It’s been a while since I touched on the subject, but a new survey shows that people over 45 are having less SEX, and feeling less satisfied than they were ten years ago. They also happen to be more open to sex outside of marriage…hmmmm. The survey conducted by the AARP was completed by 1,670 Americans, 45 years and older. The results were compared to the same survey given in 1999 and 2004. Ten years ago 41% of respondents said non-marital sex was wrong, while only 22% said so on the new survey. Despite this openness among the middle aged and elderly, as a whole, their sexual activity has decreased by 10% since 2004. Further, five years ago 51% of this set responded that they were satisfied with their sex lives; however, only 43% said so on the new survey. As an interesting twist, unmarried people in relationships had sex more frequently and with more satisfaction than respondents who were married. According to the AARP’s sex and relationship expert, sociologist Pepper Schwartz, “Long-term married couples may get a little less interested. Older people in non-married relations work harder at it and enjoy it more.” As far as gender differences go, no surprises here: Men think about sex and engage it more often than women, and are about twice as likely as women (21 percent versus 11 percent) to admit to sexual activity outside their primary relationship. Men are more than five times as likely as women to say they think of sex at least once a day, and nearly three times as likely to say they engage in self-stimulation at least once a week. But unfortunately, only 12 percent of the survey’s sexually active single males reported using condoms. Tsk, tsk geezers–no glove, no love applies to you, too. The clap shows no age preference. So now you know. Finally, when asked what would improve their sex lives:
- 20% of the women and 37% of the men said better health
- 14% of the women and 26% of the men said better personal finances.
Ah, always the struggle between cash and capability. I find these survey results very interesting, and we can speculate in every kind of direction as to what is causing the trend. For instance, Ms. Schwartz, the sociologist evaluating the survey believes that the decrease in sexual activity is due to the recent economic downturn. And judging by the small number of responses to the affirmative (mentioned above), one could make that connection. But perhaps there is more. Maybe the growth of the internet, and the availability of sexually explicit material make it easier for people (men, mostly) to have their urges and desires satisfied. Since I know from the first law of thermodynamics (conservation of energy) that nothing is ever really missing, then sexual energy must also be conserved. Hmmm…people over 45 aren’t having sex with each other, then where are they having sex? Further, with privacy being factored into the equation, it would make sense that men (the gender increasingly more satisfied with their sex lives, compared to women according to Dr. Stacy Tessler Lindau, professor of medicine at the University of Chicago), more than ever before, can engage in sexual activity (albeit with their computers) without the possibility of embarrassment. And according to experts, men are not the only ones consuming online porn. Women also consume pornography, although they increasingly prefer written material. Increased use of online pornography could be at least one factor accounting for this survey’s findings…including the increased liberalism toward non-marital sex. Nothing wrong with that, just a transformation of where and how people are experiencing sex, if my thoughts are correct, that is. If I am right, then we can all rest securely knowing that we are operating within universal laws of conservation. Now that’s something to be satisfied with.