A woman on a sex dating website began her message to a male stranger with the remark that at the age of 43 she supposed that she was older than most women using the facility. She went on to ask what he supposed was the average age of women using the website. Some reassurance may have been gained from a reply conveying the impression that the perceived average age was about 37/38, putting the inquirer only a few years above average. The woman in question expressed her surprise, as she supposed most of the women using the website to be in their 20s. This conversation stimulated an interest in seeking some statistical data to give a better insight into the actual age distribution.
In a random sample of 240 women using the website, the following age distribution was revealed:
From 18 to 25 – 52 (21.5%)
From 26 to 30 – 41 (17.0%)
From 31 to 35 – 30 (12.5%)
From 36 to 40 – 23 (9.5%)
From 41 to 45 – 26 (11.0%)
From 46 to 50 – 23 (9.5%)
From 51 to 55 – 16 (6.5%)
From 56 to 60 – 16 (6.5%)
From 61 to 65 – 10 (4.0%)
From 65 to 80 – 3 (1.0%)
As might have been expected, the largest groups of women seeking sex dates were under 30, but it was perhaps more surprising that substantial numbers were in their 30s and 40s, and even in their 50s and 60s, with even a few older than 65. The oldest woman in the sample was 76. The mean age of the sample was 37.5 years.
Women in different age groups were found to have somewhat different characteristics although all, young and old, referred to previous sexual experience. Most women in the lower age groups mentioned a broken relationship as a reason for using the website. A break-up with a boyfriend was frequently instanced but no broken marriages were mentioned by women under 30. With women in their 30s, 40s and 50s, however, a recent divorce was often given as the need to find a new sex partner. Amongst the older women, a few stated that premature widowhood had left them in need of a new companion.
Although for most of the women a relationship had recently ended, the majority of women on the website were not in an ongoing relationship. A few however, openly admitted to seeking to cheat on boyfriends or husbands who were inadequate sexual partners. A very few claimed to be looking outside with their partner’s permission and another small group claimed to be seeking a ‘menage a trois’ with their partner’s involvement. An almost universal characteristic was a belief that a perfect sexual experience had so far eluded the plaintive but was still possible if the right partner could be found. The age distribution of the sample suggested that this hope lived on in many women throughout their working lives and even into their retirement.