HomeLifeEight ways to keep sex exciting and fulfilling in your 50s

Eight ways to keep sex exciting and fulfilling in your 50s

You can still enjoy sex as you age – you just may have to put a little more thought and planning into it than you used to.

 Some conditions or medicines may affect your sex drive and performance, but there are ways to keep sex exciting and fulfilling for you and your partner.

According to a BMJ Open study, women are more likely to develop a lack of interest in sex after being in a relationship for more than one year. The survey of 6669 women and 4839 men who had at least one sexual partner in the previous year found that 34.2 per cent of the women and 15 per cent of the men reported lacking interest in sex.

Women who had been in a relationship between one and five years were 45 per cent more likely to have lost interest in sex than those who had been in a relationship for less than a year. Those in a relationship between five and 15 years were 137 per cent more likely and those in a relationship for more than 15 years were 131 per cent more likely.

Read: Older women and sexuality – the times are changing

There’s no ‘normal’ amount of sex you ‘should’ be having, what’s more important is that you are your partner are happy with your sex life. Here are eight things you can do to change or improve it.

Nurture your emotional connection

When you’re in a long-term relationship, it can be easy to forget the small things that you used to love to do at the beginning of the relationship. Things such as long talks on the sofa instead of watching TV, asking questions to find out intimate thoughts and desires and paying compliments can all help you feel emotionally connected to your partner.

Listening more, praising more and trying individual, couples and/or sex therapy can help as well.

Address body concerns

After menopause, it’s not uncommon to experience discomfort during sex due to vaginal dryness. In fact, one study shows it’s one of the top barriers to sex among older women – 34 per cent of women ages 57 to 59 experience dryness and discomfort during intercourse.

Lubricants can help moisten the vagina during sex, choose fragrance-free, water-based lubricants to prevent adverse reactions.

If that doesn’t work, a vaginal moisturiser may be in order. Avoid douching, as it can also cause vaginal dryness. Your doctor may also recommend medication such as low-dose vaginal oestrogen if moisturisers and lubricants are ineffective.

Take time to get in the mood

If you want to have a great time, you need to be in the right frame of mind. Make sure you set aside some time for yourself to relax and get in the mood. Try taking a bath, reading a sexy book, or watching a romantic movie.

Read: Is your sex life ageing well?

Focus on foreplay

For both men and women, another excellent strategy for making sex more enjoyable is to experiment with different kinds of prolonged physical touch, especially if you are working to rekindle sexual desire after a long dry spell. Joan Price, an advocate for ageless sexuality and the author of The Ultimate Guide to Sex After Fifty: How to Maintain – or Regain – a Spicy, Satisfying Sex Life, offers this guidance:

“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. Let the changes be an opportunity to explore. Make a date with yourself or your partner to rediscover how your body responds. In a private, relaxed setting, spend a long, languid, sensual time touching without any goal except to experience sensation and pleasure. Don’t head straight to the genitals – explore your whole body. You may discover some new erogenous zones! Try different kinds of touch – slow, fast, light, firm, stroking, circling. If it feels natural, let yourself experience orgasm, but don’t put any pressure on yourself. Just enjoy learning what feels really good.” 

Deal with erectile dysfunction

Men also experience their fair share of sexual challenges, the most common of which is erectile dysfunction (ED). ED makes it difficult for a man to achieve or sustain an erection for sexual intercourse, which can be a source of emotional stress.

There are numerous effective medical treatments and therapies that can help with the condition. But for those seeking a more natural remedy, the Mayo Clinic suggests lifestyle changes that may help, such as losing weight, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol intake, increasing exercise and lowering daily stress.

Talk to your doctor about the best treatment for you.

Address other health concerns

Any problem that affects overall health can interfere with sexual pleasure. Cardiovascular issues such as high blood pressure, as well as diabetes, can negatively impact blood flow, which isn’t good for sexual arousal. And depression or anxiety can reduce the desire or ability to have sex.

Be aware of incontinence issues

One 2018 poll of more than 1000 women found that almost half of those over the age of 50 reported bladder leakage during sex. Sexual stimulation puts pressure on the bladder and urethra.

Try to avoid consuming beverages or foods with caffeine, such as coffee and chocolate in the hours before having sex as caffeine stimulates the bladder and acts as a diuretic (citrus fruits and juices are diuretics, too).

Men whose prostates have been removed can also experience incontinence during sex.

Read: Surprising age people are having the best sex of their life

Make things comfortable

If arthritis or ongoing pain makes sex less enjoyable, find ways to feel better. Try a new position that’s easier on your body or use pillows for support.

If you have back pain, for instance, have sex side-by-side instead of in the missionary position, which can make the pain worse.

Plan sex for a time of day when you feel your best. Ahead of time, take a warm bath or some pain medicine if you need it so that you’ll be more relaxed.

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Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.

Ellie Baxter
Ellie Baxter
Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.
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