Sex and Seniors: The Hidden Truth

By Phil Lancaster

October 15, 2021

anti aging for men, anti aging for seniors, anti-aging for women, sex and seniors

Sexy at any age

Sex  and Seniors: What's Normal?

First of all, you should be aware that an active sex life is one of the most effective anti-aging treatments available.

It releases all sorts of hormones into your body that increase muscular strength, promote glowing skin and generally make you feel good.

(Just don't have a cigarette afterwards.)

Research into seniors and sex included in the New England Journal of Medicine surveyed 3,005 men and women in the United States between the ages of 57 and 85.

These were their results:


  • 31% of men and 20% of women in their 70s and 80s reported they were still kissing, hugging and messing around with their partners.
  • 54% of men and 31% of women over age 70 reported they were still sexually active, with a third saying they have sex at least twice a month.
  • More than half of those aged 57 to 75, and a third of the 75-to-85-year-olds, said they gave or received oral sex.
  • 52% of men and 25% of women reported they masturbated, regardless of whether they had a partner.

The majority of older adults who were married or had intimate partners remained sexually active well into their 80s. In general, sexual activity tended to decline with age, but a significant number of men and women reported engaging in intercourse, oral sex and masturbation even in their eighth and ninth decades.

What Are the Problems for Sex and Seniors?

About half of the adults who took part in the study reported that at least one sexual problem was slowing them down. For men, that included erectile dysfunction, climaxing too quickly or inability to climax, and performance anxiety. For women, it was low interest in sex, lack of lubrication, inability to climax and pain.


In fact, researchers have determined that when partners discontinue having sex, it’s usually because the male partner’s health got in the way.

One of the more common issues for senior sex was erectile dysfunction. The best overall treatments for erectile dysfunction are natural ones. These include food, herbs and specific penile exercises. For an all natural treatment approach, involving both pills and exercises, see Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Remedies.

Sex and Seniors: Use It or Lose It

It turns out that “use it or lose it” is a real thing when it comes to sexual health. Particularly for sex and seniors.

Janet Gibbens, MD, a gynacologist at Providence Health Systems in Portland, Oregon, says: "Regular sexual acts bring more blood flow, and therefore more oxygen, to the vagina and to the penis. They promote healthier sexual organs and improve lubrication and elasticity, particularly for women. Non-intercourse forms of sex are helpful with this as well.”

This is the basis for "use it or lose it" and it particularly applies to seniors and sex.

It's much, much easier to keep your sex life going than it is to restart it once you've stopped.

Sexy Seniors: The Media's Changing Attitudes

Over the past few years, mainstream media has moved away from only the very young being promoted as objects of sexual desire.

Think George Clooney (59) Brad Pitt (57) Madonna (62) and the absolutely fabulous Joanna Lumley (74) just for starters.

Sexy Senior George Clooney
Sexy Senior Brad Pitt
Sexy Senior Madonna
Sexy Senior Joanna Lumley

Four Tips for Better Senior Sex

1. Keep Your Body and Mind Healthy

Exercise regularly and eat a healthy, balanced diet.

You’ll look and feel better for both yourself and your partner. A healthy body will help you enjoy senior sex, no matter what your age.

Keep fruits and vegetables high on your list.

Although a shared glass of wine can be both a relaxant and a stimulant, don't overdo it. Too much alcohol will adversely affect sexual function, especially in sex and seniors. For both men and women.

Don’t underestimate the appeal of an active mind. Suggest something new to try with your partner. You might be pleasantly surprised and discover a shared fantasy.

2. Be True to Yourself

If you find in your senior years that it takes longer to become sexually aroused, start lovemaking with a romantic dinner (or breakfast). Share romantic or erotic literature and poetry, hold hands, touch often, and don’t be shy about saying what you love about each other. And did I mention touch often?

Is there a time of day when you are at your most energetic? That’s the optimal time for sex. Mornings are often good if you’re refreshed from sleep, but anytime is fine if it works for you and your partner.

And what about trying different locations, not just the bedroom. Outdoor sex can be a huge turn-on. Even at the risk of being caught. Imagine the headline "Elderly couple caught having sex on beach."

3. New Approaches to Sex and Seniors

Expand your sexual play beyond intercourse. Holding each other, gentle touching, kissing, and sensual massage are all ways to share passionate feelings. You might experiment with oral sex and masturbation as ways to please each other in bed.

Massage in particular can be a huge turn-on for both the partner giving the massage and the one receiving it. There can be elements of teasing and anticipation involved that enhance the experience.

And don't underestimate the importance of visual stimulation. Be thankful to the person who came up with the idea of full width mirrored wardrobes!

For men, if erectile dysfunction is an issue, try a woman on top position, such as cowgirl or reverse cowgirl where she's in control and hardness is less important. Experiment with positions that you both find comfortable and pleasurable. And there's always Viagra.

4. Intimacy Through Communication

If you would like to try something new, discuss it with your partner and be open to his or her ideas. The sex and senior years, when you have more time and fewer distractions, can be a time of creativity and passion.

It’s important to communicate your thoughts, feelings, fears, and desires with your partner and encourage him or her to communicate fully with you. Better mutual communication will help both of you feel closer, and can make senior sex more pleasurable.

Sometimes just talking about sex can make you feel sexy.

Looking good is also important. Even if your partner says it's not, it still works to boost your own self esteem. And your partner definitely isn't going to complain when you improve your appearance and your performance. Here are three articles that might help:

Profollica: The #1 Hair Regrowth System

The Best Anti Aging Skin Care Products

Erectile Dysfunction Treatment and Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction

All Natural Supplements

For Men

For men who want bigger, longer-lasting erections, there's VigRX Plus.

For Women

For women who want to rekindle desire, improve lubrication and enhance sexual response, there's Provestra.

Phil Lancaster

About the author

Phil is a septuagenarian who believes in an enjoyable, healthy lifestyle through exercise and healthy eating. His website is all about helping others to look and feel younger.

The Aging Slowdown website covers diet, exercise, skin care, sexual health, your immune system. stress relief and better sleep. For those moving into retirement and concerned about income and lifestyle, there's an entire section devoted to creating an online business at any age.

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  1. I like what I see. I see aging, then detox and other topics related to Sex and Seniors. Now that we are in the right topic I can see the info is great and also the keep you body and mind healthy is a eye opener, it make we think of my father healthy as he gets older and myself in my late years as well. I believe that they are certain thing that make a human feel desirable. 

    1. Thanks, Claudia.

      The site is all about anti-aging and aging slowdown, clearly a subject most seniors are interested in.

      A lot of that is to do with diet and that’s been the subject of my first few articles.

      Exercise is important too, and I’ll be covering that in the future.

      But so are personal relationships and in particular an active and healthy sex life and that’s what this latest post was about.

  2. Intimacy through communication is so vitally important I think at any age.One of the reasons divorce is so high. Yes I have witnessed it with my own parents even in there 70’s they still hold hands and kiss often it is adorable to watch,but even more it gives me hope for the future with my own partner.

    1. So wonderful to hear about your parents, Cathy.

      Even more so that you’re inspired by it and look forward to your own “aging gracefully.” Or disgracefully 🙂

  3. Another interesting article, Phil. This is a very important topic because being sexually active as a senior is in my opinion very important. Not only physsically but also in regards to how close you feel to your partner. I think that it is a two/way street. The better relationship you have with your partner outside the bedroom, the better your sexlife will be, and vice versa.


    1. You’re so right, Lars. Relationship and communication are the key and if you can throw in a bit of lust, all the better.

  4. Hello Phill, 

    I think it’s very important to have a healthy sex life while you age. Just like you mentioned that it can improve your health and  give you a longer life to live.

     What are the steps to take to prevent ED problems as you age? I know personally it’s all about good exercise and eating healthy but outside of taking Viagra, what natural ways you could use as a elderly man to keep or maintain a healthy erection for intercourse?

    Thank you for this information I will share this with article with my Co workers who are looking for better way to enjoy sex at an older age.


    1. Thanks, Jerald for your insights and observations.

      I’m not sure about the answers to your question about maintaining a healthy erection. Partly you’ve answered it yourself. It’s all about exercise and healthy eating.

      But clearly, performance anxiety comes into it as well and, as long as you’re not among the few who suffer unpleasant side effects, Viagra is a reasonable answer. As long as, just like any drug, you don’t become dependent on it.

      I’ll research natural remedies and post about them in a future blog. Unfortunately, there are a lot of scammers in this area, preying on the vulnerable.

  5. The benefits listed are only the proverbial tip of the iceberg.  A serious issue for aging men is prostate health – even prostate cancer.  There have been multiple studies that have shown that more frequent sexual activity correlates with a decrease in rates of prostate cancer.  I guess not all preventative medicine is unpleasant!

  6. Very True! I perfectly understood the context of this post. In short, although we tend to encounter more sexual problems as we age, many older folks maintain active and satisfying sex lives–and those who do just might be reaping some important health benefits. Just like you said, Intimacy through communication can also make your senior sex life more pleasurable.

    1. All very true. There are plenty of studies with statistics to show that an active sex life as we age extends our lifetimes and increases our resistance to disease.

  7. Great post will share this to my father if he is not too embarassed to read it lol. Natural hormones is better than taking the hormones anyday. I wish people are more openly about sex more in my culture. I am from Thailand, openly talkig about sex is a no no and we top that with seniors? Haha the senoirs will hunt me down and spank me. Maybe I’ll booze them up one family gathering ad present this study to them. Good read.

    1. What a great set of comments, Nutanee.

      Yes, one of the issues is that many of today’s older citizens were raised in an environment where sex just wasn’t discussed and their reaction to the topic is one of embarrassment.

      You’re right, too, that this is exacerbated in some if not all Asian cultures.

      But I’m living proof that you can overcome it.

      Don’t know about getting them drunk first. But, who knows, you might enjoy the spanking 🙂

  8. Wow, I really learned a lot reading this article. It makes sense, though, that an active sex life is definitely well-correlated with living a healthy lifestyle. 

    I also would be one insisting on keeping things fresh. Now, this is all hypothetical at the moment since I’m only 27 and have a little while to go before I reach senior citizen status, but something tells me repetition in doing too much of the same would become a big turnoff.

    I like your point on trying new approaches plus communication. By trying something new not every time, but definitely once in a while, interest in sexual activity will remain high. If partners continue to go through the same old, same old, like anything else, a sex life will get really boring really fast.

    1. You seem to have a great attitude towards enjoying a healthy sex life, Todd.

      I remember being 27. Funny, but it doesn’t seem all that long ago.

      Time flies when you’re having fun.

  9. I never quite considered myself a senior at 57, but that’s the starting age of those in the survey, so I guess I am now, lol!  It’s good to know that there are a good number of both men and women who have the desire and ability to have intimacy even in their eighties and nineties.  To me that would definitely be the best anti-aging medicine!

  10. Dear Phil,

    I must say I found your post highly uplifting and educational. I can tell you I have taken some great insights from your post.

    As you mentioned, exercise and eating a healthy & balanced diet is the key, although many of us are aware of it the problem is many fail in implementing or practicing it and I am the first one on that list (Not implementing). So after reading your post I realized the importance of exercising regularly and eating a healthy & balanced diet.

    Also, I got a lot useful information for a healthier sexual life and its benefits. Intimacy Through Communication is an important thing to remember.

    Thanks for the helpful and insightful post.

    Wishing you Great Success!


    1. Thanks for the comment, Paul. You seem to have the takeaways intended.

      Healthy eating and exercise are habits. It’s getting started that’s difficult.

  11. Hi Phil, I really enjoyed the read about sex, and benefits of keeping intimacy apart of our lifestyle, along with good healthy habit. Like having sex generates oxygen and life generating hormones, which can slow down the aging process, if neglect our gift given proformance, as natural desires.

    Your writing makes me want to find out more. Being of the age of 58, I know exactly what you’re talking about, I don’t want to give up my sexual needs, and wanting to exercise more, for keeping the juices flowing. More intimacy is great medicine.

     Thanks for the reminder, and your enlightenment. 

    Jonathan Leslie 

    1. You’re welcome, Jonathan. Yes, it really is the best medicine. Along with laughter, but if you can combine the two…

  12. I am not a senior yet but I will hopefully be one day. But even so I believe I can take something away from this. The importance of that closeness. Which is important regardless of age. Food is also very important, a bad diet will make you lack in that department and you will not feel like you are in the mood. Having zinc in your diet is of great benefit to anyone who feels that they are never in the mood anymore or just need a little bit more umpf.

    1. Glad that you’re looking forward to your senior years, Alexandra and you’re so right about the importance of closeness. Couple that with a healthy diet and, while you mightn’t be always in the mood, it will be often enough to keep the juices flowing.

  13. It is so wonderful when you see those elderly couples at the beach still holding hands and clearly still very much in love.

    They say that sex is one of the best forms of exercise one can get, and as we get older we tend to want to exercise less, so why not make sex part of your exercise routine so that you can at least enjoy working out and gain all the added advantages of getting closer to your partner and all the hormone stimulation in the process.

    1. You are so right, Michel, about sex as exercise. Certainly more enjoyable than pushups without a partner and great for the hormones too.

  14. Hi, It is definitely a great article about anti aging and step by step guideline for senior sex. Most senior people really face this type of problem and feels uncomfortable for so many issues.I believe your article will help those who really want a guide and perfect way to solve their issues. But is there any natural way without taking Viagra or any alternative without side effect? Thanks for sharing this helpful tips with us.

    1. Unfortunately, many of today’s seniors were brought up in an era when sex just wasn’t discussed and so they are uncomfortable talking about it. But this is slowly changing and if I can help with that then I’ve accomplished something. Some older men find it difficult to ask their doctor for a Viagra prescription, as if it’s an admission of failure. Viagra can be very effective but in a future article, I’ll explore natural alternatives.

  15. Phil!

    You have shared a great article about senior’s sex. Here I should mention about Indian’s life. The Elders lifestyle in India is entirely different. Most of the Indian families are Joint, of course, it is changing nowadays. So, When they have the grandchildren they think that having relations at his age is like committing a sin. The Indians should learn from the Westerners about the truth of seniors sexual life.  Your article should reach all Indian Seniors. Very educative and I enjoyed your article.


    1. Thanks for this insight, Prabakaran. I’ve had this discussion with Indian women, not seniors but in their 40s and they’ve totally agreed with what you’ve said. They are still very interested in sex, but they can see their husbands losing interest as they get older. I think we’ll see a lot of Indian wives having affairs with younger men if their husbands don’t wake up to themselves.

      Feel free to pass my website on to any Indian friends that you think might be interested.

  16. I had no clue that seniors can have so many problems in their sexual life. This article explained everything I needed to know about seniors sexual life. It is really surprising to see so many different kinds of issue. But mostly it looks like it has caused because of the men health.

    This is well written article. Thank you so much for sharing this article. It was really easy to understand and read this article.

  17. Hey! Phil

    You have the right content for this topic. Normally, we don’t talk about it but you have given a solution that will help everyone especially seniors to have a good life.

    It is very important to know what can slow seniors to have great sex. According to the statistics you have presented, seniors can still enjoy sex if they follow the health awareness you have presented. The only problem the numbers are low because not many know they can help by reading this and take action to improve their sex life.

    Men get depressed if they see they are not satisfying their partners, and this prompts them to avoid having sex. This can really have negative impact on the relationship.

    I hope many people will find the information presented here to be very useful and apply it to their lifestyle. I have benefited too!



    1. There is no doubt that a satisfying sex life is important to a relationship at any age and for older partners, is an important component of staying youthful as well.

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