How Your Sex Life Can Change After Turning 60

How to Keep the Romance Alive for the Long Haul

Older couple sitting on park bench

One of the myths of aging is that a satisfying and enjoyable sex life after 60 is impossible. Don't be fooled, though, and don't be disheartened. As with most myths, this one has long since been disproved.

The truth is, many seniors are enjoying a healthy sex life well into their golden years, now more than ever. Thanks especially to recent advances in the medical field, along with improved nutrition and healthcare, people are living longer, and the quality of life in those later years is improving.

As a result, it has become easier to keep sexual relationships going strong.

Which can be a relief for many older adults to hear, as intimacy doesn't become any less important to them once they hit 60. Though the nature of intimacy can certainly evolve.

Take as an example the case of Gwen (not her real name), a younger senior who is divorced and still single, and who has a grown son. While not involved in a relationship, Gwen feels she would still enjoy an intimate relationship with a man she loved. She feels that, although sex is "nice," it is not the most important part of a relationship to her.

She misses the closeness and intimacy of a loving relationship with a partner, a simple hug, a kiss on the cheek. "When one is young," she says, "love and lust have an urgency and sometimes feel like the most important part of a relationship. As you get older, the sexual act becomes more comfortable, less urgent but in many ways more passionate.

You don't worry about pregnancy, or such things; you just enjoy the closeness with another human being."

In remembering her parents, who were married for over 57 years, she says she is certain they had a good sex life. She says the worst part for her mother after her father's death were the nights. Her mother had trouble sleeping after losing the partner who had shared her bed all those years.

The nighttime hours were when they had always been closest, and the loss of that closeness was the hardest to deal with.

How Can You Keep Your Sex Life Alive for the Long Haul?

There are a number of things you can do to keep the romance alive, but it all starts with taking care of yourself. If you're not physically healthy, it will be that much harder to remain sexually healthy. Eat a nutritious diet. If you eat, you'll have more energy... for any activity. You should stay active as well, maintaining your strength and agility with whatever form of exercise fits naturally into your lifestyle. Keeping up with a fitness program will also help to improve your flexibility and self-esteem. All of this will only make sex more pleasurable.

If you or your partner struggles with erectile dysfunction (ED), talk to your doctors. There are many ways to treat ED or, at the very least, manage or work around it. Surgical procedures, vacuum devices, and medications are all things your doctor may recommend.

If you suffer from vaginal dryness and discomfort during intercourse, a quick trip to the drug store can solve that problem. A water-based lubricant is usually effective, and is available over the counter. This can also provide extra motivation to experiment with different forms of foreplay that can more effectively induce physical arousal.

Remain Open to Redefining Sex

Your body will change as you age. This is an inevitability for everyone. As a result, sex will change as well.

You may find that certain forms of intimacy are no longer easy or possible. And while this may be frustrating, you should try to see this as an opportunity: to try new things; to explore each other's bodies and discover new sources of pleasure; to redefine sex for the both of you.

Sexual health is an integral part of overall health and well-being. Don't give up on your own sexual health just because things are different.

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