How to age-proof your libido
There's lot of new research suggesting sex actually gets better with age.
One recent study (published earlier this year by researchers at the University of Manchester) found that 80% of sexually active men over 50 are satisfied with their sex lives up until their ninth decade.
Eighty-five percent of sexually active women aged 50 to 69 said they were also satisfied with their sex lives. In the oldest group – 79 plus – that rose to a massive 90%!
The trick to keeping sex good – through wobbly erections and menopause – is to move the emphasis away from intercourse-based sex, into more foreplay-based sex. Successful older couples are also less orgasm focused. There’s more enjoyment on simply giving each other pleasure, than keeping score of who’s had a climax.
There’s also a greater acceptance of our bodies not being perfect when you age, which means both of you relax inhibitions. Sexual confidence tends to increase, so we’re less likely to be riddled with anxieties like, ‘Am I doing it right?” or ‘Am I being boring?’
Sex might not be the same frantic, energetic performance you had in your 20s but for many – women especially – slower, more sensual sex is much more preferable.
Here’s what you can do to keep things flowing from middle-age onwards…
Brush up on your sex skills
At the beginning of relationships, technique is almost immaterial. Our bodies are flooded with sex and love hormones that mean we’re flooded with desire. Those hormones dry up around nine to 18 months in, however. So from then on, it’s up to you to create desire – it won’t tap you on the shoulder anymore.
Once you’ve been with someone for years – or decades – technical skills are crucial to satisfaction. The more our libido drops, the more important good, effective sexual technique is. You don’t need to say, ‘Actually honey, that thing you’ve been doing for years does nothing for me.” Just say, “Do you know what, things have changed since I’ve got older. It feels better if you do this now.”
There are lots of explicit how-to guides on this website on giving oral sex and manual stimulation: read them and check you are on the right track or to add a few new moves to your repertoire.
Change the focus of sex depending on your age and health
What was possible back then might not be now. Some women find sex painful because the lining of the vagina thins after menopause, while lots of men have less reliable erections.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have sex, just that intercourse won’t be the focus. This is generally good news for both: it means you focus more on foreplay, and sex becomes less rushed and orgasm focused.
Use aids to make sex more comfortable
Put pillows under dodgy backs or knees to make your old favourite positions possible, or to support other bits of your body to stop aches and pains elsewhere.
Have sex regularly
The more you have sex, the more your body continues to want sex and the better shape your genitals will be in. Regular sex and orgasms keep your organs functioning well. ‘Use it or lose it’ is very true when it comes to sex.
Young mind, young body
Believe that sex is for the young and it will be. Study after study shows men and women in their 60s through to 80s and 90s can continue to enjoy satisfying sex with the right attitude.
Small changes make a big difference
The biggest killer of desire long-term is boredom. Combat this by changing one thing every time you have sex. Different room, music on or off, clothes on or half left on, lights on or off, different position, focus on oral rather than intercourse – the list is endless.
Get your testosterone levels checked
If you just can’t spark any desire. This is true especially if you’re a peri-menopausal or post-menopausal woman, but men should also get their levels checked. Low testosterone is the usual culprit for no interest in sex. This is especially applicable if you used to have a high sex drive and now it seems to have disappeared altogether. Gels like Testogel can reignite it in a flash.
Fifty Shades of Grey or Maestro might not be your usual reading material, but nothing gives a libido a quicker kick than reading or watching something sexy.
Use a vaginal moisturiser like Replens
A moisturiser is different than lube which just washes off and disappears. Moisturisers provide long-lasting lubrication. You feel like a teenager again, which also triggers desire!
Try medication if erections are wobbly
But get a full medical first: erectile dysfunction is often a symptom of other conditions and you need the all-clear to take drugs like Viagra safely. Viagra, Cialis and Levitra all have different pros and cons so experiment to find the right fit. Penis pumps, which exercise the penis making for stronger erections, are also an excellent, no-drug way to tackle the problem.