We know the excuses: Who has the time? I'm exhausted after working all day. I'll try again next week.
No, we're not talking about exercising (though you really should hit the gym for health and longevity sake). We're talking about sex.
Although sexual activity does decline in midlife, as illness and other factors can interfere with sexual health, a 2007 study by the New England Journal of Medicine found 73 percent of people age 57 to 64 were sexually active. More than half of 65-to-74-year olds and 26 percent of 75-to-85 year olds had an intimate relationship in the year prior to the survey.
"As boomers are getting older, they are less likely to accept that they are supposed to be sexless," said Dr. Janice Epp of the Institute of Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. "A lot of research is finding people are saying, ‘Nuh uh!'"
“I think one of the most common myths is that people stop having sex as they get older,” agreed Patty Brisben, the founder and chairwoman of Pure Romance, a company that specializes in selling sex toys and providing information on women's sexual health issues. “More often than not, sex over 50 is still something couples are interested in. They may just need the green light to start exploring again.”
There are several key factors that can make a couple to feel sexually stalled, Dr. Epp said. The first is a natural decline in energy levels, Epp said. "When you’re in your 20s you still have a lot of energy at 11 p.m., which is not necessarily true when you’re in your 70s."
The second is cultural: "When one hits a certain age, society tells us we’re no longer sexually attractive," Epp said, noting this is especially true for women. And not feeling sexy doesn't quite make you want to take a flying leap into the sack. "We need to understand that it’s OK to find pleasure in the bedroom in whatever way suits us best, no matter what stage of our lives we’re in," she added.
Finally, sex can become routine. "Like anything, the same sex with the same person can become boring," Epp told Huff/Post50. "The first 400 gazillion times it’s exciting, but after a while it gets to be routine."
Check out the slideshow below for seven other key culprits behind declining sexual activity, and how to overcome them.
Also on HuffPost:
HuffPost Parents offers a daily dose of personal stories, helpful advice and comedic takes on what it’s like to raise kids today. Learn more