Feel that as the years go by, your libido is getting more intense? If so, you’re not alone. Women between the ages of 27-45 tend to have a heightened sex drive and engage in more exciting sexual activities, according to just-released research out of the University of Texas at Austin and published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.
In the study, the researchers split 827 women into three groups: high fertility (ages18-26), low fertility (ages 27-45) and menopausal (ages 46 and up). The respondents answered an online questionnaire about their sexual attitudes and behavior.
Of all three groups, the women between the ages of 27 and 45 (the low fertility group) were more likely to experience:
• Frequent sexual fantasies
• Thoughts about sexual activities
• More intense sexual fantasies than their younger counterparts
• A more active sex life and willingness to have a one-night stand
• A willingness to have casual sex
Now, here’s where the research gets interesting, if not downwright controversial. The examiners link statistics about how more women are having babies later in life, and they claim that this rise in libido after the age of 27 is likely attributed to the fact that women realize they’re running out of time to conceive and they know it’s harder to conceive as the years pass, so they basically start a mad scramble to get pregnant.
As study co-author Judith Easton, M.A., says: “Our results suggest there is nothing special about the 30s, but that instead these behaviors manifest in all women with declining fertility. It may be more difficult to conceive past the age of 35, but our research suggests women’s psychology will continue to motivate them to try until menopause.”
The researchers go on to say that this rise in libido could be an evolutionary adaptation, that is, since more of us are having babies later, our bodies adapt by boosting our libido as we get older.
Since this is a blog, I’d like to give my personal opinion on this study and admit that I’m not in agreement with its findings linking a high libido to a rush to get pregnant. From personal experience, I’ve had a relatively high libido that has remained fairly constant since my teen years. However, I do think my sexual confidence—including my comfort level with my body, willingness to explore fantasies and ease in initiating sex—have all steadily increased with maturity and experience. Since I’ve had my tubes tied since I was 25 years old, I’m 39 now and do not wish to have children, I’m clearly not trying to beat any reproductive clock.
While the idea that our bodies are adapting to getting pregnant later in life makes sense, I also think a large part is that women come into their own in their 30s and gain confidence that helps them act on their sexual urges.
What are your thoughts on this study? Do you think we’re becoming biologically wired to have a higher libido in our 30s to aid in conception, or do we just simply gain confidence that enables us to enjoy sex more?