Fine wine, classic movies – there’s a lot of things that just get better and better with the passing of time. And that includes intimacy too.
The longer you spend living with your body, the better you get to know all its quirks and sensitive spots. If you have a partner, it also means you’ve probably spent a lot of time getting to know them too.
It’s important to recognize that for many older people sex is an everyday part of life. Desires don’t just end at a certain age and there are several issues that can arise from thinking this way. Sex and intimacy can form an important foundation for relationships and mental well-being, as well as factor into daily health concerns.
If society continues to ignore the significance of sex and intimacy in the lives of older people, there are a few key risks:
- By not recognizing sexual topics and concerns with older patience, related issues may flourish. This includes anything linked to relationship problems and the chance of one partner feeling neglected or even leaving the relationship.
- The other key risk in neglecting the topic of sex and intimacy with older people is the risk of sexual health issues. Lack of education and information around sexually transmitted infections can be seriously dangerous. There have even been cases of misdiagnosis with healthcare professionals confusing an STI for an unrelated condition.
Sex and intimacy is a life-long process
When you speak to older people about sex, intimacy, and how often they feel that spark of lust, the answers vary just as much as with any other age group. While there is the ongoing misconception that people in older age brackets do not have sex, this has been proved over and over again to be false.
As a result of surveys and studies, one thing has become clear: rather than age specifically, other factors can influence how intimate needs change over time. From mental health and physical capacity to whether your partner is compatible, the range of considerations is huge.
What may be especially prominent amongst older generations is more self-awareness. Rather than look for quick highs and one-off flings, there is more focus on the quality of the experience and feelings of connection. These are often more important than how frequent the sex is.
What obstacles do older people face with sex and intimacy?
While there are of course obstacles to getting intimate, whether they be physical accessibility or motivation or something more fixed like a lack of a partner, these were not the absolute cut-off for sex and intimacy. In fact, if there were more of a focus on solutions or alternatives – like making sex more accessible – it would make sense that more older people would enjoy sex more frequently.
Knowing the background like this helps us understand that the notion that older people simply stop having sex or stop feeling the desire to be intimate is nonsense. There are a million factors that influence sex and intimacy and they can affect anyone of ANY age.
Let’s let go of the idea that sex has retirement age and instead look to finding ways of reshaping intimacy to match our changing needs.
What does safer sex mean for older people?
The nature of relationships is changing quickly. Couples that would once stay together forever (despite not being especially happy) now pursue divorce without the same social stigma as 50 years ago. The higher numbers of people looking to start new relationships at a later stage in life, unfortunately, coincides with a higher risk of STIs.
Sexual health practices may not be what they were when you were a teenager so it’s important to make sure you are enjoying intimacy and sex as safely as you can.
Just because a post-menopausal woman doesn’t face the chance of pregnancy, that doesn’t mean condoms can be left in the nightstand drawer. Condoms and other precautions will reduce the risk of either partner transmitting or receiving a sexually transmitted infection. That tiny piece of rubber can save you a lot of time and stress – and potentially your health too.
Enjoying sex as an older woman
Aging can bring a lot of changes to you as a person and as a sexual being. It’s only natural that throughout lives, the urge for sex and intimacy will go up and down. Although there’s the obvious change of menopause and the associated side-effects, it’s not all bad. In fact, the good news is that there are quite a few benefits too!
How is sex better for older women?
- One of the biggest benefits of growing older is that you’re spending more time with your body. With that experience, you come to know exactly what turns you on and what you can skip.
- This level of self-awareness can also sometimes mean a new level of confidence. Rather than having sex and feeling slightly distracted by those small twinges of anxiety or self-consciousness, an older woman might be able to better focus and stay completely in the moment.
- The other big plus? After menopause, you can stop worrying about pregnancy. Although that’s no reason to abandon condoms, it is a huge weight lifted off the shoulders for a lot of women.
What should older women keep in mind when it comes to sex?
- While there are so many pros to having sex at an older age, there are some downsides too. The changes in a body may make some women insecure. Grey hair or wrinkles are a normal part of life but if you don’t embrace them, they can become a hang-up.
- Hormonal changes are also sometimes a concern. Vaginal dryness may occur and that can also affect both partners during intimacy. But this one is easily solved. Simply grab some lubrication and it’s all systems go!
How does sex change for men as they get older?
Just like women, there are different phases throughout a man’s life with which sexual urges or libido will increase or decrease. As men get older, sex and intimacy can continue to be a big part of their life. However, there are some challenges.
What challenges are there for older men and sex?
- One of the most obvious points is the challenges in maintaining an erection. It might take longer to get an erection, no matter how aroused the person feels. The other challenge is that erections may not feel as firm or last as long as before. However, that’s where modern medicine can help out. There are many medications and treatments that can help with this and even provide longer-lasting erections than before.
- There may also be contributing factors like heart disease or high blood pressure. These conditions can also contribute to erectile challenges, but both of these are also treatable and can be managed with lifestyle changes. So, the good news is that while there are some challenges, there are also quite a few solutions too.
What gets better for men with sex at an older age?
- First up is one your partner will best appreciate. Experience is a valuable source of knowledge and an older man will have learned a few tricks over the years – especially when it comes to the significance of foreplay.
- The other benefit arises directly from the challenge. As a result of erectile issues, older men have the chance to become more creative and open-minded in their attitudes towards sex. Intimacy comes in more shapes and forms than just penetrative sex, so creativity can allow for the discovery of some new exciting sensitive spots.