Tips for Seniors: Enjoying a Healthy Sex Lifeby Eileen Bailey Health Writer
Sex is important in a relationship at any age. A healthy sex life not only has physical benefits: increased circulation, releasing endorphins that can help reduce pain, it is also helps emotionally. Sex can help reduce anxiety and provide you with an overall sense of well-being. But sex is also important for intimacy and feeling emotionally connected with another person. While your sex life will be different at age 60 or 70 or 80 than it was at 20, you can still enjoy an active sex life and may find you enjoy a sexual relationship more now than when you were younger.
The following tips can help you continue to enjoy an active and healthy sex life, no matter what your age:
Communication is important when you are young and still important during your adult and senior years. Let your partner know what you like and don't like. Because sensations may change with age, even a partner you have been with for years may not be aware that something that once felt good no longer does or vice versa. You want to please you partner and he wants to please you. The best way to do that is to continue (or start) to talk about your needs, wants and desires.
Consider health reasons if you have an unsatisfying sexual relationship. Before giving up or deciding that you just don't need sex anymore, think about medical conditions which may be interfering with yours or your partner's ability to enjoy a sexual relationship. Depression, stress and menopause all have a direct effect on your sexual desires. Many medications may also reduce sexual desire. Arthritis may make some positions painful. Receiving the proper treatment and talking to your doctor about possible sexual side effects of medication is the first step.
Experiment with new positions. There may be some sexual positions that are just not comfortable anymore. Now is a great time to try different positions and talk about how you and your partner feel. You might find the woman on top is better, especially if erectile dysfunction is an issue, even though this was not a position you traditionally enjoyed. Find what makes you and your partner feel satisfied.
Make sure to take care of your physical and emotional wellbeing. Exercising, eating right and using relaxation techniques can help you feel healthier. Being healthy, physically and emotionally, will allow you to enjoy an active sex life.
Change your sexual patterns to fit your lifestyle. You may find that you and your partner have more energy and are more open to sex in the morning, even if you have always enjoyed sex before going to sleep. Don't fret the changes but adapt to what works best for you. For some, the frequency of sex never changes, for other couples, it may become less often but just as satisfying. Remember there is no right or wrong number of times to have sex weekly or monthly, but be sure both you and your partner are comfortable with the frequency.
Accept your changing bodies. Sometimes, shame or embarrassment over how your body looks can make you shy away from sex. Eating right and exercise can help but won't stop the aging process altogether. Accept that your body changes and be sure to continue to participate in other activities to keep your self-esteem intact. Let your partner know that you still appreciate and like his body, just the way it is; if you are feeling insecure, he may be as well. You may just hear back how much he still loves yours
Add more touching to your sex life. Older men usually need more touching to get and hold an erection, women need more touching to get lubricated. Spend more time on foreplay, cuddling, touching and kissing to help your bodies respond.
If vaginal dryness is a problem, use a lubricant. Dryness can cause sex to be uncomfortable or even painful. There are many over-the-counter lubricants available to alleviate the dryness. Experiment with different types of lubricants to find out what gives you the most enjoyment.
Understand that men may take longer to have an erection and to ejaculate. Adding more foreplay can often help. If erectile dysfunction is a problem, talk with your doctor about your options. With different medications and treatments available, ED no longer means an end to your sex life.
Find other non-sexual ways to build your emotional connection. There is no doubt that spending time with one another, sharing activities and being romantic all help to make you feel connected to your partner. As you age, these shared experiences are just as important as they were when you were younger. Find ways to keep the "spark" in your relationship.