Amazing Senior Sex: How to Get Maximum Pleasure After 60
Yes, it's absolutely true: As a senior, sex can be a wonderful part of your life. You can experience the special kind of vitality and satisfaction that lovemaking provides. So don't believe anyone who tells you otherwise. For many seniors, sex after 60 is a delicious, tantalizing adventure that offers a wide variety of life-enhancing benefits.
For instance, did you know that an active sex life may provide benefits like improved self-esteem, better sleep, and greater overall well-being? Even well into old age, sex can boost a person's health and happiness (as long as it's done safely). That's why any notion that sex and aging don't go together is simply a myth. For a lot of seniors, making love after 60 is a joyful and necessary aspect of living.
As a matter of fact, most older adults between the ages of 65 and 80 would agree: In one survey, 76 percent of them said that sex—at any age—is an important aspect of romantic relationships. And about 40 percent of them said they were sexually active at the present time.1
So discover why you're never too old for erotic pleasure. In this comprehensive guide to better senior sex, tips are provided that will help you deal with common challenges and reach your full sexual potential. Check them out:
Relax Into Pleasure by Letting Go of Expectations
Who doesn't love a good orgasm? Most people want to reach climax when they have sex. And they generally want their partners to as well. But making orgasms the driving focus of sexual activity can sometimes backfire. That's especially true when it comes to senior sexuality. After all, many older adults have physical challenges that make it difficult to achieve the same level of sexual performance they experienced when they were younger.
That's why better sex, for seniors in particular, often starts with the removal of expectations. Free yourself and your partner from the burden of goals and assumptions. Instead, wipe the slate clean. Start with who you are today. Allow yourselves to experience the excitement of uncertainty. Focus on connecting as human beings in the present moment—and exploring all kinds of pleasure—rather than trying to achieve one type of future outcome. Keep an open mind, without obsessing over how things may be different now.
Paradoxically, when people let go of their sexual expectations, they're more likely to experience orgasms and other pleasurable highs. So relax. Stay in the moment. And have fun playing the role of an explorer. What you feel and discover may surprise you.
Take Your Body's Changes in Stride
Feeling anxious, embarrassed, or discouraged when your body doesn't function the way it used to is perfectly understandable. But finding a way to love and accept your body may be the key to unlocking the door to greater sexual health. After all, it's normal and natural to experience physical changes as you get older. Everyone does. Seniors who make peace with that fact often feel more confident, which makes them sexier and more attractive to their current or potential partners.
So acknowledge that whatever you're experiencing is probably very common. There's absolutely nothing to be ashamed about. For example, as men age, they naturally produce less testosterone. So they tend to have a lower sex drive and require more stimulation in order to achieve and sustain an erection, as well as reach climax. In addition, their orgasms are often shorter and less powerful. And after ejaculating, they tend to need more time before achieving an erection again.
Of course, full or partial erectile dysfunction (ED) is also a problem for some older men. But it can often be effectively treated. In fact, by treating underlying physical or emotional problems, many men are able to restore some or all of their erectile function. So if you have ED, it's worth talking to your doctor about what could be causing it.
For older women, sexual health is also affected by lower hormone levels. That's why vaginal dryness is very common. After menopause, many women naturally produce less of their own lubrication during sexual activity. Their bodies simply don't respond to arousal or stimulation in the same way. Their vaginas also become thinner and less elastic as they get older. As a result, sexual penetration can be painful without enough personal lubrication.
In addition, some women find it more difficult to become sexually aroused after menopause or surgical procedures such as hysterectomies. It may take them longer to feel excited. Their orgasms may become less intense. Or they may lose interest in sex altogether, at least temporarily. Plus, many women over 60 experience other kinds of physical problems—such as mild urinary incontinence—that cause them extra anxiety during sex. But those challenges can often be treated. And they are definitely nothing to be ashamed about.
Simply put, you're not alone in dealing with physical changes that can affect your sexual desire or performance. Recognizing that fact (and accepting it) will make it easier for you to experience pleasure going forward.
Be kind and understanding to yourself and others. Help your sexual partner do the same.
Seek Help for Mental or Emotional Barriers
Sexual problems are often caused or made worse by psychological obstacles. And sometimes those obstacles aren't easy to overcome alone. They may not even be apparent to you. So it may be worth seeing a professional counselor or therapist, even if you feel you're doing relatively okay. After all, you may be like many seniors and consciously or subconsciously grapple with barriers related to things like:
- Low self-confidence due to major changes in your life's circumstances
- Embarrassment about changes to your body
- Anxiety about your health or financial situation
Depression can also be a major barrier to enjoying sex. For older adults with this condition, sexual desire, arousal, and pleasure can be very elusive. But like other medical conditions, depression can be treated. In addition to medication, talk therapy can sometimes help seniors who have depression that interferes with their sex lives.
Talk to Your Doctor
All kinds of prescription drugs and medical conditions can cause or contribute to problems with sex. And seniors, in general, have more health issues than younger people. That's why achieving a better sex life may require more visits to your doctor, especially if you are on multiple medications or have any chronic illnesses or disabilities.
For example, some antidepressants, antihistamines, acid-blocking medications, and blood pressure drugs can impair a person's libido or sexual function. Some of the most common medical conditions that can affect a person's sexual health include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, hormonal imbalances, and arthritis.
So it's essential to tell your doctor about any sexual problems you're having. Even if you aren't experiencing any other symptoms, a decrease in sexual interest or function may be an early sign of a medical problem. (For instance, erectile dysfunction is sometimes an early symptom of heart disease.) And if you have any chronic conditions, your doctor may be able to prescribe different medications or treatments that are less likely to affect your sex life.
Of course, you also may be a candidate for certain medications that are frequently prescribed for sexual problems. For example, men with erectile dysfunction are often prescribed drugs like Viagra and Cialis. And women with vaginal dryness are sometimes prescribed special gels, creams, or patches as part of hormone replacement therapy.
No matter what, you should always talk to your doctor before taking any over-the-counter supplements or medications, even if they are marketed as "natural" sexual performance enhancers. And if you are recovering from surgery or illness, be sure to listen to your doctor's advice about when you can safely start having sex again.
Communicate With Your Sexual Partner
Before you can experience maximum pleasure with each other, you and your sexual partner need to share your most intimate feelings. Talk honestly about things like:
Make sure your communication is a two-way street by truly listening to your partner without judgment or interruption. By both of you asking for what you want, you'll be well on your way to finding creative and passionate new ways to make love. (Keep in mind that sexual intercourse is only one of many ways to experience pleasure. Explore outercourse too.)
And remember this: Your communication doesn't have to be serious all the time. Try being playful with each other. A little humor can make the whole process more comfortable, enjoyable, and reassuring.
Boost Your Activity Level
Getting frequent exercise helps a lot of people improve their libido and sexual performance. Even for so-called old people, sex can often be positively affected by a boost in day-to-day physical activity. That's because regular exercise can increase your overall energy level, self-confidence, and blood circulation. Plus, it's good for your heart. And anything that's good for your heart is also good for your sexual health.
Did you know that doing certain kinds of exercises can also lead to more powerful orgasms and help men avoid premature ejaculation? By repeatedly tensing and relaxing the same pelvic floor muscles that control your flow of urine, you can strengthen them over time. Known as doing Kegel exercises, this activity is often recommended as a way for seniors to help prevent incontinence and improve their sexual enjoyment.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Like exercise, proper nutrition is important for sexual health. That's why a heart-healthy diet is often prescribed for men and women who experience any kind of sexual dysfunction. In particular, many dietitians recommend foods that are low in saturated fat, sodium, and sugar but high in fiber, essential vitamins and minerals, and healthy, unsaturated fats. So eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and nuts can be especially beneficial when it comes to boosting or sustaining your sexual health. In addition, it's wise to limit your alcohol consumption to no more than about one drink per day.
Change Your Lovemaking Routine
Particularly for old couples, sex can become boring and predictable. But it doesn't have to stay that way. A whole new world of excitement can be discovered by purposefully breaking up your routine. Even something as simple as choosing a totally new time of day to have sex can pay pleasurable dividends. (For example: Do you usually have sex in the evening? If so, try making love in the morning or afternoon instead. You may have more energy for it.) Here are some other things to try:
- New sexual positions
- Different rooms or locations
- Various kinds of outercourse (i.e., sex without penetration)
- Dates that involve one partner giving pleasure without the other one reciprocating (reversing roles for the next date)
- Fantasy role-playing in which you each pretend to be someone else
Anytime you try something new, be sure to follow up with each other and share your feelings about it. What did you like best? Would you try it again? Did you learn anything about yourself or your partner? What else do you want to try?
Set the Mood, Taking Time to Let Excitement Build
As we get older, many of us experience slower arousal. It may take longer for our sexual desire to ignite during romantic activities. That's why a lot of sexually active seniors make it a habit to do things with their partners that set the mood well in advance of getting naked. Here are some examples:
- Holding hands
- Tickling each other
- Sharing a warm bubble bath
- Taking a steamy shower together
- Gazing into each other's eyes
- Watching erotic movies together
- Sharing a couple's massage
- Reading erotic literature to each other
- Sharing romantic meals that include aphrodisiacs
Be creative. Have fun. If you both have a smartphone and enjoy using it, why not send a few sexy text messages to each other? As a senior, sexting can be every bit as titillating as it is for younger people. But it may be a good idea to follow some best practices:
Protect Yourself and Your Partner
Sex is risky, regardless of your age. Even for the elderly, sex comes with the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In fact, among older Americans, infection rates continue to climb for STIs like syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia.2 Other common STIs include HIV, herpes, HPV, and trichomoniasis. As you age, it becomes harder for your body to fight such infections.
An infected person can pass his or her STI on to you through blood or other bodily fluids such as semen or vaginal discharge. And because infected people don't always have symptoms (and may not be aware of their infections), you can't know for sure whether they are healthy or not just based on their word or appearance.
So it's crucial to practice safe sex, especially if you are not in a monogamous relationship with someone you completely trust. When you engage in sexual activity, no method of protection is 100-percent effective. However, you can greatly reduce your risk of contracting an STI by taking steps such as:
- Using a new, unexpired condom anytime you engage in vaginal or anal penetration
- Using a condom when performing oral sex on a man
- Using a dental dam when performing oral sex on a woman
- Wearing a latex glove when penetrating a vagina or anus with your fingers
Before engaging in sexual activity with a new partner, always make sure that each of you has been tested for STIs. Be honest with each other. (If you are infected, keeping your STI a secret is both unethical and dangerous to your partner.) And if either one of you has multiple sexual partners, be sure to get tested on a regular basis. Promiscuity greatly increases the risk of contracting or passing on an STI.
Whenever you see your doctor, be open about your sexual activities so that he or she can appropriately assess your risk and screen you for STIs if necessary. Many STIs can be successfully treated.
Grab the Lube (and Don't Be Stingy)
Sexual lubrication is important at every age. But when you're a senior citizen, sex definitely shouldn't be tried without it. For older women with vaginal dryness, lubrication is especially vital. Regardless of whether you're having sex with a partner or masturbating solo, using lube is a simple way to make the whole experience much more comfortable and pleasurable. And it's an absolute must if you engage in anal sex.
Lubrication can be messy, but it can also be very erotic. By applying it slowly and playfully, long before any penetration, you can greatly enhance the quality and excitement of your lovemaking. After all, lube has a slippery, sensual nature that makes it perfect for building arousal and sustaining pleasure.
But it's crucial to choose the right type of lube for the sexual activity you engage in. (You may need to buy multiple kinds of lube since they each have different uses and limitations.) Here's what you need to know about each type:
Here's another thing you need to know: Many common brands of lube that you can buy in a drugstore or grocery store contain ingredients that are known to cause side effects in some people. For example, if you have any sensitivities, some ingredients can irritate your skin and genitals, promote infections, or make pelvic pain worse. So before purchasing particular lubricants, check to see if they contain ingredients like the following that are often best avoided:
- Glycerin (particularly if it is one of the first few ingredients listed)
- Petroleum jelly (also called petrolatum)
- Mineral oil
- Propylene glycol
- Chlorhexidine gluconate
The best places to buy sexual lubricants are usually local or online specialty retailers that have good reputations for educating customers about safe ingredients and standing by what they sell. Many retailers even offer sample packs, which enable you to try out a variety of different lubes and determine which ones give you the most pleasure without side effects. A few examples include Smitten Kitten, A Woman's Touch, and Lucky Bloke.
Here are some examples of personal lubricant brands that are often recommended by sex experts:
Break Out the Sex Toys
Vibrators and other sex toys aren't just for young people. In fact, seniors are probably the most likely to benefit from them. After all, many older adults become aroused more slowly and need the extra stimulation. So a good sex toy can do wonders for your ability to reach maximum pleasure—with or without a sexual partner.
You're likely familiar with the most common female uses for dildos and vibrators: vaginal and clitoral stimulation. But did you know that men can also take advantage of vibrators and other kinds of sex toys? In addition to using shareable vibrators like the We-Vibe during sexual intercourse, men can use things like masturbation sleeves or love rings (which can help maintain an erection). Men can also use special vibrators that enable them to have shared or solo sex without an erection.
When trying new sex toys, go into it with a spirit of exploration. Allow yourself to feel new sensations without the expectation of orgasm. Ease into things. For instance, if you're trying a new vibrator, start with the lowest settings first and play around on your skin without directly stimulating your most sensitive areas. Then slowly build up the intensity. Over time, you'll discover what you enjoy most. (If you experience vaginal pain during insertion of a sex toy, try starting with the thinnest sex toys first. And, of course, use plenty of lube.)
Seniors often do best with sex toys that are soft, lightweight, and ergonomic. But you tend to get what you pay for. So avoid really cheap products that might be made from inferior materials that degrade or leach harmful chemicals. A higher-priced product is more likely to be made of safe, medical-grade materials.
Here are a few examples of sex toys that have been recommended as good options for seniors:
Enjoy Lots of Outercourse
How do you define sex? If sexual intercourse makes up the bulk of your definition, then you may be missing out on many other pleasurable activities. In fact, you don't have to engage in any kind of penetration in order to have a satisfying sex life. Outercourse (i.e., sex without penetration) can be incredibly enjoyable. And you can still experience orgasms (maybe even better ones).
For a lot of seniors, outercourse eliminates major anxieties. For example, women don't have to worry about vaginal dryness or pain. (Most women don't achieve orgasm through vaginal penetration alone anyway.) And men don't have to worry about erectile dysfunction. (Even with a flaccid penis, it's possible for a man to reach climax with the right stimulation.)
Besides, there's no right or wrong way to perform outercourse. The human body offers many paths to sexual arousal and climax. As long as you and your partner both agree to an activity and find it pleasurable, you're doing things right. So enjoy exploring new ways to be intimate, and keep track of the things that give each of you the most wonderful sensations. (You may be surprised by what you feel. As you've gotten older, your erogenous zones may have changed.)
Examples of outercourse include:
- Sensual touching or licking, all over the body, using various speeds and pressures
- Oral sex (i.e., using your mouth and tongue to stimulate a man's penis or a woman's clitoris and vulva)
- Hand and finger stimulation of genital areas
- Mutual masturbation (i.e., watching each other engage in self-pleasure)
Always pay attention to how your partner responds to particular activities. Listen for signs of pleasure like moans, sighs, or changes in breathing. And watch for signs of discomfort such as cringes or attempts to pull away. Try to communicate with each other before, during, and after your sexual activities so that you're both on the same page and know how to give each other the most pleasure possible.
Try New Sexual Positions
When you want to engage in sexual intercourse but find it hard on your body, it's time to change things up a little. Using new positions often becomes especially important for seniors who want to have sex over 70 years of age. That's because back and knee problems are particularly common among seniors and the elderly. But regardless of your age, a new position can make sexual intercourse easier and more comfortable.
Some of the best sex positions for seniors are those in which your weight is evenly distributed over your joints or the strain on your back is alleviated. But every couple is different, so you and your partner may need to try various positions before hitting on one or two that work well for both of you. Here are three of the most commonly recommended positions for older adults:
Many other great sexual positions are worth trying, including positions that are good for same-sex couples. So don't hesitate to explore various books on the topic.
Seek Pleasure More Often
When it comes to sex after 60, frequency naturally declines for most people. However, making an effort to have sex more frequently can actually lead to a stronger libido and better sexual health overall. That's why it can be beneficial to have sex even when you aren't in the mood. Every time you engage in sexual activity, you are training your body to respond better to the stimulation. And you don't need to have sex with a partner each time. Masturbation can be just as effective.
Having sex (or masturbating) more frequently can be especially helpful for older women with vaginal dryness or vaginal atrophy. Over time, it can trigger the body to produce more of its own lubrication. So even if sexual intercourse is too painful, it's often worth using small dildos or vibrators. You can gradually increase the size of your sex toys until your vagina is stretched enough that sexual intercourse becomes comfortable again.
Of course, the male sex drive after 60 years of age (and often well before that) also tends to naturally decrease. But regular masturbation or sex with a partner can help increase an older man's libido and sometimes even lead to faster arousal, longer-lasting erections, and more powerful orgasms.
Check Out Sex Books and Other Resources
This article gives you a good head start on what to try. But a much larger world of helpful and inspiring sexual knowledge is available for those who need or want to explore even more about the art of pleasure. You're never too old to keep learning and expanding your sexual potential. Here are a few books you may want to start with (including options for gay and lesbian seniors):
- A Frenchwoman's Guide to Sex After Sixty by Marie de Hennezel
- Great Sex Made Simple: Tantric Tips to Deepen Intimacy & Heighten Pleasure by Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson
- All Night Long: How to Make Love to a Man Over 50 by Barbara Keesling
- Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud About Senior Sex by Joan Price
- Sexual Intimacy for Women: A Guide for Same-Sex Couples by Glenda Corwin
- She Comes First: The Thinking Man's Guide to Pleasuring a Woman by Ian Kerner
- The Joy of Sex: The Ultimate Revised Edition by Alex Comfort
- The Ultimate Guide to Sex After 50: How to Maintain—or Regain—a Spicy, Satisfying Sex Life by Joan Price
- The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability: For All of Us Who Live with Disabilities, Chronic Pain, and Illness by Miriam Kaufman, Cory Silverberg, and Fran Odette
- Ultimate Gay Sex by Michael Thomas Ford
In addition to books about sex, it's worth exploring various online resources. One of the most compelling websites is OMGYES. With a one-time payment, you get permanent access to a large range of tasteful videos that can teach you practical techniques for giving women pleasure (or if you're a female, self-pleasuring yourself, talking openly about your body, and communicating your needs). The website features some older women and is designed to empower both men and women of every age.
See a Sex Therapist If Necessary
Mainstream sex therapy doesn't involve any physical contact. It's a specialized form of psychotherapy that can help people overcome, cope with, or adapt to challenges or limitations related to sexual intimacy, including functional issues like erectile dysfunction or vaginal pain. Adults of all ages can benefit from individual or couple's sex therapy, including seniors and the elderly.
Ask for a referral from your doctor or locate a sex therapist near you through the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) or the Society for Sex Therapy & Research (SSTAR).
Unleash Your Sexual Potential
No matter how old you are, you deserve pleasure and intimacy. So never give up on having great senior sex. Get help if you need to, then start pursuing your sexual desires with gusto!