Sexual intimacy is one of the most important factors of a happy marriage, and as you hit your half-century, you might be wondering how often to hope for some bedroom action. Getting older doesn’t mean that you don’t want to still be getting some.
So, how often are married couples having sex after 50? The basic answer seems to be that they are having less sex than they were, but it can get more satisfying than it used to be.
Less Is More
TODAY.com’s “This is 50” survey was conducted in 2014, and it compared couples in their 50s with couples in their 40s. After the age of 50, there was a 10% drop in the number of married couples that said they were having sex a few times a week or month.
Just over a third of 50-somethings reported that they made love with their partner once a week, down from 43% of 40 to 49-year-olds. Plus, almost 25% of couples in the 50-59 age range said that they weren’t having sex at all, compared to 17% of couples ten years their junior.
But the good news is that it’s still pretty good sex. Almost half of the survey’s responders said that they were satisfied with their sex lives. It’s interesting to note that those who feel that they’re not getting enough action mostly placed the blame on their spouse. More women blame their husbands than vice versa.
It Depends on How Long It Is (Your Marriage, That Is)
A 2014 study conducted on adults aged 57 to 85-years-old found that there is a curvilinear relationship between the duration of your marriage, and the frequency of sex. In other words, if you put it on a graph, the line would look like a U-shape.
This means that the most sex is had at the start of the marriage, and drops off over time until it reaches the lowest point, and then starts to increase again. Couples who have been married for 50 years are actually having sex less often than those that have been together for 65 years.
The average adult who has been married for a year has around a 65% chance that they’ll have sex at least two or three times a month. If they have been with their partner for 25 years, that chance falls to 40%. If they’ve been together for 50 years, then there’s just a 35% chance of them getting lucky regularly. This trend reverses though, as couples who’ve been together for 65 years have a 42% chance of regular sex, even better than those who’ve been together 25 years.
The New Normal
How often you have sex isn’t the only thing that’s important to your sex life and to your relationship as a whole. If you want to improve your chances of getting lucky on a day to day basis, then perhaps it’s worth considering how you act towards your partner when you are together.
For example, according to a 2013 study of couples over the age of 50 conducted by the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons), 32% of men and 48% of women show affection to their partner in public, giving hugs and kisses, while 73% of the happiest couples surveyed said they gave their partners a public display of affection at least twice a month.
Saying “I love you” is another important part of relationship happiness. More than 90% of the men surveyed said those three little words regularly, compared to just 58% of women. Considering that 85% of the happiest couples said that both partners expressed their love at least once a week, you might want to consider being a touch more effusive if you normally play your cards close to your chest.
Another route to marital bliss seems to take time to make special plans together. Around a third of couples said that they very rarely or never have date nights together, but an impressive 88% of the couples that consider themselves “extremely happy” are making time for each other and going out together.
The AARP’s study had slightly different results to TODAY’s:
- 31% of couples have sex several times a week
- 28% of couples have sex a couple of times a month
- 8% of couples have sex once a month.
- 33% of respondents said they rarely or never have sex.
- Among couples who report being “extremely happy,” an astonishing one-fourth rarely or never get it on.
What’s Stopping You?
The most likely cause for a reduction in the surveyed men’s sex lives is health-related. For women, changes in sexual interest and enjoyment are more closely linked to interpersonal factors – that is, how strong the relationship is.
For both sexes, stress is a major cause for less sexual interest, and financial worries are one of the biggest passion killers. 26% of men and 14% of women over the age of 45 say that having a better financial situation would make their sex lives more satisfying.
50 Shades of Grey Hair
How often are married couples having sex after 50? Sadly, it seems that around a third of couples over that age are not having any sex at all. But on the other side of the coin, almost as many say that they are having sex several times a week. 36% say that they are having sex between once or twice a month, and that’s the most frequent answer (but it’s a small majority).
More than half of men and women between the ages of 50 and 59 say that they wished they were having more sex. They also say that the reason why they aren’t having enough sex is that their partner either doesn’t want to or can’t. If that’s the case for you, there are solutions. As with any relationship issue, try kindly and gently communicating with your partner what your needs are. Chances are that they have the same needs, and they’re happy to meet you halfway.