Sex After 60: Frequency, Drive, And Sexuality Later In Life

Americans in their 60s have sex an average of 20 times per year and 26% of men and women between the ages of 60 and 69 do it weekly.
split screen image with a bar graph on the left depicting that among couples aged 60 and older who report having sexual activity weekly, 26% report partnered sex, 22% report masturbation, and 18% report oral sex, with a photograph of a 60-something couple hugging one another in a plant nursery
Updated:December 2023

Americans in their 60s have sex an average of 20 times per year [1], and 26% of men and women between the ages of 60 and 69 do it weekly. [2]

Key Statistics To Know:

  • Americans in their 60s have sex an average of 20 times per year. [1]
  • 26% of men and women between the ages of 60 and 69 report having sexual intercourse weekly. [*2]
  • 22% of men and women between the ages of 60 and 69 report engaging in masturbation weekly. [*2]
  • 18% of men and women between the ages of 60 and 69 report engaging in oral sex weekly. [*2]
  • Among men aged 60 to 69, 40% report “always” being able to get and keep an erection, 28% report “usually” being able to do so, and 28% report having some degree of erectile dysfunction. [2]
  • Among women aged 65 to 74 who reported having at least one sexual problem, 30.5% reported avoiding sex as a result of it. [3]
  • 68% of men and women aged 60 to 69 report never sharing their sexual fantasies with anyone else. [*2]

In this article, we’ll explore statistical data on sexuality after 60, including frequency, sex drive (for men and women), the most popular fantasies at midlife and beyond, and sexually transmitted diseases among those in their 60s.

Sex After 60 Frequency

bar graph depicting that among men and women aged 60 to 69 who reported engaging in sexual activity on a weekly basis, 26% reported having partnered sex, 22% reported masturbation, and 18% reported having oral sex
  • Americans in their 60s have sex an average of 20 times per year. [1]
  • 26% of men and women between the ages of 60 and 69 report having sexual intercourse weekly. [*2]
  • 22% of men and women between the ages of 60 and 69 report engaging in masturbation weekly. [*2]
  • 18% of men and women between the ages of 60 and 69 report engaging in oral sex weekly. [*2]
  • 83.7% of men aged 57 to 64 reported having sexual activity with a partner in the previous 12 months; of those, 67.5% reported doing so 2 to 3 times per month. [3]
  • 67% of men aged 65 to 74 reported having sexual activity with a partner during the past 12 months; of those, 65.4% reported doing so 2 to 3 times per month. [3]
  • 61.6% of women aged 57 to 64 reported having sexual activity with a partner in the previous 12 months; of those, 62.6% reported having it 2 to 3 times per month. [3]
  • 39.5% of women aged 65 to 74 reported having sexual activity with a partner during the past 12 months; of those, 65.4% reported doing so 2 to 3 times per month. [3]

Culturally speaking, we don’t hear much about sexuality among the elderly.

While sexual interest and frequency do tend to lower with age, many continue to have at least some sexual contact, with about 1/4 having sexual intercourse at least once a week.

Men’s Sex Drive At 60+ (Sexual Function And Behavior)

bar graph depicting that among men aged 60 to 69, 40% are always able to get and keep an erection and 28% are usually able to do so; additionally, 28% of men in this age range report having some degree of erectile dysfunction
  • Among men aged 60 to 69, 40% report “always” being able to get and keep an erection, 28% report “usually” being able to do so, and 28% report having some degree of erectile dysfunction. [2]
  • Among men 70 and older, 53% report having some degree of erectile dysfunction, 31% report “usually” being able to get and keep an erection, and just 15% report “always” being able to do so. [2]
  • Among men aged 65 to 74 who had sex during the previous 12 months, 28.1% reported reaching climax too quickly while 22.7% reported having an inability to climax. [3]
  • 28.9% of men aged 65 to 74 who had sex during the previous 12 months reported having anxiety related to their sexual performance. [3]
  • Among men aged 65 to 74 who reported having at least one sexual problem, 30.1% reported avoiding sex as a result of it. [3]
  • Among men aged 57 to 64 who had sex during the previous 12 months, 28.2% reported having a lack of interest in sex and 28.5% of men aged 65 to 74 who had sex in the past year reported the same. [3]

Sexual function tends to worsen with age, and for men over 60, erectile issues, premature ejaculation, low desire, and delayed ejaculation are fairly common.

Experiencing issues with sexual dysfunction often leads to reduced sexual frequency.

Notably, age is just one factor affecting men’s sexual function — mental and physical health, medications, stress, pelvic floor issues, relationship problems, plus “performance”-related fears and anxieties can also contribute.

Various therapies are available to help challenges with sexual function, and no matter one’s age it is usually possible to make improvements.

It’s never too late to work towards a more satisfying sex life.

Women’s Sex Drive After 60 (Sexual Function And Behavior)

bar graph depicting that among women aged 65 to 74, 43.2% report experiencing difficulty with vaginal lubrication, 32.8% report having an inability to climax, 18.6% report pain during intercourse, and 22% report a lack of sexual pleasure
  • 61.6% of women aged 57 to 64 reported having sexual activity with a partner during the previous year, compared to 39.5% of women aged 65 to 74 who reported the same. [3]
  • Among women aged 57 to 64, 44.2% reported having a “lack of interest in sex,” compared to 38.4% of women aged 65 to 74, although the differences between the groups were not statistically significant. [3]
  • 35.9% of women aged 57 to 64 reported having “difficulty with lubrication,” compared to 43.2% of women aged 65 to 74 who reported the same. [3]
  • Among women aged 57 to 64, 34% reported having an “inability to climax,” during sex, while 32.8% of women aged 65 to 74 reported the same. [3]
  • 17.8% of women aged 57 to 64 reported experiencing pain during sexual intercourse; 18.6% of women aged 65 to 74 reported the same. [3]
  • 24% of women aged 57 to 64 reported that sex is “not pleasurable” compared to just 3.8% of men in that same age group; 22% of women aged 65 to 74 reported that sex is “not pleasurable” compared to 7% of men in that same age group. [3]
  • Among women aged 57 to 64 who reported having at least one sexual problem, 34.3% reported avoiding sex as a result of it. [3]
  • Among women aged 65 to 74 who reported having at least one sexual problem, 30.5% reported avoiding sex as a result of it; when compared to the 57-64 age group, the differences between them were not statistically significant. [3]

Women’s sexual function is affected by many of the same factors as men’s sexual function, though post-menopause, women’s hormones play an even bigger role.

Problems with lubrication, arousal, and pain can become more common, often leading to sexual avoidance.

A woman with sexual pain may be more likely to avoid sex compared to a woman with lubrication issues because you can always add lube.

A woman who used to climax but now doesn’t may choose to avoid sex, while a woman who always struggled with orgasm may not see it as a big issue and keep having sex.

Many aren’t aware that various treatment options are available for sexual problems.

Depending on the source of women’s sexual issues, hormonal therapies, mind-body practices, relationship therapy, and various exercises can help improve most cases.

Sexual Fantasies After 60

donut chart depicting that 68% of men and women aged 60 to 69 report never discussing their sexual fantasies with anyone else
  • 68% of men and women aged 60 to 69 report never sharing their sexual fantasies with anyone else. [*2]
  • 16% of men and women aged 60 to 69 report never having erotic dreams, sexual thoughts, or fantasies. [*2]
  • 11% of men and women aged 60 to 69 report watching porn alone or with a partner weekly. [*2]
  • 27% of men and women aged 60 to 69 report using a vibrator alone or with a partner. [*2]
  • Among men and women between the ages of 40 and 70+ who report having sexual thoughts, fantasies, or dreams, the most common fantasies were (respondents could select more than one): [*2]
    • Having sex with a stranger: 39%
    • Having a threesome or group sex: 29%
    • Sex with a celebrity: 23%
    • Sex in public: 17%
    • Sex with someone of the same sex: 13%
    • BDSM: 10%
    • Sex with a current spouse or partner: 4%
    • Sex with a former partner: 2%
    • Sex with an acquaintance: 1%

Among older generations, sexual fantasies are often seen as more taboo than among younger individuals.

Nonetheless, many fantasies are quite common!

Vibrator and porn use suggest at least some members of this population have embraced more modern sexual norms and continue to explore their needs in older age.

STIs after 60

text graphic titled stis after 60 with explanatory text that reads: sexually transmitted infections (stis) have increased dramatically within older populations in america, particularly among those who are widowed or divorced
  • In recent years, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have “dramatically increased” among older adults in the United States, particularly those who are divorced or widowed. [4]
  • Among adults aged 55+ in the United States, most STI rates rose significantly nationwide over a decade, aside from HIV, which decreased very slightly [5]:
    • Chlamydia: 17,029 in 2021 (5,274 in 2011)
    • Gonorrhea: 18,484 in 2021 (3,334 in 2011)
    • Syphilis: 4,318 in 2021 (692 in 2011)
    • HIV (diagnosis): 3,723 in 2021 (3,797 in 2011)

STI rates have skyrocketed among older adults, especially those who are divorced or widowed.

Safer sex messaging typically targets younger crowds, but information on condoms and sexual risk reduction is just as important for older individuals.

With condoms, practicing non-penetrative sex acts, limiting the number of one’s partners, and regular STI testing, many STIs can be avoided.

Sources: