5 Tips to Add Sizzle to Your Senior Sex Life

Reclaim Your Sexual Pleasure After 50

Senior couple embracing
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“Whoa, what happened to my sex life?” you ask. You’re getting older, and you’re discovering that your sexual responses are changing. Maybe you don’t get aroused as easily, or sometimes not at all. Instead of being driven by your hormones to enjoy frequent sex, your urge may have slowed down so much that you almost forget about it. If you used to reach orgasm easily, now orgasm may be elusive and take longer if it happens at all.

Maybe your medications interfere with your desire, pleasure, or ability. Or maybe you’re single now and without a partner, you think that sex will be just a memory from now on.

No, no, no! Let’s turn that doom and gloom around. For every sexual problem that accompanies aging and life changes, there is a solution—or several. Make a point of learning the reasons for your sexual changes and what you can do about them. Use these strategies to get started in reclaiming your sexual pleasure:

1. Talk to your doctor. Often a medical problem—maybe not even diagnosed yet—or one of your medications is the culprit. Tell your medical professional what’s going on, and ask for a diagnosis and options for treatment. (“You’re old” is not a diagnosis. “Get used to it” is not a treatment.) Tell your doctor your version of this statement:

“My sexuality is important to me, and this is what’s interfering with my sexual pleasure and ability right now.

Find out why I’m having this problem and what I can do about it. If you can’t help me, please refer me to someone who can.”

That last statement is really important. Often doctors don’t know how to treat a sexual problem or assume it isn’t important to you. If enough of us let our medical professionals know how important sex is to us, they’ll realize that it’s crucial to educate themselves and locate the best resources in our community.

2. Schedule sex at least weekly—with a partner or solo. Don’t wait for the mood to strike; just do it. No partner? Get in the habit of a satisfying sex date with yourself. Self-pleasuring is real sex. The more sex you have on a regular basis, with or without a partner, the more easily you’ll get aroused and find yourself in the mood. The more often you experience regular sexual arousal and orgasms, the more easily both will happen.

Tip: Figure out what time of day you feel sexiest. First thing in the morning? Later in the morning? Early afternoon? (It’s probably not at night, when you’re tired.) Schedule your sex dates for that zestiest time of day, when arousal is easiest.                                                      

3. Exercise first—eat afterwards. It’s all about the blood flow. To increase blood flow to the genitals, exercise before sex. A half hour of moderate physical activity will speed up arousal. Hop on the exercise bike, dance in the living room, go for a brisk walk—whatever you enjoy.

The blood pumping to your heart and muscles is also reaching your clitoris or penis! 

Whatever you do, don’t eat a meal before sex. Dining by candlelight may seem romantic, but if the blood is flowing to the digestive system, it’s not going to the genitals. Wait and eat after sex—you’ll enjoy both the sex and the food even more.

4. Use sex toys. I often say that a well-chosen, well-placed vibrator can be the difference between orgasm and no orgasm—it’s sometimes that simple. If you’re not already a vibrator aficionado, or your idea of sex toys is decades old, educate yourself about the extraordinary options available now.

Whether you’re self-pleasuring or having partner sex, vibrators can give you the intense sensation you need and give your (or your partner’s) arthritic hands and sore backs/hips/knees a rest. 

5. Reinvent sexual pleasure. No, sex isn’t going to be the way it was in our youth. And that’s fine! Forget that old, strict definition of what “real sex” is supposed to be. Instead, let’s explore the options that feel good to us now and are possible and comfortable if we have physical limitations. We’ll discover that our bodies are still capable of splendid pleasure.

Use plenty of lubricant, try positions that are comfortable, and cushions to support you, and be open to creative exploration to learn what feels best to you now. And remember that the brain is your major sex organ: close your eyes, open yourself to fantasy, and enjoy the joys that your body and brain can still give you.

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