Alfred Kinsey reported that men hit their sexual prime in their late teens, while women don’t get that pleasure until their mid-thirties. But does the 60-year-old research that Kinsey conducted still hold true today? Was it even true back then?
According to Dr. Bella Ellwood-Clayton, a sexual anthropologist and author, the results of Kinsey’s research probably did not consider the myriad of other factors that influence sexual peak. Even though measuring the amount of orgasms a person has is a pretty good indicator, is not the only barometer by which to gauge sexual appetite.
Ellwood-Clayton says that at the time of the study, boys were masturbating and 30-something women were probably finding their own identities in stable relationships. For the first time in their lives, they were comfortable with their own sexuality. Today, women are finding this level of comfort at even older ages that extend well into their 50s, 60s, and beyond.
Opportunity is another factor that has a big impact on libido. When the opportunity for sex is unavailable, you can lose your desire. Raising children or being in a hostile or abusive relationship can cause even blazing sexual desires to smolder to ashes. But with the peak in sexual medications and the revival of sexual promiscuity in the older generation, it appears that sexual peaks are based more on social psychology than on physical ability.
Sure, men might have more testosterone than women and younger women might be a little more hormonally balanced than older women. But with hormone replacement therapy, physical health, and the right bed-fellow, people of all ages are reporting great sex drives. And there is an awful lot to be said about sexual maturity, which can add intense pleasure to sexual encounters (think Mrs. Robinson).
Overall, Ellwood-Clayton and other experts think that sexual peaks are not simply biological, but more the result of spiritual, physical, emotional, and biological components all aligning at just the right time. “Sexual prime, then, is the result of ‘sexiness.’ And that,” adds Ellwood-Clayton, “can peak at any age.”
Ellwood-Clayton, Bella. (2013). Sexual prime: Fact or fiction. Huffington Post (n.d.): n. pag. Web http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bella-ellwoodclayton/sexual-prime_b_3424410.html
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