Dating and oral sex
The 50-somethings aren't special; most other age groups saw a drop in their frequency of sex, too. Save Money: Get AARP member discounts on travel, shopping and more The chill isn't confined to the bedroom, sadly. Consider that the number of 45 Americans who believe that only married people should have sex has dropped by nearly half in five years-from 41 percent in 1999 to 22 percent in 2009.
The percentage of people who say they engage in affectionate acts like hugging, kissing, and caressing at least once a week also fell between 20. What's more, fewer survey respondents agree that "there's too much emphasis on sex today" than they did in 2004 (though maybe Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction at the 2004 Super Bowl had us fed up back then). Research has long shown that money worries sap sex, and with the recent unemployment scourge, yo-yoing 401(k)s and rampaging foreclosures, there's been no shortage in worries.
Pepper Schwartz, a sexologist at the University of Washington in Seattle and AARP's love and relationships ambassador.
"It's hard for some people to feel warm and sexy when they are afraid of losing their home-or they have already lost their job!
Women were almost three times as likely as men to say that their partner's cheating caused a lasting tension and lack of trust.
Men are either more forgiving or just harder up: Only 6 percent of male cheatees say their sex lives were worse after their partner's infidelity. Ironically, a wandering partner may be doing you a big favor.
More likely, it trumps living with someone who has stopped trying.
"My sex life is even better than [it was] in my teens and 20s," says Carrie F., 50, who keeps a full dance card in Van Nuys, Calif., and isn't planning on settling for one beau any time soon.When another person enters the picture, the spouse who was inattentive can suddenly realize they have been part of the problem.So if both partners really want the relationship to last, they work harder at everything-including sex." As you can imagine, who did the cheating matters.We all know that infidelity is a potent relationship-destroyer, an atom bomb that few unions withstand. In pointing fingers, about 12 percent of both sexes say that their partner cheated on them-which hints that many ladies are too optimistic about their man's whereabouts at this very second.Surprisingly few people say the cheating did irreparable harm to their relationship: Roughly 40 percent report that it had no effect at all, about 30 percent think it only caused temporary tension, and a mere 6 percent or less say it was the fatal blow.