Saturday 01 April 2023

Sexual activity rises in over 75s; falls for everyone else

Photo: Depositphotos

Sexual activity has risen amongst the over 75s, according to the Dutch statistics office CBS.

Its health and lifestyle monitor reported that 27% of people aged over 75 said they had been active between the sheets in the previous year in 2022, compared with 16% in 2014. By contrast, sexual activity decreased in all other age groups, especially those aged between 16 and 25. In 2014, 74% said they had had sex in the past year, compared with 70% more recently.

Tanja Traag, senior researcher and sociologist at the CBS, said that the increase in sexually active older people was linked with a rise in those still living with a partner, which rose from 46% to 51%. ‘This group is more sexually active than people living alone,’ she told the Parool. ‘[Older people are also] more comfortable in their own skins.’

The survey did not delve into how many times during the year people were sexually active, but she suggested that the lower figure amongst the youngest people was because young adults were waiting longer before first having sex.

Men between 25 and 45 were most likely to report that they had been lucky in the previous year. Meanwhile, an increasing number of people said they were celibate in 2022, growing from 25.5% in 2014 to 30%.

There was, however, a dark figure in the survey, which was done with the RIVM public health institute and sexual health groups Rutgers and Soa Aids Netherlands. One in eight participants didn’t want to say whether they had been sexually active recently, rising to 24% of the over 75s.

During the pandemic, Rutgers run a short-lived campaign encouraging young people to remember how to flirt and have a ‘summer of love’. It was interrupted by more coronavirus restrictions on human contact.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation. has been free for 16 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.