A recent study found that men and women enjoy sex well into their 80s: much longer than originally thought. Researchers interviewed over 3,000 older adults and found 84% of men and 62% of women between 57 and 64 were sexually active with another person within the last year. Out of those, more than two thirds reported having sex with another person at least 2 times per month into their 70s and 50% were having that frequency into their 80s.
It is proving to be an old wives’ tale that we have to be less sexual as we get older. Yes, we may have a few more challenges to getting in the mood or finding comfortable positions to enjoy sex, but the beauty of it is that we also learn to slow down and smell the roses. We learn to truly appreciate the act and our partner with age in a way that we couldn’t have when we were younger.
Here are a few of the more common mature sex challenges I’ve seen people struggle with in the last 17 years of my sex therapy practice. Having a challenge means there is always a solution, so I’ve included successful strategies that my clients have used. After all, don’t we deserve to enjoy optimal health in all arenas of our lives?
1. Challenge: Body stiffness, back issues
Solution: Sex furniture, swings and other specially designed props can help you get into many positions without pain, such as an Inflatable Position Master, a Sex Sling and a Sex Stool.
2. Challenge: Her lack of arousal
Solution: With the advent of Addyi, many people assume this will be a problem of the past. However, the misnomer “female Viagra” may not be all it’s cracked up to be. Sex therapists have had a lot of success with coaching women to masturbate more, as well as using testosterone creams and stimulation gels.
3. Challenge: Lack of emotional connection
Solution: Tantra can help someone of any age gain more control over his or her orgasmic experience and deepen their bond with their partner. There are a lot of Kama Sutra guides available that can help.
4. Challenge: Female orgasm issues
Solution: Women of all ages sometimes struggle with orgasm. It is typically an issue of not being responsible for one’s own orgasm, not getting enough clitoral stimulation orvlack of pelvic muscle strength. Products like kegel balls, couple’s rings and Finger Vibescan make a big difference.
5. Challenge: Erectile issues
Solution: Before he reaches for that little blue pill, he may want to try penis rings, ties and pumps to assist in getting an erection and to give him stamina.
6. Challenge: Painful Intercourse
Solution: Once overall gynecological issues have been ruled out, it’s time to examine lubrication. Women tend to lubricate less as they age. Having a little assistance in thisvdepartment can make all of the difference in the world.
7. Challenge: The same old boring sex
Solution: Introducing sex toys and sensual play can create renewed interest and exploration when it comes to sex after all these years. Invest in some massage oil, creative games for two, vibes and more.
I believe sex and masturbation become even more important with age. Many don’t realize that maintaining your sexuality involves a plethora of additional health benefits. For women, regular stimulation and orgasm can mean improved pelvic muscle tone, better bladder control and healthier vaginal tissues. Men benefit with lower incidences of prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction.
But in addition, there are other farther-reaching benefits we can all enjoy. Regular sexual activity and orgasm can improve the immune and cardiovascular systems as well as improve overall mood and mental health. This says nothing of the benefits that we all receive when it comes to additional physical and emotional intimacy sex can create between partners. Often improving communication and relationship satisfaction.
I know sometimes it might seem easier to ‘not go there’ with your partner. We all have to deal with juggling work and family responsibilities. We are often left completely drained at the end of the day. Plus, many of us experience challenges when it comes to sex. Either our bodies aren’t as flexible as they used to be, there are arousal, orgasm or erectile issues or we’ve simply become so bored with the same old sex that we aren’t motivated to do it.
There is something to be said for just doing it. Much like the Nike tagline in regards to exercise, sex should also be treated as something we need to maintain for overall health. It’s a part of our lives that seems so expendable until you realize how important and connected it is to so many other aspects of our health.