Sex and the sixties
We all know that folks of our generation invented sex in the 1960s. But how’s your sex life now? Whilst some people of our age enjoy great sex others have problems.
As a psychologist and therapist, I see three main factors at play in the quality of a person’s sex life. These are physical health, mental attitude and social factors. Inevitably our bodies change and mature with age. This doesn’t have to be negative though.
We all need a good diet, fresh air and a reasonable amount of exercise at any age. Adjusting to retirement can be a challenge for some. Although others welcome it.
Retirement or reduced working hours can increase time available to cook healthy meals, exercise etc. We all experience stress throughout life. We should of course avoid excessive stress at any age. Spending time on the things that we enjoy can help as well as maintaining a supportive network of friends and family.
Some people experience maturity as a time of improving health.
Maturity can bring unwanted changes however. With age some males find that erections take longer to occur and recovery time between them may lengthen. Sexual desire may decrease. Testosterone levels drop with age usually stabilising around the age of 60.
Cardio-vascular disease or diabetes can affect sexual performance so it’s important to speak to your doctor to rule these out.
Some prescribed medications interfere with the male sexual response. A change of medication may be possible. So ‘a discussion with the individual’s doctor could produce a solution.
At a mental level worry about decreasing performance could lead to a vicious circle of worry, worsening performance, more worry. Psychotherapy can be useful in this situation.
Some females worry about becoming less attractive to their partner. Or experience vaginal dryness. My experience as a female and a therapist suggests that we live in a time which increasingly celebrates the mature woman. Although we need to take care of our health and looks as we age. There are an increasing number of products and services to help us.
Vaginal dryness can have both physical and mental causes. Help is available in both situations.
Health problems don’t mean an end to good sex. Many people with ongoing health conditions still enjoy their sex lives. In some instances, with adjustments. In fact, remaining sexually active as we mature has health benefits both physical and mental.
Sex is about give and take as are all aspects of a relationship. Couples who take a co-operative attitude to sex generally have few problems.
Beliefs and mental attitude play a vital role in an enjoyable sex life. I think this is particularly so for mature people. Some people expect their sexual desires to wane after the age of 40,50 or 60. But why should they and why would they?
This probably relates to parental attitudes. Or comments they’ve heard at a young age. There isn’t a cut off point for sex be it solo sex (masturbation) or partner sex.
Good sex is a natural and healthy pleasure that we are all entitled to at any age.
Here’s the icing on the cake. Sex can get better as we mature. We may have more time available to make love and experiment. Whilst male orgasms become slower to arrive female ones become faster. Clearly a bonus.
Like good wine people mature. Maturity brings with it confidence, self-knowledge and empathy. Good qualities for maintaining or entering sexual relationships.
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