• Continuing sexual relations

    Although the topic of sexuality has become less closed in society, the sexual needs and behavior of older people are often perceived with ridicule and cause misunderstanding. In the eyes of society, especially its young part, it is still considered abnormal that "grandfathers and grandmothers" have the same sexual interests as young people.

    The need for intimacy, warmth and pleasure does not disappear for years, and the processes of biological aging do not block sexual function and sexuality.

    People who have enjoyed sex at a young age usually continue to do so in the future, although the aging process makes certain adjustments to their intimate relationships. Most older people remain able to enter into sexual relations while they are allowed overall health.

    The decline in sexual activity is partly due to general deterioration in health( "Everyone is young as much as he feels") and partly reflects cultural traditions and established standards of behavior.

    With age, sexual responsiveness may decrease, however, if the loss of desire has occurred unexpectedly, it requires a medical examination, becausemay be an early sign of the disease or a consequence of psychological stress. Simultaneously it turned out that the sexual activity indicators for men of the age group 66-71 remained approximately at the same level for the next 6 years, the same applied to men and women of 56-65 years.

    52% of men and 30% of women over 65 years of age remain sexually active and have sex on average 2.5 times a month, although they would prefer to do it twice as often.37% of married people have sex once a week, and 16% - more often.

    Women of this age group celebrate no less or even greater satisfaction with sex life than in previous years. Many older men continue to enjoy the proximity, but they do not experience an acute physical need for ejaculation.

    The degree of pleasure from intimacy, caresses and touches at this age is related to the intensity of sexual activity and its importance in youth. Couples older than 60 years are increasingly replacing sexual intercourse with other forms of sexual stimulation, in particular oral sex and stimulation with hands. A study of healthy men and women older than 80 years showed that 62% of men and 30% of women have sexual intercourse, although in most cases they are of the nature of mutual caresses and touches without intercourse.

    For many elderly people who have lost a partner, masturbation is the only way to get sexual satisfaction. However, while a serious influence on the willingness to resort to self-stimulation has a public view of masturbation. If this type of sexual activity of men and women was considered acceptable in their youth, then they resorted to it in old age. Regular sexual activity is an indicator of good health and longevity. If people understand that age changes are natural and normal, then they find the opportunity not only to adapt to them, but even to improve their partner relations. Sexual activity has a beneficial effect on the emotional state, increases the vitality and self-esteem of the elderly.

    Comparison of the sexual activity of men and women. In St. Petersburg, in the age group 55-74 years, 75% of men and 33% of women continue to support sexual relations. The higher level of sexual activity among men is due to the fact that a large percentage of older women have sick partners or become widows. Marital status and age. The main factor determining the level of sexual activity among the elderly is the marital status. With age, more women are left alone, which is explained by their longer life than men. In St. Petersburg in the age group over 55 years, 84% of men are married or have a roommate, and among women - only 42%.

    Having a partner. Sexual activity in old age directly depends on the availability of a suitable sexual partner. With age, women, unlike men, are less likely to find a sexual partner.

    At the age of 70, 40% of men and women do not have a sexual partner, and at the age of 80, 57% of men and 97% of women do not have a sexual partner.

    Level of sexual activity. Sexual activity of the elderly depends on such factors as general health, the presence of a partner, sexual attitudes and values, the importance of the sexually-erotic sphere in their lives.

    At the age of 55-74 years, 20% of men and 60% of women in St. Petersburg( 1) did not consider themselves to be sexually active, in whole or in part( "they took the cross").34.4% of men over 55 years of age have not had intercourse in the last year, and 33% have had sexual intercourse in the last week( 2). 72% of women over 55 have no sexual intercourse in the last year, and 11%had sexual intercourse during the last week( 3).

    Relationship of sexual activity with social status. Studies in Finland( 1992) showed that men with greater financial income entered into sexual relations more often. This difference became particularly noticeable in the transition from the middle to the older age. For women, material wealth was less significant. The last two days have entered into an intimate relationship in the age group over 55 years, 14% of men with low income, 30% - with an average and 40% - with a high. A similar connection with the level of education was not traced.

    Masturbation. Masturbation can have a positive effect on the health of older people. Studies show that older women who regularly experience orgasm in a partnership or self-stimulation are less prone to vaginal atrophy and genital diseases.

    In the age group over 60 years, 53% of men and 47% of women masturbate.

    In the age group over 70 years, 29.5% of men and 49% of women masturbate.

    In the age group over 80 years, 46% of men and 34.5% of women masturbate.

    In a subgroup older than 65 years, the intensity of masturbation is approximately 5 times a month. Elderly people who do not have sexual partners masturbate more often.