The Good Life

Aging and Sex

Here’s some great news about aging. It can lead to great sex. A new study finds that the stereotype about old married couples is often wrong and that great sex flourishes in relationships that deepen with maturity.

The findings, published in the Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, suggest what many people in long-term relationships believe: that great sex has nothing to do with try this position or that sex toy. What turned out to be relevant was being able to be fully absorbed in each other in the moment.

Through long interviews with 30 men and women over the age of 60 who had been in relationships of 25 years or longer, several ingredients for “great sex” emerged: being present; connection; deep intimacy and communication; interpersonal risk-taking and exploration; authenticity and vulnerability.

Subjects said that sex became “greater” when it became slower, less focused on orgasm and less “goal-directed” in general.

The findings go against how popular culture portrays fantastic sex, a depiction that stresses performance, technique and novelty. Researchers say sends mixed messages that create unrealistic expectations, anxiety, shame and guilt. They are hoping this work will explode dominant myths and prevent sexual problems.

The bottom line: Optimal sex gets surprisingly better with experience. Which means aging may be an asset in the bedroom.

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