Probably the most important psycho physiological alteration of sexual patterning to develop during the 50 to 70 year period is the human male's loss of high levels of ejaculatory demand.
So many men in the older age groups consider themselves too old to function sexually, yet cannot explain how they have arrived at this conclusion.
As the male ages, he not only enjoys a fortuitous increase in ejaculatory control but also has a definite reduction in ejaculatory demand.
If a man 60 years of age has intercourse on an average of once or twice a week, his own specific drive to ejaculate might be of major moment every second or third time there is coital connection.
This level of innate demand does not imply that the man cannot or does not ejaculate more frequently. He can force himself and/or be forced by female-partner insistence to ejaculate more frequently, but if left to resolve his own individual demand level he may find that an ejaculatory experience every second or third coital connection is completely satisfying personally.
Explicitly his own subjective level of ejaculatory demand does not keep pace with the frequency of his physiological ability to achieve an erection or to maintain this erection with full pleasure on an indefinite basis.
This factor of reduced ejaculatory demand for the aging male is the entire basis for effective prolongation of sexual functioning in the aging population.
If an aging man does not ejaculate, he can return to erection rapidly after prior loss of erective security through distraction or female satiation.
The older man can easily achieve and maintain an erection if there is no ejaculatory threat in the immediate offing. The uninformed woman poses an ejaculatory threat. She believes that she has not accomplished woman's purpose unless her coital partner ejaculates.
How many women in our culture feel they have fulfilled the feminine role if their partner has not ejaculated? Whether he likes it or needs it, she must be a good sexual partner. "Everybody knows that a man needs to ejaculate every time he has intercourse" and so goes the refrain.
The message should reach both sexes that after members of the marital unit are somewhere in the early or middle fifties, demand for sexual release should be left to the individual partner.
Then coital connection can be instituted regularly and individual male and female sexual interests satisfied. These interests for the woman can range from demand for multi orgasmic release to just desiring vaginal, penetration and holding, without any effort at tension elevation.
If the male is encouraged to ejaculate on his own demand schedule and to have intercourse as it fits both sexual partners' interest levels, the average marital unit will be capable of functioning sexually well into the 80 year age group, presuming for both man and woman a reasonably good state of general health and an interested and interesting sexual partner.
Effective sexual function for any man in the 50 to 70 year age group depends primarily upon his full understanding of the sexual involutional processes that he may encounter. Effective sexual function for most women also depends upon their knowledge of male sexual physiology in the declining years. Men and women must understand fully the alterations of sexual patterning that may develop if they are to cope effectively with their aging process.