Sex in the elderly

Sex in the elderly


  • 1 How is the sexuality of the elderly
  • 2 Factors that influence sexuality
  • 3 False beliefs and myths of sexuality in old age

How is the sexuality of the elderly

Each person is unique and as such each old age is lived in a different way. So someone who has lived a healthy life is very likely to reach maturity with a good state of health and without major inconveniences to live a satisfactory sexuality in old age. Sexual activity will depend on factors such as the person's physical condition, experiences, social messages received and personal characteristics., the moment the person is going through ...

Supposedly, at this stage of life there is a greater sexual experience, greater knowledge of the body itself, more wisdom and better understanding with the couple, so sexuality in these ages should be good.

The problem is that many people do not relate old age to an active and satisfying sex life. On many occasions the origin of this idea is influenced by shame or pure ignorance. We live in a society in which eternal youth is encouraged and with it the idea that sexuality is only part of young and healthy people. At no time does the benefit of living a full sexuality for people's health arise. Many elderly people feel uncomfortable when they talk about their sexual needs. They are pressured by misconceptions that make it difficult for them to think of their body as a possible source of sexual pleasure.

In addition, there are certain physical and hormonal changes related to sexuality that affect both men and women that can hinder the adaptation process:


There are many women who after menopause they experience a renewal of their sexual interest since the fear of pregnancy disappears. But the common thing is that there is a lack of interest in sex. This decrease in sexual interest is related to the decrease in estrogen and the progesterone of menopause.

Orgasmic capacity remains but weaker and with fewer contractions, it also costs more to get lubrication. This can be easily solved by giving priority to massages, caresses and oral sex. The use of lubricants will facilitate intercourse.


From the 55 years goes down the production of testosterone in menThis causes more stimulation time to get an erection, this being and the orgasm less intense. It will also take more time to recover between erections. In addition, drug use may increase the incidence of sexual dysfunctions.

Factors that influence sexuality

It is known that sexuality in old age is influenced by different social and psychological factors that can make it difficult to have an active and satisfying sex life:

  • Loss of the couple. This is usually one of the most important causes of sexual abstinence, especially in women, since the number of widows exceeds that of widowers and it is still seen as something strange that an elderly person (especially a woman) tries to find a new partner .
  • Impairment of the marriage relationship. From the monotony and communication problem within the couple. Once the children leave, old conflicts may appear that had been in the background during the years of parenting.
  • Retirement. It is a change of life that the person has to be prepared to assimilate, if he cannot suppose a crisis that will affect many aspects including the sexual one.
  • Health. Physical decline and ailments can decisively interfere with sexual health.
  • Lack of privacy. Many older people live in residences where the privacy of the elderly is not always respected.

This denial of sexuality is even more pronounced in homosexual people, to which an even more pronounced social rejection is added.

False beliefs and myths of sexuality in old age

To all the aforementioned, we must add false beliefs about the elderly

We have already commented that as we get older our sexual activity decreases, but this should not be synonymous with having an inactive sex life. Fear and ignorance can lead to ideas as absurd as to think that older people should not feel like sex because it is immoral if they express their sexuality, without taking into account that this idea is a properly cultural conception that nothing has to do with the needs of the person.

Some myths and false beliefs related to this stage:

  • The elderly do not have sexuality because sex belongs to young people.
  • Older people are not interested in sex.
  • They have too many ailments to be interested in sex.
  • Mature men no longer have erections.
  • The elderly who have an interest in sex are the "old greens."
  • The elderly do not fall in love.
  • Practicing sex in the elderly can harm health.
  • Menopausal women are frigid.

In conclusion, sexuality should not be taboo at any stage of life and it is the person who should choose how they want to enjoy their sexuality, regardless of their age and physical condition.


López Felix & Olazábal Juan C.Sexuality in old age. Ed. Pyramid, 2005