Never Say Never: Senior Sex Can Be A Wonderful Part of Your Life
Like fine wine, sex just gets better with age. Advanced age is no reason not to remain active in the bedroom. That’s what we believe, and that’s what we see every day when couples of all ages come into our stores - especially people who are 55 or older.
Sure, sex is fun in your 20s and 30s, but many people can and do enjoy fulfilling sex into their 80s and beyond. Why?
- They want to keep their love lives that they’ve enjoyed and benefited from for most of their lives going strong or maybe get them going strong again.
- They still feel desirable or they want to feel desirable again.
- They’re seeking new ways to be intimate because of age or health issues.
- Many are sharing life with a new partner or are exploring a potential new relationship.
Although it will vary for everyone depending on their overall health, people may even have a better sex life as they get older. Why?
- They are highly confident in who they are.
- They know what they like and want and aren't afraid to talk about it.
- They are empty nesters, which means fewer distractions and responsibilities.
- They no longer have to worry about pregnancy.
- They want to share the intimacy that sex brings with a new partner or to foster a new relationship.
If this is something you’ve been contemplating for a while now, the best starting point is to reflect on where you are physically and the status of your health. If you’re struggling with having sex, you may have reached a point where the challenges of age or your health may mean you need to rethink the ways you can have sex. Certain illnesses, disabilities, medicines, and surgeries that you may have had can affect your ability to have and enjoy sex. Conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, diabetes or a stroke can cause sexual problems. But that’s okay. That’s normal with age. And it doesn’t mean you have to give up completely on intimacy or sex. You may just have to adjust the sexual activities you can share with your partner.
Sometimes just finding time alone to snuggle and kiss and talk can serve as a great form of intimacy, but occasionally may lead to more physical and sexual engagement. There are also different changes in their bodies for women and men that are just a natural part of aging. For example, women may experience vaginal dryness or the vagina can shorten and narrow and the walls become thinner and lose elasticity. These changes can make vaginal penetration painful and thus less desirable. Applying water-based lubricating jelly or lubricated condoms may correct that obstacle. Women using hormone therapy to treat hot flashes or other menopausal symptoms may actually want to have sex more often than before starting hormone therapy.
With men, on the other hand, impotence tends to become more common with age. Often referred to as erectile dysfunction or ED, impotence means they may not be able to achieve or maintain a firm erection or that it may take longer to do so. It may also become more difficult to get another erection for a longer time period. But even impotence can be overcome as a challenge to sexual activity. There are adult toys available that men and women can share to stimulate both partners. There are medical interventions men may consider to counter ED that should be discussed with their doctor. In fact, woman or man, the most important first step is to discuss any of these issues with a doctor.
You should also do everything you can to maintain good health, such as eating nutritious foods, keeping your weight to a healthy level, exercising properly and regularly, getting enough sleep (at least 7 or 8 hours), and not drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. Yes, yes, you’ve heard that a lot, right? But your health impacts the functioning of all of your sex organs, from your brain on down. Sure, you may have to modify the intertwining pretzel and all of the complete Kama Sutra positions that you used to be able to do. But even if you can't practice the mattress gymnastics the way you used to, couples can still have a lot of fun together looking for and experimenting with new ways to generate desire and enjoy their time together.
There is one extremely important principle to keep in mind: Physical intimacy does not always have to mean intercourse or climaxing. It’s true. Believe it. According to sexpositivepsychology.com, “Emotional intimacy does not even require physical contact. Intimacy can thrive in loving friendships and family relationships that don't include sex. In fact, sex too soon in a relationship can interfere with emotional intimacy.” Here’s one concern you may not have thought about, though: Always practice safe sex – even at an elderly age. Age does not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases and infections. Older people who are sexually active are just as at risk as anyone for STIs, even HIV/AIDS, if they have multiple partners. To protect yourself, always use a condom during sex that involves vaginal or anal penetration. Additionally, for complete safety for both partners, a man needs a full erection before putting on a condom.
Ultimately, we really like this vital concept about intimacy and sexuality as we age, and we often share it with our customers. Think about the 3 T's. They work for everyone:
- More Touch
- More Time
- More Talking
Quite simply, never give up on romance and intimacy. They are yours to enjoy and treasure as a way to enrich your and your partner’s lives for as long as you want them to be; sex is just the cherry on top.