Research: a quarter of seniors have a hard time talking about sex

More than three quarters (77%) of the 1,119 elderly people who participated in the survey believe that having sex is healthy and that a satisfying sexual relationship is important for a long-term relationship (70%). Even so, the average sex life of seniors scores a 4.6. People who do not have a partner (anymore) bring that average down sharply.

Key to a good sex life

Seniors who are still sexually active are satisfied with their partner. Nevertheless, health problems and less need in the partner play a role in the experience of sex life. According to the respondents, openness, trust and good communication are the keys to a good sex life.

Questions about sexuality

25% of the respondents find it difficult to talk about sexuality. The vast majority of seniors (78%) indicate that it was (very) unusual in their lives to talk about sex and intimacy. There are, however, many questions about sexuality. For example about:

  • the effects of medication on their libido
  • erection problems
  • how to improve intimacy

The elderly do not quickly look for answers on the internet, because they see this as unsafe. And going to a therapist or doctor to talk about sexual problems is often a bridge too far.

Safe app

KBO-PCOB is developing an app that can help the elderly with information and questions about sexual health. More than four out of ten elderly people are positive about such an app, in which they can safely and discreetly find information and receive help from a doctor or sexologist. The app is similar to a course, where you receive information about the aging body, how needs can change and what effect medicines can have. A prototype is currently being worked on. KBO-PCOB is looking for elderly people who want to test the app.

More information about the app and testing at

Discuss sexuality

Talking about intimacy and sexuality is often difficult, but it is important to do. Create a safe atmosphere in which no other people listen in and in which you invite, but do not insist. Look for a reason to discuss the subject. Make a bridge! Practicing a conversation with example sentences can also help.

Read more about discussing sexuality and intimacy on Zorg voor Beter

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