Increased sex drive for women in their thirties?

Dear Alice,

Is it true that a woman's sex drive is at its peak when she reaches 30? I can vouch for the fact that at 32, I think about sex more than I ever have in my lifetime.

— Horny 30's

Dear Horny 30's,

Sounds like your thirties are shaping up to be fabulous! The 30-year mark statistic you're referring to is attributed to sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, whose research showed that women had more orgasms in their thirties than at any other time in their lifespan. His research does not indicate — nor does any other — that there is a clear "peak" at any certain age when it comes to sexual drive and satisfaction. Rather, people change and fluctuate in their sexual response, desire, and intimacy through all stages of their lives.

The likely cause of your lusty thirties, as supported by Kinsey and other researchers, is that women in your age group have become more comfortable with their bodies and have a more intimate knowledge of their bodily responses than younger women. This intimate knowledge facilitates pleasure and orgasm, either through intercourse or penetration with a partner, clitoral stimulation, foreplay, oral sex, or a whole host of other sexy activities. Women in their thirties also tend to have more self-confidence and a stronger sense of self, as they have perhaps become successful and/or independent in other areas of their lives.

As women leave their twenties behind, they are also perhaps more willing to communicate their well-honed needs more fully to their partners. More familiar with how their body works, they can describe what they want to their partners more easily, thus increasing their sexual satisfaction. And increased satisfaction during sex can have a beautiful cyclic effect: the more you get off, the more you desire sex.

Another factor to take into account is the change in hormone levels women experience at many points in their lives. For both men and women, testosterone levels drop as they get older; the decrease happens more slowly in women than in men, which may mean that a woman in her thirties desires sex more than some of her male peers (although not all).

Making the most of your sexual energy and self-awareness will lead to a fulfilling life, both in and out of the bedroom, at any age. Here's to one orgasmic decade (and many more)!

Last updated Mar 03, 2015
Originally published Mar 15, 1996

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