There’s no question about it: humans were designed to have sex for their entire lives.
However, there’s also no doubt that aging changes how we experience sex. For instance, the frequency with which we have sex might change, what sexual activities are pleasurable, what positions are comfy, and what simply feels good all change as we age.
Sex evolves just as we do. And there’s plenty of health benefits to keeping a reasonably active sex life.
For instance, sex appears to positively impact cognitive performance, with research showing better retention and memory recall in individuals who reported more frequent sexual activity than those who have less.
In short, maintaining an active sex life can help keep your mental and cognitive functions all in order.
It can improve your sexual relationship with your partner, improve your mood, reduce anxiety, and alleviate stress. Furthermore, it promotes better immune health. What’s not to love about that?
That said, how do you keep your sexual drive over the years and gain the myriad benefits of keeping a healthy sex life? Let’s discover the guidelines to maintaining excellent sexual health throughout your life.
Good sexual health is a by-product of good physical health
Sexual health is intricately interwoven with physical health.
There is overwhelming evidence that individuals with overall poor health are more likely to experience poor sexual health, such as low testosterone, lack of sex drive, and erectile dysfunction.
Additionally, sexual dysfunction is often an indicator of more significant underlying health concerns.
Erectile dysfunction is primarily a product of poor cardiovascular function, and therefore an indicator of cardiovascular disease in men. It’s prudent to not take sexual problems lightly because they might tell you something more sinister that might require immediate medical attention.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by implementing lifestyle changes such as keeping a proper diet and getting enough exercise might be enough to ward off ED.
Plenty of sexual dysfunctions can be entirely reversed by making simple lifestyle changes. And it all starts with getting more exercise, eating better, quitting smoking, and reducing or altogether quitting alcohol.
Try new things and explore new sexual experiences
Our bodies change as we pile on the years. That means some things, including sexual positions and acts, become harder to pull off, if not impossible, as we age.
Sexual activities you might have enjoyed before might become less pleasurable over time, and it can take longer for you to respond to sexual stimuli or achieve climax.
Thus, if you start believing that sex needs to be precisely the same as it was for you and your partner in your 20s as it does in your 50s, then you might not associate it with pleasure. In fact, you might just end up getting more stressed out about it. That’s why you need to expand your boundaries and redefine what sex is and how you approach it with your partner over time.
Most heterosexual couples define penile to vaginal intercourse as their idea of “sex.” Others don’t typically count other practices such as oral sex or anything other than penetrative sex as part of their definition of sex. And while it may be the prevailing view, it isn’t necessarily the most inclusive.
It’s not surprising that individuals who keep the same narrow view about sex tend to report the most sexual health problems. They have also been reported as having an overall low satisfaction rate with their sexual relationships compared to those that define sex as a broad spectrum of intimate activities that don’t necessarily restrict themselves to just penetrative intercourse.
Remember, sex doesn’t have to be just plain intercourse. So try to redefine sex as something broader in definition, as a wide array of activities that promote sexual pleasure and intimacy. This will make your sex life more exciting and diverse while allowing new experiences to come to the forefront even as your body changes over time.
Quality is always more important than quantity
Some people believe that the more frequent their sexual encounters are, the better their sex life is. Granted, that makes quantitative sense, and frequency does serve as a reasonable barometer of sexual health. But quantity isn’t everything–it’s the quality of your sexual activity that matters.
The fact is, there isn’t a single one-size-fits-all magic number that is “ideal.” People simply have varying degrees and frequency with which they have sex, and it can vary over time. Some are satisfied by just enough sexual activity, while some might need more.
Having sex for the sake of having sex leads to exhaustion and the erosion of desire and sex drive. More doesn’t instantly mean better.
Instead, the more important thing is determining whether the sexual activity you engage in is equally satisfying and pleasurable for you and your partner. Focus on your wants and needs as a couple, work towards compromises, and mix and match things up. Take your time, be more into the moment, and don’t rush things. You’ll find that the better sexual experiences you have as a couple, the intensity and the frequency just might increase over time.
Harness the power of touch and use it on your partner
There comes the point in time in every relationship when both partners can’t seem to get their hands off each other. Touch is, after all, a vital part of sexual intimacy between partners. But over time, the sensations of a partner’s touch tend to reduce in intensity. Sometimes it goes away completely.
Touch releases the pleasure hormone we know as oxytocin, which enhances feelings of intimacy and bonding, which contribute to both couples staying mentally in touch with one another.
Touch also reduces stress, anxiety, and heart rate, which means more intimate chances and focusing solely on pleasuring each other. Stress kills your sex drive. Therefore it’s necessary to find ways to manage it effectively. Harnessing the power of touch goes a long way in maintaining the couple’s physical and mental connection to enjoy their sexual relationship throughout life. Use it and incorporate touch in your everyday life–even in the most minor ways. Massages, holding hands, cuddling, and hugging all add up in a big way.
Keeping your sexual health and passion healthy over the long term requires conscious and conscientious efforts in taking care of your mind and body. Take a good look at your lifestyle, reframe your mindset, and use the power of touch to keep the flame of passion burning in your relationship. There’s no better time to implement these lifestyle changes than right now. The sooner you get started, the more you can get out of your sexual health over the long haul.