“Free your mind…and your ass will follow.” ~ George Clinton
As we age, our bodies undergo a number of changes, both physical and mental. Unfortunately, sexuality and aging is a subject that has been somewhat taboo. For some, it conjures an uncomfortable image of our parents or even grandparents, “getting it on.”
What we don’t realize is that we, too, are going to age—and our sexuality will necessarily come into new phases as well. I doubt that many of us are willing to accept an age where our sexuality will simply fade away.
In 1990, The Kinsey Institute New Report on Sex released information about “Physical Changes in Sexual Arousal Associated with Aging.”
Sex and Aging in Women
A few of the changes women may encounter as they age are reductions in muscle tone (which can mean less intense orgasms), vaginal lubrication and elasticity, and less blood flow to zones of sexual arousal such as breasts and genitals.
Sex and Aging in Men
Men may take longer to reach erection and orgasm (both of which may not be as strong as in their younger years), there may be a need for more direct stimulation during sex, and ejaculation may include a smaller volume of semen. In addition, men’s recovery time may increase between sexual intercourse.
That’s the not-so-great news.
However, one thing that may not change is our desire for sex.
Certainly some of us will “mellow out” with age, not needing as much sexual activity. On the flip side, just as many of us experience an increase in desire. Case in point: A friend of mine was late to her own 50th birthday party because she and her husband were home having mind-blowing sex a mere four blocks away. (Let that little gem be a flare of celebration as you round out your forties.)
The increase in sexual desire as we age may have to do in part with a reduction in stresses of the risk of pregnancy and/or the development of our own sexual needs. That is to say, the older we get the more we know what we want and how to get it—a very sexy thing, indeed.
Even better news is that older adults are perfectly capable of sexual pleasure and orgasm even in much older years.
Try looking at the positive side of change: If you and your partner need to take things more slowly due to physical constraints, you can use this down-time to develop new and exciting ways to make love.
Perhaps in your younger years, sex had basically two steps: physical stimulation/foreplay and intercourse. Now that you have more time to enjoy each other, try exploring each other’s sexual depths through sensual massage, sharing fantasies, deep embraces, and more.
Aging does not have to mean an end to our sexuality.
In fact, we can get a good idea of how our sexuality will be affected by growing older if we take a look at our sex drive now. Chances are if your attitude toward and enjoyment of sex is healthy now, it will continue to be well into your advanced years.
Sex is primarily a function of the brain. Free your mind.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: April Killingsworth/Flickr