Here are some important points that can help you enjoy a great sex life after 50.
Ensure good communication continues
It is an irony that we have such a highly developed a brain, complete with linguistic ability, yet we find communication so difficult.
We often resort to indirect communication, a strategy that is usually unsuccessful in getting us what we want. How often have you or your partner wandered around the house wanting sex but not coming out with a straightforward request that might get you your wishes?
Video: The importance of clear communication in relationship
Even worse, we often turn grumpy when our partners fail to realise what it is that we want! Whatever the reason you don’t ask for sex, this lack of communication may lead to confusion, irritability and joyless sex when you do make love.
Asking for what you want is not selfish. After all, your partner has the ability to say no! And asking your partner for sex is not the same as using them.
Indeed, asking for sex is respectful, honours the gifts they have to give you, and usually leaves little resentment or irritability if the request is made in a direct and clear way.
To sexually satisfy yourself with the help of your partner generates intimacy between you, and is a sign of trust and affection. Of course, this may mean you have to change long standing patterns of communication.
You may have to change the way you initiate sex, or even start initiating it yourself; you may have to stop pretending to have a headache or saying you feel ill; you may have to stop acting like a tyrant until your partner gives in and lets you have sex; and you may have to overcome your embarrassment and shyness and start asking directly for sex.
Women in particular may have trouble voicing their wishes around intimacy particularly if they have become accustomed to leaving clues for their partner so he can work out what it is that they want. In other words, clear communication means no longer playing games.
Video – how to initiate sex (ie ask for what you want, sexually)
A couple can change the way they communicate by simply agreeing a strategy of asking for whatever they want whenever they want it. This is a way of communicating which is so outrageous in some people’s minds that it breaks down the barriers and opens up a whole new road to sexual satisfaction!
The other side of asking for what you want is knowing that you can refuse your partner what they are asking for. You do not have to “give” any more than you want to, which may be nothing at all.
However, in the spirit of compromise and communication you may feel you want to offer your partner an alternative to what it is that they are asking for, something that perhaps suits your mood better than what they have in mind.
So, if your partner wants full sex and you do not, you might respond to their request by saying “I’m really tired tonight, but I’d be very happy to pleasure you.” (Using whatever language you feel most comfortable with. Perhaps “I’d be very happy to toss you off” might be more your style.)
Overcome Sexual Aversion
While many of us find that we can do things when we are aroused that we would never dream of doing when we are not, there are still lots of us who find aspects of sex slightly off-putting, if not indeed positively aversive. Rather a lot of men have some degree of version to the vagina or its secretions.
Equally, many women have a very obvious version to either the smell or taste of semen. It’s a real shame, because any degree of inhibition is going to lessen the commitment that you can make to completely abandoned and openhearted sex.
Videos – how to overcome inhibitions about scents and tastes of sex
So without making a big deal of this, try this just for once: sample each other’s semen and vaginal juices during your next session of lovemaking.
Dip your fingers into a pool of semen and see what it tastes like; then dip your fingers into her vagina and see what that tastes like… you may find you are pleasantly surprised.
And even if you are not, think of this: these bodily products are of fundamental aspect of your sexuality or your partner’s sexuality.
To refuse to taste them, or to display aversion to them, is to reject a part of your partner. And that, unfortunately, reduces your intimacy, and perhaps ultimately your desire to be making love to that person.
Many men feel rejected when their partner will not allow them to ejaculate into their mouths. Men may see this as ultimate symbol of absolute and total acceptance of their masculinity. If you as a woman really can’t do it, then it’s probably worth spending some time thinking through what this actually means for you and your relationship.
Overcome Sexual Shame
Unfortunately many of us were brought up with the idea that sex was somehow shameful, or if not shameful, at least something to keep quiet about, something that needed to be hidden from the world, something that wasn’t, well, “decent”.
Regrettable as this is, it’s up to us to do something about this legacy. Consider masturbation, for example. What were you told about this very natural form of self pleasure as a child?
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. These pieces of misinformation are very much the foundation of the things we put into shadow as a child: in other words, the things we repress because we believe the world doesn’t want to know anything abut them.
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 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, how about sharing the experience with a partner?
Video – why not come together?
It’s 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. And, 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. However, there’s no shame in that. And 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 higher 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.
Video – coping with unequal sexual drive after 50
More importantly, masturbating with each other removes the worry about who’s going to come first, or taking it in turns, or wondering if you are 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.
Overcome Sexual Trauma
Don’t believe for a moment that if you were traumatized by abuse of one kind or another that you’re stuck 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, recovery takes place readily in a long-term relationship with a partner who you trust at a very deep level.
(If you don’t feel that level of trust with your partner, then you may need to examine if you are in the right relationship, or perhaps see if there is somewhere else you can take support to help your recovery.)
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.
Ensure romance continues!
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.