Regular sex is the number one feel good factor for older folks according to a recent study.Â Psychologists recently asked a sample of two hundred and thirty-eight married Americans aged 65 and over, a number of ‘what makes you happy’ type questions. Not surprisingly the key finding of the survey was a significant correlation between the frequency of love-making and expressed feelings of well-being both in life generally and also within a marriage.
The researchers reported that there is a clear link between the number of occasions that the over-65s had sex and the probability of a contented life and marriage. Just a little loving more than once a month made them fifty percent more likely to say they are ‘very happy’ compared to those who have been loveless for a year or more.
Nearly sixty per cent of those people who had sex more often than one time in four weeks reported being “very happy” with life overall, in comparison with just forty per cent of those who had not done it in the preceding 12 months.
Among the â€œvery happyâ€ marriages were fifty-nine percent who had no sex in twelve months. In comparison with eighty percent who had sex more than once a month. The correlation remained statistically significant even after taking into account such factors as age, gender, physical health and even financial health.
It seems more like a joke but the research interviews were conducted by scientists from the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. Florida is of course the retirement state, with a large proportion of older citizens and the happiness of those residents is of vital interest to state government.
Regular loving keeps you looking and feeling young too. If the pronouncements and the physical evidence of Jane Fonda are anything to go by. She puts her own youthful vitality down to a love of loving. The 70 plus actress and autobiographer gives over a whole a chapter of her memoirs to sex therapy advice for retirees and owns up to taking testosterone hormones to stoke her own sexual appetite.
There are high hopes for policy in the light of this study. It is hoped that it will open up lines of dialogue and create interest in developing ‘extraordinary and radical ways to help people with positive psychological issues that currently hold back older adults from boosting their sex lives. By proving the relationship between sexual activity and happiness the scientists hope to develop and deliver specific clear and helpful interventions for this important and burgeoning segment of their population.
The Florida study is the latest in a number of surveys to link loving with well-being in retirement. Researchers at the University of California San Diego surveyed women between the ages of 60 and 89 and discovered those who reported enjoying an active sex life also reported better quality of life and happiness.
[box type=”important”]While another report by Saga found respondents from the baby boomer generation were more satisfied with both their looks and sex lives than their children. Some 60% said that they found sex more satisfying post fifty than in their twenties and thirties.[/box]