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One In Four Baby Boomers Unhappy With Sex Lives

November 22, 2010

Nearly one out of every four adults between the ages of 45 and 65 are unhappy with their sex lives, according to the results of a new Associated Press (AP)/LifeGoesStrong.com poll.

The study, which was the topic of a Monday article by AP Science Writer Randolph E. Schmid, found that the so-called “baby boomers” were less satisfied with their sex lives than those both younger and older than them. While 24 percent of those in the 45-to-65 age range said they were dissatisfied, only 17 percent of those over 65, 20 percent of 30-to-44 year olds, and 12 percent of 18-to-29 year olds felt the same way.

Furthermore, more than half of female baby boomers (56 percent) and nearly half of males in the same age range (46 percent) reported that their sex drive had decreased with age. In spite of that, they were confident of their knowledge regarding sexual activity, as 59 percent of women and 48 percent of men between the ages of 45 and 65 said that they thought they knew all about sex.

According to Debby Herbenick of the Indiana University Center for Sexual Health Promotion, the two results may not be mutually exclusive. Herbenick told Schmid that women “are just more likely to discuss sex in a real way with friends and other women.”

However, she adds, such discussions could have drawbacks.

“Does it mean sex is not as interesting as it used to be, is it a lack of interest?” Herbenick said. “Have they lost optimism about the future of their sex lives?”

The poll, which was conducted from October 1 through October 10 by Menlo Park, California-based Knowledge Networks, also found that 72 percent of men between the ages of 45 and 65 have fantasized about having sex with someone other than their current partner. Only 48 percent of women reported having such fantasies. Furthermore, 62 percent of those polled–including 73 percent of boomer men–said that their first sexual encounter was not with their first spouse.

Sexual therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer, who helped design the survey, told Ken Baron of HealthGoesStrong.com (a LifeGoesStrong.com affiliate website), “We worry so much about teens and sex, but this poll indicates a need for a call to action for this segment of the population to become more sexually literate. It is not necessary for a couple to be in exact sexual synch, but if a couple’s appetites grow too far apart, then that indicates that there is not enough communication about sex in the relationship.”

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