Sex can be a powerful emotional experience and a great tool for protecting or improving health, and it’s certainly not only for the young. Sex over the age of 50 can present challenges, and you may feel discouraged by issues connected with the aging process, but these problems are not insurmountable. With better understanding and an open mind, you can continue to enjoy a physically and emotionally fulfilling sex life–it’s not a question of age, but of desire.
Good Sex At Any Age
The need for intimacy is ageless. And studies now confirm that no matter what your gender, you can enjoy sex for as long as you wish. Naturally, sex at 70 or 80 may not be like it is at 20 or 30—but in some ways it can be better. As an older adult, you may feel wiser than you were in your earlier years, and know what works best for you when it comes to your sex life. Older people often have a great deal more self-confidence and self-awareness, and feel released from the unrealistic ideals of youth and prejudices of others. And with children grown and work less demanding, couples are better able to relax and enjoy one another without the old distractions.
Tips For Better Sex Over 50
1. Accept & celebrate who you are
Sex in later life may not be the same as it was in your youth—but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, sex can be more enjoyable than ever. As you find yourself embracing your older identity, you can:
- Reap the benefits of experience. The independence and self-confidence that comes with age can be very attractive to your spouse or potential partners. No matter your gender, you may feel better about your body at 62 or 72 than you did at 22. And it is likely that you now know more about yourself and what makes you excited and happy. Your experience and self-possession can make your sex life exciting for you and your partner.
- Look ahead. As you age, try to let go of expectations for your sex life. Do your best to avoid dwelling on how things are different. If you enjoyed an active sex life in your younger years, there’s no reason to slow down with age, unless you want to. A positive attitude and open mind can go a long way toward improving your sex life as you age.
- Love and appreciate your older self. Naturally, your body is going through changes as you age. You look and feel differently than you did when you were younger. But if you can accept these changes as natural and hold your head up high, you’ll not only feel better, you’ll also be more attractive to others. Confidence and honesty garner the respect of others—and can be sexy and appealing.
2. Good Sex Still Means Safe Sex
As a senior, you need to be just as careful as younger people when having sex with a new partner. You may not be able to get pregnant, but you’re still susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases. Talk to your partner, and protect yourself.
As bodies and feelings change over the age of 50, it’s more important than ever to communicate your thoughts, fears, and desires with your partner. Encourage your partner to communicate fully with you, too. Speaking openly about sex may not come easily to you, but improving your communication will help both of you feel closer, and can make sex more pleasurable.
4. Focus On Intimacy & Physical Touch
A good sex life—at any age—involves a lot more than just sex. It’s also about intimacy and touch, things anyone can benefit from. Even if you have health problems or physical disabilities, you can engage in intimate acts and benefit from closeness with another person. Take the pressure off by putting aside your old ideas of what sex “should be.” Focus instead on the importance of tenderness and contact.
It’s not just about intercourse. Sex can also be about emotional pleasure, sensory pleasure, and relationship pleasure. Intercourse is only one way to have fulfilling sex. Touching, kissing, and other intimate sexual contact can be just as rewarding for both you and your partner.
5. Find What Works
You might not be as comfortable with some sexual positions as you once were, but that doesn’t mean you need to give up an activity that is pleasurable for you—and miss out on feeling close to your partner. Keep in mind that it’s not all about intercourse or recreating the way things were when you were younger. The key to a great sex life is finding out what works for you now. Experiment. Expand what sex means. Change your routine. Try foreplay.
6. Restarting A Stalled Sex Drive
Some older adults give up having a sex life due to emotional or medical challenges. But the vast majority of these issues do not have to be permanent. You can restart a stalled sex drive—and get your sex life back in motion. Remember that maintaining a sex life into your senior years is a matter of good health. Try thinking of sex as something that can keep you in shape, both physically and mentally.
7. Know When To Seek Help
No matter what your age, losing your desire for intimacy and touch altogether isn’t normal. In fact, loss of interest or function may be signs of a medical problem—one that may be best addressed by a doctor. If something is getting in the way of your desire or ability to have a good sex life, don’t let embarrassment keep you from asking your doctor for help. Working with a professional, there is much you can do to improve your sex life.
Keep in mind that anything that affects your general health and well-being can also affect your sexual function. Sexual health can be affected by:
- Medical conditions. Illnesses that involve the cardiovascular system, high blood pressure, diabetes, hormonal problems, depression, or anxiety can affect sex drive and function. You can talk to your doctor about strategies to combat these issues.
- Medications. Certain medications can inhibit your sexual response, including your desire for sex, your ability to become aroused and your orgasmic function. You can talk to your doctor about switching to a different medication with fewer sexual side effects.
December 6, 2013 //
By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS This article appeared in the Dec. 8, 2013 issue of The New York Times Magazi...
December 5, 2013 //
By Taryn Hillin Are you scared of being alone forever? You're not the only one -- and it could be...