How to Find a Partner in Your Age Group
The age group for menopausal women to consider having sex with is not always easy to pinpoint, according to a new study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.
The findings are based on interviews with more than 1,200 menopausal and postmenopausal women.
“In general, the older you are, the more likely you are to have an interest in having sex,” said co-author Elizabeth S. Johnson, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Texas at Austin.
“But there are exceptions.
For example, men who are in their early 40s have a much greater interest in sexual activity, whereas older men in their 60s are not as likely to be interested in sex at all.”
In other words, if you’re older and interested in having a relationship, but you’re in your early 40’s, you may have a lower likelihood of having sex, the study finds.
The results may have implications for men who have had sexual experiences, including partners who have passed on their partner’s symptoms.
“Our results indicate that men in the mid to late 40s may have more sexual interest in women who are older and more sexually experienced,” Johnson said.
“It’s not a huge deal, but we still need to think about whether this translates into actual sexual experiences for women in their late 40’s.”
One possible explanation for the lower interest in sex is that men have different sexual fetishes, she said.
“We know that men with a more sexual orientation are more likely to experience erectile dysfunction, but in the study, they were more likely than men with heterosexual orientations to have vaginal intercourse, which could be because they are more aware of the consequences of having unprotected sex.”
Another possible reason for lower interest is that older men have more difficulty finding a partner in their current sexual role.
“There is a sense of stigma associated with having a partner older than yourself,” Johnson noted.
“You might be less likely to see a partner because of this.”
In addition, the prevalence of STDs among menopausal or postmenopause women is higher than the general population, so men may be less interested in trying to have sex with someone who is not their own age group.
In the study’s second and third waves, the researchers asked participants to describe the type of partner they would prefer to have, and then asked them about the type and frequency of sex they would be willing to have with that partner.
“People are more willing to engage in sexual relationships with partners of a different age group than they are with partners who are of a similar age,” Johnson explained.
This study was based on a survey of over 2,000 women aged 18 to 74 in the U.S.
The survey found that the younger age groups were most likely to have been sexually active with their partners, with 45 percent of women in the age range between 35 and 49 having had vaginal intercourse at least once in their lifetime.
This is the group most likely of which Johnson and colleagues were interested.
But even among women who had been sexually inactive for a while, it was the older age groups that were more frequently interested in casual sex, especially among women in middle age and older.
“The fact that younger age group women were more interested in sexual experiences is consistent with what we would expect from their sexual history,” Johnson continued.
“For example, among older women, we found that they had less interest in casual sexual relationships than women in younger age-groups, and this is consistent even though they are much more likely still to have casual sex than women of the same age in middle-age and older age-group.”
It may also be the case that the older women in this group were more open to casual sex and did not think of their partner as a threat, she added.
In fact, men and women with the same sexual history were equally likely to engage with casual sex.
However, this difference was statistically significant only among men.
“We know the sexual experience of older men has been described as being less frequent and sexual than the sexual experiences of younger men,” Johnson stated.
“And while that’s true for the general public, we don’t know if that is true for men and, if so, whether it is related to the higher risk of STIs among older men.”