The Truth About Sex as You Age (Yes, You Should Be Having It)

It seems sex is everywhere you look, nowadays. It’s used to sell everything from Chupa Chups lollypops to sunscreen, and public displays of affection are so commonplace that simply squeezing past a young couple on an escalator can make you feel as if you’ve involuntarily participated in an intimate moment. Yet the same couples who publicly flaunt their lust get shivers at the thought of their parent’s “doing it”, and media representations of older couple’s love lives don’t help.

Lollipop | WellMan Clinic

Young people seem so determined to colonise sex that you’d think they’d invented it – but contrary to popular (or at least prevalent) belief, older people can have great sex lives. In fact, the American Association of Retired Persons reports that 85% of men and women over 60 report having at least one sexual experience with another person per week [1] – to put that into context, the National Sex Survey of 2014 found that 16-44’s were having sex less than five times a month [2]. So take that, young timers! Sex is as timeless as eating, sleeping, or your daily motions – and, like those other timeless pleasures, you should still be doing it, no matter what your age is. Here’s why.

Sex Has a Host of Health Benefits

I don’t want to take the fun out of it by telling you it’s good for you, but if your spouse needs a little encouragement in this department, “It’s good for us!” can be a strong rallying cry.

Having sex is associated with everything from lower blood pressure to lower cortisol (stress hormone) levels – in fact, penile-vaginal intercourse has been shown to improve stress response even in comparison to oral or manual sex with a partner [3]. But if erectile dysfunction, disability or vaginal atrophy (a singularly unpleasant medical term which describes the natural thinning of the vaginal walls as one ages) means that penetrative intercourse is off the table, it’s not the only option for soaking up those health benefits – even a simple hug can confer lower heart rate and lower blood pressure [4]. Which brings us to…

There’s Still a Whole World of Sex to Explore

Intercourse is just a small part of sexual experience and response, which is something we might forget in the eagerness of youth. “Outercourse” (a strange colloquialism for non-penetrative sex which puts me in mind of belly-buttons) is a more exploratory, sensual way to connect with your partner, yet one which many men seem reluctant to enjoy in their younger days. Indeed, the prevalence of extensive “outercourse” between more mature couples could even explain why many women, despite the physiological effects of ageing, report increased sexual satisfaction as they get older. There’s never been a better time to explore foreplay – and putting some time into re-learning your partner’s body is a great boost for your relationship.

So don’t leave the joys of sex to the younger generation – enjoying yourself intimately boosts your heart, your stress resistance, your relationship and your confidence in one go. Just because you may not look like the guys in the adverts any more doesn’t mean you can’t give them a run for their money behind closed doors – and you’ll certainly benefit from trying.

vine-against-fire | Wellman Clinic

If you need help contact the experts at The Wellman Clinic.

[1] https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/neuronarrative/201009/forget-the-myths-about-sex-and-aging-libidos-rage-any-age

[2]
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/national-sex-survey-distractions-of-modern-life-mean-people-have-less-sex-8964268.html

[3]
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15961213

[4] http://www.reuniting.info/download/pdf/WarmContactPaper.pdf

 

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