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Senior Sex Tips

Dr. Lisa Lawless

Dr. Lisa Lawless, CEO of Holistic Wisdom
Clinical Psychotherapist: Relationship & Sexual Health Expert

Romantic Teddy Bears, Senior Sex Tips

Sex After the Age of 65

Sex does not end at fifty, nor should it. Youth has no superiority over senior sex; it is simply different. Men and women can enjoy a new world of sexuality often overlooked in youth. Healthy seniors tend to be more at ease with themselves, their body image, and where they are in their life, which can lead to out-of-this-world sex.

Focusing on the art of sex through a higher level of sexual education can feed the creative juices for seniors. Using Tantra, Kama Sutra, and other forms of sexual techniques while utilizing products designed to make senior sex easier can be just what makes sex over sixty-five beyond fabulous.

What Are The Challenges Of Senior Sex?

Aging Sex Myths

Men may assume that as they age, they will rely on Viagra to help them through any problems they may experience. However, Viagra only works on 2/3rds of men who use it and can't always overcome medical and psychological aspects that may cause sexual dysfunction. Men need to understand that just like women, they will need to be educated about their sexuality, what health factors influence it, and what they can do to improve it.

On the other hand, a common scenario for women is that they often buy into the false premise that menopause comes with an automatic decline in sexual desire. If a male partner believes this as well, they may hesitate to initiate intimacy, and in turn, the woman can misinterpret that as a lack of interest on his part. She may, consequently, back away from sex. This false assumption can lead to intimacy problems within the relationship, all because of an outdated belief.

It is vital that both men and women communicate with their physicians about their sexual functioning and with their partners, as most seniors can have a rich and fulfilling sex life solo or with a partner.

Society's Perception

National surveys now report that the public's perceptions have begun to change about older women. Women over 50 are beginning to be seen to be just as beautiful as those under 30. Women over 50 agree, with 91% of women over 50 who are happy with their looks.

Research by Allure Magazine looked at modern attitudes about beauty, confidence, and success. Surprisingly it is not plastic surgery shifting this mentality; their study revealed that 66 percent of men opposed their lovers getting plastic surgery. There is a shift in approaching aging, with today's older Americans more active, whether it's working a job, volunteering, or traveling. Today, they are more vital and active because of advances in medicine, psychology, and holistic health.

More seniors are standing up to show themselves for the viable, seasoned, beautiful people they are and have always been. If someone sees aging as depressing, hopeless, and a sad state of being, then it will be; if they choose to see aging as a rich and fulfilling part of their life's adventure, then it will be. Life is what we make it, and starting with a proactive approach to anything in life is how to make it fulfilling.

Senior Sexual Health

Seniors today are taking more control of their lives than ever before, and senior sex is not only on the rise but getting even better. Indeed, conditions such as heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, disabilities, and other chronic illnesses can put a damper on sexuality. This can also occur with medication side effects.

Quality of life is deeply affected by sexual health. When men experience softer erections, erectile dysfunction, and a loss of desire, it can affect their self-esteem and even their sense of being a man. When a woman experiences vaginal dryness, clitoral desensitization, and loss of desire, it can affect how she feels about sex and create painful sexual experiences that will make sex even more undesirable.

Because medications, health conditions, and illness can affect your sexual drive, check with your physician or pharmacist if you have questions about how prescriptions affect senior sexuality. If you notice sexual problems, seek medical advice to rule out serious conditions and find resources to address them. Your health care provider may be able to help you stay fit and active as long as you're willing to talk about what's bothering you.

AARP's recent study, Sexuality at Mid-life and Beyond, confirms that relationships and sexuality remain essential throughout life; thus, sexual functioning is an important issue. However, this is why it is necessary to communicate with one's physician, ask questions, and become educated on managing such medical obstacles while still achieving a healthy sex life.

See How To Talk To Your Doctor About Sex

Senior Women's Sexual Health

A woman's sexual health is affected by physical factors and is also impacted by her psychological approach to aging. It is crucial to remember that approaching aging is a vital part of playing out. Remember that physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health are interconnected. If you take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally you will have a better and more fulfilling sex life for yourself and with a partner.

Some age-related physical changes may affect you sexually if you are a woman, such as menopause and reduced estrogen levels. As you age, sex can become uncomfortable and, in some cases, even painful. As you age, your vagina will lose elasticity. This means that it will not stretch easily. You will also find that it takes longer for you to lubricate even when sexually aroused. In some situations, you may experience a sense of burning and even some bleeding from the friction of sexual intercourse. Increasing the length of foreplay, using vibrators to speed up the arousal process, and using water-based lubricants are all ways that can help to make a difference. In addition, you can also look into using estrogen cream, estrogen ring, or other estrogen replacement treatment to help regulate your body's hormones. This is something that should be discussed with a physician.

One thing to keep in mind is that the adage of 'use it or lose it' applies in that having sex regularly will help you maintain your ability to lubricate and have elasticity. If you have not had sex in a while, it may take your vagina a while to accommodate a penis. In some cases, you may want to use a vaginal dilator to help you prepare. Also, see our article on Painful Sex for more information on the causes of vaginal tightening and bleeding.

Senior Men's Sexual Health

For men, it may take longer to achieve an erection as you age. In addition to this, you may find that they do not last as long or are as firm as they once were. In addition, your ability to get an erection after you have had an ejaculation may take much longer than it used to. You should speak frankly with your partner about this as it is entirely normal. Using things like penis rings, penis pumps, and the combination of the two can be helpful. If you have difficulty with erectile dysfunction (ED), you should speak with your doctor as you may find that a health issue is causing it, and it is important to rule that out.

See our Sex Toys For Erectile Dysfunction Guide for more help finding options that may assist you.

Seniors & STDs

According to the AARP study, though single baby boomers are having sex regularly, only 39 percent invariably use protection. "To me, those are pretty alarming figures," says Linda Fisher, AARP's research director. Many boomers just don't have a sense of danger about sex. They came from an age before the HIV epidemic and never learned how to negotiate condom use or testing with their partners. The number of new HIV infections among older women is rising rapidly: between 1998 and 2000, women's share of AIDS cases among those 50 and older nearly doubled, from 8.9 percent to 15 percent. Thus, seniors must be educated on STDs and the risks that come with them. After all, physical aging can be hard enough.

Psychological Stress

Fear of aging, loss, and death are relatively common from time to time in most people; however, if these fears are dwelled upon, they can wreak havoc on the psyche. This, in turn, affects sexual functioning as the mind and body are very much interconnected. Loss of sexual desire and the ability to perform from erectile dysfunction to vaginal dryness can occur.

An interesting study recently showed that men treated for erectile dysfunction, in turn, helped their female partner's sexual functioning. Even though their female partners had previously been suffering from loss of sexual desire and vaginal dryness, the women's physiology changed once the men were treated. The women showed physiological changes in lubrication, orgasm, and arousal. One might conclude that feeling desired is an essential aspect of sexual functioning.

Changes in aging can decrease your interest in sex. This can make it more difficult to become aroused and even come between you and your partner emotionally. Stress from performance anxiety can affect your self-esteem and make you start to feel that you are unworthy of your partner's affections. The best way to address these problems is through honest and open communication. It is vital to express the anxiety that you are feeling. It is all right to ask for and accept reassurance from your partner in a good relationship. The two of you can work on ways to decrease the stress, have a sense of humor about it and explore sexual products that may help you.

Stressful Living Arrangements, Divorce & Death

Many people assume that seniors can focus on themselves without kids in the house. However, some still have teenagers or even adult children living at home, and some have aging parents. Sandwiched like this can make time for passion more complicated while coping with maturing children's and aging parents' needs.

If this is the case, a couple or individual must dedicate time just for themselves, even as simple as a nice, long, hot bath. Add some waterproof sex toys in there for good measure, and you have got a mini vacation.

The other end of the spectrum is that some seniors are widowed or divorced and find themselves single again. This is a wonderful time for men and women to spend time experimenting with masturbation and educating themselves on sexuality so that they can provide themselves with sexual experiences they may have missed in their youth.

As seniors age, more of them are single and while this generation's search for love and relationships is not new, what has changed is how they meet and why they date. Senior dating websites are a hot trend, with many websites devoted to helping seniors find like-minded partners.

See How To Avoid Dating Scams

Helpful Suggestions

Toss out any old preconceived ideas about giving up on sex as you age. That is utter nonsense. Seniors are fully capable of enjoying sexual pleasures that could put even their younger counterparts to shame. With viagra, hormone therapy, sex toys, educational articles, and adult entertainment, many more resources are available to seniors than ever before.

New Sexual Communication For Older Couples

Couples most often feel comfortable discussing their finances, taxes, and death, but many feel uncomfortable talking about sex. These couples may feel ashamed or embarrassed discussing their sexual desires, fantasies, and questions and often do not know how to broach the subject with their partners.

However, this communication is essential for seniors to find physical intimacy in new ways and sometimes needed ways later in life. Using articles, television shows, etc., are an excellent way to begin sexual discussions as a general topic and then lead it into more specific sharing.

See Sex & Communication Guide

How do most seniors get assistance with their sexual questions?

According to a study by the AARP, more people now report consulting health professionals than any other single source of information (37% up from 26% in 1999). Books were the top choice in 1999 and now place second at 30%.

More than twice as many men as in 1999 report ever using some drugs or treatments to address problems with sexual performance (22 percent, up from 10% in 1999).

Becoming A Creative Sexual Senior


Sexual positions can make a big difference as you age. Often sexual situations that you did in your youth create strain on you now. Stress and discomfort will affect your ability to perform sexually, and it is why it is a good idea to give yourself the proper support you need to make sex pleasurable and creative.

Sex Pillows

Even more impressive for seniors are sex pillows that make positioning easier. If erectile dysfunction is an issue, you may want to try sex with the woman on top, as this allows for less of a need for the penis to be fully erect. You can also use strap ons, cockrings, and other sexual enhancement products that will help make the penis stiffer.

Using Creativity

The senior years can be a wonderful time of sexual sharing. Explore sexual play beyond intercourse by holding one another, sensual touching, and kissing to share passionate feelings. Try experimenting with oral sex (Fellatio & Cunnilingus), anal play, prostate massage, and masturbation as ways to connect sexually. If you are creative enough, you will find all kinds of sensual ideas to make your bedroom hot and spicy.

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