Does Sex Matter As We Age?


Our Answer Is Another Question: Why Wouldn’t It?

Does it matter when we are 30 or 40? Sex is fun. Sex feels good. Is there an age expiration on wanting and needing those things in our lives? As if having fun and feeling good were not enough reason people should want to continue having sex well into later life if they are able, having sex is a way to feel close to a partner. Research experiments have shown that simply holding someone else’s hand lessens an individual’s emotional response in the brain to a perceived threat. The effect was even greater if the person’s hand belonged to a spouse. Other often-cited experiments found that individuals actually perceived a hill to be steeper if they were standing at the bottom, alone, compared with when they stood at the bottom with a friend. Emiliana Simon-Thomas, PhD, Science Director of the Greater Good Science Center at The University of California, Berkeley, says that “just having another person there and present, whom you trust and feel safe around makes the world look like a less challenging place.” We don’t need a lot of people in our corner but one special person can make a big difference. Now imagine being intimate with that person on a regular basis.

Having sex with someone you really care about keeps you connected and close to that person. It makes you feel wanted and loved. It is or at least should be a time when you can be your most vulnerable with another person and know you are completely safe from any shame, focused on your and his or her pleasure, and completely taken care of.

Although younger people may not want to hear this, especially your children and grandchildren, studies confirm that there is no age limit at which point people stop or should stop having sex. People at 70 and 80 may not have sex the same way they did when they were 20 and 30 due to health reasons or medication but they can still find it very enjoyable. In some cases, those over 70 and 80 have no health reasons hindering their sex life.

Did you know that many older couples find greater satisfaction in their sex lives than they did when they were younger? For one thing, as you get older the same way you become wiser about other things in your life, you become wiser about what pleases you sexually and what pleases your partner sexually. Some people feel more comfortable experimenting. Let’s face it. Many people in their 50s and older grew up in the last generation who were still being raised with the notion that sex was for during marriage only and mainly to have children. Their parents didn’t teach them about enjoying it, that is if they talked to them about it at all.

All those people may be learning about themselves and willing to experiment now that they are older, more confident and see their own children living by different rules that frankly, make sense. Such as, don’t stay in an unhappy relationship. People are divorcing in record numbers. For the first time in many years they may be having regular sex with new partners and in some cases after having being married to their only other ever partner. Think about that. People who were married for 20, 30 and 40 years and may never have slept with anyone besides their spouses are going on tinder and bumble and finding new partners and in some cases multiple new partners. It is a whole new and exciting world for many so called seniors. Nothing wrong with that.

New partner or long time partner, sex is a chance to express the closeness of your deepest relationship.

While the whole world doesn’t have to be attracted to us, people generally want their partners to find them attractive. Sex is an opportunity to feel good about the way you look to your partner or rather feel good about how your partner sees you, looks at you and desires you.

People 40, 50 and older tend to have fewer distractions. If they have kids, they are grown and out of the house leaving their parents with more time and privacy. There are no worries about needing birth control or getting pregnant which takes away the stress connected to that possibility for both men and women.

Speaking of stress, the act of having sex reduces a person’s overall stress which is better for the health of all people whatever age they are. Let’s face it, these last few years between politics and the pandemic, haven’t been the best and many people have been disillusioned and down. Sex gives you a chance to escape from the sometimes harsh realities of the world. News or sex? Always pick having sex! Much more fun and much more honest. And unlike watching news, it is so good for you!

Research has found that men who engage in regular sex are less likely to suffer from prostate cancer, as ejaculation helps to release toxins from the body and promote healthy functioning. Bet you didn’t know that!

Some people take probiotics for an increased immune response, but regular sex might also be beneficial when it comes to kicking your immune system into high gear. Research from Wilkes University in Pennsylvania found that weekly or biweekly sex can help to boost the body’s antibodies. Look at that! We just saved you money on probiotics.

Sex can burn fat so it’s good for your waistline and you don’t even have to go to the gym. It causes the brain to release endorphins which can help you feel good emotionally and physically. Have a migraine? Back pain? Don’t reach for pain meds. Reach for your partner instead. Did you know sex drastically reduces anxiety and can help ease depression all without medication? Did you realize sex could save you so much money?!

Physical health and sexual health go hand-in-hand so it is no surprise that frequent sex has been shown to improve cardiovascular function. One study even found that women who enjoy regular orgasms have a decreased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Cardiovascular diseases is a leading cause of death in women. Aren’t regular orgasms worth lowering your risk of heart disease?

A strong pelvic floor is important for both men and women. You can enjoy longer and stronger orgasms by practicing Kegel exercises as well as by enjoying regular sex. A strong pelvic floor helps women to improve their bladder function and control (which is important as women age, particularly if they have children). Men enjoy similar benefits, and regular sex also helps to protect against erectile dysfunction. (Also without medication.) Sex without viagra means no headaches for men, many of whom report awful headaches after taking viagra and it means returning spontaneity to your sex life instead of needing to make an appointment with your partner so you know when to take your viagra.

We all know sleep is important for our health. As we age, some of us may not sleep as well as we used to. The release of dopamine and oxytocin following orgasm can help to promote feelings of intimacy as well as rest and peacefulness and yes, help you to drift off into a peaceful sleep.

Best reasons yet to have sex no matter how old you are, through all its health-improving benefits, a good sex life can actually add years to your life. So yes! It is important to have sex as we age.

Not only does sex matter as you age, we’d love to see more doctors openly discuss the subject with patients and encourage it as part of the plan for everyone over 40 to stay healthy, and to decrease chronic pain and depression in much older adults.

Let us recap, shall we? If you are over 40, over 70 or over 90, continuing to make sex a part of your regular daily, weekly or monthly routine should be a priority, a really fun one. So go forth and while you don’t have to worry about multiplying anymore, enjoy! And do it as often as if you alone are in charge of populating the world….

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