Here, we’re going to examine some more myths about sex after 50
Sex is shameful
Unfortunately many of us were brought up with the idea that sex is somehow shameful, or if not shameful, at least something to keep quiet about, something that needs to be hidden from the world.
Regrettable as this is, it’s up to us to change out thinking if we believe it. Consider genital play or masturbation, for example. What were you told about this very natural form of self pleasure as a young adult? Probably something like this: it could stunt your growth, make you mad or go blind, would spoil your sex life as an adult, or even perhaps that it would cause you in some mysterious way to go to hell!
The problem is that as children we tend to believe what we’re told, even when that information is misguided, if not malicious. No matter how much as an adult you might tell yourself that masturbation is a very healthy and pleasurable activity, it would be very surprising if you didn’t have some inhibitions about it. There is no clearer example of this than the fact that partners who are enjoying a sexual relationship very often find it excruciatingly embarrassing to talk about masturbation with their partner, let alone to do it with them.
Far from giving up masturbation when you get into a committed sexual relationship as an adult, my suggestion is to enjoy it even more often and for longer!
Self pleasuring is a fantastic alternative to sexual intercourse when you don’t want to go down that road. Sharing masturbation can show you how to please your partner when you yourself don’t want the ins and outs of penetration.
More fundamentally, it allows you to discuss those aspects of your relationship you normally keep hidden from your partner. Yes, of course you might have to admit that you do indeed masturbate in private from time to time: but there’s no shame in that, and, particularly for men, masturbation can be a valuable way of relieving sexual tension without making the whole performance into a big deal.
So it’s a serious suggestion, therefore, to incorporate lots of masturbation into your sex life. You’ll find it’s very helpful indeed if one of you has a high sex drive than the other. When you’re masturbating your partner, you can focus entirely on their pleasure without any sense of performance anxiety yourself. When they are masturbating you, you can just lie back and enjoy it to the full without any worries about pleasing them.
More importantly, masturbating with each other removes the worry about who’s going to come first, or taking it in turns, or am I going to last long enough? It doesn’t matter how long it takes to reach orgasm, and there is no need to try and synchronise your orgasms.
But how do you overcome the embarrassment that stopped you masturbating together in the first place? I think the answer to this is very simple indeed — just do it! By now you will have read lots of ideas for opening up communication between you and your partner, and you may already be able to bring this up comfortably. For example: “I thought it might be fun if we just snuggled together for a while and then perhaps we could bring each other off with our hands — or maybe even our mouths!” Of course — as you know — every couple has its own code to these matters, and no doubt you can find a way of saying it that you feel comfortable with.
We’ll come back to the subject of mutual masturbation and shared masturbation in the exercises for a great sex life.
Overcoming sexual trauma
Don’t believe for a moment that if you were traumatized by abuse of one kind or another that you’re stuck forever with the consequences. Yes, it is certainly true that your relationships will be impacted by the history of abuse that you experienced.
And yet at the same time, in a long-term relationship with a partner who you trust at a very deep level you can get over sexual shame.
Having said that, you may need professional help to get to point where you’re able to open up. In a way, healing from sexual trauma is a subject beyond the scope of this website and so we would like to recommend a starting point for you which you can find here. Not only is it a very perceptive article on the subject of sexual and other forms of abuse, but there are number of links to other resources which may be helpful for you in exploring how you can overcome a traumatic past.
Lack of romance
It’s all too easy in a monogamous relationship to take your partner for granted. The days when the intensity of your love or passion motivated you to be romantic, affectionate, and enjoy exciting sex may have passed. Instead, it now requires a conscious effort on your part to be romantic.
The problem is that many other things get in the way of thinking about romance. Life can be stressful; there’s no doubt about that: the demands of family, work, home, and especially these days, financial matters, all conspire to take our minds off romance and diminish the intimacy we feel with our partners.
Often, after romance has dwindled away, we feel foolish at the prospect of trying to behave romantically. And we may begin to justify our inactivity: sex, you may say, should be spontaneous! Or, it’s so childish to play at romance: that’s what teenagers do. And so on. And yet, the ironic thing is that romance is is appreciated by everyone – both those giving it, and those receiving it.
Romance is a way of creating a relaxed and inviting situation in which sex can happen — maybe even spontaneous sex! Playing at romance can help you to overcome the seriousness with which we sometimes treat sex in a long-term relationship. And deciding as a partnership to take time for sex, or deciding individually to treat your partner to a romantic experience is essential to keep your sex life passionate and exciting.
Even if trying to be romantic makes you feel self-conscious and silly, at least you have the consolation of knowing that taking the first step is the hardest part. Once you start, once you’ve made the initial effort, matters tend to take on a momentum of their own. You can reconnect with your romantic impulses in many different ways: some suggestions about rekindling romance are included in the exercises which you can find in another section of the site.
Anger and resentment are inevitable
What do you do if you feel angry or resentful towards your long-term partner? Do you suppress these emotions, and wait until you’re in a good enough mood that lets you tolerate sex with them? Do you experience the frustration of not speaking out about the issues that are on your mind? Do you end up feeling frustrated and angry that your partner seems to take you for granted, misses your wishes, needs and desires, and doesn’t pick up on the subtleties and nuances of how you feel?
Well, I have some surprising news for you! This is probably your fault. If you’re not communicating how you feel it’s unreasonable for you to expect your partner to know. Very often anger is just a build-up of frustration about unexpressed thoughts and feelings.
Of course, there are many things that seem too trivial to express in a long-term relationship; but when they’re not expressed they become a source of resentment which undermines the relationship.
Turning yourself off
We’ve already covered the question of turning yourself off and turning yourself on. At this point all I wish to reiterate is the fact that you do have much more control over the way you feel and your emotional responses than you probably believe right now.
How are you to access that control, you may ask? By considering which form of therapy and or counselling you may wish to pursue. After all, this is not about living a limited life. And to live a full life, you need to make sure that your shadow does not get in the way of achieving the fullest expression of yourself.
In practical terms what this means is that you need to take a decision to change things: and to commit to personal change, regardless of what form of therapy you choose..
The mid life crisis won’t affect you
I have absolutely no doubt at all that there is a time in almost every man’s life when he goes through significant psychological and physical changes. Happily, this can be dealt with fairly easily. You can find ideas on how to beat the midlife crisis here.
We could go on, but I think you’ve probably now got the idea. No matter what you think and feel about the long term sexual relationship you have with your partner, the truth is that you have the power in your hands to change it for the better.
That might mean getting professional help, or it might just mean following some of the suggestions given here to help you establish a more passionate sex life. It certainly means – at some level – taking a decision to stay faithful to your partner and change the quality of your sex with each other so that you get more arousal, passion and reward (fun and orgasm).