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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.
More likely, it trumps living with someone who has stopped trying.
"When people are dating, they are 'auditioning'," says Dr. "Unfortunately, many long-term couples start to put away those little affectionate details and take each other for granted.
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.
"I still find my sexual relationship with [my wife] Barbara to be largely the most wonderful activity of my life," says Ken M., 72, from Tacoma, Wash.
"We have been married for over 50 years and continue to have sex nearly daily." We Will Survive? Among all the survey respondents, 21 percent of men and 11 percent of women admit that they cheated during a current or recent long-term relationship.
Nearly 60 percent of female cheaters say their stepping out had "no effect" on their relationship, and just 9 percent think made their sex lives worse. Using a random sample of 1,670 Americans ages 45 and older, it revealed exactly what older Americans do behind closed doors (and plenty of other places), as well as their honest opinions about things you'd typically get punched, slapped, or arrested for asking. Baby, It's Cold Inside Wondering if you're the only person in the country whose sex life has taken a dive even though you're healthy, hardy, and still highly interested in your partner? It seems that there's been an alarming drop in our nookie sessions. Luckily for us nosy types-and those who have a purely academic curiosity about the sordid details of other people's sex lives-AARP has released the official findings of its 2009 Sex, Romance, and Relationships Survey. That depends on what's going on in your bedroom-and how your love life stacks up against the "norm." A clue: If you're a woman in your 50s and you have sex at least once a week, 64 percent of your peers might be jealous.Among people in their 50s, about 42 percent of men and 15 percent of women say they indulge in self-stimulation "about once a week" or "more than once a week." The chips may be low, but as Sinatra sang, "they can't take that away from me." (Don't) Put a Ring on It It may be a cliche, but the survey did indeed find that single 45 Americans who are dating have more sex (and better love lives all-round) than their married counterparts.They win for sheer frequency; 48 percent of singles with regular partners have sex at least once a week, compared to only 36 percent of married folks.
"Sometimes a crisis shows you what is really important," says Schwartz.