Sex in old age: All that you need to know

Sex education is quality teaching and learning about a broad variety of topics related to sex and sexuality, exploring values and beliefs about those topics and gaining the skills that are needed to manage one’s own sexual health.

Planned Parenthood believes that parents play a critical and central role in providing sex education. Sex education – in or out of schools – does not increase sexual risk-taking behavior or STI/HIV infection rates, helps in birth control and understand consent better. 

Social and sexual relationships remain important as individual’s age and are associated with both quality of life and longevity.

Why sex becomes less satisfying with age?

Sex education has no age bar. However with growing age, substantial research has concluded certain factors like sleep disruption, vaginal dryness, and painful sexual act, body image concerns, lack of self-confidence, stress, mood changes, are few factors leading to less active sex life or ‘no’ sex life at all.

A person reaching in 50-60 age; the primary reason for absence of sexual activity can be the lack of a good partner, a partner’s medical condition and perception of aging.

But sex is not a game of chess or a war which comes with certain rules and a rule book.

There is no harm in trying an up-hand in making this game of fun and mysteries simplified and not surrender you to this yardstick of time. 

Where as safe sex practices are must, effective communication is the key-  show that you are interested and ready to listen what concerns, your partner has related his/her sexual desires.

Betty and Perry are two best friends. One day, Betty approached Perry to help her in one of the surveys that she was conducting on Old age people as part of her Age-Well Organisation’s project.

But she found out that Perry asked her instead that why she thinks “Sex education is important for older people?”

Perry had this huge misconception that people crossing the age of 40, become asexual and do not feel anything sexually.

She quotes that her grandmother used to faint thinking about sexual intercourse. To this Betty replied “Be empathetic and don’t go overboard in the pace of establishing something which is not coming natural. Go with the flow! Maybe talk it out with a cup of tea, chit-chat, try to understand what the other person has to offer. Tell this to your grandmother.”

Perry asked “Isn’t sex at this age, painful?”

To this Betty replied “ One can use lubrication for less painful sex.” 

“Water-based lubricants are helpful when needed to make sex more comfortable. To avoid sensitivity to any product, be sure to use water-based and fragrance-free lubricants and moisturizers.”

Perry had this doubt, “Can sex in old age be fun and comforting at the same time?”

Betty explained “You can also take a warm bath before sex to relax your muscles. Take time and relax. My grandparents had told me once their fantasy bath tub date that they enjoyed thoroughly. There is a magical sensation when two bodies relax together in water; my grandmother used to laugh loudly by saying this.”

She mentioned few more important points:

“Orgasm and goal driven sex shouldn’t be considered important. Be creative and experiment with sex positions. Take your partner out on a date; it’s never too late to ignite the sexual desires by showing that you really care.”

 “Flirt it out”

“Make an effort to be open to trying something new, keeping in mind that comfort is also necessary”

Perry was finding this conversation interesting. Even she added one point of her own.

Perry said “One can change the time of day you have sex to a time when you have the most energy. This will help?”

Betty replied “Exactly, kudos! You are now getting me.”

‘Exercise before sex to increase blood flow; a brisk walk is fine. Use a vibrator to intensify clitoral sensation; I advocate masturbation (especially with sex toys) to keep sexually vibrant.”

“Your doctor can help you manage chronic conditions and medications that affect your sex life. Ask your doctor.”

Ending this conversation here, both of them bid each other good bye.

Misconceptions can be thousand but right knowledge can spread awareness.

Do you want to be like Betty or Perry?

This topic needs to be discussed more frequently and openly without the judgment of society. Older adults at risk will only feel comfortable discussing this alarming health concern once the stigma that surrounds them diminishes. One move in the right direction can push off the bars of shyness! 

Intimacy is key point to any relationship regardless of the age. The prime concern should be to maintain it. Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been.

Picture by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

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