Who knew mid-lifers were getting it on so much? According to the first of its kind study, which explored the sexual health attitudes and behaviours of midlife Canadians, there’s some pretty interesting data that indicates pleasure does not decrease with age.
The sexual health survey worked in conjunction with Trojan and included 2,400 participants—1,200 men and 1,200 women—between the ages of 40 and 59, where participants provided detailed information concerning their sexual health, happiness, pleasure, and sexual behaviour and attitudes. Here are our top six takeaways from the study:
1. Married people are having more sex than singles. Around 40 percent of married or cohabiting couples reported having sexual encounters once or more per week. Compared to singles that reported only 30 percent of the same frequency.
2. The majority of mid-lifers are happy with their sex lives. Over two-thirds of the participants indicated that they were either “very happy” or “happy” with the sexual part of their lives.
Most respondents were sexually active in the last three months, in particular those who were married or cohabiting. “There’s a public perception that as we age, sex becomes less important, less enjoyable and less frequent,” says Dr. Robin Milhausen, sexuality and relationship researcher at the University of Guelph. But that’s just not the case, as this study indicates, “most midlife Canadians are indeed leading satisfying and active sexual lives.”
3. Who says sexual encounters have to become predictable? The study revealed that mid-lifers become more adventurous as they get older. “More than half of those surveyed (63 percent) said they are more interested in trying new things to enhance pleasure than they were a decade ago.” Lubricant use for intercourse increased with age and vibrator use was common, particularly among women in regards to masturbation.
4. Communication is key for a satisfying sex life. According to the research, frequent communication was strongly associated with sexual satisfaction. Both men and women who communicated with their partners about sexual likes and dislikes indicated that they were very satisfied with their sex lives.
5. Post-sex affection is important for overall sexual pleasure. One of the strongest predictors of sexual pleasure in a relationship is what midlife Canadians do after sex. For both men and women, what mattered more than the pre-sex affection was the post-sex affection, which includes cuddling, kissing, and affectionate behaviour. “This seems to be especially the case for women; 71 percent of women who had six to ten minutes of post sex affectionate behaviour rated their most recent intercourse as very pleasurable.”
However, foreplay should not be forgotten—it still plays a big part in Canadian’s healthy sexual lives, whether married or single. While almost all respondents (94 percent) indicated being affectionate with their partner before their last sexual encounter, single Canadians are making foreplay last longer. More than 70 percent of singles said foreplay lasts longer than 10 minutes, compared to only 54 percent of married couples.
6. Midlife Canadians, while surprisingly sexually active, are at a higher risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The study confirmed the concern that sexually active men and women aren’t protecting themselves against HIV and STIs. 56 percent of single men and 61 percent of single women indicated they’re “not very concerned” or “not at all concerned” about contracting an STI. A lack of concern appears to be translating into high-risk behaviour, with overwhelming amounts of singles not using a condom during their last act of intercourse, despite having multiple sexual partners throughout the year.
The good news is midlife Canadians overall are having satisfying and enjoyable sexual experiences, whether married or single. And as long as the singles can remember to always be packing a rubber, there will be more amazing and safe sexual encounters to come.