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Good Sex Forever

Keep on having fun

Hollywood movies may give the impression that sex is only for the young, but, of course, this is very far from the truth. There’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t go on enjoying sex for as long as you like.

As you get older, you don’t necessarily feel any different inside and your desire to love and be loved is just as strong as ever, although you may look for new ways to express love.

In both genders, the sexual urge may decline as you get older, but the general pattern is different in men and women. A man’s sexual peak is in his late teens and it gradually diminishes thereafter. A woman’s sexuality peaks much later and her responsiveness stays about the same for a long time, often not declining until her late 60s. However, there’s lots of research showing that many women – and men – in their 70s and 80s still have strong sexual urges.

Problems with sex aren’t usually the result of ageing. In fact the same factors that lead to sexual problems in young people – tiredness, stress, smoking, eating and drinking too much, illness – affect older people and all these need to be taken into account.

Most of us see our sex lives remaining much the same as we get older and this is right. Many people today live well into their eighties, which means that the years from 60 to 85 are more than a quarter of the total life span. Most of us, therefore, look forward to having more than a third of our life left after our fiftieth birthday. We spend relatively few years at the beginning of our lives without sex, so why should we have a curtailment of sexual activity towards the end? We never lose the need to be touched, stroked and cuddled. Physical contact is a basic human need and if anything it becomes more powerful as we get older.

Relax and laugh
Many couples say they enjoy sex more and more as they get older. They have fewer inhibitions, more curiosity and adventurousness, and feel more relaxed with each other and their own bodies than when they were younger. And even more important, most us are more prepared to laugh at ourselves, at our own frailty and falsely high expectations as we mature. If sex doesn’t always work, we know it’s not a disaster and next time things may go much better. Laughter can help couples through many sexual embarrassments and lead the way to more enjoyable sex.

Sex and the older woman
Women today know the old fear that sex stopped with the menopause is nonsense. There’s no question that powerful feelings of sexuality extend two decades or more beyond the menopause and a woman of 80 has just the same physical potential for orgasm as she did at 20. The arousal and erection of the nipple happens in exactly the same way in an older woman as in a younger, although the feeling may not be quite as intense, and the clitoris remains just as responsive. There may be some thinning and loss of elasticity in the vaginal walls as you get older, and it may take longer to get lubricated, but these changes have little effect on orgasm.

Sex and the older man
As men get older, some find it takes longer to get an erection and erections may be less firm and not last as long, but this certainly doesn’t mean an end to sex. You may just need to make a few adjustments. For example, get used to rest periods of several days before trying for another erection and orgasm. More direct stimulation of the penis may be needed. The most important thing is for you and your partner to understand what is happening and adjust your sexual techniques accordingly.

Tips for successful sex
Focus on foreplay – longer and stronger foreplay will help you both get the most from your lovemaking. Caressing, rubbing, cuddling and clitoral stimulation will help a woman get lubricated and enjoy sex. Stimulation with hand or mouth will help a man reach erection.

Lubricating gels and jellies – if vaginal dryness is a problem, try these – they can be a great help.

Have sex regularly – frequent sex is the best sure to make sure your love life continues to be satisfying. The saying ‘use it or lose it’ certainly applies here – the less you have sex, the less you tend to want it as you get older. Women who have sex once or twice a week still have a healthy vagina well into old age.

Experiment – don’t be afraid to try something new. Be ready to introduce new ways of sexual loving. Both partners can find new ways of doing things that will help build self-esteem rather than erode it. Allow time for your lovemaking and try making love somewhere other than in bed. Create an intimate atmosphere with candles and music and take a bath together. Massage one another with scented oils and give reassurance that you still find each other attractive.

Try new positions – the ‘spoons’ position is an intimate and untaxing way of enjoying sex. The man curls up behind his partner, his hands free to fondle her breasts. The woman has her hands free to masturbate or use a vibrator. The woman on top can also be very stimulating as well as comfortable. She gently lowers herself on to her partner’s penis. She can then face him and gently rock to and fro while he caresses her breasts.

Awakening desire
If you’re in the sexual doldrums – and it happens to the best of us once in a while – try the sensate focusing technique to reawaken desire. This helps a couple focus on the sensations that arise when they gently explore and caress first their own and then each other’s bodies. There’s no intercourse or genital contact at first. The heat is taken out of the situation so there’s no reason to feel anxious about your ability to enjoy sex. Just relax and take your time. First of all, explore your own sensual feelings by yourself. Massage and explore your body and enjoy your sexuality. Concentrate on yourself and don’t worry about what ‘s going to happen during intercourse in the future. Next, you and your partner take it in turns to massage each other. Talk about your feelings and what gives you pleasure. But don’t touch each other’s genitals or other very sensitive parts such as nipples. A week or so later, you can move onto the third stage. Now you can touch each other’s sexually sensitive zones and genitals, while talking about how you feel. Your partner may want intercourse but it’s important to wait until you’re both ready.

Sensate focusing should help to rekindle your sexual desire and may help you enjoy a revived sex life with your partner.

Sex aids
Some couples are very ready to use sex aids to spice up their sex lives. Others have never thought of using them before, but as they get older feel the need to be more adventurous and introduce a little variety.

Follow your instincts and share your thoughts and fantasies with your partner. Perhaps you might consider getting a vibrator, which can give intense sexual excitement? There’s virtually no difference between an orgasm reached with a vibrator and one reached during sexual intercourse. In fact, a vibrator can be better than a penis at stimulating the cervix. It can be very exciting for a man, too, and he may like to watch his partner using a vibrator. Also, don’t ignore sexy films and magazines – these can be a turn-on for couples so share your fantasies and experiment.
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Viagra / Cialis / Levitra – PED Inhibitors (PEDI)
Viagra was first approved for use in 1998 and is a drug, not a sex aid. Other PEDIs, Cialis and Levitra, followed and are prescribed for men who have difficulty having and maintaining an erection and works by increasing the blood flow to the penis. All the PEDIs work in the same way though Cialis lasts much longer than the other two so sex can be relaxed and unhurried. Unfortunately, many men think a PEDI increases sexual desire but it doesn’t. Taking a pill will not give you an erection and it won’t improve your performance. It can only increase sexual response in those who have the capacity. For a PEDI to work, the penis needs to have nerves and arteries that are reasonably healthy and it doesn’t help everyone. Among men with diabetes, for example, only about half find that a PED inhibitor brings an improvement in erections. In the UK they are available on the NHS for men who have or have had the following:

radical pelvic surgery prostate surgery with the removal of the prostate gland spinal cord injury diabetes multiple sclerosis or other neurological disease severe depression or distress caused by impotence

Are PEDIs safe?
Generally doctors say you need to be fit enough to walk up a flight of 20 stairs without getting breathless if you want to take one. The manufacturers advise that anyone on heart medication that includes nitrates shouldn’t take the drug. There can also be side effects. Most common are headache, flushes, stomach upsets, stuffy nose, urinary tract infection, changes in vision and diarrhoea.

Pink PEDIs for women?
They aren’t designed for women, but some women claim to have taken a PEDI with good results, presumably because it increases blood flow to the clitoris and genital region. Clinical trials haven’t been promising and have been successful. And a scientist in the US has come up with a machine called an orgasmatron that he says gives women an orgasm at the touch of a button. The machine works via electrodes implanted in the body and triggered by a hand-held control. The scientist discovered it by accident when developing a device to relieve back pain.

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