Here, we look at some common myths about sex after 50 that women hold. MYTHS!
You can’t have good long-term sex in a relationship.
Start by refocusing your energy, in particular your sexual energy, from anything outside your existing relationship, and back into your relationship. Then, there is every reason to think you can have wonderful sex with your committed partner for years to come.
Video – sex in a long term relationship
If you believe that you’re currently in a relationship with the wrong person, that might be different issue. Even there I’d ask if you’ve devoted energy to trying to put things right and establish a better relationship. (As opposed to just making the assumption that your relationship is doomed. Ultimately, of course, only you know the answer to that question.)
There’s a rather similar related issue here: the belief that monogamy is unnatural. That’s often put forward as a justification for unfaithfulness. Here’s one point of view on this.
In strict socio-biological terms, monogamy is not natural…but what makes us different a a species is that we at least have the means to make a choice. We can decide whether we wish to sustain sexual monogamy with one other person for the rest of our lives (or at least for as long as the relationship lasts).
Bear in mind also, that what you call good sex depends how you define it.…. number of orgasms? Amount of pleasure – even if that comes from seeing your partner happy rather than having an orgasm yourself?
Just enjoying the chance to express your sexuality? How do you define good sex? Is that a definition your partner would agree with? Have you ever asked them what makes sex good for them?
Video – what is good sex for men?
Video – what is good sex for women?
We can’t control who we fall in love with.
This is a myth that has driven people’s choice of partner for a very long time. The reality is actually very different. We all make choices about who we fall in love with, whether we know it or not.
These choices are based on
- who is geographically available
- the kind of relationship we want
- the kind of person we want to have a relationship with
- the needs that we believe will be met in relationship with someone
- the excitement we want to experience in relationship
- the sort of person that we find physically attractive
- the needs we have that we believe a person can meet
- and the degree of self-actualisation that we think we will achieve in relationship with a particular person.
Relationships are not generated randomly; affairs of the heart are a myth, in the sense that we all actively choose our partner from the pool of people available to us.
What this means in practice is that if you choose to have an affair, you’re not just blindly falling in love. Rather, you’re fulfilling some need, perhaps one in the list above. A need that you see as giving you potentially more gratification than your existing relationship.
Attraction Always Leads to Sex
To believe this is to believe that our sexual arousal and sexual desire is an uncontrollable beast waiting to overcome us with its unimaginable power. It’s a myth!
Whether you feel like a teenager or not, lusting after every possible sexual outlet is immature. You have a choice about acting or not acting on your sexual desire. To be sexually aroused is a pleasurable thing – no doubt about it. But it really does NOT have to be taken any further. But over 50, such things can seem compelling. It may seem important to act on an urge which is, perhaps unusually for you at this age, strong.
But just because you have an erection, or you feel yourself getting wet, does not mean that you are in the grip of an uncontrollable process which will inevitably take you to bed with person who is the object of your lust.
Even if you’re dancing with somebody and you feel aroused, or you’re flirting with them and they respond to you, that does not mean you have to take it any further!
Instead, take those urges home to your primary relationship, and use the energy you’ve generated to increase the quality and frequency of sex with your partner.
Age inhibits sex, or the pleasure of sex
It may be that comparison with past performance or past ability or past potency leaves you feeling inadequate in midlife. Certainly the rampant erection of your youth may have softened, your erect penis may no longer point to the heavens, and it may indeed get soft during sex more easily than it used to do. But sex after 50 can be better than ever before. Read this to find out why.
Certainly the level of desire that you feel may have lessened and softened and mellowed. And the length of time between penetration and and orgasm may have increased. But does any of this matter if you are still just as capable of initiating sexual activity and just as capable as getting as much pleasure from it as you always did?
True, in midlife and beyond you may need physical stimulation to get an erection. You may need longer periods of thrusting after penetration to reach ejaculation. (You may even have delayed ejaculation.) You may not be able to get erect again as soon after a session of sex as you once could. (You may even have erectile dysfunction.)
But none of these changes need spoil sex or the pleasure you derive from it. If you have problems getting erect there is Viagra. If you have problems with you sexual drive there is testosterone replacement therapy.
So much of what we believe about midlife changes around male sexuality is clearly a myth. This is clearly demonstrated by the fact that women who go through the menopause fall into two broad groups: the first made up of women who lose interest in sex, and the second of women who find the menopause to be sexually liberating and a gateway to greater sexual activity.
The difference appears to be that the first group of women simply believe that women lose interest in sex after the menopause. The second group of women believe that freedom from menstruation, fear of pregnancy, and the need to use contraception, is a liberation which will improve their sex lives. And as you believe, so shall you experience.
Men want a perfect woman in bed with them
As you may have noticed, however, most men are with partners who do not have perfect bodies. The simple truth is that the supply of physical perfection is a little bit thin on the ground nowadays.
So what, you may say to yourself, men just make do with what they can get. Yet, in general, men are far less critical of women’s bodies than are women themselves.
The reality is that most women are extremely critical of their own bodies, and very conscious of what may be wrong: whether that is breast size, the amount of fat on their bodies, the tightness of their vaginas, slackness of their butts, the double chin… or whatever. (Men tend to be more conscious of the size of their penis, but are subject to other self-doubts and self denigration.)
But to focus on what is wrong with our bodies, or what we believe to be wrong with our bodies, just reinforces those issues in our minds (and indeed in the minds of our partners).
If you are told something is bad for long enough you come to believe it; if you focus on the good things instead, then those become predominant in your consciousness. Monogamy is not about avoiding reality: it is about embracing it. Sex in a monogamous relationship is not about desiring perfection: it’s about appreciating the beauty of what you have. (For help in changing the limiting beliefs you hold, professional support from a therapist trained in such arts as shadow work can be helpful.)
That may sound like a trite statement but actually it has a profound truth in it. That is simply this: we are all responsible for how we look and we are all responsible for how fit and healthy we are.
To complain about our appearance without making any effort to change it is rather sad, because loving and accepting our bodies is certainly necessary before our partners can be expected to love and accept them.
Remember the old expression “beauty comes from within”? Well, you are what you believe: if you believe you are attractive, you become more attractive.