Ten good things about sex in older life
You never really think about getting old until you hit a certain age. When you do, you are suddenly and acutely aware of the fact that you have far fewer years ahead of you than you have behind you. For me, it was a few years ago when I hit 55.
And when you reach this moment, inevitably your mind – well, certainly my mind – turns to sex and all the problems that old age, and sex in older life is supposed to bring.
For women, it is probably the menopause that rears its head with the associated hot flushes, mood swings, tiredness and potentially less interest in sex and increasing vaginal dryness. As I guy whose partner is in the later stages of the menopause, I can only sympathise and count myself lucky that men don’t have to experience all this. I would add that those fears of flagging libido and dryness never materialised. We are lucky (though HRT has been a godsend).
But what about sex for the older guy, is it all a matter of drooping penises and performance problems?
Perhaps I am lucky, but for me, the answer is an emphatic ‘no’, and here are ten very personal reasons why sex in older life can actually be pretty damn good:
1. The sexual desire is still there.
I still adore sex. Not just doing it, but also thinking about it. My thoughts turn to sex during most morning showers, most times I shave and several times during my journey to work. Perhaps it doesn’t cross my mind quite as much as when I was younger. But the urge and interest are still there.
2. I still enjoy self-pleasure.
I have always enjoyed self-pleasuring—it’s been a key part of my sexuality and I have practised it regularly both during my current relationship and before this when I was single. In my younger days, it was nearly always a hard, fast dash to orgasm. Now quickies are rare, and I tend to take my time. My technique is now somewhat softer, gentler and slower. Coming is no longer the key goal. Indeed, I often decide right at the start that I don’t want to come and so the aim is gentle, erotic pleasure rather than an explosive orgasm.
3. I still enjoy watching porn and reading erotica.
Erotica still brings considerable pleasure. My tastes have changed as I have aged, and I have become far more discerning and really only watch Anna’s films on FrolicMe as, quite simply, no-one does it better and nothing else is quite as erotic. Though I am still the classic male and visual stimuli press my button more than anything else, I increasingly enjoy reading (and listening to) erotic stories. Once I find an author whose work I like, I’ll read my way through their stories, one by one (do check out Tabitha Raine and Posy Churchgate – two of my favourite writers).
4. I still have morning erections.
Yes, no lie: I do. I would add that they don’t happen every morning, but I do experience a delightful stiffy at least a couple of times a week (especially if I have masturbated and not orgasmed the day before). And I still wake up with hard-ons at night if I have a rather naughty dream.
5. I rarely have performance problems.
I appreciate that I might just be exceptionally lucky, and I really feel for men who suffer from erectile dysfunction. But I have always been able to rise to the occasion and can nearly always reach orgasm. The performance was definitely more of a worry when I was younger. I just wonder if keeping my sexuality going, by continuing to enjoy a sex life on my own, as well within a relationship, has played a part. Keeping fit might have been important, too. Most importantly, having a more laid-back attitude has certainly helped.
6. I have far more control of my own orgasm.
Now, this is a really big benefit of being a bit older. I have gone through bouts of early ejaculation and delayed ejaculation at different times of my life. And sure, even now I can sometimes fire a bit too early, or can’t come when I want to. However, both are fairly rare occurrences, and when they do happen, I am totally relaxed about it and think—well, no big deal! I guess I know my penis so well these days that I can control my orgasm that much more.
7. I have far more understanding of my partner’s body.
While familiarity might bring in a level of predictability, it also brings considerable understanding for better sex in older life. So I now know exactly how to touch my partner. I nearly always know the best moment to stroke her nipples, the ideal time to penetrate her vagina, the best way to rub her clitoris (and when to speed up, slow down; increase or decrease the pressure) or the perfect time to insert a finger into her bottom. Now I don’t claim to get it right all the time, but I do have a pretty good idea about how to make love to her in a way that works for her. And that means that I am best placed to help bring her to orgasm.
8. I am no longer afraid of pushing some boundaries.
The older you get the more the ‘now or never’ mantra seems to apply to you. So now I often do things I would never have dared to before. So this year it was naked sunbathing, you can read about my experiences here. Next up it is going to be naked yoga.
9. I like my body even more now.
This is another big benefit. I used to dislike many things about my body and always thought others’ physiques were so much better than mine. However, I have tried to keep active and now find that though most of my friends’ waistlines have expanded, mine has stayed pretty much the same. And even if it had expanded a bit, I don’t think I would be as conscious about it as I was when I was younger and less at ease with myself. Like most people my age, my body has taken a few knocks over the years and I have come to appreciate it more and more.
10. I have learnt some wonderful new things about sex.
When I was younger I thought I knew everything about sex. I had the arrogance of youth. And because of that, I didn’t have as open a mind as I have today. So I have now discovered lots of different ways to masturbate. I have a collection of boys’ toys to add a bit of variety to my self-pleasuring session. I have delved into the world of tantric sex and have discovered the unbelievable joys of body orgasms. I have learnt the value of making love in slightly different ways, such as varying the levels of penetration (eight shallow thrusts followed by one deep thrust is a truly amazing technique which I discovered a few years ago). I have attended events such as Eroticon where you can learn from fellow sex writers. And I have a long list of things I want to try out or learn about in the years ahead.
While I have painted a really positive picture of sex in older life —and that really does reflect how I feel—it would not be right to touch on some of the downsides. When I was younger I could have sex, or masturbate, a couple of times a day (occasionally even more, when on holiday) and now once is just lovely and more than enough. I don’t ejaculate as far as I did. I used to shoot a good half metre or more, but now any propulsion of my semen comes as a welcome surprise. Some things for my partner are now off the menu. Her sexual tastes have simply changed, and that is a great shame, but one I respect (and it does mean that when an old favourite makes a rare appearance it is that much more of a treat to be savoured).
Finally, I would say that you shouldn’t just expect all these benefits, you do have to put the effort in. For me, being physically active and watching my weight has been so important to my self-image. And keeping an interest going in sex has also been a critically important factor in enjoying sex in older life.
Like so many things, with age comes wisdom and maturity, and sex is no exception.