Sex is everywhere these days, and it seems like it is an activity best enjoyed by young adults. Before you throw in the towel on your sex life, you should know that this level of intimacy is still prevalent among adults in their 50s and 60s. Changes in your relationship, body and schedule can all affect your sex life, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on achieving fulfilling experiences with your partner. Here are just a few of the ways you can stay on top of your sex life while maintaining a wonderful information with your partner throughout your 50s and beyond.
Defy Social Expectations
While western cultures often view sex as an activity for “young” people, a New England Journal of Medicine study found that 73 percent of Americans between ages 57 and 64 are considered sexually active. This statistic directly contradicts the misconception that middle-aged adults don’t have sex. Still, the notion that sex is a young adult’s activity can often come between you and your needs. The next time you start to feel you are too old for sex, keep in mind that your skills are likely more refined that your 20-something’s counterpart and that you are in fact desirable. Nothing is more of a turn-off than feeling that you are not good enough for sex.
Articulate Your Needs
Open communication is the key to a fulfilling sex life at any age. The difference between a 50-year-old couple and partners in their 20s is that so many life events may shape your particular needs. Couples in their 50s have different concerns and desires that younger adults may not have, but this doesn’t mean that sex is impossible. Talk with your partner about any concerns you have and to articulate your specific needs; it is unfair to assume that your partner should know all your needs without discussing it first. At the same time, you should be open to listening to what your partner has to say and to try something new if the two of you are falling into a same-old routine.
Address Hormonal Changes
The fact that increased age and a decreased sex drive happen at the same time is no coincidence. However, this doesn’t mean that you or your partner are less desirable. If problems persist despite open communication in the bedroom, it may be time to address hormonal changes with a doctor. Such hormone problems can include:
- Decreased testosterone in men
- Decreased levels of estrogen in women
A doctor may prescribe medications to help men achieve and maintain an erection, while women may benefit from estrogen replacements to increase their sex drive. Talk with a physician about all the options available and don’t be shy to seek help.
Take Charge of Your Health
Changes in health are another contributing factor to decreased sexual activity in your 50s. Not only are you more fatigued, but lack of sleep from commitments to jobs and family activities can quickly zap your sex drive. Getting at least eight hours of sleep a night can help increase your libido so you will be more open to intimacy when the time is right.
Other personal health factors can also increase your sex drive. Poor nutrition and a sedentary lifestyle is bad for anyone, but it impacts people in their middle ages more significantly than those in their 20s. A diet low in fat combined with regular exercise on most days of the week can improve your desire. See a doctor if you suspect that any medications may play a role in decreasing your sex drive. Hormone replacements, high blood pressure medication, antidepressants and insulin injections can all adversely affect your libido.
Intimate Alternatives to Sex
Illnesses, medications and decreased hormone levels can all contribute to less sex as you age. If you and your partner find it difficult to get things going, other methods of intimacy can help keep you close while you build up this part of your relationship to a desired level. Regular date nights, holding hands, hugging and kissing are all examples of intimate alternatives that can help you achieve the level of closeness the two of you desire.
Boost Your Self-Image
Age causes many changes to the body, many of which you may not be comfortable with. It is not uncommon for women to long for their pre-pregnancy bodies, as well as for men to complain of a beer belly. Such problems with self-image not only affect your emotional health, but your sex life may also suffer. It is important to love yourself for both you and your partner’s sake, and to understand that you are desired. Exercise and weight loss can help you feel better, but you may consider talking to a therapist if a lack of self-image interferes with all aspects of your relationship.
Seek a Specialist
If the desire is there, but nothing seems to work for you and your partner, it may be time to seek the advice of a specialist. A general practitioner may refer you to a sex therapist that can help sift through issues. Specialists are especially helpful when something else is holding you and your partner back that is not medical-related. Depression, unresolved emotional trauma and self-esteem are just a few examples of the areas a sex therapist can help with.
Sex does not have to stop with age, nor does your need for intimacy. This is a natural part of overall health that should be discussed and not avoided due to embarrassment or social stereotypes. If you find yourself timid in exploring your sexual health, remember that a doctor can help provide the resources you need to help keep you safe.