Sexuality, sensuality and the urge to love and be loved don’t fade with age.Our sex-life changes as we age, but it doesn’t disappear! In fact, most Canadians over 65 are sexually active and say that sex is important to them.
Our sexuality is not just what we do, or how often we do it. Our sexuality includes how we think, how we feel and how we act. It is a natural and important part of living and enjoying life. Our pattern of sexual activity does not change much with age. If you were sexually active in your younger years, you will probably continue to be sexually active as you grow older – though health situations may change the way that you express your sexuality.
Most adults – at 50 and at 80 – are sexually active
Most adults – as they transition into their middle and late years – are sexually active. However, our approach to sex, like our approach to many other activities and passions, may change and mature as we grow older. On the one hand, our bodies are changing and may be a bit slower to react; on the other hand, we may have more time to give to ourselves and to our intimate relationships. Plus we often have a wealth of experienceto bring to our sex lives. Many older couples say they enjoy sex more now than they did when they were younger.
Intimacy and Sex – The Mind and The Body
Sex, at all ages, involves both “equipment” and “attitude.” It’s about both body and mind. Maintaining our sexual health as we age often involves adapting our expectations. We can’t expect exactly the same kinds of sexual responses and performances that we had when we were younger. Acceptance – of how our bodies and lives are changing as we age – is an important part of aging with grace, passion and dignity.
Physical intimacy is not just about penetration and can take many forms. Cuddling, kissing, masturbation, long walks and talks, massage and oral and manual stimulation all contribute to sexual expression and intimacy.
Older people do need and want to express their sexuality. It is still an important part of life, no matter what age we have achieved. Ignoring the importance of sexual expression denies a basic human need. Open communication, acceptance, knowledge and creativity can be more important than rock hard breasts and penises in maintaining sexual health.
Understand it. Enjoy it
Of course, every person and every relationship is different. As you age, you may encounter some challenges and delights that are specific to your own life and circumstances and others that are a very common part of the aging process. Understanding how sexual responses change with aging can help you continue to enjoy a rich and satisfying sex-life.