The motto “sex, drugs and rock & roll” has clearly stuck with the generation that partied during the 1970s, as data published by the National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM) and Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reveal that people over the age of 75 are having more sex than ever before. This is in spite of the fact that on the whole in 2022, people in the Netherlands were less sexually active than they were seven years previously. 

People in the Netherlands had less sex in 2022 than in 2014

The Sexual Health and Lifestyle Survey, conducted by CBS and the RIVM among Dutch people aged 16 and over, found that 70 percent reported having had sex in the past 12 months, marking a slight drop compared to 2014 (74 percent), when this study was first conducted. 

Talking to RTL Nieuws, Rutgers researcher Hanneke de Graaf speculated that nowadays, between their jobs, social lives and, yes, their mobile phones, people are simply too busy to have sex: “Making time for each other is really good for your sex life.”

CBS and RIVM: 35 to 45-year-olds the most sexually active group

The sharpest decrease was seen in the 16 to 25 age group: while 63 percent reported being sexually active in 2014, this figure fell to 56 percent in 2022. Interestingly, a decrease in sexual activity was observed across all age groups – apart from those aged 75 and older. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, 35 to 45-year-olds are the most sexually active group – 87,9 percent reported having had sex in the past 12 months, down from 91,8 percent in 2014 – which CBS points out is likely due to the fact that many in this demographic live with a partner or spouse.

Differences were also observed between men and women: while 16 to 35-year-old women are having more sex than their male counterparts, this swaps around after reaching their mid-30s and, from the age of 35 onwards, men report being more sexually active than women in their age group.

When it comes to their sex lives, the seniors are alright!

Maybe they’ve retired and have grandchildren of their own, but baby boomers apparently still like to get hot and heavy. CBS and the RIVM found that, compared to 2014, the proportion of men and women aged 75 and above that report having had sex in the past 12 months rose from just 16,4 percent to 26,7 percent. 

While this age group remains the least sexually active, the increase is notable. “We see that people are becoming fitter and healthier, even at an advanced age. That is simply good for a sex life,” NOS quotes De Graaf as saying. “Moreover, these 75+ people grew up in a different time: it matters whether you come from the conservative 1950s, or from the 1960s and 1970s, which had more freedom.”

Once again, the figures differ when it comes to men and women in this age group. “Men are slightly more likely to be sexually active than women, especially among the over-55s,” CBS says. “This difference increases with age, and is greatest among the over-75s” – while 37 percent of men said they’d been sexually active in the past year, this figure was just 18 percent for women. Why? “A factor here is that older women are more often single than older men,” CBS explains.


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