By the time you reach your 70th birthday, do you think you’ll still be having sex? It’s not as if there’s a switch for turning your sex drive off. But many people seem to find the thought of elderly sex funny, thinking that you’re not supposed to engage in sex anymore when you’re already old.
But does sex really have an age limit? If so, at what age should you stop having sex? The truth is that elderly people do still engage in sex, and there’s no age limit when it comes to enjoying your sexuality. However, it won’t be the same as when you were still younger. Here’s what you should know about elderly sex.
Sexuality in Old Age
Elderly people may seem too old to do the deed, but they do still enjoy sex and intimacy. A healthy sexuality is an important component of one’s well-being, and elderly people who still get to enjoy intimate relations tend to have a healthier sense of well-being than those who don’t have intimate relationships.
Although one’s sex drive typically declines as one gets older, it doesn’t mean that elderly people stop being interested in sex. For instance, the results of the 2018 National Poll on Healthy Aging indicate that as many as 50% of men aged 65-80 years old are still very much interested in sex.
Studies also indicate that elderly people tend to put more value on intimacy rather on the physical act of sex. Kissing, hugging, cuddling, and even just holding hands are as important as actually engaging in sex, and such intimate activities can also be a source of sexual satisfaction.
Factors That Can Affect Sexual Enjoyment Among the Elderly
For elderly men, low libido and erectile dysfunction are the top two factors that can prevent them from enjoying sex. A low sex drive is a common thing among elderly men, and part of it is due to reduced testosterone production. Erectile dysfunction, on the one hand, may be the result of various medical and psychological factors.
Men who are already in their 60s or older tend to suffer from health conditions that affect penile blood flow and erectile function, such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. In the United States, more than 23 million elderly adults aged 65 years and older are suffering from diabetes. Elderly men who have diabetes have a higher tendency to become impotent.
For older men, diabetes and heart diseases are not the only health factors that can prevent them from fully enjoying their sexuality. Arthritis, gout, joint pain, and back pain are also common health conditions that can limit one’s flexibility and mobility, which means that you won’t be able to move as much as you’d like to during sex.
Elderly men also tend to have a slower sexual response time. If you used to be able to achieve instant hard-ons, as you grow older, it may take your body a little bit longer for you to achieve an erection. You may also need more sexual stimulation before you get a hard-on.
In addition, elderly men also tend to experience weaker erections. And because their pelvic floor muscles are no longer as strong as when they were younger, their orgasm and ejaculation do not feel as intense or strong.
Age-related changes that influence one’s sexual enjoyment are also common among elderly women. Whereas erectile dysfunction is one of the biggest sexual problems for elderly men, older women tend to have problems with their vaginal lubrication.
Vaginal dryness is a common problem even among pre-menopausal women. The tissues that line the vagina may become fragile and dry due to decreased circulating estrogen levels, which is typical during and after menopause.
When the vaginal lining is dry, sexual intercourse can result in irritation, chafing, and even bleeding. This can make sex extremely uncomfortable and painful, which would explain why many women suffering from vaginal dryness often want to avoid having sex altogether.
Just like elderly men, it may also take longer for older women to respond to sexual stimulation. This means that it may take longer, or more sexual stimulation is needed before an older woman’s natural vaginal lubrication kicks in.
And just like the way older men tend to experience weaker erections, older women may not have as much vaginal lubrication as they used to have. Fortunately, this can be easily remedied by using a vaginal lubricant.
Tips for Better Sex When You’re Older
Even with so many factors that can negatively impact your sexual performance, you don’t have to stop engaging in sex when you’re already in your senior years. However, you may need a little help so as to fully enjoy a healthy sex life.
For elderly women, it’s not embarrassing to use a vaginal lubricant. Not only will it help increase your sexual pleasure, but it can also protect you from painful sex due to vaginal dryness. There are also products available to aid women suffering from menopause-related vaginal dryness.
Because our bodies tend to respond more slowly as we get older, it makes a lot of sense to focus and spend more time on foreplay. Take your time. You don’t have to force yourself to get a hard-on or for your partner to become wet.
Rushing things can just cause pressure, and the more pressured and tense you get, the more difficult it is for you to achieve an erection or for your partner to become sexually excited.
Focusing more on foreplay can also help you and your partner become more intimate. Plus, it can also help you broaden your definition of satisfying sex. For many elderly couples, having an orgasm is no longer the goal of sex. Rather, it’s all about intimacy.
For elderly men who really want to be able to engage in penetrative sex, there are also several options to help them achieve stronger erections. Prescription medications like sildenafil may not always be accessible, but herbal alternatives like sex enhancement supplements are plenty and readily available.
Tongkat Ali, for instance, is proven to be safe for elderly men, especially for those who are suffering from late-onset hypogonadism, which is a condition that causes your body to produce very little amounts of testosterone. Not only is Tongkat Ali proven effective in increasing testosterone production, but it’s also great for enhancing your erectile function.