According to the most recent Singles in America survey, 83 percent of singles rank caring and enthusiasm in a partner as the top two indicators of good sex. Other qualities that lead to a good sex life are the ability to communicate well, being a good kisser and being the kind of lover who helps your partner achieve orgasm.
None of this surprised me. But here's what did. According to the survey participants, the age at which sex is best for women is 66.
Not 26. Not 36. But 66! Which means? At 63, I've got something fun to look forward to. (The best age for men, in case you're curious, is 64.)
It also means that the stereotype that we 60-somethings have pivoted away from having fun between the sheets is dead wrong. We're not just sitting by the fire knitting or tooling around the golf course or endlessly posting photos of our adorable grandchildren on Facebook. Apparently, we're also getting busy.
When I shared the news that we're about to hit our sexual peak with my friends on Facebook, their responses were both cynical and sarcastic:
You've got to be kidding me.
66? Subtract 40 years and I'd agree.
Funny how as we age that number goes up.
At 70, I barely remember what sex is.
Is there a signup sheet somewhere?
And yet? It just could be true. I recently spoke with a 63-year-old friend who told me about his new relationship with a 70-year-old woman he'd met at an art gallery. After a pleasant evening of looking at paintings and sipping champagne, he walked her home and accepted her offer to come in for a nightcap. As they entered her home and he fumbled for the light switch, she jumped his bones, tore his clothes off and began ravishing him.
"Wow," I said. "That sounds unexpected. What were you thinking when she came at you like that?"
"I was thinking, 'Where is the light switch?'" he chuckled. "But I soon forgot about that."
He never did get the light on. Instead, he joined his new sweetie on the living room floor, where they happily proceeded to blow all each other's fuses.
This might seem more like the kind of thing a couple of teens would do. And yet, according to this survey (which, btw, is the single best survey I've ever stumbled upon), the world is full of folks our age who are lighting each other fires.
"The older we get, usually the more comfortable we are in our own skin, and know who we are and what we like," says one expert. "When you're younger, you're still figuring it out."
Plus? You don't have to worry about birth control. Or waking the kids. (You can make all the carnal noise you want when your kids have all grown up and living in Cincinnati.)
Sure, it might take a little longer to reach orgasm as we age. But many of us are retired. We've got plenty of time on our hands.
As my own retirement approaches, I've been reading articles about what we can do to pass our post-retirement time in a meaningful way. There are lots of helpful suggestions. Volunteer for a cause you believe in. Turn your hobby into a second career. Learn a new language. Nobody suggests "Bonk like it's going out of style." And yet that's apparently what many of us are up to. Yay, us!
How many boomers does it take to turn on a light switch? Who cares? We've got better things to do than turn on the lights. Let's turn 'em off instead and see what happens.