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Sex at 50-Plus: What's Normal?

A new survey reveals how typical your romance is ... or isn't

Couple holding hands and smiling, Sex at 50+

Among the survey's happiest couples, 85 percent of both men and women say "I love you" at least once a week. — Tim Pannell/Corbis

5. How frequently do you tell your partner you love him or her?

More than 90 percent of men tell their partner "I love you" regularly, while only 58 percent of women do the same. Among our happiest couples, 85 percent of both men and women say those three little words at least once a week.

Tip: No need to gush. A daily "I love you" seems to do the trick. Say it at the end of a phone call or when you go to bed at night.

6. Do you ever get the sense that your partner has sex with you out of a sense of obligation?

12.5 percent of people in a relationship for a year or less say yes, compared with 49.6 percent of people in a relationship for 21 years or more.

Tip: Pick good, happy and rested times to suggest sex — and let your partner off the hook if he or she is not in the mood. But don't feel bad if you sense your partner is being dutiful once in a while. Many of the people who told us they have sex out of obligation also told us they were extremely happy in their relationships.

7. Have you ever used sex toys with your partner?

60 percent of women and 40 percent of men say yes, adult toys (vibrators and the like) have been or are a part of their lovemaking.

Tip: Sex toys have gone mainstream and are easy to find online, in malls or even in many drugstores. If you're curious, why not suggest a shopping trip to see what all the raves are about?

8. How often do you kiss passionately?

38 percent of couples do not kiss passionately at all anymore, but 74 percent of the happiest couples exchange passionate kisses at least once a week.

Tip: Kissing bonds partners more deeply. So set the stage at least once a week: lights low, music playing, maybe even a dance in the kitchen. It's easy to get back in the habit!

9. What do you most want from your partner that you are not getting?

More than a quarter of men say they aren't having enough sex, while a quarter of women don't have the lifestyle they'd hoped for. Roughly 14 percent of men and 19 percent of women want more affection. Four out of 10 men and 44 percent of women say their partner is fulfilling all their needs.

Tip: To get more affection, give it. Offer a foot massage or a neck rub, use pet names and dress up occasionally just to please your partner.

Next page: How often do couples have sex? How many folks are into oral sex? »

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Video Extra

YOUR SEX LIFE: Who says your sex life slows down as you get older? Dr. Pepper Schwartz explains why these may be the best years of your sexual life.

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