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Why sex actually gets better with age

Dr. Elizabeth Yuko is the Health Editor at SheKnows. She is a bioethicist and writer specializing in sexual and reproductive health and the intersection of bioethics and popular culture. She is an adjunct professor of ethics at Fordham ...

Though quantity of sex may decrease with age, quality goes up

Using an “old married couple” as the benchmark for people who have boring sex is inaccurate according to a new study by psychologists at the University of Minnesota and Stony Brook University.

Popular culture tells us that our sex lives deteriorate as we age, but that conventional wisdom is being challenged by what the authors of the study call "sexual wisdom." In other words, life experience, knowledge and better judgment may also result in more satisfying sex.

More: 15 women share the best things about sex after 40

“This is consistent with the improvement we see in other life domains with age, and highlights the benefits of life experience for sexuality as people learn more about their sexual preferences and their partners’ likes and dislikes,” the authors of the study wrote on The Conversation.

They also noted that the increase in sexual satisfaction was strongest in the context of “good-quality romantic relationships, where sexual exploration and a focus on partners’ pleasure is more likely to take place.” 

More: Older woman, younger man: benefits and pitfalls

Participants in the study indicated that they place more emphasis on sexual quality rather than quantity — so they may be having sex less often, but when they do it, they do it well.

This is welcome news considering that our life expectancies continue to grow and that a satisfying sex life has been found to foster health and well-being.

More: Have better sex at any age

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