Why you should enjoy better sex with age (and how you can!)
Worried your sex life is flagging? Or has it never really got going? Find out why you should enjoy better sex with age, and how you can.
Before I launch into my sexual journey (and share tips on how you can enjoy better sex with your partner as you get older), I suppose I should tell you a little about myself.
I’m happily married with three children, and I write sexual health and pleasure articles for the sex toy website Jo Divine, which I co-founded with my husband.
I also write articles for other online magazines and, with a nursing background, I work with healthcare professionals who recommend our products and our articles to help their patients enjoy better sex lives.
Why was I inspired to share my advice with you?
As a woman heading towards 50, I want to dispel the common view that by the time you hit your 40s your sex life will be non existent. At the age of 20 I was clueless about sex, men and my body. Now, I’m a mature woman who has overcome sexual health issues, loves sex and knows what I like.
As someone who writes informative sex articles I get frustrated at the negative stories about being perimenopausal and menopausal. There are so many things you can do to have a better sex life, but many women either haven’t experienced good sex or just don’t like it. And, rather than exploring ways to overcome any sexual problems they may have, they give up.
I think that’s a shame – and your sex life doesn’t have to end that way.
Many women who experience a wide range of sexual problems, from decreased libido, vaginal tightness and vaginal dryness, still enjoy sex because they have discovered new ways in which to enjoy sexual intimacy and pleasure.
I’m finally enjoying great sex – and I want you to too
I haven’t always enjoyed good sex. My sex education was very limited, and the few boyfriends I had before my husband were pretty much as inept at sex as me. I cannot recall any of them being good in bed, but then again, I didn’t know what was good or bad!
When first met my husband, aged 23, sex still wasn’t always brilliant – thanks in part to various medical conditions. However, thanks to the discovery of YES organic lubricants, and some of the wisdom I’m about to share with you, today, in my 40s I am finally enjoying great sex.
Here’s the advice I’d like to share with you, so you can enjoy the same.
Have more sex
My first piece of advice is very simple – have more sex! Though I admit at the end of a long day running around after children and working, it can seem a pretty tall order.
It can be hard work motivating yourself to have sex sometimes, especially if you are tired or don’t feel in the mood, but it’s important to maintain your intimacy as a couple and keep the spark alive.
Sex isn’t just about penetration – foreplay, cuddling and kissing count too. And sexual intimacy doesn’t just make you feel good; it also offers numerous benefits to your health, both mental and physical, from releasing feel good endorphins, reducing stress, boosting your immunity, improving your sleep and making you look younger, in addition to warding off sexual dysfunction problems. It even counts as exercise!
And as a number of studies show (plus anecdotal stories like this couple who had sex every day for a year) the more sex you have, the more you want. So pretty soon you’ll be looking forward to your nightly romp!
Talk to your partner about sex
Sex therapists often say that the reason couples experience relationship problems is because they don’t communicate well. And many couples never talk about sex at all.
But if you never discuss sex – what you like, what you don’t like – how can you expect to have a satisfying sex life? So rather than lying there in silence when you would really love your breasts to be touched, tell your partner!
Most men find responsiveness a greater turn on than the way you look, and would much rather touch you in ways that will bring you pleasure and vice versa. So if you’d love better sex, start talking about the S word with your partner. It may feel awkward at first, but your courage will be more than rewarded.
(If you don’t know how to start talking about sex with your partner, read these tips from the NHS.)
Stop faking orgasms
Just as you need to let your partner know what you like and don’t like, you have to stop pretending you’re enjoying what your partner is doing when you’re really making a shopping list in your head! If you don’t, how will they know to do anything different?
If you fake orgasms, as 67% of women say they do, your partner will simply (and logically) assume you’re enjoying what they’re doing, and continue to do it that way.
So be honest and fair with your partner, and show appreciation when they’re doing something you like, and keep quiet when they’re not. Even better, gently guide them and show them what you do like, so they don’t have to read your mind.
We all love to be appreciated, and to know we’re satisfying our partner, so make sure you give your partner honest feedback.
Don’t let sex become boring
Nearing 50, I finally know what I’m doing when it comes to sex. I know what I like, what turns me off and how to bring pleasure to myself and my husband.
Like any couple in a long term relationship (we’ve been together for over 27 years, and married for nearly 20), we can sometimes find it hard to keep the passion alive.
Sometimes your sexual needs and desires can change, and what may have turned you on a few years ago may no longer work. Or you may simply have become bored over time with the same tried and trusted routine.
So keep things spicy by trying new positions, locations (booking a weekend away without the kids can be a great opportunity to revive a flagging sex life) and even toys.
But if you do decide to experiment with sex toys or other equipment, choose carefully. Ensure you use pH balanced sexual lubricants – many commercial lubricants and even some available on prescription, contain glycerin and glycols, both of which are vaginal irritants. So my advice is check the label before you buy or ask your GP before they write a prescription.
Jelly, rubber or latex sex toys should be avoided at all costs as they are porous, making them difficult to clean. They also contain chemicals which can leach out into your body. Instead opt for skin safe products made from silicone, glass, metal or ABS plastic.
Switch the chatter off in your head
With so much to juggle – kids, home, work, family, friends, the shopping… it can be hard to switch your brain off to really enjoy sex. When this happens to me I give myself a shake and focus on the pleasurable sensations running through my body. And try NOT to worry whether I’ve done the packed lunches for my children (they’re really old enough to do their own now, I need to let go, they won’t starve)!
The same goes for checking social media before bed – another big passion killer. Put your phone down and turn off the TV or computer.
Recent research by the University of British Columbia and the University of Virginia (2016) found that a whooping 1 in 10 people check their phone during sex! That doesn’t do much for sexual pleasure or the confidence of your partner. So turn off any distractions – in your head or your hands – and focus on the job at hand.
Sex is (usually) a two-player game. So make sure you’re playing your part. You can’t complain that your sex life isn’t up to much if you’re simply lying there waiting for it to be over.
Instead, take control. If you’re enjoying what’s happening let your partner know, and reciprocate. If not, or you’d like to try something else, take the lead and show them. You probably won’t have any complaints!
Need some ideas? Here are seven sex moves that put you in control from Women’s Health.
Deal with sexual health issues
I experienced vaginismus (vaginal tightness) during my 20s and 30s but didn’t tell my partner for fear of letting him down sexually.
When he found out he was sad that he had caused me pain, and that I had put up with it so he could enjoy sexual pleasure. So now, if it feels uncomfortable, I tell him and we stop.
But many women and men endure bad sex to placate their partners. Sex should never be painful, so seek medical advice if you think there’s a problem. Don’t let embarrassment hold you back, your GP has heard everything during their career and will be sympathetic and diplomatic.
If you find they aren’t helpful, ask to see another GP. But don’t put off dealing with any discomfort sexual health issues – for your own health as much as your sex life.
Love your body
Like many women I have fixated upon the way I look, driven by social expectation and the celebrity culture touted in the press every day.
I’ve had three children (I still blame my tummy on our youngest child who is 13!) and have had weight issues in the past. But I’ve now found the right balance, eating healthily, drinking alcohol occasionally and taking regular exercise. I’ve also discovered the right way to dress for my shape too. I quite like the way I look now, something I probably wouldn’t have said five years ago.
But you don’t have to be built like a supermodel to be hot in bed – you just have to love your body. Lying there sucking in your tummy means you’re not concentrating on the sex and what’s happening to your body. And you’re certainly not giving way to abandon and enjoying it.
It’s also pointless fretting about how you look naked. Most men don’t give a stuff about that, but they do love confidence. And while you’re fixating on all the ways you think you’re not perfect, they’re admiring the dimple on your chin, your lovely curves or your generous bottom.
Don’t you deserve to enjoy your sex life?
I don’t believe anyone should put up with a bad, or even lacklustre sex life. We all deserve to enjoy great sex well into middle age and beyond. In fact, with experience shouldn’t sex get better?
Researching, writing and talking about sex has enhanced my sex life with my husband, and has made me realise there are so many ways in which people can enjoy sexual intimacy and pleasure, whoever they are, whatever their sexual orientation and age. Our oldest customer is 95, so there is hope for us all!
Samantha Evans co-founded the sex toy website Jo Divine with her husband.