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Sex helps 'keep you young' in old age

The Local · 7 Feb 2012, 15:14

Published: 07 Feb 2012 15:14 GMT+01:00

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But communication problems, illness and social taboo can all hinder a happy sex life for the elderly, according to the “Use it or Lose it” study by the University of Rostock.

Behind the report are scientists at the university hospital who are hoping to end to the stigma surrounding pensioner sex and promote the message that "sex in old age is not only possible, but helps keep you young."

Professor of medical psychology Peter Kropp and medical sociologist Dr Britta Müller interviewed 170 people between the ages of 63 and 75 in 2011. They say their findings make a strong case for the positive role sex can play in the lives of older people.

“The results clearly show that staying active in later life – and this includes having sex – helps keep you cognitively active,” said Kropp.

He explained that an average 20-year-old thinks they will stop having sex aged 50. When they reach 40 this is pushed back to 70, and at 50 the limit goes up further to 80.

People with a lifelong penchant for passion were found less likely to lose interest in sex as they got older, but those who have always had a lower sex drive run a higher risk of losing it all together.

And while 70 percent of 75-year-olds gave theirs the thumbs up, just 57 percent of 63-year-olds said that they were happy with their sex life. Those over the age of 70 said that as they got older, they found that little gestures had more importance – such as a loving glance or holding their partner’s hand.

Men, no matter what age, named sex a higher priority.

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Along with illness and taking certain libido dampening medicines, communication was found to be one of the main mood killers as people age. “Older people are less inclined to talk about their sexual needs,” said Müller. “Sex becomes more of a taboo with age.”

Kropp urges older people to approach their doctor with problems surrounding their sex life: “They can help to loosen communication and take any pressure away from love making.”

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

18:32 February 7, 2012 by Yah right
Exerciise, such as walking and swimming are just as good also. You can do these while interacting with a larger social network which is very important to keeping your brain healthy.
18:57 February 7, 2012 by Gretl
Yah right - I'm going to have to disagree with you. A roll in the hay with my man is far more satisfying than walking and talking to people who don't know me.
20:55 February 7, 2012 by joysonabraham

Your thinking definitely makes sense besides @Yah talking doesn't come to everyone just at the tick of the clock. And sometimes searching for the right people to talk to is the most stress full thing in the world.
21:32 February 7, 2012 by HansT
Yup, walking and swimming are great because they help keep up your libido! Which in turn...
23:22 February 7, 2012 by ovalle3.14
Sounds like Nobel Prize material to me...
04:20 February 8, 2012 by Jim the good Guy
Ja! Ja! Old 68ers never die. :-)
04:40 February 8, 2012 by Yah right
It would appear that a loving glance or holding hands is what most 75 year old people find most rewarding.

No doubt sagging flab and horrendous wrinkles do very little to the visual side of romance.

Like I said earlier, there are other activities.......sex at 75...just can not bear to visualize it.
16:09 February 8, 2012 by J4K2
OK...I had to snicker on this....who cares where you are wrinkled and flabby....have fun!!!! Turn the lights low and go enjoy feeling pleasure!

Romance is stimulated with who you are with and the location and so much....

It can start wtih holding hands....slow dancing in the living room...

smooches on the neck and.......
21:37 February 11, 2012 by brnskin2010
Thanks to everyone for their hilarious comments....I'm LOL and LMBO............i will always enjoy sex @ any age....it's the feeling that counts....and if you geniunely have love for your partner it doesn't matter if the body ages.....b/c it will.....stay active and open minded.....
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