Thursday, December 4, 2008

Three Times a Week

There was an old Woody Allen sketch (I forget the movie) that went like this: Woody's got marital problems, and the psychoanalyst asks him how often he has sex. "Hardly ever. Only three times a week."

The scene switches to Woody's movie wife. Her psychoanalyst asks her how often she has sex. "Alllll the time," she says. "Three times a week."

That scene came to mind when reading statistics from an AARP study, "Retired Spouses," showing that retirees have sex less often than before they were retired. Among the many, many findings in the study (yes, we confess, we're focusing on the most salacious) is that 22 percent of retirees report having sex less often.

That's hardly a surprise. Retired people tend to be older than working people. The older you are, the less likely you are to have sex. End of story. But here's the titillating part: 25 percent of men say they have less sex while only 19 percent of women say they have less.

What does that tell you? Either six percent of the women are getting some action on the side with younger, non-retired men (We'll let you draw your own conclusions how likely that is) or there's a major difference in perceptions. Here's our guess (based on five or so decades of being male): Men are more likely to notice a fall-off in sexual activity. They're also more likely to brood about it.

If you don't believe us, just ask Woody Allen's psychoanalyst.


Unknown said...

Another possibility is men have a lot more free time when they retire and are wanting to fill the empty time. Nothing is better than sex to fill those long empty days, so they may change their barameter. Maybe they're having the same amount of sex, but it feels less, because they have so much less going on in their lives. (This comes from a woman-what can I say.)

James A. Bacon said...

Cathy, if retired men have more free time on their hands, don't retired women also? If retired men feel like they're having less sex, wouldn't retired women feel that way also? But they're not.

I think those retired women are up to something!

QwkDrw said...

A different study looked at the "Empty Nest Transition" phase of a marriage -- from the female perspective. You can read about it in a post here:

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