If you look through any magazine or watch most TV shows, it’s easy to think sex is something only for people in their 20s. But, as anyone over 20 knows, that’s not true! One thing that is true, unfortunately, is how confusing sex becomes as we get older. There’s a lot of information out there that many people assume to be true, but how much of it really is true? Let’s take a look at some of the most common myths about sex after 50 to see what’s real and what’s not.
- People lose interest in sex after a certain age. Says who?! Sexuality has no age limits. The only thing that changes as we age is the factors that play into sex. For example, people find that sex after 50 is more satisfying when the quality of their relationship is better. For younger people, relationship quality doesn’t as strongly affect sexual satisfaction. You may be surprised to learn that over 70% of men and women report more satisfying sex after 50 than when they were younger. If anything, sex only gets better with age.
- Men struggle to perform as they get older. False! With so many people over 50 reporting fulfilling sex lives, it’s clear men aren’t having problems with performance. Erectile dysfunction is not caused by age, although diminishing hormone levels do cause changes. It may require more physical stimulation for a man to get aroused, and things might not be as firm as they were in his 20s, but sex is just as great! We’re not able to bounce back as quickly as 20 year olds, but the deed is just as fun.
- Women lose interest in sex as they age. While it’s true that menopause can influence a woman’s response to sex, such as vaginal dryness, some women actually find their interest in sex increases after menopause. Menopause causes a shift in the ratio of testosterone to estrogen and progesterone, which affects women differently. But there is no cookie-cutter effect on women’s sex drive from menopause.
- Older couples who don’t have sex regularly lose interest in each other. Sure, sex after 50 isn’t the same as it was when you were 20, and it won’t be the same as when you’re 70. But these changes aren’t all bad. In fact, plenty of couples find it easier to relax and enjoy sex as they get older. This is partially because menopause frees women of concerns around pregnancy, but also because older couples may have more time on their hands. As we get old enough to retire or cut back on work, we have more time to spend with each other, and making love is a great way to spend that time.
- Women can’t have orgasms when they’re older. Many women actually find sexual pleasure increases after menopause. For these women, sex after 50 comes with more frequent and even more intense orgasms. Maybe it’s all that relaxing? Or maybe it’s because we’re more aware of what we find pleasurable now that we’re a bit more experienced. In fact, since sex is driven less by hormones as we age and is instead driven by an actual desire to engage with another person, men and women find sex more gratifying as they get older.