Sex in your 50s and 60s shouldn’t be a distant memory
Do you hark back to those carefree days in your twenties when a roll in the hay was as much a part of your life as Friday night clubbing? Believe me, ladies, great sex doesn’t need to be a distant memory.
Remember when sex was exciting and passionate? Before kids came along, before the responsibility of your career took over or organising the family schedule, there was such thrill in those bedroom antics. However, as women hit the menopause and beyond, getting it on with their partner may feel like another chore that gets relegated to the bottom of their to-do list.
Ladies, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are so many benefits associated with re-lighting your fire in your 50s and 60s, with endless scientific evidence pointing to the fact that sex in later life is great for both your mental and physical health.
WHAT’S GONE WRONG?
Loss of libido as we age is totally normal. The menopause brings with it a decrease in hormone levels. Physically, this leads to the thinning of the vaginal wall, causing loss of elasticity and dryness and making sex uncomfortable or even painful. Emotionally it can bring feelings of loss for those struggling to deal with the end of their child-bearing years and many fall for the stereotype that society equates sexual attraction with youth.
It’s also worth remembering that older generations struggle to discuss intimate matters. In fact, research carried out by Relate discovered the majority of people aged over 65 weren’t comfortable talking openly to anyone about sex, citing embarrassment as the top reason.
SO WHAT’S THE GOOD NEWS?
Think of this as a new and exciting phase. As the children fly the nest you have the chance to
reconnect with your partner, re-acquainting yourself with each other’s bodies and making more time for romance.
Within a long-term marriage, a healthy sex life helps us feel physically and emotionally connected; while for those starting new relationships, that feeling of being “wanted” can be a great boost for your self-esteem. A recent survey by mature dating app Ourtime found more than 40% of those over 50 were more comfortable in their own skin and confident about their looks than ever before.
So while you and your partner may need to be more patient with each other – orgasm can take longer to reach, for example – you can see this as an opportunity to try new things and feel good about your new-found freedom.
THE BENEFITS OF SEX IN YOUR 50s & 60s
Sex increases dopamine, which is linked to our natural reward system, and oxytocin to promote positive feelings of attachment and trust. It also boosts testosterone levels in both men and women and decreases cortisol, which signals stress.
A safe and loving relationship is associated with fewer symptoms of depression and physical activity is related to greater life satisfaction. A 2013 Social Indicators Research report found that those who got jiggy with it a couple of times each week were 33% happier than those who’d had no sex in the past year.
Because orgasms are known to lower your blood pressure low and give you a rush of the hormone prolactin they can help you sleep better.
And according to research by neuropsychologist David Weeks from the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, mature couples who have sex three times a week look up to ten years younger, possibly due to the fact they pay more attention to their appearance, diet and exercise.