Longitudinal Study of Sexual Satisfaction among Older Adults: Findings from the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project

Ye Luo, Clemson University
Linda Waite, University of Chicago

Using data from two waves of the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, this study examines the relationships of health and vitality, relationship characteristics, sexual practice and sexual attitudes with sexual satisfaction and with changes in sexual satisfaction over time. Sexual interest, partner’s health and positive support, sexual foreplay and permissive sexual attitudes are associated with both men’s and women’s physical pleasure and emotional satisfaction at baseline. Additional factors influencing physical pleasure include partner’s sexual problems, time spent with spouse and frequency of sex for women, and partner’s negative support, frequency of intercourse, and the belief that sex ability declines with age for men. Additional factors influencing emotional satisfaction include partner’s sexual problem and negative support, and time spent with partner for women, and marital/cohabiting status, partner’s negative support for men. Overtime, the effects of partner’s positive support and frequency of sex persist on physical pleasure and emotional satisfaction.

  See paper

Presented in Session 142: Sexuality and Intimate Relationships Across the Life Span