Seventy-six percent of participants agreed that sex is an important part of a romantic relationship at any age, with men more likely than women to agree (84 vs 69%).
Carried out by the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, and sponsored by AARP and Michigan Medicine, the survey questioned a nationally representative sample of 1 002 people ages 65 to 80 about their sex lives.
Interest in sex did appear to decrease with age however, with those between the ages of 65 and 70 almost twice as likely as those in their late 70s to be sexually active, and with 33% of those in their late 60s saying they were extremely or very interested in sex, compared with 19% of those in their late 70s. 18% of men in the 65-80 said they'd taken medication or supplements to improve their sexual function - which could have interactions with other meds they're taking.
Almost two-thirds of adults 65 to 80 years old say they're interested in sex, and more than half say that sex is important to their quality of life, according to a new poll that seeks to shed light on a little-discussed topic.
But while sex is still clearly happening with older couples, there's still silence around elderly sex.
'We recognise that sex and sexual health is something that is very important to the health and wellbeing of older people but is not something that gets a lot of attention, ' said Dr Erica Solway, who was involved in the research. However, a new study out of the University of MI showed that is not the case at all, with plenty of senior citizens reporting that they still have active, fulfilling sex lives.
There are also noticeable differences among seniors in different age groups. Forty-three percent of women were extremely or very satisfied with their sex lives, compared with 31 percent of men. For instance, 45 percent of the respondents who are in excellent, very good, or good health reported being sexually active but only 22 percent of those who are in fair or poor health responded the same way. Those same women indicated they were more likely to be satisfied with their sex lives overall than men.
"Gender differences in perspectives on sex may result in differing expectations and challenges, even for long-term relationships", the study said. Perhaps this may be due to the fact that men continue to be sexually reproductive whereas women of the same age are now infertile.
Despite 62% of the older adults reporting that they would talk about any sexual health problems with their health provider, only 17% had actually done so in the past two years.