Sex After Fifty…

I came across several articles addressing this topic, wondering if it is different for lesbians or women loving women versus heterosexuals. While it is a biological fact that women of menopausal age develop thinning of vaginal walls and experience more vaginal dryness which certainly has an effect on the woman’s sex life, this does not have to mean the couple will necessarily experience ‘lesbian bed death.’ Of course, this was a secondary topic I was interested in as well. Unfortunately I couldn’t find much that was specifically related to sex between women after 50, although there were many articles on lesbian bed death. Maybe I will tackle that topic in another blog.

My conclusion based on a number of sources is that the reduction of sex in established couples has less to do with menopause, lesbians, or even busy schedules. I came across research conducted by AARP, that while the article is not limited to lesbians or women loving women, there were some eye-opening statistics.

  • Only 58 percent of women More than 90 percent of men tell their partner “I love you” regularly, while only 58 percent of women tell their partner they love them regularly compared to 90 percent of men. And among the happiest couples, 85 percent of both men and women said I love you at least once a week. What??? Come on ladies we need to step up on the romance!
  • While 78 percent of couples say they hold hands at least sometimes, among couples who’ve been together 10 or more years, more than half say they no longer hold hands. This was just one of the data points that led me to believe that less sex after 50 has less to do with menopause and more to do with the ‘honeymoon is over’ phenomenon. I still love holding my wife’s hand, which I must admit in today’s ever increasing anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric makes me nervous in public, but I refuse to let them win!
  • 32 percent of men and 48 percent of women avoid public displays of affection. The sad part of this is that 68 percent of couples who do not display affection in public self-report they are unhappy or only slightly happy with their mates, while 73 percent of the happiest couples kiss and hug in public at least once a week. See note above on my refusal to let the bastards win. If a quick kiss to my wife makes people uncomfortable, tough shit!
  • 12.5 percent of people in a relationship for a year or less say reported they had sex with their partner out of obligation as compared with couples in a relationship for 21 years or more where it was nearly half (49.6 percent). Again I attribute this astounding statistic to the fact that new relationships have the excitement that fuels the sexual energy more than established relationships.
  • 38 percent of couples do not kiss passionately at all anymore. Once again of the happiest couples that stat nearly doubles to 74 percent kissing passionately at least once a week. So…want to keep the passion going…go for that epic lip-lock at least once a week or more.
  • 31 percent of couples have sex several times a week; 28 percent have sex a couple of times a month, and 8 percent have sex once a month. And the final sad stat on this is that one-third reported rarely or never having sex. The good news is that this didn’t necessarily mean the couples weren’t happy because among those couples who reported being “extremely happy,” an unbelievable one-fourth rarely or never had sex. So…even if you and your partner have encountered ‘lesbian bed death’ that does not mean the death of your relationship.
  • A recent University of Michigan/AARP poll found that 40 percent of those between 65 and 80 report being sexually active, with more than half of those with a partner stating they still engage in intimate encounters. For people in their 50s, a separate study found that up to 91 percent of men and 86 percent of women are sexually active. And one-third who are in their 50s are having sex at least once a week.
  • Many women reported that sex after 50 was some of the best sex in their life because the kids were gone and there was more sponteneity. Some researchers have argued that people should not assume a decline in hormones automatically leads to a decline in libido. A study out of King’s College London found that menopause doesn’t play as great a role in sexual problems as once thought. A bigger factor was whether the person had issues with desire and orgasm before menopause. Thus short, women can still pursue a fulfilling sex life — even after menopause, and even if it is less frequent than when you first got together with your partner and mimicked little bunnies!

I hope y’all have found this as fascinating as I did. Bottom line, intimacy can come in many forms, sex is only one of them and happy couples do not always depend on sex to secure the relationship. Although, it is clear that a woman can have sex well into their 70s and 80s. With that in mind, I hope you all will enjoy reading about the happy couple in Georgetown Glen: Queermunity Living at Its Finest due out in May. They aren’t the only couple featured, but I wanted to write a story about a couple in their 60s who are retired and in a different phase in their lives than the younger couple who are also featured in the story.

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