Your sex life will change as your body ages. These changes can be addressed and you can have healthy, satisfying sex your entire life. By communicating with your partner, taking care of your health and maintaining a good emotional perspective, your sex life can grow richer with the years.
1. Talk With Your Partner
Open communication has always been essential for good sex. Talk with your partner about any sexual difficulties you might be having as a couple. Try to treat the difficulties as problems to solve and work together on finding creative solutions.
As a woman ages, natural lubrication for sexual intercourse decreases. This is easily fixed by using a water-based lubricant. At first, applying a lubricant for sex may seem awkward, but you and your partner will quickly become used to it and can even incorporate it into foreplay.
3. Experiment with Positions and Times
Pain caused by arthritis or other condition can interfere with sex. Experiment with different sexual positions, and you may find one that works much better. Also, arthritis and other pain conditions are often less severe at certain times a day, which will vary for each person. Try having sex when your pain is the least severe.
4. Deal with Erectile Problems
For men, trouble having an erection is an expected part of aging. If this happens to your partner, gently help him troubleshoot this problem. Lifestyle changes and medications that can help.
5. Feel Beautiful
We live in a culture that is constantly showing us images of youth and beauty. As women age, they may feel less sexually attractive, which can interfere with sexual desire. Try not to be influenced by these cultural messages. Sure, your body changes as you age, but that does not reflect on your worth or desirability. Ignore messages and stereotypes from television, magazines and other media sources and embrace your body at every stage of your life.
6. Take Care of Your Health
Poor health can interfere with sexual satisfaction. If you have a health condition, be sure to the manage it. Follow your doctors orders and make the lifestyle changes you need to be healthy. Losing weight, exercising and eating well will not only improve your health, your sex life will also improve.
7. Sex After Surgery
As women age, they may need to undergo surgical procedures that alter the reproductive organs. The most common are mastectomy (the removal of a breast or part of a breast to treat cancer) or hysterectomy (the removal of the uterus and sometimes the ovaries). These surgeries do not interfere with a womans ability to have sex. However, these procedures can dramatically change how a woman perceives her own attractiveness. Open communication with your partner both before and after these procedures can help reduce anxiety and negativity.
8. Safe Sex
Any sexually active adult needs to protect herself from sexually transmitted diseases. Sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, are on the rise in older adults. Older adults have had more time to develop a sexual history. Also, many infections can remain dormant for years in people. Do not assume that an older sexual partner is a safe sexual partner. Always practice safe sex.
9. Talk to Your Doctor
If you or your partner are having sexual difficulties, talk to your doctor. There may be simple solutions to your problems such as changing the time of day that you take a medication or making lifestyle changes. Expect that you will have to make adjustments in your life and sexual habits as you age. Your doctor can help your these adaptations go smoothly.
10. Vibrators and Masturbation
It is a simple fact that men have shorter life expectancies than women, resulting in a large number of older widowed or single women. Sex and orgasms bring both emotional and physical benefits. Women should not feel guilty about masturbation. Vibrators and other devices can help tremendously.
More on Sex, Women and Aging
National Institute on Aging. Bound For Your Good Health: Sexuality in Later Life. NIH Publication Number 05-7185.
National Institute on Aging. Bound For Your Good Health: Menopause. NIH Publication Number 05-7185.