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Sexuality and the Older Woman

 
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A recent widely-published study done by the University of California at San Francisco revealed some interesting statistics regarding older women and sexuality.

After interviewing nearly 2,000 women ages 45 to 80, it was concluded that 43% experience at least moderate sexual desire, and 60% have been sexually active in the past three months. In this study, the definition of “sexually active” was taking part in any arousing activity, including masturbation.

As difficult as it is for women to express and enjoy their sexuality, for the older population it is even harder. Women are often judged in terms of their reproductive ability, so once they are past child-bearing age and considered to be less attractive by cultural standards, it is assumed that they do not – and should not – engage in sexual behaviors.

It is, therefore, encouraging that over half of the older women polled in the above study had recently been sexually active. It’s not that we aren’t doing it, it’s that we aren’t talking about it! Or perhaps we ARE talking about it, but we are seldom heard.

There is no biological reason that women over the age of 45 shouldn’t be able to enjoy sex, and in fact, only 9% cite that as the main reason for their sexual inactivity. The only obstacle that many older women face biologically relates to drug interactions, as many medications either result in uncomfortable physical side effects or lessened feelings of arousal that occur within the brain.

If you’re on a number of different prescriptions, check the side effects in your drug information pamphlets regarding sexual functioning. Don’t be embarrassed to ask your doctor about switching to a different medication if you need to, because as I said, more and more older individuals are becoming sexually active, and physicians understand this better than anyone.

With that being said, if you’re looking to rev up your sex life, there are several things I would recommend that you do.

1) If your partner has an issue with erectile dysfunction, offer to go with him to the doctor to be treated.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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