Original Illustration by Stephanie DeAngelis
If age and sex were drawn on a line graph, you'd expect to see a negative correlation between the amount of sex you have as you age. But if a new study from the University of Pittsburgh is any indication, that may not be the case for women. In fact, women around age 45 and up reported the highest levels of sexual satisfaction and stated that having a fulfilling sex life is still very important to them.
"It is widely thought that women don't care about sex as much as men do, particularly older women," says Dr. Laura Berman, a nationally renowned sex therapist and New York Times best-selling author of Real Sex for Real Women. "However, that is far from the truth. As this study and others like it prove, women don't cease to enjoy sex simply because they are middle-aged and beyond. In fact, this is when sexual pleasure can really evolve into something fantastic."
Berman points to fewer inhibitions inside and outside the bedroom, more knowledge about their bodies, and a desire to communicate more openly with their partners as potential reasons behind this finding. But despite this newfound sexual freedom, she does acknowledge the sexual challenges that middle age can present. "The reality is that aging can present unique challenges such as dryness and discomfort. And, while there are 24 drugs on the market that are approved for treatment of male sexual dysfunction, it wasn't until Addyi was released that women had a similar option," says Berman. "So we definitely need for the medical community to catch up with this need and let go of the misconception that older women don’t care about sex.
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