5 things no one tells you about sex as you grow older
Sure, you've heard about the waning libido and vaginal dryness that can put a big damper on sex as you age. But it's not all doom and gloom. While change is inevitable, experts agree there are plenty of ways sex gets better as you grow older.
Here's what you need to know to navigate the changes you might experience.
1. Sex is more satisfying.
Here's to you, Mrs. Robinson: According to a study published in The American Journal of Medicine, a whopping two-thirds of women were satisfied with their sex lives—including women as old as 80. Even better, 67% of older women say they have orgasms "most of the time" or "always" during sex, leading the University of California, San Diego researchers to conclude sex really does get better with age. "Not only were the oldest women in this study the most satisfied overall, those who were recently sexually active experienced orgasm satisfaction rates similar to the youngest participants," said study co-author Susan Trompeter, MD.
2. your partner knows what he is doing
Experience goes a long way when it comes to better sex, and this is where women in their 40s and beyond have a major advantage, says Lauren Streicher, MD, a gynecologist in Chicago and author of Sex Rx: Hormones, Health and Your Best Sex Ever.
"Everyone has this idea that sex is best when you're in your 20s, but it's simply not true," she says. "When you're young, you're likely having sex with 20-something guys who are totally clueless. Later on in life, everyone's more experienced.
3. pressure to look hot maybe worrisome
While 50 may feel like the new 30, society's expectations that women should look younger and younger with every passing birthday puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on us, says Streicher. "This pressure to be more attractive and look a certain way makes it tougher to feel joyful during sex," she says.
Recalibrate your expectations about what your body should look like, and there's a better chance you'll be more in the moment while you're getting busy, which helps make everything hotter.
4. Years of sex with the same partner boost happiness.
In addition to containing sperm, semen is also filled with oxytocin and serotonin—two "feel good" hormones that make a beeline for the brain, says Stephanie McClellan, MD, a gynecologist in Newport Beach, CA.
"Multiple studies have shown that woman who have been exposed to the same semen on a regular basis actually have lower levels of depression and higher levels of joy and happiness," McClellan says.
5. A new partner can throw everything off.
The vagina is an entry point from the outside to the internal world. It's also closely linked to your immune system, McClellan says.
"If you've had the same partner for many years and then suddenly switch partners, your vagina may send out an immune alert that this new semen is foreign," she says. The result may be irritation or even pain during intercourse.