Gay and bi men over 60 are the happiest age group when it comes to the state of their sex life, while those in their forties are the least.
According to the UK’s largest survey on bi and gay sexual health, 70% of men 65 and older said that they were satisfied with their sex life.
Sixty-four percent of men between 60 and 64 were also happy with what happens between the sheets.
Interestingly, this is similar to the level of satisfaction of those between the ages of 20 and 24 (63%). Men aged from 25 to 59, however, then see a decline in sexual happiness, with those between 45 and 49 being the least happy (just 54%).
More than 15,300 men took part in the survey to build a picture of sex between men in the UK and what men need to stay safe.
Other findings were that while there’s been an increase in gay and bi men getting tested for HIV, one in four has still never been tested. A third also said they were uncertain about their HIV status.
“Knowing your HIV status is key to tackling the HIV epidemic, as people who are on treatment are highly unlikely to pass on the virus, so it’s really important to get tested,” commented Cary James, Head of Health Promotion at Terrence Higgins Trust. “Testing is fast, easy and confidential,” he added.
The survey also shed new light on the extent of drug use among gay men: 7 per cent of the respondents had taken the drugs mephedrone, GBH/GBL and/or crystal meth in the past 4 weeks. These drugs are associated with sexualised drug use or “chemsex”.
Meanwhile, a significant proportion (42 per cent) of men living with HIV felt alcohol/drugs played a part in acquiring HIV, although the majority said neither played a part.
“Although chemsex remains a reality for a relatively small proportion of gay and bisexual men, the potential for harm from it is very high,” said Lead researcher Dr Ford Hickson, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
“It is important to provide specialist support for men on the chemsex scene. Combining sex and drugs can easily become compulsive and can increase sexual risk taking.
“That a large proportion of men say alcohol or drugs played a part in their becoming infected with HIV means everyone on the scene and in services needs to think about how we can help men get better sex with less harm,” said Hickson.
The Terrence Higgins Trust, the UK’s leading HIV and sexual health charity, commissioned the National Gay Men’s Sex Survey as part of the HIV Prevention England programme, funded by Public Health England.