When I was young, I thought sex was strictly reserved for young people. Sex with people in their 40s, 50s, 60s and over? Talk with your hands! However, time is ticking for all of us, and as I approach my 40s myself, I have to admit that I was completely wrong. Not only do I still have a strong sex drive and an active love life, but normal sex life in midlife has all sorts of unexpected benefits.
Although our bodies and attitudes change a lot as we age, that doesn't mean people will necessarily stop being interested in sex or stop having sex. A 2017 Trinity College study found that nearly 60 percent of people over the age of 50 are sexually active, and 69 percent of them are weekly or monthly. A third are happy to report tangles between sheets at least three times a week.
These midlife sexuality findings are due in part to the fact that as people age, more people start new relationships, and there is a lot of sex during the "honeymoon period." Middle-aged people today are also more health-conscious than their peers in previous decades, so they are healthier. Either way, this is great news for those looking to continue their intimacy with their partner as they age. However, while the regularity of midlife sex is almost the same as someone in their 20s, there are still some sexual health issues to keep in mind.
Sex in middle age can be as good (or better) as someone in their 20s
Now that I'm older, I have more sexual experiences than I did in my 20s. Not only does more experience lead to a better, more fulfilling sex life, but I also have more confidence in my body. This is a difficult question to explain. I was firmer and leaner, with fewer stretch marks and "signs of life", and my boobs were definitely more perky by then - gravity and age took their toll before breastfeeding. Maybe I just ran out of fucking give. Whatever the reason, I now have less physical hang during sex with my partner than I did in my 20s, closer to my 40s.
Benefits of Regular Sex in Midlife As a bonus, regular sex helps blood flow to the vulva and vagina, keeping this area well-toned and healthy.
People in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and older who start a new relationship often find that other worries fade away, allowing them to simply enjoy good sex. It may no longer be necessary to worry about the risks of pregnancy, or the fact that you own your own house. Midlife and the upcoming golden years are the perfect opportunity for sexual awakening.
Safe sex remains a top priority
The "wobbly" 1960s and "free love" 1970s saw a lot of changes in the way people viewed and enjoyed sex. This sexual revolution saw the "knock on boots" of Alexander Comforts' book "The Pleasure of Sex" become the norm, as young people became obsessed with their newfound sexual freedom. However, for many who ended long-term relationships in the 2000s, it's worth noting that the sexual landscape has changed.
The number of sexually transmitted infections in their 50s is at an all-time high. The increase in sexually transmitted infections may be due to a lack of education about safe sex practices and an increase in older generations using online dating sites. It may be tempting to believe that STIs only affect young people, but this is not the case.
Using a condom or other appropriate barrier method (i.e. dental dam for oral/anal sex) is the most effective way to protect you from STIs. Even if you use barrier protection methods during sexual activity, you should have regular sexual health check-ups at your local genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic to ensure you are maintaining optimal health. For those who think they may have an STI and need to be screened, many GUM clinics offer a confidential walk-in service. To find your nearest sexual health clinic, enter your postcode on the NHS Choices website (UK) or the CDC website (US).
Does menopause herald the end of sex?
Approaching and going through menopause can be a difficult time physically, emotionally and hormonally. People may find that these difficulties extend to their libido, which in turn extends to their sex life.
During and after menopause, you may experience vaginal dryness, which can make vaginal penetration (through a penis or sex toy) uncomfortable or even painful. There are steps you can take to minimize or even eliminate this discomfort.
● Avoid using perfumed products such as sprays, soaps, and body washes in and around the vaginal area
● Do not use vaginal douches, they are not necessary. Vaginal douching can make you drier, they remove healthy protective bacteria, and they disrupt your delicate natural pH balance
● If you start to find it uncomfortable to pass through your penis or your regular sex toys, try a vaginal dilator. Learn more in my guide to vaginismus and vaginal tightening.
● Use a good vagina-specific moisturizer to keep the area nourished
● Invest in a vagina-friendly lubricant to use during solo or partnered sex
Using sex toys to spice up midlife sex
Sex toys are a great way to spice up sex at any point in your life, including your midlife love life. Not only do they offer something new and different in the bedroom, sex toys can often be a tool to help with common sexual problems, especially as you age.
For example: If there is a problem with premature ejaculation, using a penis extension during PiV or anal sex can relieve the penis owner and prolong sex for both partners. Some of these extenders have irritating nodules on the outside, offering exciting new sensations.
Or you might want to consider the very popular penis masturbator designed to "train" a penis to last longer during actual cooperative sex (and tons of fun training sessions in between!).
Maybe you find that your old favorite vibrator just doesn't work for you anymore. You may need more other vibrators. Discover the most powerful vibrator in my related features - and try a new vibrator.
Changing your usual sex toy can also show that you are now responding better to a different style of stimulation. If you've always been a fan of classic vibrators or bunny vibes, try something new with a clitoral vibrator or a vibrating butt plug—whether during masturbation or during sex with your partner.
Regular sex in midlife is good for your health
Sex, including midlife, helps improve heart health, lower blood pressure and release those feel-good hormones, endorphins, which are a natural pain reliever. Studies also show that having regular sex in middle age can make you look an average of 5 to 7 years younger than those who rarely have sex. However, the fatigue and stress of our daily lives mean that libido can be unimaginable. Making sure you get enough sleep and spending time on mindfulness and self-care, as well as your overall health, will not only boost your libido, but will help you look and feel sexier.