As if the insult of sagging skin and forgetfulness weren’t enough, the fact that sexy time can become a little more…complicated…as we age can really feel like a rather bitter cherry on top.
So to speak.
We find it hard…cough…to talk to our partners about sexual satisfaction, and in adults aged between 50 and 65, less than 35% will mention how they feel about what is, or isn’t, going on. This shyness can cause some very real and unspoken heartache.
It’s not only between partners.
Studies show that only 1 adult in 3 will talk to their family doctor about issues in the bedroom, even though I feel certain that that may actually be the best part of a local GPs rather dull day.
After all, a snotty nosed four-year-old has to be less interesting than a 60-year-old man describing that he only maintains an erection if his 60-year-old wife fornicates with a rubber chicken first. Doctors may be trained not to judge, but that doesn’t mean they don’t think.
As we age, physical and psychological factors can start to get in the way of us getting off. Hormonal changes, concerns about our appearance and outright boredom all play a part. When you have counted every mole on each other’s backs, is their anything left to discover?
Well, yes, actually.
With the invention of no longer giving a toss (again, so to speak) about what others think, health professionals all over the planet are bringing senior sex out of the bedroom and into the spotlight.
Tips on positions, especially for those with tricky knees and cranky joints, are all over the internet.
Spooning position allows for no pressure on elbows and knees, a lowish chair without armrests allows for a bit of 80’s soft porn style action, where the partner on top controls the pace, and good old missionary position, with a few minor adjustments to allow for weight distribution, are all on the menu. You may not be as fast nor as nimble as you once were, but why are you in a hurry anyway? Have you retired? Will the garden survive another hour without water? I think so.
And speaking of things getting wet.
Stop worrying about wet areas immediately. Lubricants of every flavour and colour can be bought at most supermarkets and at all chemists. Do you really care what the 16-year-old checkout chick thinks as she swipes your groceries? Again, her life has been pretty shite lately, at least give her a good story and buy a double pack, just in case. If you want a proper reaction, ask her if it’s on special. If you really can’t face that, online it is.
Boredom can be a very real factor, and is difficult to talk to a long-term partner about. You haven’t stopped loving them, you just have eaten your fill of that particular sandwich. Don’t let the sadness silence you. Try instigating a bit of sexy time at an unexpected time (before lunch, for example) or an unexpected place. Try not to get arrested, but also try a good old kiss and a cuddle in a place you normally wouldn’t. It doesn’t mean you have to get naked in the local library. At a certain point we all recognise that intimacy goes well beyond penetration, and as the skin is the largest organ in of the body, try stimulating that first with the kind of touch all humans crave. Foreplay isn’t just a means to an end.
Drop all of your expectations of what it ‘should’ be, and enjoy what is. Just like you know that the lines on your face show the life you have led, and that every grey hair has been earned, you need to know that all love making is good. Buy some toys, or a sexy bit of clothing, no matter how you think it looks, and see what happens. If you have a laugh, but no one orgasms, what have you lost? Stop thinking about what ‘used to be’ or what you think ‘has to be’ and just be. If you both muck around for 15 minutes and then fall asleep with the light on, has any harm been done? Did you spend intimate time together? Did you connect? Isn’t that also called making love?
Banging like a 25-year-old is something that is really amazing for 25-year-olds.
Banging like a 75-year-old is also great, especially when you are 75, even if it requires a certain number of pharmaceuticals and pillows. Unless you are being paid to do it, and all power to you if you are, then the WAY you do it is purely between you and your consenting partner. The only other person you may want to consult may be your doctor, on account of the fact that they are trained to recommend the right pillow and can provide the appropriate pharmaceuticals, if need be.
The last thing that needs to be mentioned is protection. Yes, seriously. As we explained in a previous article here on My Grey Nomads, www.mygreynomads.com/doctor-what-is-this-red-thing-on-my , sexually transmitted diseases among the over 50s have become a rampant problem worldwide.
New partners, new situations, new outbreaks. There is a retirement village in the U.S.A where over 70% of the residents were confirmed with an outbreak of Gonorrhoea all traced to one, clearly rampant, man.
STDs in the grey nomad population are not as much fun as tennis, but are far more popular.
If you are one of the 60% of over 55s finding yourself on the ‘open market’, wrap it up. Every time.
And if you are worried about your sex life, no matter what age you are, stop hiding it. Intimacy is a human need. Speak up. Find a quiet time to talk to your partner about it. If you are single, buy some ‘toys’ or tools to help you reconnect to yourself. You may be amazed to discover new things about yourself. Speak to a professional, let them help you. Don’t give up or give in to thinking that that part of you is dead. You are worth it.
Links for great articles about sex for over 50s: