per cent) still think people their age are ‘hot’". Appropriate number 69! Yeah seriously though, I agree there are plenty of hotties out there over 55! And making love (not just having sex) imo gets better and better. Fast slow makes no difference. The bonding keeps improving. Now having said that being in each others pockets 24/7 can cause problems over time. Both parties need to have their own space and own time to do their own thing.
    3rd Dec 2018
    My daughter is a well known psychologist in the South west of WA. One of her degrees is in sexology ,and she spealised in the elderly and as important ,residents in nursing homes. From her observations she sees a need for this topic to be addressed more openly . She has held seminars for carers ,nursing staff also individual sessions for seniors. Intimacy and sex are closely linked and whilst many have decreased libido for one reason or another, there is a huge need for this to be addressed openly ,it is a natural way of the human nature to be intimate with another ,and it is not always about sex. If the intimacy leads to mutual sex ,that is a great feeling,but not all aged are dead from the neck down if they were honest .
    3rd Dec 2018
    Yes - agree.. they may be inmates in those joints, but they are not prisoners under control. A major hurdle to any independent person is the loss of personal sovereignty in such institutions.... this entire area needs a total overhaul.. and part of loss of personal sovereignty is that sometimes interpersonal relationships are verboten by the Sturmbahnfuhrer on the floor/unit.

    Sign over the door at Grampa Simpson's nursing home:- "Kindly do not discuss the outside world.. it upsets the patients."
    The Phonse
    3rd Dec 2018
    Catholic priests should be allowed to get married then we wouldn't have had as many problems. And why can't there be woman priests?
    3rd Dec 2018
    All true.....
    Swinging voter
    3rd Dec 2018
    Could be wrong but I doubt male priest celibacy actually caused, or played a definitive role in the epidemic of "problems". I felt that religious institutions actually attracted morally twisted men who identified vast opportunities for sexual contact with children well before they joined. I doubt it was religious restrictions. There are squillions of good-living unmarried men, including male teachers, who have no inclination whatsoever to abuse children, and naturally appalled by such conduct.
    3rd Dec 2018
    I am now a 61 single female and find it difficult to have any one to have sex with. It is almost like I am past my use by date. I enjoy sex very much however, it seems almost impossible to find a genuine partner or should I say Friends With Benefits. Thank god I have a vibrator.
    3rd Dec 2018
    Hmmm... I check out dating sites, and frankly, the sights of some are so high that their chances are low. Many - same as here in discussion of economic and work factors - tend to assume that because they had a princely run, everyone who has not is a 'lower kind' - and we all know women will not date 'below' themselves.

    Inability to accept a man as what he is rather than what he has is a real issue. Past lady friends of mine have been doctors, professors, lawyers and such..... back when such lady things were the distinct minority... which in that retired category would wish to date a carer, no matter how smart and knowledgeable etc?

    Their life is fine - mine is a daily grind...
    3rd Dec 2018
    You might get some offers on here lol
    3rd Dec 2018
    It’s more to do with your warped views I suspect Trebor.
    Which woman in their right mind would want to put up with someone who promotes the politics of envy only wanting to rob from those who worked hard to accumulate wealth .
    Become a better person and you will attract women like bees to honey
    Karl Marx
    3rd Dec 2018
    Lothario Madam guillotine was used on the the top end of town & their supporters that made the poor poorer & the rich richer just like your LNP mates, there the ones robbing everyone
    3rd Dec 2018
    1984 - fix the scratch on your broken record . Also use your brain
    Australians have never been wealthier
    The poor have become richer everywhere in the world except where Marxism and dictatorships persists
    3rd Dec 2018
    .... where you living Lothario? La la land......?
    3rd Dec 2018
    Now now Foxy
    Behave yourself or I’ll give you a good spanking
    3rd Dec 2018
    ooooohhhhhhhhhh ......... promises promises
    3rd Dec 2018
    No - he lives in Low-Low-Land... that's what it's called, Don-kay - because it's Low, Low Land!

    Politics of envy derives mainly from the top, with their interminable hatred of anyone they think is 'getting something for nothing'... under our very effective Social Security system that gives at least some hope for those beset by the trials of life.. some parasites copping heaps of tax deductions reckon that's getting something for nothing - but they never reckon their deductions are getting something for nothing......

    People are funny like that.....

    I don't mind your getting ahead - just pay your way .. no cheating.. not income shifting.. no hiding in one owner company structures and then saying "not me.. not me" .. no offshoring of cash to avoid tax and then 'borrowing' it from another account of your own so as to get full benefit from it before next tax time... beforte offshoring it again and so on...

    We had a 'diablo' here who owned up to cash shifting offshore and back... strangely reminiscent of your good self he was, too ... he vanished when I warned him the ATO was hot on his tail (as part of that group of thieves and bandits) - within two weeks the ATO announced exactly that kind of purge...

    Then you emerged with the same vernacular....... life's funny like that....

    Look to yourself - and guard yourself for true - nations worldwide are waking up to profit shifting and cash manipulation between accounts held in Offshoreland.... and that applies to companies and individuals.... time to pay the piper, I'm afraid...
    4th Dec 2018
    SOME Australians have never been wealthier... the 'wealth' is NOT even remotely evenly distributed.. some have heaps... many have none.....

    Go - tell it to the unemployed and those on part-time casual - explain to them how 'wealthy' they are....

    1984 got it right - Madame Guillotine cut them all down to size.... could've been a lot more, but they stopped at 2,639.... and a lot more shot etc....

    You need to straighten your thinking out, son.... and don't expect that I will applaud some offshore vulture coming here to exploit a project and then paying nothing back.... that's not 'wealth'..

    If you reckon EVERYONE is wealthy in this nation, show me the figures... empty phrases mean nothing....

    Now look at how you've turned a discussion of older people shagging into your pet themes.... no wonder some label you a party schill....

    3rd Dec 2018
    Looking around the place in a bowling club, sex does not seem that important but at the beach in Pataya and the adjacent bars the same age blokes run around with the gals like jack rabbits. Might depend on the material you have to work with, eh?
    3rd Dec 2018
    It`s not about AGE......Its about `FITNESS` of body and mind.......I`M 80 YEAR OLD MALE....
    ENJOY MY SEX-LIFE on a pretty regular basis!!
    3rd Dec 2018
    sighs ...apparently just another resident of La la land?

    ...surprised that someone of 80 can actually remember - hahahaaaa - ok ok just kidding ...... roflmao
    4th Dec 2018
    3rd Dec 2018
    Sex is one of the most common desires of humans especially adults. And it simply cannot cease just because you are retired. But it is also a given fact that the human body at certain point will decline or lost its vigor to perform it. Its just like saying that the mind is able but the body is not. But if one can, one can by all means desire to have it with your partner.
    3rd Dec 2018
    If it doesn't feel any good, its not important.

    3rd Dec 2018
    Old guy went to the doctor who checked him over and told him that he would have to give up half of his sex life. The old guy responded; "Which half Doc, thinking about it or talking about it?" I wouldn't say that I'm in that group but as I said to a mate at the RSL the other day; "Remember that stuff they used to put in our tea to stop us getting frisky? Well, I think it's working now."
    3rd Dec 2018
    That was the old Vet in the final curtain countdown ....

    "Any regrets before you go?"

    "I only regret I didn't do me bit more in the Revolution!"

    "You mean you were at Eureka Stockade?!!?"

    "Nah - I mean the SEXUAL revolution..."

    3rd Dec 2018
    What a rubbish poll! Surprised so many even took part. I bet given the opportunity, most (men in particular) would go for it with a younger, better shaped, better looking person with no wrinkles. Recent examples - Karl Stefanovic, Barnaby, etc, etc.
    3rd Dec 2018
    Yes - tends to explain the 'Jennifer Syndrome'.... doesn't it, Barnaby? Poor old Barney .. dried up at home.... no wonder he hit the younger, fertile circuit.... not a good reason to sack him.. but lying and fanoogling positions etc is......

    Cowboy Jim has it - it depends on the material you have to work with.... and if it's recalcitrant and grumpy and snores and has given up on life........ brrrrrrrrr .. enter the cold chill of Aged Sex Winter......
    3rd Dec 2018
    lol - most woman would like men who looked after themselves better also - take a look around anywhere/everywhere - the average male over 50 years are : overweight - big noses - big ears - pot bellies - shuffle when they walk and amazingly enough still like to think they are "all that - and then some" ........

    ... that's why a lot of women prefer younger sexy men! :-)

    Baaanaby is ugly as sin and Karl S is starting to pack on some weight!
    3rd Dec 2018
    You’re right there Foxy
    That’s why men like me who are in shape and good looking are in high demand

    It does get a bit much sometimes , but hey I’m not complaining
    3rd Dec 2018
    Yeah that's why you can often be found on here ...... lol lol .....just sayin'
    3rd Dec 2018
    You’re asking for it Foxy
    Over my knee. You won’t be able to sit for days

    Just how many times a day can a man have sex

    Even I need a break a few times a day
    3rd Dec 2018
    .. reminds me of Billy Connelly sitting next to a young and rising Hollywood star on a plane, and listening to the poor young man complain about those Hollywood women - three times a day..... worn out .....

    Billy muttered under his breath:- "Bastard!"...
    4th Dec 2018
    Just read all the comments, we have gone from Sex to Politics and back to Sex ! Interesting as to the relationship of them both. Anyway back to Sex, I joined a few different dating sites when my EX disappeared with an EX best friend of mine. OH BOY! did I learn some things about myself making me realize how sheltered my life had been up into my 50's. I "dated" for a couple of years then decided to give it a miss as most of the men on those sites are just after the sex side and I wanted a friendship as well. I am quite content now with my own space and a really good vibrator but I dare say most women, me included, wouldn't say no if a nice man came along wanting sex and accepted me with all my faults.
    4th Dec 2018
    I'm supprised at the statistic that 85% claim that they DONT use Viagra!! Is that number influnced because it includes responsees from Male and Female? I would think more like 85% of Males over 60 DO use viagra....

    "Diminished libido occurred mostly between the ages of 60 and 64 (13 per cent), with many others losing the ‘edge’ at 55-59 (11 per cent) and 65-69 (11 per cent). Still, 85 per cent claim they don’t use Viagra or a female equivalent to make up for this."
    On the Ball
    4th Dec 2018
    Just read all the comments on version 2 of the Sex Saga.
    Very interesting and there IS a common thread for those who are "seeking".
    Clean up your own act first!
    Oh, and here's a tip: Watch carefully what the medico's want to stuff in your body. or do to your body. Research widely and wisely before you do or take anything. If it MAY reduce your sex drive or MAY have unwanted side effects, please see if there's an alternative.
    Good sex is a small part of a relationship. Bad sex is ALL of a relationship.
    11th Dec 2018
    Molymoo, sorry you are finding it difficult. FWB sounds like a good idea???

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