There’s a very common misconception out there about sex and aging, particularly that as people get older, their desires fade – and eventually older people stop having sex altogether.
This is totally incorrect!
For many women, life after middle age – and even life after menopause – is when they feel the most sexually empowered. This happens for a range of reasons, some physical and some psychological, and we’ll get into those in a moment. The point is that the misconception about age and sexuality also affects the people who believe it to be true, even if their own bodies tell them otherwise.
Equipped with some of this information, and hopefully inspired to confidence with the knowledge that they are not alone, women over 50 can have the most satisfying sex of their lives!
This isn’t just true for women, of course, but for our purposes today (and because women’s sexuality is often more complex then men’s) we’ll focus our attention there.
Because of changing body chemistry, menopause can certainly cause some complications for many women, from changing desires and emotional ups and downs, to physical symptoms that can cause discomfort and even pain during sex (or just arousal). Fortunately, though, there are solutions to these problems – namely maintaining physical health and maintaining some sexual activity!
The physical problems that some women experience – between 17% and 45%, according the North American Menopause Society – are largely related to reduced blood flow and deteriorating tissue. When they experience this discomfort, the natural response is, of course, to avoid sex because it doesn’t feel good.
The real solution, however, is to basically have as much sex as you can – or at least engage in sexually stimulating activity. It will help increase blood flow and keep tissue healthy. Avoiding sex can actually make the problems worse as tissue continues to deteriorate. There are also a variety of prescription and over-the-counter products that can help!
Now, aside from these potential hang ups on the physical side of things, the mental and emotional components of a woman’s sex drive (and satisfaction) can actually be at their strongest as she crests middle age. There are a few key reasons for this:
• Freedom – By the time most women reach their 50s or 60s, their kids are grown and out of the house, they may be at a place in their careers that they don’t have to worry too much about finances, maybe they’re even retired or semi-retired…
All of this adds up to more freedom – whether that’s having more of a budget for romantic getaways with a spouse, not worrying about kids coming home and interrupting an afternoon romp, or just fewer responsibilities to stop you from spending a whole weekend in the bedroom…
• Self-Awareness – As we grow older, we tend to shed our insecurities, get more in touch with our own needs and interests, and generally just become more comfortable in our skin. This makes all the difference in terms of sexual satisfaction. When you know yourself and know what you want, you feel that much more empowered to speak up about it, to pursue it, and to do so with poise and confidence.
Emotions are an important part of female sexuality, and the self-awareness that can come with age helps prevent things like anxiety and self-consciousness that can be barriers to sexual satisfaction for many younger women.
Simply being more “grown up” about the whole thing can help women achieve the best sex of their lives!
• Conscious Effort – This goes hand in hand with the other two factors, particularly increased self-awareness and confidence, but these women are also more likely to understand the need to make sex and marriage a priority in their lives. They likely have the relationship experience to understand the work they need to put in to keep their marriages strong – and because they do put in the effort, their marriages (and with it, their sex lives) are that much more satisfying!
As mentioned above, some of the menopausal symptoms that make sex unpleasant can be combatted by making the effort to engage in more sexual activity, including other activities that aren’t necessarily having sex (be it foreplay or any other activity that gets your body working in that way). For those women who feel comfortable in their own skin, and who have built strong, open, communicative marriages, testing these waters doesn’t pose as much of a challenge because of the trust and intimacy they have with their husbands. They have the confidence to identify a problem and take steps to addressing it.
Don’t let misconceptions fool you – a healthy sex life has no age limit, and the physical changes that come aging don’t have to be a barrier to a healthy, happy, satisfying marriage.