Fine wine and classic cars improve with age, so why not your sexuality? Here’s how to keep your love life healthy and hot for years to come.
Sure, sex during midlife and beyond may be different than it was when you were younger. But that doesn’t mean your sex life is destined to be dull or disappointing. On the contrary.
Healthy individuals can remain sexually active and interested well into their 70s, 80s, and 90s, if they choose to. And an active sex life may even help you stay young. Some age-related physical changes may be unavoidable, but these changes don’t have to interfere with sexual intimacy.
The fact is, there’s no one “right” way to experience sex. The way you express your sexuality is shaped by your individuality and your personal circumstances. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, disabled or able-bodied, young or old, think of your sexuality as a unique part of who you are. By taking a more personal, less prescribed approach to sexual intimacy, you allow yourself the freedom to adapt your sex life according to your changing needs.
The first step to maintaining an active, fulfilling sex life is getting to know some of the normal physical changes you’re likely to experience as you get older. The next step is making a few simple adjustments to rev your libido and boost your sex life.
Age-Related Change #1: Slower Response Time
As you get older, it may take longer for your body to respond to sexual stimulation. Even if you feel highly aroused, it’s normal for older men to need longer, stronger stimulation to achieve an erection.
Although this is not necessarily a sign of disinterest or a lack of attraction, some men, and their partners, may misinterpret it as such. To avoid misunderstandings, keep the lines of communication open. It may not be easy to talk about sex at first, but in the long run, it will benefit both of you.
What to Do About It
Don’t rush things. Spend more time on foreplay. Explore each other’s body: kiss, caress, lick, or give each other erotic massages. Remember that if your partner is about the same age as you, she may also need more time and stimulation to become sexually aroused.
If you are unable to become aroused on a regular basis, speak with your healthcare provider. There could be a treatable underlying condition causing your difficulties.
Age-Related Change #2: Weak Erections and Weakening Pelvic Muscles
Many older men find that their erections are different than they were in their younger years. They may not be as hard, they may not last as long, and the experience of ejaculation may not feel as strong as it used to.
This may be due, in part, to weakening pelvic-floor muscles. Pelvic-floor muscles are responsible for drawing blood to the genitals during sexual activity, affecting erection and orgasm.
What to Do About It
For some men, having sex in the morning, when erections are more likely, helps improve their ability to maintain an erection longer. But keep in mind that penetrative sex isn’t the only way to have great sex. Experiment with different sexual activities to figure out what feels best for you at this time in your life.
You can also strengthen your pelvic muscles by doing Kegel exercises every day. You may have heard that these exercises are just for women, but they can benefit men, too.
Age-Related Change #3: Longer Time between Erections
It’s common for older men to experience a longer refractory period — the time it takes until your body’s ready for another erection after you ejaculate. In some cases, the cooling off period may be as long as 12 to 24 hours, or more.
What to Do About It
If you’ve climaxed, but you or your partner isn’t ready for the sexual experience to end just yet, focus on meeting your partner’s needs or on activities that don’t require an erection. For example, you don’t need an erection for oral sex or manual stimulation.
Whatever you do, don’t get stressed worrying about your virility. This is a normal change that comes with aging — not a sign that you’re losing your touch. And you will likely find that the different sexual activities you engage in without an erection are still very pleasurable for you and your partner. Just be sure to reassure your partner that the longer time between your erections is not a reflection of how you feel about her.
From ShareCare, June 2015