The objective of this study was to examine whether sexual satisfaction is associated with subjective well-being longitudinally.
Data from 2002, 2008 and 2011 were drawn from a nationally representative study among individuals residing in private households aged 40 and over (n = 12,105 in regression analysis). The established Satisfaction with Life Scale was used to assess life satisfaction. The well-recognized Positive and Negative Affect Schedule was used to quantify positive and negative affect, respectively. A single-item measure was used to quantify sexual satisfaction, ranging from 1 to 5 (higher values correspond to higher sexual satisfaction). The analysis was stratified by sex and age group (40–59 years, 60 years and over).
The mean sexual satisfaction score was 3.4 (± 1.0) in men and 3.5 (± 0.9) in women. Fixed-effects regressions revealed that sexual satisfaction was positively associated with life satisfaction (total sample: β = .08, p < .001; men: β = .08, p < .001; women: β = .07, p < .001) and positive affect (total sample: β = .04, p < .001; men: β = .04, p < .001; women: β = .03, p < .01) as well as was negatively associated with negative affect (total sample: β = − .05, p < .001; men: β = − .05, p < .001; women: β = − .04, p < .001).
This study emphasizes the longitudinal association between sexual satisfaction and subjective well-being both in men and women. Life satisfaction is associated with satisfaction with sex life in both age groups. We conclude that sexual satisfaction is a life domain related to life satisfaction among older men and women. Thus, maintaining or improvement of sexual satisfaction could have an impact on successful ageing. Research is required to further elucidate the underlying mechanisms.