Does senior sex feel the same as young sex? No. Our bodies respond more slowly, arousal may be more difficult, orgasm may take longer, and joints may get cranky trying to stay in positions that used to be our favorites. But senior sex can be great sex if we open our minds and celebrate our lifelong capacity for sexual pleasure. Here are some tips:
As we age, our sexual needs and preferences may change. Where we like being touched, how we like being touched, even who we want to touch us may change. Explore with a partner or solo what kind of stimulation turns you on now. Do you like a softer touch? Firmer? Faster? Slower? Our former erogenous zones may not work the way they used to, so take the opportunity to find new ones! Don’t accept the harmful stereotype that because you’re no longer young, you’re no longer capable of or entitled to great sex.
Learn which of your body’s changes and responses are simply normal signs of aging, and what you can do about them. You also want to heed your body’s changes that are not just normal aging, but indicate that there may be a medical issue that needs to be dealt with. To learn how aging affects sexual function, response, and orgasm, read credible resources. The Ultimate Guide to Sex after 50, for example, will answer your senior sex questions – even those you didn’t know you had.
Enjoy sex toys
A well-chosen, well-placed vibrator can be the difference between orgasm and no orgasm. It’s sometimes that simple. As we age, we require more stimulation, often more than our arthritic wrists can deliver. Sex toys (like PULSE, which works from flaccid) to the rescue! If you or your partner objects because of the old idea that sex should ‘natural’ and sex toys aren’t, look at it this way: If your knee is bothering you and you want to take a walk, you wouldn’t call a knee brace or a cane ‘unnatural’, would you? Use plenty of lubricant to enhance the experience.
“Make sex about pleasure, not about goals.”
Learn to talk about sex. Express what you’d enjoy, what you’d like to try, what doesn’t work for you any more. Ask your partner questions: what would you like me to do, how can I give you pleasure, what’s off limits? Learning to speak honestly and lovingly about your sexual needs and desires is the single best way to improve your senior sex life with a partner. Seriously.
Celebrate solo sex
You don’t need a partner to receive sexual pleasure, the health benefits of sex, and the joys of orgasm. My readers sometimes tell me, ‘I’ve given up sex until I find a partner’. No, I tell them: keep yourself sexually alive with regular orgasms. The more often you have sex — and solo sex is sex! — the easier it becomes to get aroused and reach orgasm. Plus it feels so good!
Redefine what sex is
Instead of seeing partner penetration as the only kind of ‘real’ sex, expand your definition to include all the ways you enjoy sexual sensation: mouths, hands, sex toys, erotica, whatever turns you on. Make sex about pleasure, not about goals. You are capable of wonderful sensations. Let yourself enjoy them without worrying about erections or even orgasm. For more about this, you might want to view my webinar, Great Sex Without Penetration.
“When you feel the ‘tingle’ – that quiver of erotic possibility – set aside time to indulge yourself sexually.”
Understand responsive desire
Senior sex may require physiological arousal before the desire kicks in, which is called responsive desire. That means that after you get going physiologically and your body starts getting aroused, desire follows in response to stimulation. That’s not a defect. It’s just a different way desire works, and perfectly normal.
Exercise before sex; eat after sex
For easier arousal and orgasms, exercise first. Exercise increases blood flow to your brain, your muscles, and your genitals, making arousal faster and easier. Then enjoy sex. Last, have a meal. If you eat first, your blood flow goes to the digestive system, not the genitals, which is why sex after a romantic dinner defeats the purpose! You’ll be surprised at how much faster you’ll feel sexual stimulation with this method.
Track the tingle
For quicker, easier, and more satisfying arousal, figure out what time of day you feel most sexually responsive. When you feel the ‘tingle’ – that quiver of erotic possibility – set aside time to indulge yourself sexually or schedule that time on your next free day.
Keep a positive attitude
Just because our sexual responses don’t work the same way they did when we were young doesn’t mean they don’t work — it just means they work differently. It takes longer to get aroused? Great! Just leave plenty of time. You may discover that you enjoy slow sex more than the hormone-propelled, rushed sex of your youth.
“Sex changes as we age, but for every problem, there is a solution!” says Joan Price, advocate for ageless sexuality, media-dubbed ‘senior sexpert’, and author of three books about senior sex, including The Ultimate Guide to Sex After 50: How to Maintain – or Regain! – a Spicy, Satisfying Sex Life.
“We’re redefining this aging stuff with solid information, creativity, and a sense of humor,” she adds. Joan’s talks and books delight audiences, who enjoy her wealth of practical information and warm, candid style. Through her zesty, award-winning blog about sex and aging and social media, she has created a community talking out loud about sex and aging. Read more senior sex tips from Joan.