Get this surprising fact: Sex on a first date is twice as likely for people over 50 than for singles in their twenties and thirties, according to a new survey. Why? "As most people age, they become more confident, less inhibited and more likely to take a chance on someone new," says Beverly Mahone, a baby boomer expert and author of Whatever! A Baby Boomer's Journey Into Middle Age. "What's more, if you've been around the dating block a few times, you grow tired of the games and recognize what you like in a person much faster. Which means the dating process can be sped up considerably."
So what's fueling these red-hot dates? Plain old lust! Turns out that 53 percent of singles over 50 say finding a relationship filled with fireworks is more important than landing a mate who is marriage-material. "There's a misconception that Boomers have conservative views toward sex, but let's not forget-this is a generation that started the Sexual Revolution," says David Noble, founder and executive chief of Wanobe.com, a lifestyle website for Boomers that conducted the study. "The truth is, most people in the stages of mid-life are not looking to re-marry. Many are divorced, have raised their kids and are now seeking fun and pleasure, not to grow old in a rocking chair." And it's true-the study also found that 73% of single Boomers aim to find a satisfying sexual relationship in the next year, while 84% hope to have an intense sexual connection with the next person they meet.
"As people experience a drop in libido and women go through menopause, having feelings of lust and passion become more important than in their youth, when raging hormones ruled the day," adds Mahone.
So if you just met someone who makes your heart race and you're feeling spontaneous, it's OK to go for it-just bear in mind this expert advice. "Whether you realize it or not, any time you have sex, you make an emotional investment," says Mahone. "Sometimes sleeping with someone too quickly can rev up expectations which can be awkward. If you do decide to hit the sheets, just make sure your relationship goals-or lack thereof-are on the same page," she says. "And of course, use protection."
Elise Nersesian is a New York-based writer who's contributed to Redbook, Health and other national magazines.
Mature dating is complex enough, but when you add children to the mix, it can grow even more complicated.