Retirement and Sexual Satisfaction

Georg Henning, Dikla Segel-Karpas, Marcus Praetorius Björk, Pär Bjälkebring, Anne Ingeborg Berg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Objectives: Although interest in sexuality in older age has increased over the last decades, few studies have focused on longitudinal change in sexual satisfaction around retirement age. In the present study, we studied change in sexual satisfaction across retirement in a sample of Swedish older adults with a partner. Research Design and Methods: Our analyses were based on n = 759 participants (359 male, 400 female) from the longitudinal Health, Aging, and Retirement Transitions in Sweden study. For this study, we used 5 waves spanning over a period of 4 years. Results: On average, sexual satisfaction did not change significantly before retirement, but decreased after retirement. Interestingly, women showed higher sexual satisfaction than men, as well as a more positive development of both pre- and postretirement sexual satisfaction. Individuals with higher relationship satisfaction had a higher sexual satisfaction until retirement, but their sexual satisfaction also decreased faster after retirement, whereas those with lower relationship satisfaction showed a stable but lower sexual satisfaction. Discussion and Implications: Sexual satisfaction can change in the retirement transition in several important ways and further studies on the impact of retirement and other late-life stage transitions are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-284
Number of pages11
JournalThe Gerontologist
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved.


  • Gender
  • Relationship
  • Sexuality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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