Most of us are aware that the frequency and intensity of sexual contact in a couple relationship tends to reduce over time.
But it’s not as dire as you’d expect. Research has found that 47% of married women aged between 66 and 71 are sexually active and 60% of men and women over the age of 50 are happy with their sex lives.
That’s not to say that mature couples don’t experience issues in the bedroom.
Health and the menopause
For many mature couples, health problems have a big effect on their sex lives. NATSAL research recently found that 29% of men aged between 65 and 74 feel that their health has affected their sex life. In comparison, just 17% of men in all other age groups feel this way.
For some women, sexual desire can increase after menopause – possibly because they are no longer afraid of falling pregnant, or because they are no longer feeling stressed out by their menstrual cycle.
Post-menopausal women can experience some difficulties that may disrupt sexual activity such as hot flushes, night sweats, vaginal dryness and painful uterine contractions at orgasm.
Some women also experience reduced feelings of desire and can go through periods of mourning as they come to terms with the changes to their and their partners’ bodies.
Top tips for keeping sexual desire alive:
- Keeping the lines of communication open is key to improving your sex life. But timing is everything: it’s best not to bring up any issues you have during sex as it’s such an intimate and vulnerable setting. When you talk to your partner about any issues you have with your sex life, be sensitive and make sure to provide positive feedback so you don’t discourage your partner.
- Remember it’s not all about penetrative sex. Sexual activity doesn’t begin and end with intercourse. There are many other ways couples can give each other sexual pleasure and orgasms in ways that doesn’t require erections or vaginal penetration. Once you take the focus off of the orgasm and intercourse, you may find that your sexual experiences will become more intimate, erotic and arousing.
- Get comfortable. Many women need to feel comfy before enjoying sex. One way to do this is to set the scene, light some candles, use scents and play some relaxing music. The use of lubricants will also help women who suffer from vaginal dryness feel more comfortable during penetration.
- Be adventurous by bringing toys into the bedroom.Sex aids such as vibrators, dildos and ticklers, as well as videos and erotic novels all have the potential to improve a couple’s sex life. If you’re unsure about trying new things read this article for further tips.