And yet, despite a lot of cringe-making depictions of desperately over-dressed middle-aged women on the prowl, on the whole it's been a good thing for women of a certain age, hasn't it? Yes, sweetie, your mom does have sex — and she likes it.
We always thought the greater lustiness of the middle-aged woman came from a greater proportion of testosterone in her hormonal mix. Estrogen declines faster than testosterone, which is the chemical of libido as well as aggression, so her sexual appetite begins to look more like a man's.
But here's another theory: It's her eggs talking. A new study by Judith Easton of the University of Texas confirmed that women in their 30s and early 40s were more interested in sex and more sexually active than the younger ones. Her co-author, David Buss, author of The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating, says that evolution favored women who were more sexually active as their reproductive capacity declined.
According to Time,
Our female ancestors grew accustomed to watching many of their children — perhaps as many as half — die of various diseases, starvation, warfare and so on before being able to have kids of their own. This trauma left a psychological imprint to bear as many children as possible. Becoming pregnant is much easier for women and girls in their teens and early 20s — so much easier that they need not spend much time having sex.
Of course, there are myriad other possible explanations for sexy older women. We've finally figured out what we want and aren't afraid to ask for it. And — what's one of the biggest consolations of aging — we've begun to care a lot less about what other people think of us.