ComRes interviewed 509 British adults aged 60 and over online between the 11th and 13th June 2014. Data were weighted to be representative of GB adults aged 60+.
Date Published: 16 Jun 2014
Categories: Health | Public and communities | Social | UK
Half (48%) of Britons aged 60 and over say that is important to them, 51% say it is not important.
· Men are significantly more likely than women to say sex is important to them (62% and 35% respectively).
More than two in five (45%) Britons aged 60+ say they have not had sex in more than a year.
o 4% say they have sex more than twice a week
o 12% once or twice a week.
o 18% a few times a month.
o 6% once a month.
o 10% a few times a year.
One in five (22%) older Britons say they used to give oral sex but would not anymore, this is far higher among women than men (29% and 13% respectively).
o A third (35%) say they are happy to give oral sex, more than half (54%) of men say they are happy to compared to 19% of women.
Older Britons are more slightly more likely to say they are happy to receive oral sex (40%) than give it (35%).
o One in five (19%) say they used to receive oral sex but would not anymore.
Just 5% of Britons aged 60+ have sought sexual health advice in the last two to three years. This rises to 8% among those who say sex is important to them, with just 1% of those who do not think sex is important.
o Three quarters (75%) of those who have not sought sexual health advice say they have not done so because they do not need to at their age. This rises with age, 65% of those aged 60-64 say they don’t need to at their age compared to 84% of those aged 75+.
While only 5% have sought sexual health advice, 18% say they would like better access to it.
Around a quarter (23%) believe that after the menopause you no longer need to use condoms, however, seven in ten (68%) agree that it is just as important to use a condom aged 65 as aged 25.
Despite this, more than half (55%) say they are less likely to use a condom at their age than when they were younger. Men (63%) are more likely to agree than women (48%).
o There is a stark difference in opinion on the use of condoms with existing partners and new partners:
§ Two thirds (66%) of older Britons say they would not use a condom with a long term partner, just 10% say they would not use one with a new partner.
Two thirds (64%) of older Britons think that people aged over 60 are no more or less likely to catch an STD than those aged under 60.
o 14% say older Britons are at a lower risk of catching STDs, while 5% say it is higher.
Two in five (42%) Britons aged 60+ think that the STDs are rising fastest among 16-24 year olds, while just one in eleven (9%) think it is fastest rising among their own age group (60+).
While more than half (56%) of older Britons say they are more sexually confident now than when they were younger, just a quarter (24%) say they enjoy sex more now.
o Men are both more likely than women to say they are more sexually confident now (67% men, 47% women), and they enjoy it more now than when they were younger (29% men, 19% women).
A quarter (23%) of Britons aged 60+ say it is harder to talk about sex at their age than it was when they were younger, although 71% disagree.
Three quarters (73%) of older Britons agree that they think about sex less now than when they were younger, this more so the case for women (84%) than men (61%).