When it comes to having sex when you're older, it really does help to be young at heart. New research found that the quality of your sex life in old age has to do with how young you feel, rather than your actual age. The University of Waterloo study looked at 1,170 adults from their mid-40s to mid-70s and monitored them over a 10 year period. They found that the closer you felt to your chronological age, the lower the quality of your sex life. Interestingly, feeling younger didn't mean that people were having more sex, but it did mean that the quality of the sex was higher. Quality over quantity, people.
"What was clear from the data is that feeling younger had a huge impact on how people felt about the quality of their sex life and how interested they were in having sex," Steven Mock, an associate professor in Recreation and Leisure Studies at Waterloo, said in a press release. "For people in mid to later life, feeling young at heart actually appears to make a difference in the bedroom."
"Instead of comparing yourself to a study or amount of time, aim for mutual satisfaction as part of the journey."
It's shows the importance of staying youthful — and finally explains why Rod Stewart was so obsessed with us all remaining ~forever young~. But the truth is, sex in old age can be totally fulfilling.
The Key To A Fulfilling Sex Life
No matter what your age, the key to a fulfilling sex life is going to be mutual satisfaction. Instead of worrying about how often you have sex or how long it lasts, try to focus on if both you and your partner are having your needs met. "Instead of comparing yourself to a study or amount of time, aim for mutual satisfaction as part of the journey," Amy Levine, sex coach and founder of Ignite Your Pleasure tells Bustle. And for hetero couples, even if your partner isn't giving you all you need through penetration, there's no reason you still can't both be satisfied. "After he ejaculates, if you want to feel more pleasure there's lots of things he can do to get you off. If not, take matters into your own hands and take care of business yourself."
Crucially, the research seemed to suggest a connection between quality of sex life and how interested people are in sex. Because let's be real, bad sex can be really, really bad. But if you're taking the time and putting in the energy to make sure that the sex your having is satisfying, you're going to want more of it.
We don't often think about sex in later life, but we should — we're not going to be young forever. So it's encouraging to see that state of mind has a lot to do with sexual satisfaction when you're older. We can keep the dream alive.