Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Sex drive 'thrives' in old age

Research suggests almost one in 10 of over-65s are keen to embark on a new sexual relationship

Shhhh... sex does not stop in your 60s.

But according to experts older people find it difficult to talk about sex and do not know where to go for advice.

Age UK said that despite problems associated with getting older it did not mean an end to a sex life. The charity carried out a survey of over 65s and found that a quarter (24%) said their sexual lifestyle has not changed despite their age.

But more than a quarter (28%) feel they cannot talk to their partner about sex and over two thirds (69%) have never sought sexual health advice. And almost one in 10 (8%) of over-65s are keen to embark on a new sexual relationship.

The survey highlighted the extent to which sex remains an important part of people's lives, with almost two thirds (62%) of over-65s in the survey saying that they are currently enjoying a fulfilling sex life.

What's more, a wish to keep the spark alive came through in the findings, as one in eight (12%) said they would like to try new things with their partner. Just under one in five (18%) want to be more sexually active - rising to over a quarter (27%) among men.

Lucy Harmer, from Age UK, said: "Our survey shows that having a healthy sex life is important to us regardless of our age. However, we also found that many older people may find it hard to speak up about sex, be it to their partner, friends or healthcare professionals.

"Age UK is keen to increase awareness of the importance of seeking out information and advice on sex - whatever your age. Some people's knowledge will be based on guidance received when they were first sexually active a number of years ago - and it's vital that those in later life have access to relevant, up-to-date information.

"The changes that many people face as we age, such as the menopause or finding our joints become less supple, don't necessarily mean our sex life has to stop. The right information and advice will help people in later life to keep sexually active and healthy for as long as desired."

A total of 2,000 UK adults over 65, and 2,000 UK adults under 50, were surveyed via an online poll by Vision Critical in November 2012.

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