Why do some wives over the age of 50 say they are having the best sex of their lives? While others complain about a loss of libido, decreased responsiveness, and painful intercourse? What makes the difference? And how do I create a great sex life after 50?
Years ago, I had a hysterectomy due to medical reasons. Though the loss of my monthly cycle will not officially signal menopause, my body tells me I am done. I no longer have wide swings of sensitivity with my nipples, or sex dreams in the middle of my cycle. Hormonal swings don’t urge me towards connection with my husband. In fact, the best way to describe my libido would be as a straight line.
But if sex for a woman is 80% in our head, then I choose for my straight line to signify a constantly high drive instead of a constantly low drive. My attitude and mindset about sex make the biggest impact on whether I enjoy sex after 50. If I believe that God designed sex as a powerful way to unite my marriage, then I know that I need to connect with Jim on a regular basis. Since sex provides comfort and refreshment for me, then I yearn for connection when I feel lonely, sad, or stressed out. I embrace sex as a way to discover and know my husband in a deeper intimate way. I choose to make sex a priority.
But even with the right mindset, sex after 50 still requires adjustments and hard work for both of you. I don’t want to make it sound easy. At times you may feel discouraged and have to fight for your sex life. Women vary enormously in their experiences both approaching menopause and settling into menopause. But most of us deal with some kind of adjustment along the way. Though I don’t have all the answers, I want to share some principals that have helped me.
Take Care of Your Health
Once I reached 50, I soon realized that without regular exercise my body began to atrophy. No longer could I slack off, eat junk food and hibernate in the winters. I had to be intentional about exercising. Brisk walks, keeps me feeling good. Stretching keeps my joints loose. Standing at my computer instead of sitting is one of the everyday choices to stay fit.
I feel better when I eat meals packed with fresh fruits and vegetables. I watch my weight and keep moving. Sexual function depends on blood circulation. If you want to stay responsive then keep your blood flowing – even down there.
Regular Kegels, orgasms, and intercourse help to increase blood flow. Just like your body atrophies without regular exercise, your genitals atrophy without regular exercise.
If you want to enjoy life after 50, then you need to take care of your body. If you want to enjoy sex after 50 then the same rules apply.
Be Willing to Adjust
Sex at the age of 50 might look very different than it did at the age of 30, but that does not mean that it can’t be awesome. Your body is changing but if you are willing to adjust, you can still enjoy intimate physical connection on a regular basis.
My body simply does not respond the same way that it did when I was young. Some things have been great, like the fact that my clitoris does not get painfully sensitive after orgasm. But other things have been hard and confusing. Talking about the challenges with my husband kept Jim and I on the same team. But as I adjusted to my new body, self-exploration also helped.
Doing some private research projects helped me to re-establish confidence in my own body. Flexibility training helped me to expand on that. Once I regained confidence in my body, then I could relax more with my husband. When my head knew that my body was still capable of enjoyment, I could trust that with enough stimulation my body would respond. Take the time to adjust and get to know your new body.
Regular Connection After 50
After the age of 50, sex on a regular basis is more important than ever. Without hormones screaming for sex, I have to intentionally engage. Things work better when sex is fairly frequent. I feel connected to my husband, and like we could conquer the world. I smile at the memories we create. Sex makes our marriage completely different. When we are not having sex, I get cranky.
You might not have your hormones anymore to remind you, but you get to have sex whenever you want – even every day of the week.
Many women have a harder time getting to orgasm after the age of 50. Go ahead and grieve the loss of your young body. Then realize that change does not always have to be a bad thing. Maybe your changed body provides an opportunity for growth. What if you and your husband move beyond the familiar to learn something new?
Many women over the age of 50 require more _________ to orgasm. That might mean more physical stimulation. Oral or manual stimulation might need to ramp up. You could also explore the use of a vibrator with your husband.
“More” might mean taking more time and enjoying the pleasures of extended gourmet sex. Maybe you need more excitement than the same old, same old, and so you finally have the courage to go crazy. Or more connection during sex.
What if letting go of the expectation of orgasm finally helps you discover the sweetest connection during sex. Harder orgasms are a great excuse to change things up to create something new that is maybe even better than you ever imagined.
Look for Answers
Changes will come as you transition to enjoying sex after 50. Some doctors assume sex is not a big deal for older women. If sex matters to you and your doctor doesn’t seem concerned or helpful, then look for someone new.
Many of the challenges result from the decrease in estrogen. Lack of estrogen not only decreases natural lubrication, but causes your tissues to thin. Treatments like hormone replacement therapy, localized estrogen treatments, or vaginal suppositories of DHEA can help. Chris at the Forgiven wrote a great article on dealing with atrophy of the vulva. Even using natural oils like coconut oil or vitamin E can help make tissue more supple. Work with your doctor to find the right solution for you and don’t give up until you find relief.
Our sexual response depends on other factors besides physical stimulation and response. Our sexual response depends on our emotional connection with our spouse, and it depends on our beliefs about sex. Even though my aging body does not respond like it once did and I sometimes feel frustrated, I am having the best sex of my life.
Don’t give up, because of the physical challenges of aging. Embrace change as an opportunity for growth. Women in Menopause have taken Awaken Love and found a new lease on life. Discover the power of sex to create an amazing marriage and to help keep you young.