Sex at 50+ : What’s Normal?

Posted on March 9, 2013



In its March 2013 issue, AARP Magazine presents “Sex at 50+: What’s Normal?” in which they answer our burning curiosity about other people’s sex lives. A heads up (in a manner of speaking): If you routinely incorporate the Area 51 Love Doll, the Strict Leather Dildo Face Harness, or the Drilldo into your sexual repertoire, you may be a bit too advanced for the likes of this article.

The use of the word “sex” in the title is about as apt as the use of the term “rush hour” for DC to and from work traffic. Most of what is under the category of “sex” is anything but. When we see this provocative title, do we really care about how many partners hold hands or say “I love you” or finding out how many people feel their partner fulfills their needs? I don’t think so. Here’s one example of a time-waster:

39% of people (whether happily or unhappily partnered) reported taking sneak peeks at their partner’s emails. The article then adds, “Most partners feel violated when they learn their privacy has been breached.” The article doesn’t tell us what percentage of people weren’t aware of this little nugget, but hopefully, they aren’t people making life or death decisions for others out in the world.

See what I mean? You didn’t come here for that. You saw the word “sex” and you clicked. Or you searched “sex toys” under tags and you clicked. Or you wanted to know if you were normal and you clicked. (This third category is easy: If you have to search on WordPress for something that tells you if you are normal, then you aren’t.)

This blogger understands all that, and she will now do her best to extract whatever meager crumbs there are in the article that actually have to do with actual or manufactured genitalia.

Here goes:

31% of couples have sex several times a week.
28% have sex a couple times a month
8% have sex once a month.
33% rarely or never have sex.
Seven people said their virginity had returned after being partnered.

Take a hard look at these percentages and:
1. Feel good about yourself
2. Feel bad about yourself
3. Go immediately to the refrigerator

60% of women and 40% of men have used sex toys with their partners. This writer has tried to equate the 60% with the 40%, and, even accounting for the greater longevity of women and for the fact that toys are usually meant for women, she still felt compelled to visit the refrigerator to think about this more deeply.

12.5% of people in a relationship a year or less think their partners have sex with them out of a sense of obligation. 49.6% of people in a relationship of 21 years or more say the same.

It’s not clear whether these people feel guilty about what they are doing to their partners. And the statistics don’t take into account all the people who are having sex and not realizing that their partners aren’t actually taking part in the enthusiasm.

Assuming these are the same people who are reading their partners’ emails and not aware that their partners would feel violated by such an activity, this means a lot of people are having their emails read by, and are grudgingly having sex with, their partner. This thought is so disturbing as to warrant another trip to the refrigerator.

Posted in: AARP, aging, research, satire, sex