“I can’t wait to have sex again!” I hear you say as our world starts to re-open after a year and a quarter of lockdown. From seniors, I sometimes hear, “Will I ever have sex again?” What you mean by “sex” is skin-to-skin sexual delights shared with another human being that you can touch, smell, watch, taste, and share orgasms.
But whether or not you’re on the cusp of locking lips and genitals with a partner, you can have sex right now with the person who knows you best and understands how to give you exactly the stimulation and pleasure you want: yourself.
Obvious? Maybe not. Folks in our older age group often see masturbation as a gloomy, depressing substitute for partner sex, reminding us that we’re old and alone. Because we’re no longer driven by hormones and we don’t experience spontaneous desire as often as we used to, we may say to ourselves, “Eh, when I’m in the mood, I’ll do it, but right now I don’t really care.” (If this describes you, please read “If You Don’t Want Sex Anymore, Learn About Responsive Desire”.)
Our responses become slower and less dependable as we age. Without a practice of regular sex— and by “sex” I mean whatever style of sexual expression brings you pleasure and orgasm — you’ll likely find arousal and orgasm more difficult over time. This is true whichever set of genitals you’re ignoring.
A special note for vagina owners who hope to enjoy penetrative sex with a partner in the future: it’s up to you to keep your vagina receptive with fingers, dildos, and inserted vibrators like KURVE. Otherwise, when you’re finally in bed with a partner, your vagina may refuse to invite your guest inside.
Think of it as a “practice” like yoga, studying a language, or tending a garden. Doing it regularly creates a habit, makes it work, and yields results. Plus, it’s so much fun!
A whole body of research shows that sex — with a partner or solo — enhances health. Here are just a few of the benefits of sexual activity and orgasm, as listed in my book, The Ultimate Guide to Sex after Fifty: How to Maintain— or Regain! — a Spicy, Satisfying Sex Life:
Solo sex is a lovely gift you can give yourself whenever you want. Rather than seeing it as a poor substitute for partner sex, elevate it to a celebration of your body’s capacity of sexual delights. Give yourself this gift often, whenever you want.