More elderly Swedes enjoy an active sex life

Is it possible to have a fulfilling sex life in your autumn years? Swedes think so. New research shows older people are having more – and better – sex than ever before.

More elderly Swedes enjoy an active sex life
Elderly Swedes are having better sex than before. Photo: Therese Jahnson/SvD/TT

Almost three times as many women in their 70s are sexually active today compared to 40 years ago, according to researcher Nils Beckman at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg.

"It's down to several factors. Today's 70-year-olds are healthier and generally more active. But also attitudes in society have changed and contraception is more widely available. Women today are more able to be in command of their own body," he told The Local.

And it’s not just 70-year-olds. The study also shows that Swedes even as old as 97 have not given up on their sexual feelings altogether. 26.7 percent of 97-year-old men and 4.7 percent of women said they still experienced passion, although only one person claimed to be sexually active.

"Just as much as an 80-year-old is able to enjoy a good dinner, they can enjoy sexual contact," said Beckman.

Feeling inspired? Read The Local's guide to dating in Sweden

In free-spirited modern Sweden, the figures have changed the most among women. 34 percent of women in their 70s reported an active sexual life today, compared to 12 percent in the 1970s. The number of sexually active men of the same age has gone up from 47 percent to 66 percent.

"There's a myth that Sweden is very sexually liberated, but I think that's the result of a few well-published movies. If you look at American and European studies we're not that different from the rest of the western world," said Beckman.

The figures have not just risen in quantitative terms. Today’s silver foxes are having better sex than their 1970s counterparts. 62 percent of women and 71 percent of men told the study they found their sex life “highly satisfying”, compared to 41 and 58 percent, respectively, 40 years ago.

The Gothenburg study follows a trend of the breaking down of sexual taboos in Sweden, which is already known for its openness and tolerance.

Sweden came in ninth in a YouGov poll from 2013 on what European nationalities had the best sex, just after France but before Finland. The Swiss rated themselves the highest in the survey, and the Brits ended up in a disappointing last place.

Just last week, The Local reported that changing norms and legislation has emboldened more and more Swedes to undergo sex changes – a clinic in Lund welcomed almost 100 patients last year compared to around ten when it opened in the 1970s.

“We have a different kind of openness in society today,” Dr Attila Fazekas told broadcaster SVT at the time.

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Police probe mystery death at Swedish care home after spate of overdoses

Police are investigating one case of murder and two attempted murders at a care home in the west of Sweden, after a doctor raised the alarm about suspicious insulin overdoses.

Police probe mystery death at Swedish care home after spate of overdoses
At least of the women did not normally receive insulin injections. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT
“There is one man who died in connection to the events,” Stina Lundqvist, the prosecutor in the case, told the local Göteborgs Tidning newspaper.
“All of these three people who received a medication which they were not supposed to have, according to what they were prescribed,” she added in an interview with Swedish state radio broadcaster SR
“We are investigating the events as attempted murder,” she told Sweden's TT newswire, which reported that it could be a case of active euthanasia, which is illegal in Sweden, although the prosecutor did not comment.
The doctor reported his suspicions to the police after two women from the same section of the care home were admitted to the hospital, both suffering from extremely low blood sugar. 
“Through giving the plaintiff insulin, someone has caused her to lose consciousness and stop breathing,” a senior doctor at the hospital wrote in a police report.
The doctor added that the woman would not have been capable of administering the insulin herself. 
In January this year, a third resident from the same section of the same care home, was also admitted to the hospital suffering from low blood sugar. It was then that police put a prosecutor on the case. 
“It's unlikely to be a coincidence because it is all from the same section and is the same type of event,” Lundqvist told TT.
“But it's a slightly special case. We can't say with confidence that this is an attempted murder. That's something we hope the investigation will shed some light on.” 
“There are certain elements which suggest a crime has been committed, although exactly what evidence this is, I cannot go into at present.” 
At least one of the women did not normally take insulin, and another was admitted with a type of insulin in her body different from that which she was prescribed. 
According to a report in a local newspaper, a police search of the home found two empty insulin pens containing fast-acting insulin which were not registered in the home's records. 
Lundqvist said it was a “complicated investigation”, as many of the staff who worked at the home at the time had already moved on. 
“We have no one at present we could reasonably call a suspect, but of course there are people we are looking closely at,” she said. “It's of course a natural part of our investigation to look at who has been working at the home when all the events took place.” 
The prosecutor in the case, Stina Lundqvist, says there is not yet a suspect. Photo: Adam Ihse/Exponera