Sex is alive and well in the older population. A recent study for the National Council on Aging found 74 percent of men and 70 percent of women have better sex lives over 60 than when they were in their 40s. Debby Herbenick, research scientist at Indiana University and author of “Great in Bed”, states aging leads to more sexual satisfaction and contentment. Lives are more drama-free. Current research by the National Opinion Research Center states the average couple in the United States has sex 66 times annually. Couples in their 50s have sex 52 times a year. As couples age, the focus is more on sensuality than sexuality. Partners are more comfortable with pleasing each other and the actual sex act may be performed less but pleasure and fulfillment remains high. Sex frequency peaks around 25-34 years. However, Herbenick states the biggest predictor of sexual satisfaction for older men isn’t the amount of sex but how often they were touching and cuddling with their partner. One third of younger women utilize lubrication during sex. Half of women in their 50s use lubricant to battle vaginal dryness and 66 percent of women in their 60s use lube. The over 50s group is among the fastest growing populations incurring sexually transmitted diseases. Widows and divorcees are re-entering the dating pool with new partners. Condoms are not readily used for a multitude of reasons.
With age there comes unique concerns and roadblocks to a great sex life. Bodies change and older people face their sexuality in different terms. Here’s some great tips.
Dealing with Out-of-whack hormones
Hormones change with age affecting everything from sleep and eating habits to a women’s sexual response. When women reach menopause, decreased estrogen levels lead to decreased sexual response and decreased libido. As a result, women incur less vaginal lubrication, less sensation, and a harder time reaching orgasm. Some women find that even when they do reach orgasm, it is not as intense or prolonged as it was when they were younger.
Localized estrogen is a good way to combat these concerns, since it can be applied to the body directly, and therefore won’t negatively interfere with the body’s hormones. There are also many non-hormonal topical options. Zestra for instance is a topical oil that creates tingling warming sensations and may help with arousal. Another possibility is L-arginine , which is not topical, but a supplement that some studies have shown increase blood flow to the genitals, thereby helping increase, lubrication and sensation.
Health concerns tend to become more common with age. From chronic illness to temporary health issues, couples might find their sex lives fall by the wayside when presented with more pressing concerns. Indeed, physical fitness and sexual fitness go hand-in-hand, so when your body is not in prime shape physically, you will most likely feel the effects of it in the bedroom. However, if couples devote themselves to physical fitness through regular exercise and healthy eating habits, sexual fitness need not be affected. Additionally, if couples make regular sex a part of their routine, they will find that their desire and sexual response will improve as a result. The more you have sex, the more you will enjoy it and the more sexually in tune you will be. And the best part? Regular sex is part of a healthy life, as it decreases stress and promotes physical fitness.
Your sexuality need not suffer as you age. Stay dedicated to your sex life and maintain your physical fitness, and you might find that sex only improves as you enjoy your golden years. Remember, there is no such thing as too old for great sex — sexuality is a natural, healthy part of being an adult, regardless of age!
How do you feel with your sexuality? Are you more confident, having more fun?