When you were a kid you probably didn’t even want to think about whether or not your parents were still having sex. But now that you’re older and feeling like you might not be getting the level of physical intimacy from your partner as you’d like, you might be wondering if maybe you shouldn’t be having as much sexual intimacy now that you’re older.
Let’s just stop that thinking right there.
Sex is not just for young couples.
Here, we will look at some challenges that many mature couples face when it comes to continuing sexual intimacy with their partner, some benefits that sexual activity can bring to older couples, as well as some sex tips for mature couples to help you and your partner get comfortable with the natural changes and still have fun being intimate with each other!
Common Challenges Older Couples Face
As we age our bodies and our minds change — this is natural. However, many older couples find these changes affect their desire or ability to continue beings sexually intimate with their partner, even if they (or their partner) want(s) to.
Our bodies go through many different physical changes as we get older.
For men, the most common changes are a decrease in testosterone levels, shorter orgasms, increased rest-time between erections, and erectile dysfunction.
The most common physical changes women see are lower hormone levels, vaginal dryness, as well as thinner and less elastic vaginal walls.
Common medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and arthritis can also pose challenges for you or your partner’s sexual desire and well-being.
Also, make sure to follow your doctor’s advice if you are recovering from surgery before becoming sexually active again.
Many of us who have been on medications (or if you’ve seen commercials for medications) are aware that while these can be extremely helpful in treating conditions, they often come with a load of side effects.
Unfortunately, many medications — such as antidepressants, blood pressure drugs, and antihistamines — can negatively affect your sexual drive or function.
Mental or Emotional Walls
Psychological obstacles are just as much of a challenge for older couples as physical obstacles. Many mature couples may feel self-consciousness or performance anxiety — whether consciously or unconsciously — when engaging in sexual acts with their partners.
Additionally, worrying about financial or relationship issues can also distract the mind and limit the ability to escape into sexual intimacy with your partner.
Maybe you and your partner have been together for years and you’re worried about not being able to perform in bed as well as you could in the past or maybe you’re simply placing too much pressure on yourself and making orgasms the only acceptable outcome.
These expectations can easily backfire and result in less than satisfactory (or even the avoidance of) sexual activity with your partner.
Alright, now that we have addressed some of the common challenges mature couples face with sexual intimacy, let’s dive into the benefits that sex can have.
Benefits of Sex and Intimacy After Sixty
The benefits of sexual intimacy do not exactly change depending on your age, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t just as valuable to older couples as they are to younger ones.
Think of it as you would exercise. Like exercise, sex gets the heart rate up, burns calories, and releases endorphins that make us happy and feel tired but satisfied. Which leads to more fulfilling and restful sleep.
All of us want to feel loved and beautiful in the eyes of our partners — that desire doesn’t magically disappear as we age. For a lot of people, this desire can even become more pronounced as they may not find themselves as attractive as when they were younger.
To have your partner shower you with physical and intimate affection can really help you to feel better about yourself and greatly improve your self-esteem.
Physical intimacy is an important part of many relationships. Now, that doesn’t mean sex is the only important way of expressing physical intimacy (some couples may not value or derive pleasure from sexual intercourse and that is totally fine), but for a lot of couples sex is a great way of being intimate and showing their partners that they love them.
Health and Happiness
Physical intimacy, like sex, can not only help you to deepen your connection with your partner but also boost you and your partner’s overall health in the long run.
Sexual activity can often bring another level of happiness into a relationship and studies have shown that this type of activity can even bring with it health benefits — such as cardiovascular health — that are extremely important to keep an eye on as we age.
We all want to just escape the world sometimes — especially in today’s climate with the COVID-19 pandemic still affecting our daily lives. And sex is a great way to just escape from your worries or responsibilities for a little while and just enjoy the company (and full attention) of your partner.
So, now that we have looked at some of the amazing benefits sexual intimacy can bring to your relationship (and overall health), let’s move right into the tips.
Sex Tips for Mature Couples
Without further ado, here are just a few (but incredibly useful) tips for mature couples who are wanting to engage in sexual intimacy with their partners.
Communicate with Your Partner
Communication is key to all parts of a relationship — sexual intimacy is no different. Discuss your desires and hopes with your partner and open up that channel of communication so that you can both find out how to feel sexually fulfilled within the relationship.
Change It Up
Try different positions (missionary is not the only option!), foreplay routines, and even try introducing things like sex toys and lubrication. Lubrication specifically can be an absolute game-changer for many older couples, since as women age they tend to produce less natural lubrication.
Redefine What Intimacy Is
Physical intimacy does not only have to mean sexual intercourse. Maybe for you and your partner, you find physical intimacy like hugging and kissing with or without clothing is enough. Or maybe you and your partner would feel more comfortable focusing on sexual activity that isn’t intercourse — such as oral stimulation.
Whatever you and your partner decide, the important thing is that it is about what you and your partner want from the relationship and from each other to feel fulfilled physically.
Set the Mood
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to set up a full candle-lit dinner (though who wouldn’t want to come home to a lovely candle-lit table with some delicious food). Setting the mood could be anything that you and your partner want to do to get in the mood for sexual activity.
This could be kissing, hugging, flirting, giving each other massages, or anything else — and all of these activities can be done before any clothes even come off. As people age, it often takes longer for them to get aroused. This is why doing activities well in advance that can help to set the mood can be so helpful.
You may remember getting “the talk” from your parents when you were younger or your Health Ed. class preaching the importance of contraception when being sexually active — and it is important, even as an older couple.
As you get older it actually becomes harder for your body to fight off STIs, so it is important to still make sure that you are always using protection when you are being physically intimate.
Whether that means comparing yourself to your younger self, your partner to a previous partner, or anything else, it is important to just let all of those thoughts go when you’re being physically intimate with your partner.
Just go into the time with an open mind and welcome the experiences and take the time to show your partner the love they are showing you.
So, if you and your partner are looking to rekindle that intimate spark, guidance on how to reconnect with each other physically and intimately, or you simply have a question or two, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at Love Heal Grow. We are here to support you throughout your journey with your partner — no matter how young or old you are.