Yesterday, I mentioned the FDA recall of an over-the-counter supplement to aid those with erectile dysfunction. Besides the lack of 3rd party oversight & accountability, why is this an issue? It turns out that in a survey published this week of 2,783 Australian men 75-95 years old followed for 13 years, almost half (48.8%) considered sexual activity at least somewhat important and almost 1 in 3 (30.8%) reported at least 1 sexual encounter in the last 12 months. Slightly more than half (56.5%) were satisfied with their frequency of sexual activity with the remainder wishing for more.
Now, before you turn up your nose, roll your eyes and say "Ewww", think about how you'll feel when you (hopefully) reach that age. It's really no one else's business but yours (and your partner's - or is it partners'?). While the 1 in 3 statistic made the press, they overlooked the factors that affected the results. For instance, age, partner's lack of interest, partner's physical limitations, osteoporosis, prostate cancer, diabetes, antidepressant use, and beta-blocker use were all associated with less frequent sexual activity.
What I found intriguing was that higher testosterone levels were associated with increased sexual activity. Rather than focus on a specific number (to achieve), just know that every increase in testosterone by 1 standard deviation increased the odds of having sexual activity by 20%. Because this study was observational & cross sectional in nature, there is no way to prove cause & effect. But as I've noted previously, there appears to be something good about having higher levels.
So rather than reaching for Cialis, Levitra or Viagra, and especially rather than reaching for a potentially contaminated over-the-counter supplement, consider checking your testosterone level. And ask yourself if you'd be satisfied with a normal level, passing at a "C" or "D" grade, or would you rather see how you'd feel after being tutored to an "A" or "B" level?
By the way, when are we going to see a study on the sexual preferences & activities of older women?