One of the most significant things that happens as men age is a change in sexual desire and the frequency of sexual activity. Testosterone gradually drops, responsibilities pile up, and anxiety caused by issues like erectile dysfunction (ED) start to make things a bit more difficult in the bedroom.
Don’t let this discourage you, though. According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, many men continue to be sexually active beyond the age of 70 (and even into their 80s!) if they’re healthy and physically activity. Studies show that men have sex later in their lives than women do because they tend to marry younger women and care more about sex, both of which keeps them sexually active for a longer period of time.
Here we break down how your sexual drive, libido, and sex life change as you age, and what you can do to make sure you stay sexually active for as long as possible.
Teenagers are full of testosterone and their interest in sex intensifies after the onset of puberty. Research shows that men in their 20s have three to four orgasms per week, but Psychology Today notes that premature ejaculation is a common issue at this age. Interestingly, a study in The Journal of Adolescence shows that, although hormonal urges play a huge part in sexual activity when boys are young, they also want a relationship, to have meaningful sex with their partner, and someone to talk to and connect with. At the same time, a man hits his sexual peak at 18 (women don’t reach it until 35!), which makes him extra excited to explore many types of relationships and sexual activities.
Studies show that men are considered the most universally desirable when they’re in their 20s because they are physically developed and know more about sex than they did when they were in their teens. The desire to have sex remains strong, even though the body produces slightly less testosterone than it did in the teenage years, and men tend to be able to control orgasms more and last longer in bed.
In your 30s, hormone levels continue to fall, which can cause you to think a bit less about sex. In many surveys, men report things like being busy and having a lower sex drive/stamina as the reasons why they had less sex in their 30s. By this age most men have been sexually active for a while and have had many sexual experiences, so girls are less of a mystery and the urge to have sex all the time slightly declines. On average, men in their 30s have under three orgasms a week.
At this age, testosterone continues to drop and, around 45-50 years old, erections rise more slowly and are less hard. According to Psychology Today, at this age sexual fantasies aren’t enough to cause a man to have an erection and aspects of health, like heart disease, high cholesterol and blood pressure, and a lack of regular exercise can affect his ability to get an erection. Studies show the premature ejaculation (PE) commonly reoccurs at this age, and it starts to take longer to become aroused. On average, men in their 40s have two orgasms a week.
When you get to your 50s, everything starts to look up again. This decade can be the second sexual peak for men because, according to a study from Body Logic MD, they are more financially stable and have a higher status, which draws women in (this is called ‘the George Clooney effect’) and gives them more freedom. On average, however, men who are 50 or older have approximately one orgasm a week, while 7% of them are impotent.
Health plays a big factor in the amount of sex men have at this age. Studies show that you can increase your span of sexual activity by a few years by exercising regularly, eating healthy, sleeping eight or more hours a night, and limiting alcoholic intake. At this age, however, studies show that erectile dysfunction (ED) can really start to affect sexual activity. In fact, The Adelaide Male Aging Study (2012) found that, after the age of 60, 91% of men reported ED as a major problem.
At this age, poor health often health leads to decline in sexual activity. Some men, however, continue to have sex, usually with the help of pharmaceuticals like Viagra. Although drugs like this can help, men can also experience a decrease in libido and arousal, which make sexual activity decrease. In fact, a study in Australia in 2012 shows that 48% of men who were studied reported a ‘lack of interest’ as the reason they no longer had sex or didn’t have sex as often.
Even though hormone changes and a decrease in sexual desire have the power to change your sexual habits as you age, a healthy diet, regular exercise, and enough sleep will help to keep you in tip-top shape so you can continue to have sex for a really long time.