myths surrounding sexual intimacy in later years are finally
put in their proper place—behind us.
However, as a result of the pioneering work of Masters and Johnson, the subject of sex and the elderly has "come out of the closet." It is now a frequent topic of great concern to the more than 21 million American men and women who are over 65 years of age.
the baby boom is redefining what is "old"
But now that these same baby boomers are entering the 50s and 60s themselves, they refuse to inherit that label. Instead, these baby boomers are pushing the label of "senior" farther into the 70s and 80s.
These aging baby boomers are not at all willing to concede themselves as seniors, and they are doing everything possible to stay young and active — including acting young and being active sexually.
a man develop erectile dysfunction as he gets older?
of the above are true. These myths have been around for a long time
and have made it difficult if not impossible for the elderly to enjoy
sexual intimacy in their advancing years without feeling guilty or
Masters and Johnson discovered that "human sexual response may be slowed by the aging process, but it is certainly not terminated." Several recent reports indicate that the majority of women and nearly all men from 50-80 are still interested in sex. These studies also confirm that the majority of the elderly are capable of engaging in and enjoying sex.
do men change physically with age, and how does that affect sex?
Similarly, women need to understand that the man may need more manual stimulation to achieve an erection. Just as women complain that they need more foreplay, as a man gets older, he too needs a fair amount of foreplay to achieve an erection. For a man over 50, it may not be enough to lend a seductive glance to get the guy rolling. A woman should be willing to do some fondling of the penis to help the man achieve an erection. Another normal change that occurs in the older man is the loss of orgasmic inevitability or the sensation of impending orgasm that occurs in younger men.
Some older men will notice that the volume of the ejaculate decreases slightly, and the force of the ejaculate also decreases with age. The older man also loses some of the focus on orgasm. The woman, accordingly, should not assume that he is not enjoying the intimate experience when the man does not ejaculate. On the contrary, older men can achieve a great deal of pleasure from sexual intimacy and yet not have an orgasm or ejaculate.
Finally, "the refractory period," or
the time it takes to achieve another erection after ejaculation,
increases with age. While a young
man of 18 can often recover with an erection 15 minutes after sex,
a man in his 50s may require 24 hours or more before he has another
erection and he is interested in intercourse again.
do women change as they get older?
First and foremost is the decline in the female hormone, estrogen, that occurs after menopause, which typically takes place when the women enters her 50s. The absence of estrogen can result in decreased vaginal lubrication. The loss of lubrication can often result in painful intercourse, but fortunately this condition can be easily treated with creams or medication like KY-jelly or Astroglide, both of which are available in drug stores.
Other normal changes in the older woman include a decrease in length, width, and elasticity of the vagina. Recent studies, however, indicate that the older woman has no physical limitation in her capacity to achieve and enjoy orgasm.
is well-documented that older women experience fewer sexual problems
than men as they age. Most healthy women can expect unimpaired sexual
activity to the end of their lives if that was their pattern earlier.
for aging & sex
Great sex is the result of an excellent relationship, not the cause of it. Being a good lover is not a matter of having extra-large physical equipment, knowing the "correct" technique, or being able to last all night. It's a matter of knowing, understanding and caring for your partner. To renew that bond, consider a few recommendations from experts such as my friend, Dr. Bernie Zilbergeld, from San Francisco:
her that you find her attractive
the fact that your drives aren't always in synch
all, focus on you and your partner's pleasure, not measure. It's not
how big, how often, or how long. It's how good you both feel.