When do people stop having sex? Never!
Sex can be a tricky subject at any age. It can be embarrassing, even shameful, or too private to talk about. It can also be wonderful, intimate, and freeing. Even for seniors there are some things about sex that would apply to any age. For example, it’s important to be comfortable with your partner. Sex is more enjoyable with intimacy, and it’s easier to be intimate with someone you’re comfortable with. Young or older, sex can still be fun and rewarding. No matter what age, it’s important to enjoy the pleasures of life, and sex is pleasurable for many people.
There are some unique advantages and challenges for sexually active seniors, which may differ depending on gender. Men lose testosterone which makes it harder to achieve erection and orgasm. Women lose estrogen which makes it harder to become lubricated. There are a lot of myths that older people, especially women, have no interest in sex. This is simply not true. People can enjoy sex at any age—even into their eighties and beyond—sometimes it just takes a little more understanding and preparation.
For women, there are over-the-counter lubricants available at the local pharmacy, though a specialty shop (like the CS Boutique in Portland) might have a wider variety. For men, there are options to “the little blue pill” that might be better for both you and your partner. Talk to your doc; he’s heard this question from almost every male patient over 50 or 55.
Some challenges of sex apply to everyone, some especially seniors who grew up in a different time. One thing that seniors may struggle with is communicating about sex with their partner, like confiding fantasies or exploring alternatives to conventional intercourse. Talking about sex can be very important, however—it shows that both partners are comfortable and have a desire to make each other feel good. Though feeling good can be done without long discussions about what turns people on, communication brings closeness, which makes for better sex.
There are benefits to having sex when you’re older. Many people even report that sex gets better with age. Age often brings security, self-love and understanding, which make people more open to being happy. After retirement many people have much more time for sex, and time to explore what works for them no matter how long it may take. Another benefit is that no one has to worry about pregnancy. Though birth control is no longer an issue, practicing safe sex is still important because STDs and AIDS can be transmitted at any age.
“Sex and Sociability” Psychology Today. Web. 1 June 2013. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sex-sociability/201303/sex-and-the-single-senior
“Senior sex: Tips for older men – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 June 2013. <http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/senior-sex/MC00057>.