Over 50s Indulge in Final Flings
- Over 50s Indulge in Final Flings
NZ Herald 8 Feb 07
Age no barrier to infidelity as midlifers seek love outside marriage
Comfortably established at work and at home, the over 50s should be
enjoying their most contented years. But nearly a third claim to be
having affairs instead. Older people are much more likely to be
tempted into infidelity than the young, a study has found.
The reason, according to an examination of more than 13,000 sex
lives, is that those in their 20s and 30s are not likely to have
settled into marriage or a long-term relationship. And if they have,
they are more likely to be in 'the frst flush of romance'. But the
middle-aged find the lure of an affair "overwhelming", according to
the survey results. After the hard work of maintaining a marriage and
often a family for so long, perhaps they can't resist what they
regard as a last chance for a little se]f-fulfilment.
And it seems the general lessening of sex drive after 50 is no
barrier to adultery. In some cases, it is in fact the final straw
that caw a husband or wife to seek solace with a more accommodating
Psychotherapist Brett Kahr, who led the British Sexpal Fantasy
Research Project, said most couples having marital psychotherapy
lacked a healthy sex life.
"When the gremlins of infidelity or inattentiveness or other forms of
cruelty enter the relationship, then the sexual life will suffer as a
consequence," he said.
The survey, which asked for detailed information on sex lives, was
sent to more than 34,000 people. Just over 13,000 replied. The
findings showed that 14 per cent of those under 30 had had sex with
someone outside their marriage or long-term relationship, as had 23
per cent of those between 30 and 40.
Appetite for sex tailed off after 50, the survey found. The number of
over 50s who claim to have sex once a day or more was too small to
record. Ninebeen per cent had sex three times a week, 44 per cent
between twice a week and once a month, and 32 per cent less than once
a month. In a population of 60 million, just over eight million were
not having sex at all, the researchers said. Fewer than a million had
always been celibate, the others had given up sex. More women than
men, 21 per cent against 15 per cent, have had sex in the past but
have now stopped.
Despite the fling-prone over-50s, the majority of those in
relationships were faithful most of the time: men had on average 1.18
sexual partners in a year, while women had 0.7 partners.
The survey also undermined a regular claim of the gay lobby that 5-10
per cent of the population are homosexual. Just three in 100 said
they were gay.