The secret of a happy old age: lots of sex

Seniors with a regular sex life are more likely to be happy than celibate oldies, according to new research.

Adrienne Jackson, an assistant professor at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, analyzed data from the 2004–2008 General Social Surveys, a public opinion poll conducted on a nationally representative sample of non-institutionalized English and Spanish-speaking Americans.

“This study will help open the lines of communication and spark interest in developing ‘outside the box’ approaches to dealing with resolvable issues that limit or prevent older adults from participating in sexual activity,” she says.

“Highlighting the relationship between sex and happiness will help us in developing and organizing specific sexual health interventions for this growing segment of our population.”

Based on the responses of 238 married people over the age of 65, Jackson discovered that frequent sexual activity made for both more general happiness and more satisfaction with marriage.

Only 40 percent of people who’d had no sexual activity in the last 12 months said they were very happy with life in general. However, almost 60 percent of those who’d been having it away more than once a month said they were very happy.

Similarly, while about 59 percent of the celibate people said they were very happy with their marriage, almost 80 percent who had sex more than once a month said the same.

And we thought it was all about mutual respect, companionship and a shared appreciation of Antiques Roadshow. Who knew?