The Truth About Sex After 40: Survey Reveals How Our Preferences Change With Age

Oral sex is a top priority, of course.

A fascinating survey has lifted the lid on the nation’s sexual behaviour post-40.

It revealed that oral sex is a favourite among men and women aged 45-54 years old, with 71% of men reporting having received or performed oral sex in the past year compared to 63% of women.

These numbers slowly diminish as we age.

The survey also offered a glimpse into women’s confidence and revealed that the older a woman gets, the more confident she becomes in bed.

Dimitri Otis via Getty Images

For the survey, by Superdrug’s Online Doctor, researchers analysed data from the Indiana National Sex Study (US) and the Natsal-3 Studies (UK).

They discovered that in both the US and UK, sexual activity diminishes with age - whether that’s engaging in vaginal and oral sex, or practising masturbation.

In the UK, approximately 85% of men aged 45-54 years old engage in vaginal sex, compared to 81% of women.

This figure decreases slightly among those aged 55-64, with 75% of men and 59% of women engaging in vaginal sex, and again in the 65-74 age group, with 57% of men and 37% of women participating.

This sharp decrease among women may be a result of the menopause, the report explained. As women are likely to experience a reduction in oestrogen and other hormones, which can lead to reduced sexual desire, vaginal dryness and other symptoms that make sex uncomfortable.

A recent report found that menopause aside, many middle-aged women are actually more satisfied with their sex lives. This is because they are adapting to changes in sexual function and, as a result, are experiencing better sex.

The ways in which women adapt to improve their sex lives include: using vaginal lubricants, lengthening foreplay and incorporating other types of sex besides penetrative intercourse, such as ‘oral and manual stimulation’.

The latest survey seems to emphasise this trend, as it found oral sex was a big hit among those aged 45 and over. People in the UK engage in oral sex more often than those in the US, even as they age.

Men were more likely to receive or perform oral sex than women, with almost three quarters (71%) of men aged 45-54 engaging in oral activities, compared to 62.7% of women.

According to Superdrug, men who may be suffering from erectile dysfunction or women who find vaginal intercourse to be uncomfortable could find oral sex a satisfying alternative.

The Superdrug report concluded: “As we age, our overall frequency of sex might diminish, but it takes until we’re well into our 60s and beyond to see a drastic drop in activity.

“Even then, sex is still on most people’s mind – they might just approach it differently.”

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