London - Middle-aged women are satisfied with their sex lives as they get older – even though they have less sex and say their partners have performance issues in the bedroom.
However, men say they are less satisfied as time goes on.
The survey, of 1 000 couples, found that while nearly three-quarters of married or cohabiting women between ages 50 and 79 said they were satisfied with their sex lives, only half of men of the same age agreed.
Also, in those aged 50-59, 16 percent of men were very dissatisfied with their sex lives, compared to only 10 percent of women.
In those over 70 years old, this rises to a quarter of men being very dissatisfied and drops to 7 percent of women feeling the same way.
Women were generally satisfied with their sex lives if they felt they were getting as much or as little sex as they wanted, but the actual frequency itself was not a determinant of satisfaction.
Furthermore, when questioned on sex drive and sexual performance issues specifically, nearly two-thirds of women admitted that, for a noticeable length of time, their men had displayed a lack of sex drive and/or weak erections.
Experts are now warning women not to take their partner’s lack of sexual interest simply as a sign of “slowing down”, adding it could be an indication of an underlying health condition with serious implications.
They say symptoms such as a lack of sex drive or weak erections are both key symptoms of Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome (TDS), a condition which may affect up to 2 percent of men between 40 and 79 years old.
The condition, caused by low testosterone, is linked to diabetes and heart disease and is characterised by low sex drive, erectile dysfunction (ED), depression and weight gain.
According to the women questioned, almost 60 percent of men met the criteria for TDS, yet less than a third of them had heard of it.
And only a quarter were aware of its association with type 2 diabetes and or circulatory problems, according to the research, commissioned by Bayer HealthCare.
But a quarter of women said they would never bring up such sexual issues with their partner – even though many of them would like their husbands/partners to show more sexual desire.
Mary Clegg, a sex and relationship psychotherapist, said: “This research points to a number of interesting findings. Firstly, that levels of sexual satisfaction appear to be related to expectations and it seems that women are easily pleased in their later years – or at least, become easier to please than their husbands as time goes by.
“Secondly, while the majority of partnered women over 50 say they are satisfied with their sex lives, half say their partner has lost sexual desire for them and/or have had poor erections.
“It seems they see no reason to address an embarrassing issue and for those who are not satisfied, lowering expectations and putting changes down to normal ageing appear to be the norm, rather than confronting any issues.
“Yet very few women are aware that these changes in sexual desire and performance could indicate TDS, which has links to diabetes and heart disease and can only be diagnosed by a medical doctor.
“Whenever my clients come to see me about changes in a man’s desire, in consideration with other factors, I will usually recommend that TDS is ruled out initially through a simple blood test and clinical assessment at the doctor’s, before exploring other issues in the relationship.”
Dr David Edwards, a doctor specialising in sexual dysfunction, said: “It is well known that women are much more likely than men to go to the doctor themselves, or on behalf of their partners, so the fact that so few do when their men are showing signs of TDS, is worrying.
“Women have a vital role in helping their men to confront embarrassing conditions which may have serious consequences if undiagnosed.”
He continued: “We want many more women to understand that sexual dysfunction is not just a lifestyle condition and that seeking medical advice when symptoms have persisted for a while is important.
“There is now a wealth of evidence illustrating that early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can reverse TDS symptoms in a man and improve his overall health, diabetes and heart disease risk.
“We must break down barriers to diagnosis and increase awareness so men and their partners don’t have to suffer in silence.” – Daily Mail
BETWEEN THE SHEETS
When questioned on the frequency of sexual relations, only 18 percent of the over 50s in long term relationships said they had sex every day or every few days, with a similar proportion saying they had sex once a week.
A further 21 percent had sex every couple of weeks or once a month, but the largest percentage was the 27 percent who had sex “rarely”.
Sixteen percent said they never had sex these days with their husband/partner, the same proportion as those who had answered “every few days”.
Women aged over 70 were significantly more likely to report that they rarely or never had sex with their husband/partner. - Daily Mail