Guides

Do older people have sex?

Talking about sex is becoming more and more common. Relating to your body, your gender and your lust is no longer reserved for words in a diary or confidential conversations with your partner.

It has become commonplace to hear about sex on the radio and in podcasts or read about it in magazines and on social media. However, it’s extremely rare that older people are in focus. Sex is for the young ones. The agile ones.

Or is it?

Our statistics show that sales for customers over 65 years of age have increased by a whopping 58% in 2021. A significant increase and proof that the sex drive continues, even though retirement is approaching, and that it’s becoming more and more acceptable to continue your sex life.

In Project Sexus, the world’s largest population survey on sexuality from 2019, half of the elderly in the survey answered that they have a good or extremely good sex life if they look back on the past year.

The survey also shows that 15 percent of those aged 65–75 have tried a sexual activity that involved sex toys within the past year.

So maybe the young ones and the elderly are almost equally interested in having sex?

“I am tired of young people almost having patented sex, as if they were the ones who had invented the concept. I’m over 70 and perverted—and I want to be allowed to be so”

Irma, 73 years old*

As we get older, our bodies undeniably change in ways that we cannot control. Changes that can negatively affect both the ability and strength to have sex as well as our desire for it, so we don’t leave room for sex.

But we should leave room for it.

A table filled with sex toys, crosswords, and knitting materials

Why is sex so important?

The World Health Organization WHO defines sexuality as a basic need. It’s an essential part of being human, and a healthy sexuality has a direct impact on our well-being both in terms of physical and mental health.

Sexuality is not only about being sexual with ourselves or other people, but is also about sensuality and our emotional life. Our identity.

When your children have left the nest and your work clothes have been put in the washing machine for the last time, you suddenly have time to find each other or yourself again—also sexually.

“You don’t stop having sex because you’re getting old; you’re getting old because you stop having sex.”

And that’s the perfect segue to the next question.

An older man and woman are about to kiss

Does your sex life change as you get older?

Yes and no.

For some, the sex drive is very fluid throughout life. It changes along with your development and your circumstances.

The things you wanted to do as a 25-year-old may no longer be relevant or interesting after you got older. Or maybe you have sex in exactly the same way as when you were younger.

Desires, needs, and preferences range widely regardless of age. We experience that sex life can flourish with age, and that desire can decrease as the body ages—both are equally natural.

“Sex has only got better with age. I have become more aware of myself and my body, less shy about telling what I like and dislike.”

Hanne, 65 years old*

Depending on age and physical ability, challenges can arise in your the sex life, where the definition of having sex becomes broader. Having sex is not just intercourse or penetration, because there can be physiological reasons why it’s difficult or even impossible to complete.

Therefore, foreplay can make a huge comeback and provide completely new ways to enjoy each other. The goal of sex is not necessarily to have an orgasm, but instead to be intimate and focus on intimacy and pleasure.

Erik does not miss having sex. He has had many good years and experiences with an active sex life. He misses touch and intimacy, and sharing life with a good woman.”

Erik Thor, 71 years old*

There are lots of great, erotic products for foreplay that can make it extra enjoyable to explore your partner.

Lube, tickling feathers, blindfolds, and lots of sweets in golden wrappers

When your sex life is challenged

As you get older, physical challenges can arise that prevent your sex life from unfolding as before. This applies to both women and men. The production of sex hormones decreases and there are changes in sensitivity. It often takes more stimulation and touch than in the good old days, before you get excited.

No matter what is relevant in your particular case, it’s always a good idea to talk about it with your doctor. Once you have identified what the reasons for your challenges are, you are much better equipped to do something about them.

Men

For older men, this is often erectile dysfunction—i.e. problems with obtaining and maintaining an erection. The risk of erectile dysfunction increases with age, and the vast majority will experience it at some point—either as a transient problem or as a permanent one.

At Sinful, you will find various products that may alleviate your challenges with erectile dysfunction.

A penis pump, penis rings, strap-on dildo, glasses, pipe, and small pieces of liquorice

Cock rings

A penis ring is a simple but effective aid that helps your erection last longer. When the penis is erect, its erectile tissues fill with blood so that it becomes hard. When the blood flows back into the body, the erection decreases, but with a cock ring you can make sure that the return is delayed. The blood runs right underneath the skin, and when the cock ring tightens, the blood is blocked. Voila—the penis stays hard.

A cock ring should fit well, but it mustn’t be too tight. It must also not give you discomfort or discoloration. And it’s also a good idea to only use it for 20 minutes at a time. Choose an elastic ring or possibly a set so you have several sizes to choose from.

When the penis is in a relaxed or erect state, roll the ring down the shaft so that it sits around the root. You can use a water-based lube so that the ring is easier to put on.

Black cock ring on a dildo

Penis pump

You can use a penis pump if you have difficulty achieving erection. You place it on the penis and help get blood into the shaft. There are several different types of pumps, so it’s entirely up to you whether you prefer a manual pump, an automatic pump, or one specifically designed for use in the shower.

It may be a good idea to use a penis pump along with a cock ring so that the blood stays in the penis once it’s been pumped in there. Remember to put on the cock ring before you start pumping. You can also put the ring on the base of the pump so that it’s ready to slide down over the shaft once you have gained an erection.

Transparent penis pump

Hollow strap-on

If you have little or no experience with sex toys or sex aids, then a hollow strap-on may look intimidating. And you might even associate the word strap-on with something else. But read on just a little more, because a hollow strap-on can be a great tool in terms of being intimate with your partner.

This type of product is for those who for one reason or another cannot get or maintain an erection long enough to complete sexual intercourse. A hollow strap-on has—as the name suggests—space for the penis to be inserted so that the dildo itself acts as a sheath.

The dildo is held in place by a so-called harness, so your hands are free. That way, you and your partner can have penetrative sex, so you don’t necessarily have to give up on that part of your sex life.

Strap-on dildos

Women

With older women, we most often see vaginal dryness play a role during and after menopause. Feel free to talk to your doctor about how to best help yourself and your mucous membranes before trying an enormously simple and effective “treatment”, i.e. lube.

Lube

Lube can be used for both masturbation and sex, and it’s available in different variations with different benefits. The lube acts as a substitute for or supplement to the natural lubrication that the vagina produces.

You can apply the lube on your labia and vaginal opening, but try also applying it on the penis or toy before insertion for an extra slippery and gentle experience.

A water-based lube is absorbed by the skin, so it may be necessary to add more along the way. It can be used with all types of sex toys in all kinds of materials. It can also be used with your partner and if you use a condom.

Silicone-based lubricant is not absorbed by the skin, but instead settles as a soft film. It provides a long-lasting lubricity. It can be used with sex toys made of hard materials such as metal and glass, with condoms, and with your partner.

Lubes and a magazine with crosswords

The pelvic floor

We can’t avoid talking about the pelvic floor as well. A healthy and trained pelvic floor can alleviate problems such as incontinence, and at the same time you can get even more out of your sexual experiences—and this applies to both younger and older women.

You can train your pelvic floor by doing squeezing exercises, using kegel balls or a pelvic floor trainer. Try it out and see which model works best for you, your level, and your needs. The muscles in the pelvic floor are not very large, so be careful not to overload them, and remember that relaxation is just as important as exercising.

And now that we’re at the pelvic floor, it’s not just women who need to start training. A healthy pelvic floor is also important for young men, but especially so for older men. You can get rid of involuntary urination and gain better control of your erection when you remember to train your pelvic floor.

Pelvic floor trainer, kegel balls, and knitting materials

Decreased sensitivity in the elderly

As we briefly mentioned earlier, both sexes may experience that sensitivity decreases with age, and it takes more to achieve orgasm than before.

What can older men do about reduced sensitivity?

For older men, an obvious choice is to return to products such as cock rings and penis pumps. Both contribute to the penis becoming a little more sensitive.

You can also try a stimulating gel like Viagel Stimulating Gel. It’s easy to apply to the penis, where it has a warming and tingling effect. It increases blood flow so that all stimuli feel extra intense.

Perhaps you will also experience great stimulation by focusing on the string under the penis head called the fraenulum. It’s a very sensitive area on the penis, and stimulating it can give orgasms even if you cannot get an erection.

A penis vibrator from Hot Octopuss is particularly suitable for this type of stimulation. They precisely stimulate the fraenulum with stimulating pulsations; a form of stimulation that has also given good experiences to older men with challenges or men with, for example, a spinal cord injury.

The duo model from Hot Octopuss also has vibrations that can be enjoyed by your female partner when you are very close together.

Sex toys, pipe, and matches lying together

 

Whether you’re particularly challenged in terms of sensitivity and ability to maintain an erection or not, we can’t get around the male G-spot, namely the prostate.

The prostate, also called the prostate gland, sits 3–7 cm up the rectum on the side towards the penis. The spot has approx. the same size as a chestnut and a surface that feels like a soft walnut.

Some men experience that the prostate enlarges as they get older. It can present challenges with incontinence or potency and should always be discussed with your own physician.

Prostate massage is a great supplement or alternative to penis stimulation. And even a whole new way to have an orgasm. You can use one or two fingers to massage the area or a prostate stimulator designed for targeted stimulation.

Black box, sex toys, lube, and glasses lying together

What can older women do about reduced sensitivity?

If you’re an older woman and you experience reduced sensitivity, there are fortunately also many things to try to remedy the problem.

A small and innocent thing like a stimulating gel for the clitoris can awaken your sex life in a new way. The gel is ready to be applied to the clitoris where it increases blood flow. It makes touch and stimuli feel even more intense, and you may find it easier to reach climax. The gel has a warming and almost tingling effect.

A magic wand and a stimulating gel for the clitoris lying on a table

As you get older, sensitivity is not what it used to be. Sometimes it needs a little help—and a magic wand is great for this. A magic wand is a super powerful vibrator that you may know better as a massage wand. It has a long shaft where you can set the vibrations, and a round vibrator head. They are available both with battery, as a rechargeable version, and with a cord.

If you’ve never used a magic wand before, we recommend starting with the lowest vibration setting and possibly using it on the outside of your clothes or on top of the duvet. Even if you need more stimuli, it’s a good idea to not throw yourself into the highest level right away. You can use the vibrator on the clitoris and other external, erogenous zones, but it’s also ideal for a wonderful massage, e.g. as foreplay.

You may also benefit from experimenting with highly targeted clitoral stimulation. The little erogenous gem has 8,000 sensitive nerve endings, so there is ample opportunity to awaken them if you purposefully go for it.

A purple clitoral vibrator and a red clitoral stimulator

For that, you can try using your fingers, the water jet from the shower, your partner’s fingers or tongue, as well as trying out new techniques. Maybe you need to press a little harder, move your hand a little faster, in circles or from side to side. When you do something different than usual, you make the body pay extra attention.

However, we don’t want to cheat you out on meeting two kinds of products that are experts in targeted stimulation, and which have been known to give quick and intense orgasms to women all over the world. It may sound too good to be true, but it is. True, that is.

Zumio doesn’t look like a traditional vibrator, but don’t let that fool you. The small tip hits the clitoris and stimulates it with super powerful vibrations.

Hand holding a Zumio X Spirotip Clitoral Vibrator

 

Womanizer Premium also has an unconventional exterior, even though the design is well-known to many women (young and old) who have given their irreversible love to the popular clitoral stimulators. A Womanizer stimulates your clitoris with pressure waves instead of direct touch. It almost feels like small quick sucks and a gentle vacuum, and for many women it’s equal to one orgasm after the other. It’s definitely worth a try if you find that hands or classic vibrations no longer strike your fancy (or if you just want to give yourself the ultimate in self-indulgence).

Hand holding a Womanizer Premium Clitoral Stimulator

 

“We are retired and have more time for each other. It’s more calm and emotional when you’re older. Our closeness and tenderness throughout the day allow the emotions to develop into bodily expressions. A 75-year-old woman takes longer to get ready than a 30-year-old woman, but that doesn’t make the enjoyment any less—quite the contrary.”
Aage, 80 years old*

Aspirin or orgasms?

Good sex and orgasms are not a miracle recipe for a life without nuisance or pain. But we know that during orgasms, a lot of pleasure hormones are released, which can have a pain-relieving effect.

Back in 2014, Sinful launched an experiment in which we investigated whether regular use of a vibrator could alleviate pain. As many as 77.5% of the test subjects experienced an improvement in their pain level.

Maybe it also works well for you to have a wonderful orgasm instead of a few painkillers. If nothing else, a good orgasm is never wasted, and the aspirin isn’t going anywhere.

A magic wand and other sex toys lying on a table

Who can help?

As you can see, there are many things that you can do to maintain or restore a wonderful sex life, both alone or with your partner—even if you have grown older.

Still, there are situations where sex life and intimacy are challenged. This might be serious illness or significant loss of function. It could be medication or mental challenges such as depression. It could be the loss of a spouse or partner. It could also be that you lack the courage to talk to a doctor and healthcare professional, or that it’s uncomfortable to have to buy sex toys and aids alone.

But you are actually entitled to help. Let’s just look at a snippet of the WHO’s definition of sexuality:

“Sexuality has an impact on our thoughts, feelings, actions, and interactions, and thereby on our mental and physical health. And since health is a fundamental human right, sexual health must also be a basic human right.”

It may sound a bit solemn and seem confusing to figure out where to start, but the most important thing to know is this:

You have the right to receive help with this part of your life if you can’t handle it yourself. Even if you have grown older.

Do not hesitate to contact your doctor or healthcare professional. They are sworn to secrecy, so try to forget all about shame, embarrassment, or worry.

If you need help finding the right sex toy or aid, you are always welcome to contact Sinful’s helpful customer service. They are ready to advise you on the purchase, use, cleaning, etc. of our products and can help you find answers to any questions you may have.

They also have a lot of experience in helping people, and you are far from the first one to call.

Older man and woman lying close together

Good sex for older women and men

It might sound like the recipe for good sex is a rock-hard erection, a wet vagina, and preferably an orgasm or two.

But good sex is also kissing. Sweet words and desire. Love and caresses. And the deep intimacy and affection we can experience with another human being neither can be nor should be replaced with sex toys or aids.

“Many studies show that intercourse is not so essential for the elderly, but that all forms of intimate physical contact are valuable and perceived as erotic. Kisses and hugs, lying close together and experiencing the togetherness, recognising each other’s scent, caressing each other, giving and receiving oral sex—they are all part of it.”

Gynaecologist Ditte Trolle, Sex after 50

In Project Sexus, we see that, for the elderly between the ages of 65 and 74, 25 percent of men and 40 percent of women have not had sex with someone in the past year. For seniors over 75, those percentages are even higher. But that does not mean that there is an absence of all the wonderful things that Ditte Trolle describes above.

Similar percentages apply when the subject falls on masturbation. Perhaps it means that ejaculation and orgasms become less important the older you get. Maybe there is still a tinge of shame and a feeling of doing something forbidden when satisfying oneself. Maybe it’s a mix.

But with the development we see in society and the increase we experience in sales to the elderly, it’s going to be exciting to see the statistics when we poll the population and their sex habits next time.

Different sex toys lying on a table

 

*Quotes come from the book ‘Elsk hele livet’ (Love throughout life) by Maria Fonfara, where 24 older women and men talk openly about love and sex.