Maintaining a Healthy Sex Life in Later Years

Maintaining a Healthy Sex Life in Later Years

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  1. Perspective

    Thanks to studies conducted by the Kinsey Institute, Masters and Johnson, Shere Hite, and the Mayo Clinic, we now know beyond a doubt that despite what was long held true, women do not typically lose interest in sex once they pass their childbearing years.  And contrary to common belief, many men actually experience an increase in libido in later life–not a decrease. In short, our sexual urges do not simply shut off just because we’ve reached a “certain” age.

    We now understand that sex is much more than a biological urge to reproduce. In fact for most of us, the need for both emotional and physical intimacy is something we carry to our final days.

    Yet surprisingly, recent studies show that most older couples tend to think of sex as separate and apart from day to day life. Opportunities to casually kiss, fondle, or whisper naughty nothings in their partner’s ear are passed by because it never seems like quite the right place or time. Essentially, time seems to rob many couples of the spontaneity that fueled the sexual fire of younger days.

    However, couples who say they’ve adopted the perspective that time not spent in bed involved in sex-play is the perfect time for foreplay discover that when the time comes to actually get down to it, they’re more passionate, more responsive, and far more receptive to trying new things.

    Experts say the key to maintaining a healthy sex life in later years is to make the most of every moment–beginning today. Here’s what many prominent sex therapists suggest:

    Touch and kiss more

    Don’t hesitate to be randomly physical. Kiss and touch for no particular reason–just to say “hi” or, “see you in a bit.” Casual kissing and petting spawns romantic ideas and reminds your partner that you still find them sexually desirable.

    Be playful

    Remember how playful you were when you first started dating? Try to recall the things you used to do to lure them; to make them what to ravage you. Did you used to wrestle around in bed together on Sunday mornings? Did you used to enjoy flashing a body part when they least expected it? Why not do it again? Remind them that time really hasn’t changed anything between the two of you.

    Explore your fantasies

    As the old 60s song says, the time to hesitate is through. Do away with the sexual boundaries you set in your youth; boundaries often influenced by morals and convention of a bygone era. Open the door to those images and ideas you’ve kept locked away and share them with your partner. You may be surprised by the exciting places they lead you.

    Dress provocatively (even sleazy)

    One thing most men and women of any age enjoy is being sexually lured by what they perceive as “sexy attire.” Pull out the stops! Whether she’d like him to wear leopard print briefs, or he’d like to see her in crotch-less panties, go for it! What have you really got to lose? Don’t be afraid to present your body in whatever way will press your partner’s horny button. Feed their sexual imagination, and most assuredly, they’ll feed yours in return! The possibilities are endless!

    Try new sexual positions

    As sex therapists are fond of telling couples, “There’s no wrong was to have sex.” And just because you may not be as agile or limber as you once were, doesn’t mean you can’t explore new territory. If you’re always on top, give the bottom a try. Never tried it standing up or in the shower? What are you waiting for? Always liked doggie-style but the knees won’t handle it anymore? Try leaning over the kitchen table–you’ll achieve the same effect! And if you’re stuck for new positions to try, the Kama Sutra offers dozens of options, and you may even discover that the illustrations can be pretty stimulating all on their own!

    Talk openly about sex with your partner

    Tell your partner what excites you. Hold nothing back. Tell them what you’d like to try. Let them know that thinking about them makes you sexually aroused and wanting to be sexually creative.

    Find new places to do it

    Even notice how much more exciting sex can be when you’re away from home on vacation? There’s a whole psychological phenomenon that explains why experiencing even something you’ve done countless times before suddenly seems new in a new setting. So, think of new places to do it–even if it’s a quickie! Be bold. Be daring! Remember how exciting it used to be in the backseat of the car when you were afraid of getting caught?

    Fondle each other

    Sometimes nothing is more sensual than the brush of the hand across the genitals; a gentle squeeze of a breast. Next time your partner passes by, reach out and rub their bottom. Or, slid your hand between their legs just for fun! Let them know you find them as sexy as ever and that they can have you any time they want!

    Make a date to make love (or just a quickie)

    The one thing most younger couples have over older couples is their willingness to have sex just for the sake of sex. So if a few days have passed and you haven’t had the time to squeeze intimacy into your schedule, set a time and make it happen. And don’t get bogged down trying to make it “special.” If there’s only time for a quickie, relish it just as if it were a long night of passionate romance.

    Consider instructional videos.

    Bring to mind a movie or book you found especially arousing and make a night of exploring it together. If nothing has already pressed your arousal button, look online for a subject that might interest you, or check out the video selection at your local sex toy shop. (Don’t worry who might see you there. Even that could be exciting!) Curious about a particular sex act? No matter what it might be, you can be sure there’s a video out there that‘ll bring on the heat.

    Orgasm need not be the goal

    While reaching a climax is certainly a wonderfully liberating experience, remind yourself that it needn’t be the goal every time you’re intimate. Don’t expend all your energies focusing on an orgasm; decide that if it happens, it happens! Remind yourself that there’s always next time and to just enjoy the moment for what it is. Remember that delayed gratification can often lead to much more intense sexual release anyway!

    Food for thought

    There’s no denying that the challenges of maintaining an active sex life as we age can seen daunting. Issues arise. Arthritis, heart disease, erectile dysfunction, diabetes, vaginal dryness, pulmonary issues, incontinence–these complaints can and do rear their intrusive heads at the least convenient times.

    And it’s only natural that we may have questions regarding the use of products like Viagra, therapies like hormone replacement, or concerns about how to deal with the after-effects of heart attack, stroke, or fading memory. But rest assured that rarely does a condition arise that will prevent you from continuing to have sex just as long as you desire it. As long as there’s a will, there’s a viable way.


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