Sex and love are less and less subject to the passing of age. Due to the lengthening of life and the improvement of general health conditions, the elderly population has a long and satisfying sexual and relational life. Polls also say so. The University of Michigan, examining a sample of more than a thousand elderly Americans, revealed that almost half are sexually active. But how does sexuality work in the third age? We talk about this topic with Agnese Rossi, psychotherapist at Humanitas.
Even the over 65s are sexually active
In 2016, the results of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, which aimed to obtain information on behavior, activities, attitudes, functioning, sexual health status and couple satisfaction in old age, brought to light an interesting fact. A part of the population involved in the study stated that they are sexually active even after the age of 70 and 80, despite the prevalence of difficulties in the sexual response or general pathologies. Sexuality in mature age, different from that of young people, has peculiar times and modalities and, in some ways, surprising compared to what is imagined stereotypically.
A difficult dialogue
For the elderly, after a certain age, it is difficult to admit that they still have a sexual drive and an active life between the sheets. Research shows that embarrassment is about age and that if doctors were the first to start the dialogue, patients would be more inclined to talk about it.
What changes with age?
The third age, however, does not seem to be influenced exclusively by physical changes, but by a series of social, psychological and relational variables.
In fact, the quality of relationships and communication with the partner, the lifestyles chosen by the couple and the actual presence of a sexual partner remain very important.