How is sex in old age for men & women? Which tools are popular? Basenio.de spoke to a sex therapist and an operator of an online erotic shop about physical love in older people.
Do you think a fulfilling sex life is only for young women and men? You could be wrong about that. Many older people over the age of 60 confess that they only came to enjoy a truly fulfilling sex life in old age.
Because once the youthful pressure to perform is gone, you will consciously focus on what your partner and yourself really like in bed. Sex is by no means a question of age, it still plays a major role in our lives at 50, 60 or 70 years of age.
According to a study published in the British Medical Journal in 2010, a whopping 39% of men between the ages of 75 and 85 are still sexually active. For women, however, the proportion in this age group is significantly lower at just under 17%. Especially people who fall in love all over again in old age spend intimate hours together. But even a sleepy love life with your long-term partner can be revived with some advice and tips.
The true journey of discovery is not about exploring new landscapes, but about seeing old things with new eyes. – Quote from Marcel Proust
Love life in old age
Basenio.de spoke to Christina Graefe , a systemic sex therapist, couple counselor and alternative practitioner for psychotherapy, about sexuality in old age. In her own practice in Wiesbaden she advises couples and single people, writes a blog and gives lectures and group seminars on personal development. Many obstacles and problems arise in people as a result of age-typical changes in the body.
Christina Graefe confirms: “In this age group, erectile dysfunction in men and a lack of lubrication, i.e. moistening of the vagina, in women occur most frequently, which makes spontaneous sexuality more difficult. Of course, younger people occasionally struggle with these problems too. In the middle of life, however, the number of those affected increases by leaps and bounds, which is primarily due to hormonal causes. “
The therapist knows that these changes can lead to misjudgments in sexual behavior. “However, many people interpret the symptoms in such a way that they simply no longer feel like having their partner and as a result neglect their sex life together, resort to sexual enhancers or seek other stimulants.
Of course, this is usually not so good for the couple. When these people come to me, I first try to get them in the mood that everything is fine with both of them, but that they should acknowledge that their bodies and thus their sexuality have changed over time. So now it’s about discovering a new, age-appropriate sexuality. “
Changes in men with age
Age-related changes occur in men around the age of 40. The proportion of the male sex hormone, testosterone, drops in the blood level, which means that an erection develops more slowly than at a young age.
If in the past the mere sight of your partner was enough for an erection, now longer and stronger stimulation is necessary. Erectile dysfunction often occurs precisely because a man is afraid that he will no longer be able to fully satisfy the sexual needs of his partner. The gradual decline in sexual abilities is quite natural in men and no cause for shame at all.
By talking openly with your partner about the potency problems, you can put away your fears and become more relaxed and intimate again. Aids can also be used against erectile problems. The medical contact person should then be an andrologist.
Probably the best known medical aid is “Viagra”. The little blue pill came on the market in 1998 and brings in billions of dollars a year for manufacturer Pfitzer. But natural remedies such as maca, capsaicin, arginine or saffron extract are also supposed to contribute to a more fulfilling sex life in old age.
Changes in women with age
With the onset of menopause, the woman does not have a monthly menstrual period and the ovaries slowly cease to function. This also means that less estrogen is produced, which makes the vaginal lining thinner. Many women now struggle with vaginal dryness, which can lead to pain during sex.
The libido – i.e. sexual pleasure – is little affected by these physical changes, but rather depends on psychosocial factors. In principle, women retain their desire for sex into old age.
However, taking certain medications can also decrease the desire for sex. The greatest fear of women over 50 is not the sexual act itself, but the fear of no longer appearing attractive to the partner.
This is the conclusion reached by Elisabeth Drimalla in her book “Cupid does not age: couple relationships and sexuality in old age”. However, some women also see the changes during menopause as very positive, because the elimination of the menstrual period means that contraception is no longer an issue, which leads to new freedom and more informal sex.
Christina Graefe knows about age-typical changes and the associated sexual needs. “From a biological point of view, it is clear that the human body in women stops producing sex hormones sometime between the fifth and sixth decade of life and thus ends their ability to reproduce.
In men, this remains longer, but also decreases significantly and gradually around the middle of life. This results in a decrease in libido and sexual functions, which are ‘no longer needed’ from now on. At least that’s how evolutionary biologists see it, ”explains the expert.
In nature, the majority of this loss is also associated with the approaching end of life. “As far as we know, most living things on our planet only survive the loss of their reproductive capacity for a short time – with the exception of killer whales, short-finned pilot whales and humans,” says Christina Graefe and draws attention to another peculiarity of humans.
“We have another special feature: the female has a sexual organ with the clitoris that has no function in terms of reproduction. It serves solely to gain pleasure in women.
So one can certainly ask oneself whether sexuality is ‘naturally’ only something for young, reproductive living beings, or whether, for example, the stigmatization of lust through religion, social convention and / or other ideologies have not contributed to the fact that older ones People often feel so self-conscious about sex that they no longer allow their mature lust. “
Differences between young and old
The physical changes usually also bring new sexual behaviors with them. While in younger years the idea of performance was often formative during sex, in later years it is more the sensuality.
“In our younger years, the sexual functions usually work spontaneously and without great external effort, which enables us, for example, to do the legendary ‘quickies’ that many people associate with good sex, reveals Christina Graefe.
“In later years this is no longer possible because of the delayed sexual reaction – quite apart from the fact that you may not be able to lift your loved one so easily and toss them onto the sideboard.
Put simply, the essential difference between adolescent and mature sexuality is that we experience sex more drive-oriented at a young age, while later on we have and need more time to concentrate on the details of the sexual encounter, “explains the sex therapist.
This also shifts the motives for physical love among us humans. “The orgasm is gradually becoming less important as the sole ‘goal’ of all sexual endeavor. It is replaced by a broader spectrum of possibilities for sexual activity, which I like to summarize under the term ‘intimacy’.
That means, if I really want to become intimate with another person, I can only do that if I trust that person and the moment and what will emerge from it. It’s like holding hands, closing your eyes and running. In any case, this is the opposite of our usual, systematic approach to sex, which is fixated on orgasm. Of course, it is still welcome, but only as one of many possibilities, ”says Christina Graefe.
Sex is good for your health
In old age, symptoms such as diabetes, nerve and hormonal disorders are unfortunately not uncommon. In addition, taking drugs that are supposed to lower high blood pressure often also decreases sexual desire. Christina Graefe knows, however, that regular sex in old age has considerable positive effects on the human body.
“I would even go so far as to claim that sex is almost something of a panacea.” She refers to research results that have dealt with the subject. “In any case, it has been proven that regular, satisfying sex has a positive effect on overall well-being because it helps reduce stress, balance blood pressure and hormone levels, and promote the immune system, metabolism, prostate health and tissue elasticity. In addition, it helps against headaches and insomnia. “
Single people do not have to do without these effects. “Singles do not have to feel disadvantaged here, by the way – beautiful sex with oneself also offers the same health benefits. The body makes no difference, ”explains the sex therapist.
Sexual contact also improves the blood supply to the genitals in men. In women, having sex regularly helps maintain vaginal elasticity and the ability to orgasm. This prevents painful sex, which can often occur after prolonged sexual inactivity.