Go Cougars! S.F. Study Probes Into What Older Women Want.

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A recent study regarding mature women's turn-ons is, somewhat ironically, published in a journal whose title is an instant turnoff: The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

In any event, a U.C. San Francisco survey published this week plumbed the desires and activities of more than 2,000 women aged 45 to 80 (you try telling a 45-year-old woman she's "geriatric" -- be our guest) and found that 60 percent had been sexually active within three months and nearly half -- 43 percent -- reported "moderate sexual desire." A full 33 percent of women over 65 (still playing with fire if you use the "G-word") reported sexual activity within the last three months.

Here's the interesting rub: Among older women not having sex, more than half said the hangup wasn't on their end. Thirty-six percent lacked a partner, 23 percent reported a "physical problem" with the partner and 11 percent said their partners weren't interested. Only nine percent had physical problems of their own preventing intimacy. (You see how we didn't make any jokes blaming Monday Night Football? We're learning.).

With those who were in homeroom when they got the news President Kennedy had been shot now reaching retirement age, this is pertinent information -- and not just to the folks who want to sell sexual aids.

Another interesting wrinkle to the UCSF study was its multi-ethnic field: 20 percent of the women were black, 18 percent Latina, and 19 percent Asian. Black women were reported as more likely than whites to report "at least moderate desire," but less likely to report weekly sexual activity. Meanwhile, sexually active Latina women were more likely than whites to report moderate or better sexual satisfaction.

"Our findings indicate that a substantial portion of women are interested and engaged in sexual activity as they age," said lead author Dr. Alison Huang, MD, an assistant professor in internal medicine at UCSF. One of her major suggestions coming out of this study is that "...treatment directed solely at improving women's sexual functioning, such as medications, may not substantially affect their activity if partner issues also are not addressed."

In other words, it takes two to tango ... and the women appear to be ready to dance. Partners -- what's your excuse?

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