What Age Does Sex Stop In Marriage?

Photo Credit: DrJanet.tv

Photo Credit: DrJanet.tv

One wouldn’t think this is such a difficult question to answer. I used to think sex ended when you got old–like in your fifties. But then, I turned 50! 😉 Now old is always 15 years older than me. I’m finally starting to realize that old is a relative term.

I’ve learned one thing through the years though, and that is that you can’t make generalizations when it comes to sex in marriage. Every marriage is different. God created us male and female with unique desires both good and bad. Sex is God’s idea. He intends for both husband and wife to enjoy their intimacy together. But sometimes there are reasons sex isn’t enjoyable, slows down or even comes to a complete halt. Here are some reasons we’ve heard about:

  • Sickness where one is left unable to have sex.
  • Paralysis
  • A season where the wife or husband no longer enjoys the act. This can be due to pain or fatigue or lack of knowledge (we’ll talk about this one tomorrow.)
  • An agreement by both to no longer have sex and to expend their energy on other things they both enjoy.

I’ll admit this last one is hard for me to understand. But there are couples who, as they get older, decide that sex isn’t as important as it once was. They’re still intimate in other ways, just without intercourse.

Tom and I have been discussing this for a few days now. We have perused our marriage blogging friends sites and haven’t found any who have chimed in on this topic–when or if sex ends in marriage as you age. (If you have written on this topic, please send us the link to add to our research!) We searched the internet and found a few interesting articles with helpful statistics:

When Sex Leaves The Marriage – along with over 1300 comments from readers.

The Older Couples Are The Less They Have Sex – this post contains some interesting graphics to see the trend according to their research.

The question we have for those in our readership who are in their 60’s, 70’s and even 80’s – did you and your spouse decide to stop having sex? If so, when and how did you come to this decision? You can comment anonymously, but please do comment! You can even e-mail us privately at theromanticvineyard [at] gmail [dot] com. We want to learn all we can about this season of marriage and what to expect, and you never know how your comment will help another marriage in the long run.

For now, we enjoy our physical intimacy. It might not happen as often as it did in our earlier years, but you might be surprised if I told you just how often it does happen, but I’m not going to do that. 😉 Suffice it to say that we are both quite satisfied with what God has done in our relationship. Can you say the same? Or do you feel as if you’ve given up? Won’t you join the conversation, to help yourself and others in the process?

About Debi Walter

Face it, marriage is hard work. But when cultivated daily the fruit produced will satisfy for a lifetime. We're here to help with ideas and encouragement along the way. Having been married 36 years and counting, we share what we've learned with practical tips, Biblical Truths, Date night ideas to help you plow your own vineyard for God's glory.
This entry was posted in Aging, Christian Marriage, Growing Strong Marriages, Intimacy, Seasons of Life, Sexual Intimacy and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to What Age Does Sex Stop In Marriage?

  1. blest wife says:

    We’ve been married 34 years like you guys and we certainly haven’t given up on this part of our marriage. My hubby is 61 and I’m 54 and my hubby for sure still wants it and needs it on a regular basis and I still enjoy this intimate time together with him. I see this continuing for many, many more years to come as long as no physical problems come up that get in our way.

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    • Debi Walter says:

      Your name says it all – You are a blest wife to have so many years behind you and no physical problems to speak of. How wonderful. I’m so glad you took the time to share your experience with us. Thank you.
      Debi

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  2. Coralie says:

    After almost 30 years of marriage I can honestly say that our sex life is now happier and more vigorous than it’s ever been (I’m blushing as I write this!). We married very young and our first child was born 10 months after the wedding and 3 more followed in the next 9 years so our focus was always on raising the children and providing for them. Last year our youngest, and last to leave, went off to university and suddenly it was just the 2 of us. What could have been a lonely and sad time actually became an exciting new adventure of rediscovering ourselves and we’ve gone from being ‘parents’ to being ‘man & wife’ and we’re having a whole lot of fun! My husband is 51 and I’m 48 and we don’t just enjoy quality; we also enjoy quantity and our prayer is that we can enjoy this for many, many more years to come! Thank you and bless you for exploring this topic….there’s not very much information on sex and ageing.

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    • Debi Walter says:

      Coralie,
      Thank YOU for adding your experience with us. You have no idea how your willingness “to blush” may help another marriage when they find themselves in the same place years from now. So happy you are entering the “best is yet to come” part of growing old together. 🙂
      Blessings,
      Debi

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  3. GC says:

    My husband is 63 and I am 55. Our sex life has never been better, in terms of quality and quantity. We are more focused/intentional about it now than when we were younger (we have more time and energy than when our children were young!). We also focus on maintaining good health through regular exercise, a healthy diet, adequate sleep, medical care when needed, etc. If a couple can avoid or minimize the health problems so many people experience as they get older (diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, etc.), they should be physically able to continue enjoying sex for a very long time.

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  4. Of course averages can hide all kinds of things. We hear from plenty of couples having more sex in their 50’s than they have had since the first year of marriage. I would say the bell curve or frequency gets flatter and flatter with age, and likely inverts at some time. In other words, you have more and more on the hight and low ends, and fewer in the middle.

    The other thing that came to mind is how we define sex. Some couples who can no longer have intercourse are still having a lot of sex in other ways.

    Then we have the Bible. Paul seemed to think widows in their 50’s would still have very strong sex drives – 1 Timothy 5:3-16

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    • Debi Walter says:

      Excellent point TMB. Thanks for adding your wisdom and experience to the conversation! Oh yes, there are lots of ways to enjoy physical intimacy without intercourse. 🙂

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  5. Kwala says:

    How about – when you have kids? And they’re a few years old. And the sex never returns, voluntarily or otherwise? And there’s no desire to get help?

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    • Debi Walter says:

      Kwala,
      All marriages that produce children face this same temptation. That is why it is important that we don’t allow our feelings to dictate our actions. We have to have a strong commitment to the covenant of marriage so we’re motivated to do those things that are best for our marriage, e.g. work on the troubled spots, go after our own heart in regards to cultivating a strong marriage, do things because they’re the right thing to do regardless of how we feel. This is what gets you through. Those who choose to ignore this process end up with a marriage beyond repair and many live with misery, or they quit the marriage all together. Great comment!

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  6. nikkir1972 says:

    I am 41 and my husband, who is 4 years older than me gave up on sex years ago, due to depression, medical issues and so on. This has been extremely difficult, as I always believed in our older years it would slow down but never did I think it would happen in my 30’s! This has become between our marriage in a big way, especially since when he gave up on sex, he also gave up on expressing affection and intimacy in other ways. Though we are both believers, I am concerned at where I will be in 10 years when I am 51, and see this time slipping away from me in living without the love and intimacy as God intended in marriage. I know there are no good answers, but just wanted to share:) Thanks for your blog!

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    • Debi Walter says:

      Nikki,
      We are sad to hear about your situation. We encourage you to seek counsel in your local church, even though it seems there is no hope for change you never know when God might intervene. We’ve seen it happen in marriages that seemed too far gone to be helped. All you can do is continue loving your husband with the strength God provides. He is able to do more than you can imagine.
      May you sense God’s help and hope,
      Tom and Debi

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