If the thought of two nude octogenarians tangled up in the sheets doesn’t make you cringe, chances are you have reached a level of maturity when sex after a certain age seems like a pretty good idea. And, according to a recent study published in the Guardian and countless ageing sex symbols, you aren’t alone. Celebrities like Florence Henderson, 80, told Page Six she has a “friend with benefits” and Jane Fonda told Italy’s RAI television talk show last week that sex is important to her. “I’m 77,” she said. “If I never have sex again it will be sad.”
According to the Longitudinal Study of Ageing of 7,000 British subjects, more than 31 percent of British men in the 80 to 90 age bracket still masturbate and have sex. That compares to just under 60 percent of men between 70 and 80, which is still an impressive figure. British women aren’t nearly as frisky, according to the report, with only 14 percent of women between 80 and 90 and 34 percent of women between 70 and 80 regularly engaging in sex or self-gratification.
A similar study in the United States conducted several years ago by the Indiana University’s Center for Sexual Health Promotion found similar results among American seniors. While the American study divides its age group differently, the resounding result is that sex among the senior set is important, with 46 percent of men and 33 percent of women over 70 reporting that they masturbate, and 43 percent of men and 22 of women in the same age bracket saying they engage in sexual intercourse.