While there’s certainly more age positivity around now than a few years ago, society still doesn’t like to be reminded that people over the age of 50 are sexual beings, and they do, in fact, still have sex after 50.
Whatever the younger naysayers think about the subject, the reality is that middle-aged and older people are enjoying some of the best sex they’ve ever had – and you can, too.
There’s no escaping the fact that your body changes over time. You might need to do things a little differently, but figuring that out can be fun! Things might be looser, lower, drier, and/or wobblier than before, but those aren’t reasons to give up on your sex life.
Keep reading and learn everything you need to know about sex after 50.
Sex After 50 Is Healthy
Given some of the more dramatic physiological changes that can happen after 50 (menopause or osteoporosis), some older women wonder whether having sex is healthy. Studies show that sexual activity in older adults can benefit physical and mental health.
Kinsey Institute Research Fellow Dr. Justin Lehmiller said that sex offers physical exercise, reduces stress, improves mood, and boosts memory. Dame Products CEO Alexandra Fine added that sex also improves emotional connection, which can support longevity.
Loss Of Interest Is Normal
“Sexual being? What are you talking about? I’m over 50, and I’m not nearly as interested in sex as I was!”
If that sounds like you, don’t worry. It’s perfectly normal for women to experience a lull in libido around menopause. What’s even better news is that the lull usually isn’t permanent.
You can wait it out, but that could become frustrating for you and your partner. A possible solution is to continue to engage in sexual activity, even if it’s limited. Whether you keep it to yourself or include your partner, keeping that flame going can help you get through the dip in your libido. Ask your doctor for advice if your loss of sexual desire is significant enough to concern you.
Sometimes Our Partners Are Disinterested
Another aspect of sex after 50 is that you might be ready for some good lovin’, but your partner is the one who’s disinterested. Some men struggle to maintain an erection or start having ejaculatory issues in their 50s.
If your partner struggles in that department, the important thing to remember is that those issues are a result of changes happening in his body – it has nothing to do with you.
If those issues seem like obstacles to you and/or him, perhaps all that’s needed is a change of perspective. Instead of seeing them as hindrances, see them as an invitation for some mutual exploration. Use erotic touch and foreplay to increase intimacy with one another and learn what your bodies enjoy now, rather than what they enjoyed 30 years ago.
Remember, as wonderful as orgasms are, they are not the be-all and end-all of sexual activity and intimacy. Not every encounter needs to end with moving earth and fireworks.
Sex After Abstinence Is OK
If you haven’t had sex in a while, you might be wondering if it’s safe to resume sexual activity after 50 or after menopause. You can have sex safely after a period of abstinence, even if it was an extended period of time.
However, no sex for long periods after menopause can cause your vagina to become narrower and shorter – and that could lead to painful sex. If need be, speak to your doctor about using a vaginal dilator, which can help stretch the tissues for better sexual function, no pain, and more enjoyment. If a dilator isn’t the answer, try a water-based lubricant, a vaginal moisturizer, or stimulating foreplay.
You Understand Your Body
According to Antonia Hall’s Ultimate Guide to a Multi-Orgasmic Life, many women said they were worried about their sexual performance when they were younger. However, the understanding of their bodies that came with age changed things.
As they got older, those women found that they had fewer inhibitions and fears, which meant they also had better sex. Celebrating the big 5-0 can mark a turning point in your sex life, as with age comes acceptance and greater enjoyment of life’s pleasures. Regardless of society’s idolizing of youth, you are in your prime when you’re in your 50s – and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Some Positions Are Better Than Others
You might have been able to master most of the Kama Sutra in your younger days, but some of the bodily changes that happen over time mean you might need to ignore a few pages as you get older. Sexual positions that were fine a few years ago might be physically uncomfortable, if not painful now.
Experiment with your partner to find the positions that work best for both of you. Choose a position in which you’re on top if you experience pain during intercourse, as it gives you control regarding penetration.
Place a pillow under your back or hips if you’re not particularly comfortable in the missionary position. Standing positions or being on your hands and knees may also offer greater physical comfort during sex.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases Still Exist
Unfortunately, turning 50 doesn’t come with magical protection from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Practice safe sex if you are starting a sexual relationship with a new partner, you’re in an open relationship, you’re not committed to one partner, or you aren’t your partner’s only sexual partner.
Use condoms and other safe sex methods, and get tested for STDs regularly.
“Wham-bam-thank you, ma’am” is best left to people in their 20s and 30s. Quickies aren’t limited to younger people, but there’s more to sexuality than a quick roll in the hay. When it comes to sex after 50, take time to nurture desire. Sex expert Dr. Juliana Morris offered a few tips for doing this in an Oprah Daily article. Make a bedroom bucket list of intimate or sexual things you would like to try with your partner and check them off as you work your way through it. Try being sexually intimate at different times of day, rather than limiting those encounters to when you’re in bed at night. For example, have sex before going out for lunch or dinner together.
The Beginning of the Rest of Your (Sex) Life
Turning 50 is the beginning of the rest of your sex life. Embrace it!