As you age, your sex life isn't the same as it was in your 20s, but it can still be pleasurable. "Sex is for young people" is a fallacy. Many seniors still enjoy sex well into their 80s.
A healthy sex life is not only satisfying, but also has benefits in other areas of life, such as physical health and self-esteem.
Sex in old age: What changes in older men?
Physical or lifestyle changes may make you feel vulnerable or uncomfortable, especially sexually.
You may notice the following changes:
- low libido
- uncomfortable or painful intercourse
- Changes in erections (erectile dysfunction)
- Changes in ejaculation (premature ejaculation or delayed ejaculation disorder)
- Changes in body, hair, or genitals
- Lack of stamina or stamina
- reduced fertility
- feeling weak or tired
- feel down or nervous
- Changes in your partner's sexual performance or desire
You may be concerned about these changes. But remember, these changes won't stop you from enjoying sex. Working with your changing body conditions can help you maintain a healthy and happy sex life. For example, you may need to change your sex life to use more stimulation to arouse your desire.
Sexuality and Health Issues in the Elderly
Sexual health is closely related to other aspects of health. How you feel, long-term health, sexual changes with age, or medications can affect your sexual health.
Certain surgeries and many medications (such as blood pressure medications, antihistamines, antidepressants, and acid suppressants) can affect sexual function.
Additionally, changes in your body, such as testosterone and sperm changes, nerve damage, bone and muscle loss, and iron deficiency, can affect your sexual health.
Current health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and prostate problems, may also play a role.
But don't give up. You and your partner can try other forms of intimacy that suit your needs and abilities.
For example, if you have concerns about having sex after a heart attack, talk to your healthcare provider about your concerns. If arthritis pain is a problem, try different sex positions, or try applying heat to relieve joint pain before or after sex.
Stay positive and focus on the sex and intimacy styles that work for you and your partner.
Sexual and Emotional Issues in Older Adults
At any age, emotional problems can affect sexual feelings. Sometimes there is a bright side too. Many older couples report being more satisfied with their sex lives because they experience fewer distractions, have more time and privacy, and don't have to worry about getting pregnant.
And adults of other ages are feeling overwhelmed by health problems, financial concerns and other lifestyle changes. Depression can reduce libido. If you think you may be depressed, talk to a healthcare provider or a counselor.
Advice about sex in older age
Sex may not be the same for you or your partner as it was when you were younger. However, sex and intimacy can still bring joy into your life. Here are some tips for maintaining a healthy and enjoyable sex life:
- Communicate with your partner. Even if talking about sex is difficult, sharing your needs, wishes, and concerns can help you both enjoy sex and intimacy more. Feeling vulnerable is normal. Your partner may also feel vulnerable. Talk to each other or with the help of a therapist.
- Contact your healthcare provider. A healthcare provider can help you manage chronic conditions and medications that affect your sex life. If you cannot keep an erection, tell healthcare provider. Erection problems may be the only warning sign of a heart problem. If you are concerned about your testosterone levels, see your healthcare provider for guidance. Tell your healthcare provider about any use of tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs, as these may affect your sexual health.
- See a sex therapist. A therapist can help you and your partner address specific issues. A qualified therapist can help you understand your needs, concerns, and help you refresh your perspective. Ask your healthcare provider for a referral.
- Extend the definition of sex. Intercourse is just one way to have a satisfying sex life. Touching, kissing, and other intimate encounters mean something to you and your partner.
- As you age, your sexual abilities and needs may differ from yours. Willing to find new ways to enjoy sexual encounters and intimacy.
- Change routine. Some simple changes can improve your sex life. Change the time of day you have sex. Try having sex in the morning instead of after a long day. After a good night's sleep, your testosterone levels may be higher.
- Since it may take longer for you or your partner to get excited, take more time to create a romantic atmosphere. Try new sex positions, or find other ways to have romantic sex.
- Find new ways to connect. If physical intimacy is difficult right now, find new ways to have fun together. Enjoying new experiences can boost activity levels, mood, and even libido.
- Laugh together. A sense of humor is important for relieving stress, which can hinder your ability to connect with people.
- Don't give up on romance. If you've lost your partner, it can be hard to imagine starting another relationship. But for many single seniors, socializing is well worth it. No one grows older and no longer needs emotional intimacy.
Use condoms if you start an intimate relationship with a new partner. Many older adults are unaware that they are still at risk for STIs such as herpes and gonorrhea.
A final piece of advice for maintaining a healthy sex life: Take care of yourself and stay as healthy as possible.
- healthy diet.
- Exercise regularly.
- Do not drink to excess.
- don't smoke.
- Positive thinking.
- learn to be grateful.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Make sure you get enough sleep.
- Make some time for loved ones and hobbies.