As we get older, although our energy and sexual drive is no longer as it used to be, age is still no barrier to passion. 4 in 10 of us enjoy an active sex life after turning 65, a study has found, and 2 in 3 are still interested in keeping the flame alive. The analysis, based on 1,000 pensioners aged between 65 and 80, discovered that 1 in 5 maintain a close interest in sex into their late seventies. However, there were differences in the attitudes of men and women.

While 51 per cent of men were sexually active after 65, only 31 per cent of women were still pursuing passion. And while 84 per cent of older men regarded sex as an important part of a relationship, women were less enthusiastic with only 69 per cent agreeing. Older women, however, were more likely to feel satisfied with their sex lives.

The researchers, from the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, found that three quarters of those surveyed had a partner. Previous studies from the UK Office for National Statistics suggested older people were less likely to be lonely than the young because such a high proportion of them had spouses or live-in partners.

Dr Erica Solway, of the University of Michigan, said: ‘Sexual health among older adults doesn’t get much attention but is linked closely to quality of life, health and wellbeing.’

Having recently reached the age of 87, I find that passion has overtaken sexual desire due largely to a diminishing patience which has always been, for me, a key element in the pursuit of sexual energy. Nevertheless, desire lurks as long as this beating heart does not pack up.

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