There are many things that change about sex after 50, but one thing stays the same: our pleasure. So, while sex may have changed as much as we have, there’s still a whole lot to love about it. Just like us! As long as we gracefully adjust to the changes that come with age, our sex lives can burn just as bright as ever. Some of the changes you’ve noticed about sex after 50 might seem like problems. But they’re not, so here’s why you shouldn’t worry about them:
- Erectile dysfunction. These might seem like two of the scariest words a man could ever hear together, but they shouldn’t be. By the time a man hits 50, it takes a little longer to become erect, and the erections are not as firm or as frequent as they were when he was younger. It might take a bit more work to get there, and it may be a lot easier to lose an erection. But that doesn’t have to spell the end of his sex life — in fact, it shouldn’t! Relax. Anxiety about erectile dysfunction can actually cause the problem to linger. So, breathe deeply, and ask your partner to touch you in ways that excite you. If this doesn’t put some wind in your sails, there’s still no cause for worry. Men don’t need erections to reach orgasm. Focus on the pleasures you’re still able to enjoy, and achieve orgasm through other means (like manual stimulation or oral sex). There’s still a great deal of fun to be had, but if you do find you miss erections in your sex life, there are numerous pharmaceutical solutions to help with this. While not everyone has tried using medical help to rise to the occasion, it’s definitely something worth considering. If you’re having problems getting and maintaining an erection, talk to your doctor about your options, but remember that you don’t necessarily need them to find sex fulfilling.
- Premature ejaculation. This is something many men might’ve hoped they would outgrow — studies show that one-third of men between 18 and 49 experience an early climax at least once per year. That rate stays about the same when it comes to sex after 50. Ejaculating prematurely can be the result of anxiety (like anxiety about erectile dysfunction) or penis-centered sex. We know what you’re thinking — what kind of sex isn’t penis-centered? But erotic pleasure isn’t restricted to that particular area. There’s plenty you can do with your partner that takes the pressure off the penis. Try a playful whole-body massage or outercourse (more on that below) and see how arousal can spread throughout your entire body. This sort of touching can also reduce anxiety, which reduces the likelihood of erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.
- Vaginal dryness. Problems with vaginal dryness and atrophy can make sex after 50 uncomfortable (or even impossible) for many women. The solution? Focus instead on creative ways to stimulate your partner. Many couples over 50 rely on what’s known as “outercourse” instead of intercourse. As men and women both begin experiencing more issues with sex, they turn to different forms of stimulation. Massages, oral sex, and experimenting with sexy toys become fulfilling alternatives to traditional intercourse without compromising any enjoyment. So, relax. You can still have satisfying, orgasmic sex, regardless of your age or any bodily betrayals.
- Slow to get going. Many men find it disconcerting when they’re slower to become aroused, but it’s actually a great thing for sexual harmony. Even without an erection or intercourse, men and women report better sex at 65 than they did at 25. That could be because, unlike men in their 20s, the time it takes for older men to become aroused is more in line with the time it takes for women.