The survey suggests, for instance, that older Hispanics display more affection to their mates, a behavior that tends to be rewarded with more sex.
“I’ve found that Hispanics tend to communicate more openly about sex—the spontaneity, the ability to talk about sex, to be romantic on the phone... The differences in these areas are huge with Hispanic men,” adds Elbie B., 50, a Cuban woman in Miami who asked to remain anonymous and who has dated men of varied backgrounds since her divorce 18 years ago.
The financial stresses of the last few years have hit many 45+ Americans right where it hurts—their libidos. But unlike findings for the general population, the survey showed no dip in sexual frequency or satisfaction for Hispanics. According to Gomes, many studies show that the quality of relationships is a significant factor in weathering the ups and downs of life. While such a protective factor doesn’t depend on one’s background or culture, many Hispanics may have an advantage here. Having a greater ability to draw on a support network may offer one possible explanation as to why older Hispanics didn’t see the same drop in their sexual activity and satisfaction during the hard economic times that the average 45+ person experienced.
Gonzalez, who works with many different racial groups as a social worker, says she observed these benefits among several Hispanic families when the going got tough.
“During the recession, the Hispanics I worked with definitely had more family to rely on if they lost their job,” she says. “I really think we have more people to be concerned about us if something bad happens.”
The survey, though, may not reflect the views of Hispanics who grew up in households where the word “sex” was never uttered. Hispanic culture is varied enough to hold many different experiences. Other Hispanics feel these findings ring true, and romanticism comes just as high as sex or sensuality.