Sex Tips for Older Adults
Sex Over Fifty?
Single again and ready to start dating (and having sex again)? Who are you going to have that conversation with—the one that talks about what sex over fifty is like?
Similarly to when we were preteens, there is a lack of reputable information for older adults about having sex. This was made clear to me in a recent conversation with a newly-divorced woman who’s dating again. She doesn’t know much about sex as an older woman. She not only wants, but truly needs, information.
We discussed her concerns during a recent coaching session. She asked questions about female bodies and male bodies, and voiced concerns I often hear from older women facing intimacy with new partners. The questions range from concerns about body image to what it’s like to have sex again.
Sex Ed Basics for Older Adults
Your Orgasm Is Different
Older women may experience a change in how they orgasm. It can be that an orgasm comes more easily or requires more intense stimulation. What worked when we were younger may not be what works for sex over fifty. Self-pleasuring will help you figure out what your body requires.
Your Body Is Different
Men and women worry about the changes aging brings to our bodies and sexual experiences. Women tend to worry more about body image; men are more focused on performance. You can minimize discomfort by dimming lights, using drapes or wearing sexy tops to cover areas of concern. Just remember that softening, wrinkles and other changes are natural.
Menopause Changes Us
Menopause changes our bodies—genitals as well—how much and how soon varies. Hormonal changes and lack of sex can make penetrative sex feel a little uncomfortable. Begin by self-pleasuring and using fingers or toys to insert in the vagina. Whether partnered or solo, sexual activity is important in keeping all of our tissues and muscles in good working shape.
You Really Need Lube
Use a sexual lubricant. Imagine getting a massage without massage oil. Doesn’t feel good, right? That’s why you need a lubricant, even if you think you don’t. If you experience vaginal dryness, lubricants are essential but may not be enough for sex over fifty. In case of pain, please talk to your gynecologist. Here’s information on a lube primer to help you get started.
A New Partner Needs To Be Trained
If you have a new sex partner remember that he/she does not know your body. You have the opportunity to share what you like, where you like to be touched, and what feels good. It’s important. If the idea of talking about it feels awkward start talking about other things and ease into sex. Ask your new partner how they liked to be touched. It’s a great ‘get to know you’ conversation.
You Are At Risk for STIs
Sexually transmitted infections affect everyone. Take the initiative and buy condoms, or make sure you and a new partner get tested for STIs before having sex. Insist on using condoms. If he refuses, you have the right to refuse to have sex with them. Why? His refusal is selfish and not respectful of your concerns.
Here’s why many older men resist: 1) Condoms today are more sensitive than they were when we were dating decades ago. 2) Men who worry about erections worry about using condoms—it’s difficult to put a condom on a slightly limp penis. They also worry that delaying even a bit can cause that erection to go away.
Slow and Steady
Practice slower sex. Slow sex is more fun and may be helpful if issues like vaginal pain, erectile dysfunction or other issues arise. As we age women need more time to become aroused. This means more exploratory play and touch, kissing, caresses—all the things that give us pleasure. Make pleasure the main goal of intimacy and consider the orgasm as a bonus.
The Bottom Line
Having sex for the first time with a new person can be a little unnerving. It can also be fabulous! I find that a conversation about sex, including the talk about testing and condoms, is a great way to get a sense of a prospective partner. It’s a time to talk about what you want and what you enjoy. The process gives you a little more control and sets the stage for you to have the kind of experience you want.