BOSTON (CBS) – When it comes to women and sex, new research is throwing conventional wisdom out the window. Many believe that as a woman ages, she becomes less satisfied with her sex life. But new research suggests it’s just the opposite.

A mother whose children are now grown, Susan Courtney says sex was never at the top of her priority list when she was younger. “You’re running around and carpooling,” she said. Now that she’s in her 50’s, Courtney says her attitude toward sex has drastically changed. “I look forward to it more,” she said.

WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben reports

A new study from the University of California followed 800 women over a 40 year period. It looked at all aspects of their sex-lives, from desire to frequency. The majority of women reported that their sexual satisfaction increased as they aged. The findings come as no surprise to Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus. “What irritates me is that we, as a society, think sex only lasts until you are 29. After that, it’s just going to be downhill from there,” she said.

Marcus says there are a lot of stereotypes when it comes to women and sex. For example, many people believe women are rarely in the mood for sex, particularly as they age. Many also assume that some of the physical changes associated with menopause make women dissatisfied with their sex lives. “I think that’s a horrible myth,” Dr. Marcus said.

According to Marcus, there are a number of reasons why mature women actually have better sex. “There are less distractions as your kids get older. There is more emotional stability,” she explained. “There is more time to put into their lives, into feeling good about themselves in a way they didn’t have time to when they were 30,” she added.

Ultimately, Marcus believes most women with more life experience have no problem asking for what they want. “There’s nothing embarrassing about a 65-year-old woman who wants a vibrant sex life,” she said.

Susan Courtney says she’s looking forward to being one of them. “I don’t see myself becoming an aged person who can’t be sexual. I don’t see that,” she said.

Romance also plays a role in a woman’s overall health. Researchers found those who are satisfied with their sex lives tend to age more successfully.


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