This Is The Best Age For Sex For Men And Women

Age ain’t nothing but a number, especially when it comes to having truly satisfying sex. 

According to’s annual Singles in America report, it’s not Tinder- and Grindr-using millennials who are having the best sex of their lives. It’s their parents: On average, single women reported having their best sex at age 66. For single men, the sweet spot was 64.

The findings, based on a survey of 5,000 singles of all ages, ethnicities, and income levels across the U.S, come as no surprise to sex therapists. Sex tends to improve once you’ve learned that your sex appeal isn’t based entirely on your physical appearance. Unfortunately, that’s a lesson that takes most people years to learn, said Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist and the creator of Finishing School, an online orgasm course for women.

“With my clients in their 20s and 30s, self-consciousness is a huge factor in why they aren’t able to enjoy sex: Younger people are too in their heads about what their bodies look like, how they’re performing and what their partner is thinking. Eventually, that wears off,” Marin told HuffPost. “Even between the 20s and the 30s, there’s already a significant decrease in self-consciousness.”

The survey finding is a welcome counterpoint to commonly held beliefs about sex in our 50s and beyond. Why do we worry it’s all downhill once we hit a certain age?

In part, it’s because our bodies do change as we age, and as a result, so does sex, said Celeste Hirschman, a sex therapist who co-authored the book Making Love Real: The Intelligent Couple’s Guide to Lasting Intimacy and Passion with her business partner Danielle Harel.

Come mid-life, our bodies may not be as taut as they once were. Sex itself may be full of new challenges: Women may grapple with pain or dryness brought on by menopause, and many older men have problems with premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. 

Still, there are workarounds that, in many cases, make sex just as enjoyable, if not more than, it was before, Hirschman said. 

“Yes, some kinds of sex become more difficult, but the plus is that these changes generally make communication and creativity much more essential,” Hirschman said. “When we’re young, sex is often a swift race to penetrative sex without much foreplay or fantasy added in. When penetrative sex is less of a goal, people can become more creative and sex can actually get a lot better.”

Realizing that an orgasm and penetration isn’t the be-all-end-all-of sex can be a game changer, regardless of age. In fact, Hirschman said a client once boasted that the best sex she’d ever had was with a partner with erectile dysfunction.

“They were together for a year and she said she had the best orgasms of her life, and he had great ones, too, just not from penetration.”

Another reason post-50 sex may be so fulfilling? The older you get, the less compelled you feel to put up with rigid sexual expectations and roles, said Kimberly Resnick Anderson, a sex therapist in Los Angeles.

That’s especially true of older women, many of whom spent their 20s and 30s searching for a partner to start a family with some day.

“That search often shapes what women in their 20s and 30s are willing to do and tolerate with their partners,” Resnick Anderson said. “As women age, they become more selfish, in a good way: No more worries about getting pregnant, no more worries about their kids barging in on them. Plus, many have an increased comfort with their bodies and a healthy sense of entitlement to sexual satisfaction.”

“Sex at 65 or 70 can feel carefree and easy because it is more about pleasure and connection and less about performance and ‘selling yourself.’” Kimberly Resnick Anderson, a sex therapist in Los Angeles

As Resnick Anderson explained, post-50 women (and men) are finally “taking ownership of their sexuality” and reaping the benefits. More modern and progressive views about sex allow women to celebrate their sexuality in a way that they couldn’t 30 or 40 years ago, the therapist added, pointing to one of her clients as an example. 

“After 40 years of faking orgasms, a 63-year-old client of mine actually got to know her body and what genuinely felt good to her,” Resnick Anderson said. “Sex at 65 or 70 can feel carefree and easy because it’s more about pleasure and connection and less about performance and ‘selling yourself.’”

Younger people would be wise to adopt the same sexual confidence, Hirshman added. 

“As a sex therapist, I hope people start to get to know themselves sexually at a younger age and feel comfortable asking for what they want from their partners,” Hirshman said. “Lowering shame and judgement around sex will mean more people having great sex at every age!”

The Real Trick To Aging May Just Be To Ignore It

Ann Brenoff’s “On The Fly” is a column about navigating growing older ― and a few other things.

I spent my 68th birthday on an exam table at the doctor’s office, squinting at my X-rays on the wall and listening to the man in the white jacket talk about why my left knee has betrayed me.

It buckles when I go up and down stairs, yelps loudly when I try to cross my legs, and jolts me awake from a deep sleep if I accidentally shift positions and bump it. The discomfort was enough for me to choose to spend my birthday in the company of the nice knee doctor.

Before my left knee started acting up, I spent a few weeks with my right thumb doing this weird snapping thing. Not really painful, more like a seriously major annoyance for someone who types for a living ― and yes, I still type for a living. And the snapping thumb came on the heels of my big toe joint aching in a way that WebMD was pretty sure could only be gout. It wasn’t. A few months before the non-gout episode, there was a flare-up of my plantar fasciitis ― a foot problem in which every step makes you wish you had a bullet stuffed in your mouth to bite. That one forced me to hang up my hiking boots until the prescription orthotics arrived. I may have proposed marriage to the physical therapist who saw me three times a week and rubbed my feet in all the right places. The man is gifted; I mean it.

So what does this all mean, all these aches and pains and weirdness affecting my body parts? It means that I am getting older. It also means that I might actually meet my medical plan’s deductible this year.

But mostly what it means is that if I want to avoid becoming someone who spends half her week seeing doctors and the other half waiting in line at the pharmacy, I need to get out in front of this. 

I understand that body parts wear out, and my superhero may be Bionic Woman, but that’s about as close as I’ll come to ever being one. I also know that pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. But I’ve come around to believe that the key to successful aging rests in your ability to ignore the creaks in the floorboards.

If you run to the doctor for every twitch or tingle, you will spend (the rest of) your life there. Me? I’d rather keep company with folks less focused on growing old together and more into staying young together. 

So this is my plan: I’m going to will myself to rise above what hurts. I’m putting my mind over my matter. I won’t ignore serious pain ― nor am I suggesting that you do, either ― but I will raise the bar on what constitutes “serious.” 

My first line of defense will be my ice pack and my heating pad. I will continue to walk my dogs, hike my trails, and park the car in the spot farthest from the door to get my daily steps in. I will sing a song in my head to distract myself from any body parts that don’t feel like going along for the ride. I will take stairs, not elevators; I will stand, not sit; I will follow the “use it or lose it” rule whenever and for whatever possible.

It’s not greater longevity that I’m seeking. Frankly, I would rather die than live to be 100, which I suppose is actually what would happen. What I want, though, is to live as fully as I can for as long as I can. But when doing so requires a visit to the nice knee doctor who proclaims it is “time for surgery,” I may just reserve the right to take my ice pack and walk away singing “Have A Little Faith In Me”  on behalf of my knee. 

The Difference Between Being 53 And 23 In A List So Exhausting I Need To Take A Nap

I go to bed at 10 and get up at 5; not the reverse. Seems like every time I visit the doctor he finds a potentially life-threatening disease—then tells me not to worry. I worry a lot more. When I do high-impact cardio my back achieves complete failure before I do. I’m at my happiest in bed, alone. I jest, of course: My dog takes up half the space. My biggest fear when flying is not crashing; it’s being seated next to the window without easy access to the bathroom.

When I look at my mother I often see someone else—me. I can’t remember what appointments I have this week, but they probably have something to do with that life-threatening disease. Please don’t ask me what I did yesterday: I panic under pressure. I’m furious when friends cancel last-minute, until I remember it means I don’t have to deal with the hassle of trains and figuring out what to wear and—Damn, Heather just soared past me on Words with Friends! My night has purpose.

I have friends who are getting sick, but this time it’s from illnesses I’d heard about growing up. Unless it’s free I have no patience for crowds or bad seats—sorry, Barbra. Binge-watching is the new binge-drinking, and unless you mean “Popcorn and Pixar” I don’t PNP. I’m still attracted to older men, except that most of them are now younger than I am. I’ve seen more dicks on my phone than I have in real life.

I shave my back as often as I shave my beard, but at least I don’t have much gray hair. What there is I refer to as the “silver lining.” I’ve learned that “You have a lovely shaped head” is meant as a compliment. And that only thick-haired people say it. And that I’m sure they have grotesque-shaped heads. I like muffins and tops but not my muffin top. My favorite foods are fattening; so are my least favorite. I don’t care if you’re the cutest go-go boy on the planet; if you don’t know who the Go-Go’s are I just can’t even.

Even though I don’t have children, I can be a Daddy, a DILF, or, if I gain ten pounds, a Dad Bod example. And that if I stopped working out to actually raise kids, something different altogether: Discarded. I’ve learned that we never learn, and that accepting this is unacceptable.

When I run into longtime neighbors on the street, we discuss arthritis, pinched nerves, hip problems, food allergies, skin rashes, cataracts, and which remedies work best. And we are referring to our pets. No matter how simple the instructions, I will always return from the store with the wrong item. Would it have killed you to use FreshDirect? I don’t care if you’re the cutest go-go boy on the planet; if you make me wrap it up first, it’s probably not going to wake up before I go-go.

I’ve learned that the people who make restaurant menus are in cahoots with the eyeglass people…and are Nazis. When I go on a date, I’m now judged, not on my looks and personality, but on my ability to fit in with their furniture, which has an enormously large collection of brand-name baggage. And that traveling isn’t the only time men search for an upgrade.

I no longer max-out my credit cards but one trip to TJ Maxx means I might have to cut my closet space in half. I can no longer bear to lie in the sun and I survive winter about as well as the night watch. I’ve learned that our country has hit bottom so many times it’s like two-for-one night at the Eagle. And that I’ll never learn to take it. I’ve learned that my political views have changed a lot of people’s minds. And that I still have a sense of humor.

I’ve learned that friends come and go, lovers come and go, family comes and (hopefully) goes home, but the planet just goes. And that sadness is in the bloodstream.

Oh, one more thing: I’ve learned that, despite the above, I’m a fuck of a lot happier at 53 than I was at 23. Membership has its privileges.

Follow David Toussaint on Twitter and Facebook.

David Toussaint writes about subjects affecting older gay men. If you’ve got a “Daddy Issue,” let him know.-DRT

6 Nighttime Habits That Make You Look Older

Sleeping This Way on These Types of Sheets

Why it’s making you look older: Sleeping on your stomach or side can lead to wrinkles, says Lauren Ploch, MD, an Augusta, Georgia-based board-certified dermatologist and Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, which is why she and pretty much any dermatologist will tell you it’s best to sleep on your back. If you’re a stomach/side sleeper with cotton or flannel pillowcases though, you could be making matters even worse, as those two fabrics tend to cling and pull on the skin, says Rachel Nazarian, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. 

The fix: Becoming a back sleeper isn’t easy; plus, you can’t control whether you move and turn over in your sleep. A do-able first move is to switch to silk or satin pillowcases.

Using a Gentle Cleanser to Remove Your Makeup

Why it’s making you look older: Thanks to today’s long-wear, budge-proof makeup formulas, “which require more than water and a gentle cleanser to remove,” says Nazarian, you’re probably going to bed with some makeup still on your face. That can lead to clogged pores, dull skin and accelerated skin aging, says Nazarian. 

The fix: If you use long-lasting makeup formulas, start your cleansing process with a makeup-removing wipe or cloth (which will have ingredients that break down long-wear formulas better than a regular cleanser can. Look for ones that say “makeup-removing” on the packaging); then use your gentle cleanser to catch any traces the wipe left behind. The two-step combination is much more likely to get all of your makeup off before you hit the hay.

Turning the Thermostat Up to Toasty

Why it’s making you look older: You know that heat can dry out your skin, and that exacerbates wrinkles. It can also lead to eczema and atopic dermatitis flare-ups, and is a known trigger for rosacea, an inflammatory condition that accelerates the aging process, says Nazarian. 

The fix: Everyone’s ideal sleeping temperature is different, but a good rule of thumb is to find a temperature where you’re just a little bit cool without a blanket, not straight-up cold. (You could also try using a humidifier in the bedroom to keep the air moist.)

Applying Retinol Immediately After You Wash Your Face

Why it’s making you look older: Retinol (the gold standard among anti-aging ingredients) can be irritating. Because it penetrates even deeper into damp skin, you may experience increased tenderness or feel it more sharply, says Nazarian. You’re less likely to use it consistently if you can’t stand the way it makes your skin feel; and, if you don’t apply it regularly, you won’t see the benefits. 

The fix: If you’re new (or even new-ish) to retinol, make sure your skin is dry before you apply it. Only seasoned retinol users should consider using it on damp skin.

Not Including Hand Cream in Your Nightly Routine

Why it’s making you look older: Along with your chest/neck area (and your face, of course) your hands are one of the first areas to show the signs of aging. Using a rich, hydrating hand cream is a great way to combat dryness and crepey skin; but, if you put it on in the morning, you’ll likely wash and rinse it off over the course of the day, says Nazarian. 

The fix: Make hand cream part of your nightly anti-aging routine, applying it just before bed.

Putting Your Anti-Agers on Haphazardly

Why it’s making you look older: First, kudos for using anti-agers at night, when your skin makes the best use of them. But they need to be applied in the right order to make sure all of the ingredients can actually reach your skin. Generally speaking, products should be put on in order of heaviness—gel, lotion, cream, serum, ointment, etc.—to prevent thicker products from blocking the lighter ones. 

The fix: Start with serums or gels, then lotions, then creams, then ointments, says Nazarian. Don’t go overboard with products, though. Ploch recommends using no more than three or four per night, to minimize skin irritation. If you’ve got a long nightly routine full of products that only do one thing each, consider switching to multitasking products instead. | All you need to know about sunscreen

1. What does SPF stand for? 

Sun Protection Factor: A rating determined by the percentage of ultraviolet B rays (the kind that lead to sunburn) that the product blocks, and the amount of time it fends off a burn.

2. Every 2 hours

The rate at which you should reapply sunscreen. Do it more often if you are sweating a lot.

3. Broad spectrum

Blocks both UVB and UVA rays (the latter­ cause skin ­cancer and premature ageing). Products that don’t block UVA, and ones with SPF below 15, must state they only prevent sunburn.

4. Higher SPF ratings (50+)

The SPF rating above which researchers have found little evidence of better protection. In the future, it may be the highest number allowed to be printed on product labels.

5. Slather guide

To cover:

  • Face, head and neck: Use one tablespoon
  • Both arms: Two tablespoons
  • Torso (front and back): Four tablespoons
  • Both legs (more if you don’t shave): Four tablespoons

The place more cyclists forget to put sunscreen? The neck (the back of it in particular)

Number of minutes dermatologists recommend letting sunscreen dry before you head outside: 20

This article was originally published on

Image credit: iStock