For many people in later life the desire to be physically and intimately close to a loved one might be just as strong as ever. And, whilst ‘intimacy’ will mean very different things to different couples, some people over the age of 75 still wish to have just as active a sex life as they enjoyed in younger years. Fortunately, for many, this presents few, if any, problems but for others, the ageing process and medical concerns may mean changes and adjustments to enable a couple to still enjoy their most intimate moments.
A woman may experience many changes in her sexual organs as she gets older. With age, the vagina narrows and shortens and the vaginal walls become stiffer and a little thinner. This, in turn, often means that women will be able to produce less natural lubrication to facilitate sex with her partner but, providing there is no correlation between vaginal dryness and how a woman feels emotionally towards sex and/or her partner, then alternative forms of lubrication will often make intercourse easier. For men, they often suffer impotence as they get older. This means that they’ll experience difficulty getting and maintaining an erection. Whilst this can be sometimes solely put down to the natural ageing process, it can also be a result of other medical problems they are experiencing such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes alongside any of the medications they are taking to alleviate these conditions. Impotence can be treated by the drug Viagra. However, given that there may also be other underlying factors such as those mentioned above, it’s important that you speak with your GP first before taking Viagra or any other medication to help with impotence. For both men and women, other conditions such as arthritis, stroke, incontinence, emotional issues and other forms of chronic pain can also have a marked effect on a couple’s sex life so speak to your GP if either or both of you have any medical concerns with regard to this matter.
Keeping Your Sex Life Alive
If neither of you are hampered by any form of medical condition, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your sex life alive in later years. The most important thing is to communicate openly. Being intimate and close to one another and talking about any problems you might be facing and helping each other along in life in general is crucially important in establishing the foundations upon which you can still both enjoy an active sex life. It’s also equally important for both of you to understand each other’s needs and desires and to be sure that both of you understand the other’s idea of what you want your sex life to be like. If you’re experiencing problems that are not specifically health related, you can still spice up your sex life by experimenting with different positions and having sex at different times of the day and spontaneity will always be a factor as there’s no greater pressure than when sex becomes routine and at a set time. Different positions can also help when either or both of you suffer from certain physical ailments such as arthritis, for example, where a certain might be so painful when you’re having sex but by altering that position, you might find that you can enjoy sex without experiencing pain. And remember, that good sex doesn’t simply have to end in penetration. There are plenty of other ways you can enjoy your sex life without having full sexual intercourse.
It’s important not to get frustrated, embarrassed or to feel as though you are letting your partner down if you experience changes and difficulties when having sex as you get older. You need to remain sympathetic and supportive of each other if either of you start to have difficulties when having sex, be them emotionally or physically based. Talk openly to each other and also to your GP if you’re concerned.
Other General Advice
As with people of all ages, sex is more enjoyable if you are on top of your health in general. So, maintain a healthy weight, keep physically active and avoid smoking and excess alcohol as both of those can hamper sexual drive and performance. You don’t need to be having sex every day but if you both have a similar level of sex drive, it’s far easier to maintain a good sex life if you are having sex regularly – and ‘regularly’ can mean different things to different couples, so whether it’s every day, once a week or once a month, keeping sexually active on a regular basis means it’s far less likely for you to encounter problems as opposed to trying to ‘relight the fire’ if you haven’t had sex for quite a while.
Finally, it goes without saying that sexually transmitted diseases can happen to anybody, no matter how old you are so, adopt the same attitude to safe sex as you would have done in your younger years.