Paul's Perambulations

April 12, 2016

Sexuality and Aging

Filed under: General — admin @ 9:40 pm

Is Senior Sex an oxymoron?  Not at all, although naturally there are some changes in sexuality associated with aging.   Changes can be both physical and mental. Some are controllable, while others may not be. But most can be dealt with quite successfully. I find it ironical that in my seventies I am having my most consistently active physical life ever.  What’s going on? Some explanation, please.

First, maintaining good health is important. Keeping fit is important, with a focus on maintaining one’s physical stamina and appearance.  A couple can adjust to the natural changes of aging that occur gradually and inexorably. However if couples take on considerable excess weight, that can significantly affect both physical ability and mental desire.

If sexual responses become somewhat slower, there is also more time for closeness and consideration. If there is not the vigor or stamina of youth, there is also less internal pressure/drive/need to get things done.  This can involve more flexibility, which can have positive value with an appropriate partner. There can be a more loving experience compared to simply needing immediate relief of an urge.

Having “an appropriate partner” becomes particularly important with aging. What may be reduced in terms of spontaneous sexuality can be readily made up for by an experienced and understanding partner. We are seniors, not kids (thank God). If one is open to sexuality happening at most any time, then there is no loss if occasionally full sexuality is not accomplished or other approaches are used. There are lots of opportunities. Our default position is to go for it if either one of us has an interest and the partner is in good health and readiness. We expect to continue to be sexually/physically active for our entire lives together, making whatever adjustments may be appropriate with developing age.

There are medicinal aids if needed, although all medicines come with side effects. An interesting thing about Viagra is that its effect is not to get an erection but to maintain an erection until something is done about it. Thus Viagra generates pressure to have sex, as well as taking over the role of what an experienced partner could contribute to the sexual encounter.  I have tried Viagra, but we find going natural to be better overall for both of us.

Bottom line – Senior Sex is a great thing, with advantages and disadvantages compared to youthful adventures. I am convinced by experience that Senior Sex is absolutely the right thing when one is a senior. Wouldn’t make any sense to want to go back to being a kid at this point anyway.

p.s. I recommend Emily Nagoski’s book “Come As You Are” for a mature approach to shared sexuality.

1 Comment »

  1. Our marriage does benefit from a lot of care and attention. I will mention three things now ingrained in me that I learned in our counseling (if done right, I recommend this for anyone, to make a marriage better).

    1) “If it’s a big thing for Fran, it’s a big thing” If I accidentally knock a petal off a prize flower, don’t say that it is minor and was about to have fallen anyway. This accident may have made her wonder if I really care for her. If she feels hurt, respect this, don’t call the situation minor and say she over-reacted. If she feels hurt, she is hurt and her pain is real and must be dealt with.

    2) “I want to hear what is upsetting Fran whenever she is upset” This one wasn’t easy, and again, it’s not about who is right or wrong, but the issue isn’t going to go away until I learn why she is upset and what can I do for her now.

    3) “Tell Fran I love her, only her, now and forever, always” It is impossible to say this too frequently (recognizing that it is not a “Get Out of Jail Free” card if you have done something wrong). Say this anytime and not just as something that is said when things go wrong or are super right.

    Remember that the stronger person can bend, because the weaker person may be brittle.

    Comment by admin — January 7, 2017 @ 4:56 pm

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