Docs say sex after 60 enhances life, despite the obstacles

Many older people experience problems having sex and therefore avoid it. Even though this lack of intimacy lessens the quality of their lives, they are reluctant to talk about the subject, even with their doctor.

But a group of more than 50 people did at least want to hear about it at a recent presentation at The Willows, a retirement community in Worcester.

Dr. Randall S. Morse and Dr. Catherine DuBeau of the University of Massachusetts Medical School and UMass Memorial Medical Center gave a talk called “Sex After 60: Yes, You Can,” a frank, informative program that touched on basic physiology, sexual problems common to older people and possible solutions.

“Being interested in sex is totally normal,” DuBeau told the group. “Sex is a normal part of life throughout the life span.”

Despite public perception, many older people are having sex, the doctors said. For example, in the 65- to 74-year-old group, more than 60 percent of men and 40 percent of women are sexually active, with most of them having sex two to three times a month.

Dysfunction is common, but people are reluctant to talk about it with their doctor, as they might if the issue were high blood pressure or cholesterol.

For men, problems include early ejaculation, erectile difficulty, lack of interest and lack of pleasure, according to the doctors. For women, issues are often lack of interest, lack of pleasure, inability to achieve orgasm, insufficient lubrication, pain and unavailability of a partner.
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