Sexual desire doesn’t disappear as you get older.
Sex in later life may be different to when we were younger, but getting older doesn’t mean giving up on sex.
In fact, as we get older and less anxious about image, self-confidence, sexual identity… we can just enjoy it and take it as it comes.
OK, we might be aware of differences from when we were younger. Men, for example, may notice:
- Erections not being as firm.
- Not being as easily aroused by visual stimulation.
- Producing less semen.
- Needing more time to rest between climaxes.
Women are aware of gradual changes as progesterone and oestrogen levels fall and they reach the menopause, such as:
- Periods getting erratic and then stopping altogether.
- Loss of libido.
- Lack of lubrication.
- Problems with sleeping.
- Night sweats.
But, at a time of life when hang-ups are often not so important, many older people find this period in their sex lives liberating – and often find that sex improves!
Age UK have come out with some useful thoughts for older people (some equally applicable for people of all ages). Here are just a few:
- Whether you’ve been with your partner a long time, or you’re starting a new relationship, talking about sex is vital to ensure you both have a fulfilling sex life.
- The best thing you can do is take time to relax together. This could mean having a glass of wine, having a chat, or spending time cuddling – whatever works for you.
- Sex releases the same chemicals released when you exercise, lifting your mood and making you feel more relaxed.
- Sex might not happen with the spontaneity you enjoyed when you were younger.
- Our society places great emphasis on looking young to be attractive and this can lead to some older people feeling that they are no longer desirable. But you can be confident and attractive at any age.
- If you’re self-conscious about your body, adopting a healthy diet or taking up regular physical activity can help boost your confidence as well as give you more energy.
- Rates of sexually transmitted infections among older people have doubled in the past decade. Contraception isn’t there just to prevent pregnancy; it reduces the risk of contracting an STI or passing one on to someone else.
- Sex is good for you – it can boost your immune system, lift your mood, and make you feel closer to your partner.
Relate has helped thousands of people re-discover a satisfying sex life.