Sexual Wellness Resource Center
For Adults over 50.

Are Sex Aids Finding Their Way Into the Bedrooms of Older Adults?

Senior Couple and Sex
By Michael Bates, M.D.

Are older adults using sexual aids (adult toys?) And if yes, is it common?

Let’s look at some statistics. First, how sexually active are older adults?

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), 2007, published a sex survey of 57-85 year olds in the U.S.

  • 3005 men and women
  • Those reporting having sex with a partner in the previous year:
    • 73% of those 57-64
    • 53% of those 64-75
    • 26% of those 75-85

Senior-coupleThe British Medical Journal, 2012, published a survey that found that 80% of those aged 50-90 were sexually active.

A study published by AARP, 2013, reported that 50% of respondents used adult toys.

In the NEJM survey, 50% of those active also reported at least one sexual issue:

  • Men
    • 37% erection problems
    • 14% use of erection stimulating medication, Viagra, Levitra, Cialis
  • Women
    • 43% low desire
    • 39% vaginal dryness
    • 34% inability to reach orgasm

It is clear that the majority of seniors and older adults are engaged in spousal or other intimate relationships and regard sexuality as an important part of life. It is also clear that half of those active also have sexual issues.  

The erection issue on the male side and the orgasm issue on the female side can be helped by the use of sexual aids. Many older adults benefit from using sexual aids to improve their sex lives. They are designed to produce sexual arousal by providing stimulation to the genitals and range from vibrators for women to pumps and penis rings for men. As long as partners are comfortable with their use, adult toys can help improve intimacy and enhance sexual relationships.

The answer to the question “are sex aids and toys finding their way into the bedrooms of those over 50?” A resounding YES!  Discussing, comparing, and purchasing adult products has moved into the mainstream.