Well, this is a bit of welcome — and steamy — news!
For the first time in Canada, a new sexual health study took a look at what's really going on with the sex lives of Canadians between the ages of 40 and 59.
The study, which was commissioned by Trojan in partnership with the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada (SIECCAN), asked 2,400 participants to provide details about their sexual health, pleasure, behaviours and attitudes.
"There is a public perception that as we age, sex becomes less important, less enjoyable and less frequent."
It found that as they age, their sexual pleasure doesn't decrease. In fact, the majority of midlife Canadians have become more sexually adventurous than they were a decade ago — 63 per cent said they are more interested in trying new things to enhance pleasure.
According to the study, 65 per cent of those surveyed said their last sexual encounter was very pleasurable and the majority of midlife Canadians said that their current primary relationship is emotionally satisfying — 46 per cent very satisfying, 87 per cent at least somewhat satisfying.
"There is a public perception that as we age, sex becomes less important, less enjoyable and less frequent," says Dr. Robin Milhausen, sexuality and relationship researcher at the University of Guelph.
"The study findings indicate that most midlife Canadians are indeed leading satisfying and active sexual lives ... And married people are reporting sex as pleasurable as their single counterparts, in fact, married men reported more pleasure at last sexual encounter than single men. So the future looks bright for midlife Canadian relationships."
And for those who believe the myth that your sex life decreases the longer you're married, take a look at these heartwarming stats:
- 40 per cent of married/cohabiting respondents reported having sexual encounters once or more per week, while 30 per cent of singles report the same frequency.
- Most of those surveyed said they were sexually active in the previous three months, especially those who were married or cohabiting.
- For the majority of Canadians, their last sexual encounter lasted between 16 and 30 minutes.
"Not enough Canadians are speaking up about their sex lives."
Here's some additional info from the survey:
Let's Talk About Sex, Baby
People who talk about their sexual likes and dislikes with their partners were found to be more sexually satisfied, the study found.
However, according to the study, only half actually maintain a discourse about sex with their partners.
"Not enough Canadians are speaking up about their sex lives," says Milhausen. "Communication is key to a satisfying and pleasurable sex life and this data strongly backs that up."
Have You Got Six Minutes To Spare?
What midlife Canadians do after sex — and for how long — is one of the strongest predictors of sexual pleasure in relationships, according to the study.
Despite the notion that foreplay leads to better sex, post-sex affection — cuddling and kissing, for example — is just as important, if not more important, for sexual pleasure, for both men and women.
In fact, 71 per cent of women who had six to ten minutes of post-sex cuddling rated their sexual experience as "very pleasurable." Only 44 per cent of women who had less than five minutes of post-coital affection were pleased with their experience.
According to the study, there's a growing concern that sexually active men and women aren't having safe sex, and this is even true for sexually active midlife Canadians.
Only 65 per cent of single men and 72 per percent of single women did not use a condom when they last had intercourse. And more than half of those men and 32 per cent of those women had two ore more partners in the previous year.
This may be because younger adults are more likely to be using condoms to prevent pregnancy and are also more knowledgeable about STIs.
"We have a lot of work to do to bring single midlife Canadians up to speed on the need for safer sex, particularly with respect to consistent condom use" says Alex McKay Ph.D., Executive Director of SIECCAN.