My grandfather died in his 90s after a successful and long life, and I’m convinced that lots of sex during his life (he was married 3 times) is just one of the reasons. We all grow older and sadly there’s little we can do about this. Not only does aging affect our skin, health and memory, but it can also have an impact on our sex lives. There’s a little we can do about the physical and mental aging our bodies go through, but we can most certainly avoid some of the sexual changes that are associated with aging.
Physically, there are certain things that will happen to both men and women that are common and mostly unavoidable:
Men will experience difficulty with erections – either in getting them or maintaining them. This is very normal and that’s why Viagra is so popular! As we age, our blood vessels get thinner, meaning that it becomes more difficult to get blood to the bits that need it for sex – like our genitals. So naturally men will have concerns with erectile functioning. They will also need longer to recover after an orgasm (known as the refractory/ recovery period). This happens to most men and there’s nothing you can do about this one, sorry boys. When you’re young, the time to regain your erection is generally quite brief, but as you age, it will get much longer – from hours to days. Sex really will take it out of you when you are in the later years of life.
With women, we can thank our reproductive systems for problems with sex when we’re older. During and after menopause, our bodies go through changes that can make sex quite a different experience to what we were used to. We produce much less vaginal lubrication, we might feel like sex less, and some women complain that orgasm is not as easy to reach. This is all due to changes in our hormones, which are imperative for optimal sexual functioning. We can, however, use lubricants and other means to help us with the problems we naturally go through.
When it comes to sex and aging, everything generally slows done… but don’t be fooled by the common myth that older people don’t have sex! They do, but the sex is just very different at this stage of life. Women are generally now far more comfortable with their bodies, and they generally know how their body responds to sexual stimulation far better. This means that less time is spent on worrying about how her breasts look or what she looks like from a certain angle, and more time is spent on the pleasure she’s experiencing. Men at this age still have high sex drives– they still want and think about sex a lot more than women. But again sex is slower and gentler, and we can’t do what they used to do when we are 20 or 30.
The most important part of sex and old age – use it or lose it! And no I’m not kidding… Sex isn’t something that takes kindly to being neglected for years on end. You should try and stay sexually active in your later years (and even in your younger ones too), either through sex with a partner or sexual experiences on your own. The benefits of keeping sexually active far outweigh giving it up, and if you don’t believe me, just look at Hugh Hefner who turned 88 this year.