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Guide to a Healthy Sex Life After 60

For so many of us, the idea of having an active and fulfilling sex life is something that’s exclusive to the younger generations. Once you hit a certain age, perhaps around 60 or so, our bodies go through lots of different changes, and this makes having sex more difficult or even impossible - at least that’s what we’re told. Well, guess what? Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, when it comes to sex, age is really just a number; you can enjoy sexual activity at nearly any age. Sound too good to be true? Here’s our guide to having a healthy sex life after 60!

Common Issues to Consider that Affect Sex After 60

So let’s be honest here - there are some challenges and issues that affect sex when you’re older. Our bodies change as we age, and that’s just a fact. Women go through menopause, which changes hormone levels in the body and results in issues that can complicate sex such as vaginal dryness. Men also experience a drop-off in hormone levels as well, and this can result in difficulties achieving and maintaining erections.

However, just because you or your partner are encountering these challenges doesn’t mean they can’t be overcome. Sometimes solutions are as simple as ensuring you use plenty of high-quality, water-based lubricant during penetrative sex so that older women don’t experience pain or discomfort due to vaginal dryness. Erectile dysfunction medications and other treatments, such as improving blood circulation through the use of a penis pump, can help men achieve stronger erections. These are just a few of the ways to address the common issues that affect people over the age of 60 who want to remain sexually active.

The Overall Benefits of Sex After 60

So why is it such a great idea to continue to have sex with your partner over the age of 60? Beyond the obvious (it feels great), there are some very real health benefits. In fact, research has shown that having sex regularly has been linked to better sleep, lower blood pressure, a more robust immune system, and overall lowered levels of stress.

The other benefits of having sex after 60 also can’t be discounted! As we age, we need to deal with lots of changes that we might not welcome, including the loss of overall health, mobility, and other capabilities. Being able to still have sex while older offers a feeling of being more fit and complete, as sex is a part of your health that is still intact. 

Finally, there’s an emotional benefit to having sex after 60 in that you can help maintain strong connections with your partner. These connections are important at any age of course, but strong bonds with a long-time partner - or even a new one - are especially beneficial for older people, as we could all use a little extra love and support as we age.

How to Keep the Romance Alive

According to a survey conducted by theNational Poll on Healthy Aging, fourty percent of people ages 65 to 80 are sexually active. Nearly three-quarters of people in this age range have a romantic partner; 54 percent of those with a partner are sexually active.

The benefits of sex over 60 are real, and they’re important. But knowing what those benefits are and taking steps to keep the flames of desire lit between you and your partner is another task altogether! Lack of sexual desire often occurs in older women and men, especially due to lower hormone levels that affect our ability to become aroused and to stay that way. Other medical issues that are sometimes associated with older people, such as heart disease or diabetes, can also have an impact on sexual desire. Finally, interpersonal problems between you and your partner play a role as well, as no one wants to have sex with someone that they’re upset or angry with.

Thankfully, there are plenty of tools and techniques to improve your sex life. One of which is to expand your definition of “sex” beyond just penetrative intercourse. There are other ways to build intimacy beyond penetrative sex, and embracing these methods can help you still feel fulfilled and enjoy sexual activities that don’t require you to deal with age-related complications. 

But broadening your horizons is just the first step. There’s plenty more you can do to ensure you remain sexually active, and we’ve gathered some of the most important things to think about right here. These are truly beneficial for any age but are particularly excellent for helping older folks enjoy sexual activity. Here are a few great tools and techniques to improve your sex life.

  • Sex Toys: There’s nothing wrong with a helping hand! Vibrating dildos, clitoral stimulators, or even vibrating cock rings provide extra stimulation to help kickstart you and your partner’s libidos in ways that otherwise might not be possible.
  • Vaginal Dilators:For women suffering from pain during penetrative sex, these therapeutic inserts, which come in gradually tapered sets, are great for slowly but surely increasing the elasticity of your vagina. 
  • Lubricant:Vaginal dryness is very common in older women. Selecting a high-quality lubricant will help prevent pain during sexual intercourse or when using sex toys. For best results, use a water-based lube, as this will preserve the silicon skin of most modern sex toys.
  • Penis Pumps: Originally designed as a therapeutic treatment for erectile dysfunction, penis pumps can be used to stimulate and increase blood flow to the penis for better erections prior to penetrative sex.
  • Sex Supports: Foam wedges and pillows designed to facilitate different positions during sex can help take pressure off you and your partner while having sex, reducing pain and discomfort.
  • Medications:Prescription medications to treat erectile dysfunction can help older men who are experiencing difficulties both getting or maintaining erections. Estrogen replacement therapy for older women may also help relieve some of the symptoms of menopause.
  • Communication:Clear, honest, and open communication between you and your partner is perhaps one of the most important tools at your disposal. Talk about your needs and encourage your partner to do the same!

Things to Keep In Mind

Just because you’re a little older doesn’t mean that you have to abandon your own sexuality. Yes, it’s true that bodies change over time, and those changes include our physical capabilities when it comes to things like sexual activity. Yet these physical changes don’t have to slow you down if you don’t want them to. Adapting to your situations and using the tools and techniques detailed above will help you and your partner enjoy sex with one another for years to come!

FAQs

Is a happy sex life still possible after 60?

Absolutely! You can enjoy a full and fulfilling sex life over 60. It might take a little extra work, but just because you’re older doesn’t mean that you have to give up being sexually active.

Why sex is different for those over 60?

The human body goes through lots of changes as we age. We lose some strength and flexibility as we get older, and that means you might need to take it more slowly during sex. Health issues, such as heart disease and diabetes, can lower sexual performance as well in older people. Additionally, hormone levels in both men and women drop off to different degrees, and that can lead to problems with sexual performance.

Is it a good option to take prescription medications to improve sex life?

There are many different prescription medications that can and do help to improve your sex life. Medications like sildenafil, sold under the brand name Viagra, are very popular for treating erectile dysfunction. Additionally, there are estrogen hormone replacement therapies available for women that can help reduce the symptoms associated with menopause that affect sexual desire and performance. Always consult your doctor if prescription medications are right for you.

Can menopause decrease sexual desire for women over 60?

Menopause can have a negative effect on women over 60 when it comes to sexual desire. Lowered hormone levels make it harder to become aroused, and these same low hormone levels can also lead to vaginal dryness or painful intercourse. Using sexual lubricants, training with vaginal dilators, playing with sex toys to increase arousal, and estrogen hormone replacement therapies are all ways to help increase sexual desire for women over 60.

Is safe sex still important for those over 60?

Safe sex is important at any age. Unless you are completely 100% exclusive with one partner - and that partner is exclusive with you - you should always use protection. It’s true that menopausal women can’t become pregnant, but both men and women over 60 can contract sexually transmitted infections through unprotected sex.

Resources

My Doctor Online | Blogs & News. (2021, August). Kaiser Permanente. https://mydoctor.kaiserpermanente.org/mas/news/sex-in-your-60s-and-beyond-health-benefits-and-how-to-overcome-pain-1874610

Ratini, M., DO, MS. (2021, April).Guide to Sex After 60. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/ss/slideshow-guide-to-sex-after-60

Safe Sex for Seniors HealthinAging.org. (2019, August). American Geriatrics Society. https://www.healthinaging.org/tools-and-tips/tip-sheet-safe-sex-older-adults

Senior sex: Tips for older men. (2020, August 8). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/sexual-health/in-depth/senior-sex/art-20046465

Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Older Adults. (2019, June 12). Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging. https://benrose.org/-/resource-library/health-and-wellness-services/sexually-transmitted-diseases-in-older-adults