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Sexual function and activity in old age have been inadequately studied world over. It is important to know that aging processes are not confined to persons beyond the age of 60 years; many changes in elderly have their antecedents in the middle age.

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Harvard Health Ad Watch: Aches, pains, and muscle cramps — do well-advertised remedies actually work? American Heart Association issues statement on cardiovascular side effects from hormonal therapy for prostate cancer. Five lifestyle factors that can help prevent gastroesophageal reflux disease. Fantasies can help rev up your sex life. Myths, on the other hand, can stop desire dead in its tracks. Such myths aren't the legends from classical history.

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Attitudes about sexuality and aging

One Swedish study that interviewed groups of year-olds over a year period in the early s, mid s, early s and early s found rates of sexual activity had risen among men and women, and married and unmarried respondents. There are other ways we can measure the sexual activity and interest of older people without asking them questions about how often they have sex. Drug companies such as Pfizer know there is a huge market of older men who want to use their products to overcome erection problems — just look at their advertisements promoting Viagra.

The popularity of such pills means new erectile dysfunction drugs are entering the market, such as Cialis and Levitraboth targeting older men. People in their 50s and 60s are one of the fastest growing age groups looking for romance, love and sex on online dating sites.

Attitudes in this age group are also changing. There is even a new classification in popular culture for older women who actively seek out younger men: cougars. Some commentators see this as the epitome of liberation in the post-feminist era. The of older women with younger men in intimate relationships is rising, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy.

These days pornography can cater to almost any taste and the over 55s are the third largest consumers of online porn. So the picture emerging from contemporary research is that the desire for sexual intimacy and sex is ageless.

Older women more likely to lose interest in sex

Sex can burn fat, increase circulation and stimulate the release of growth hormones in men and women, which le to stronger bones and muscles. A healthy sex life can also reduce anxiety and cause the brain to release painkilling endorphins and substances that bolster the immune system. A of websites have emerged over the past few years to promote sexual activity as an important part of healthy ageing.

Another organisation providing a long list of tips that should make sex more gratifying in our later years is HelpGuide. With new romance and sexual activity comes a higher risk of contracting sexually transmissible infections, including HIV. Yet many of us think this is a disease that affects the young.

Sexuality: desire, activity and intimacy in the elderly

Studies consistently show that older people are less likely to use condoms, possibly because they tend to view them primarily as a contraceptive measure. And women who no longer fear unwanted pregnancy may not insist on their use. Rates of STIs are increasing among older populations. A UK study found rates of STIs had increased overall and doubled older patients in the seven years to A decade-long American study that examined the rate of STIs in a sample of more than 1.

One of the biggest future challenges is the rapid rise of HIV. So the new public health message is that grandchildren need to tell their grandparents to use condoms.

In case you were wondering how to improve your sex life in older age, here are some tips from Help. Org :.

The discussion

Experiment: try sexual positions you both find comfortable and pleasurable, taking physical changes, such as reduced mobility and vaginal dryness, into. Foreplay: because it might take longer for you or your partner to become aroused, take more time to set the stage for romance, such as a romantic dinner or an evening of dancing. The study will focus on the personal experiences of the ageing body and its impact on sexual well-being.

Conversational experiments: some reflections on Sperber and Mercier — Reading, Reading.

Edition: Available editions United Kingdom. Well, think again.

Ageing Sex Sexually transmitted infection.