Aging and Sex


Aging and Sex on Male Impotence

Indeed, recent studies show that most men (unless they have certain health problems) are able to participate in and enjoy sex their entire life span, and many are able to produce viable semen until quite late in life (Pablo Picasso reportedly fathered a child at 90 years of age). Thus it is not completely surprising to discover that, in recent years, elderly men in senior housing apartments have become a regular source of clients among prostitutes.

Various factors can limit sexual interest and capacity in men as they age. There are a number of organic problems of the heart and circulatory system, glands and hormonal system, and the nervous system that can, to varying degrees, diminish male capacity for and interest in sex. And the side effects of many medications used to treat some of these organic conditions can themselves compound the problem.

Masters and Johnson originally reported that as much as 90 percent of male impotence has a psychological origin. Due to more sophisticated urological testing procedures it is now estimated that only about 40 percent of erectile problems are purely psychological.

The majority of causes of male impotence have their origin in hormonal, vascular or neurological factors. Regardless of the causes of erectile difficulty, there is always a psychological effect on the male. Men who experience an inability to achieve or sustain an erection on several occasions may be so anxious about inadequacy that a self-defeating process is initiated that causes them to avoid sexual situations and sexual arousal.

Other psychological factors, including depression, lowered self-esteem associated with overall loss of physical strength and the onset of physical signs of aging, anxiety, and substance abuse can all contribute to male impotence.