I’ve always been a proponent of the theory that you’re only as old as you feel. I know retired people who look (and act) twenty years their junior, as they can routinely pump out five mile runs and pretty damn strenuous workouts without missing a beat. And I have former athlete friends who haven’t been out of college long and get winded if an escalator is out of order, forcing them to take—shudders—the steps. It’s really the single best reason I can come up with to keep yourself in shape because, after all, after a certain point aging is no longer fun. And that’s without even factoring in the effects it can have on your sex life.
Researchers at Ontario’s University of Waterloo actually conducted a study to conclude that “[T]he closer you feel to your actual age, the less likely you are to be satisfied with your sex life.” In order to reach this deduction, they took a decade-long look at 1,170 people (who were somewhere between their mid-40s and mid-70s) and observed their attitudes on sex and aging. In case you’re wondering, the group they looked at had a diverse range of sexual orientations. So, whatever your preference, you’re in the same boat.
Researchers tapped into data that was previously compiled over the period of 1995 to 2005. That data was acquired for the Midlife in the United States study, which was intended to measure the physical and mental prosperity of citizens over the duration of several decades.
What researchers learned was that the closer that people felt to their real age, the lower the standard of their sex lives. In contrast, the younger the study’s participants felt, the better their sex lives.
As is the case with all these studies, understanding is made easier by a researcher explaining the findings in terms we can all comprehend. An associate professor in Recreation and Leisure Studies at Waterloo, Steven Mock, obliged on that front. “What was clear from the data is that feeling younger had a huge impact on how people felt about the quality of their sex life and how interested they were in having sex,” Mock said. “For people in mid-to-later life, feeling young at heart actually appears to make a difference in the bedroom.”
Research leader Amy Estill further elaborated upon that, saying it wasn’t about the quantity but quality of sex. “It’s important to consider all of the different psychosocial and biological factors that might influence a person’s sexuality,” she said. “While feeling younger didn’t have an impact on how much sex people were having, it was quite clear that feeling older does impact the quality of the sex you’re having.”
Just another reason to fight off father time, at least, to the extent that you can.
If you want, you can read the whole thing over at The Journal of Sex Research.