All you have to do is take in a Cialis ad on T.V. to realize that sex for older people is getting more attention. The problem is that the actors in these ads are almost never seniors. They are middle-aged people masquerading as seniors.
Real seniors (65 or 70 and up) are rarely depicted in ads, or in articles and other media exposure about the joys of sex. Middle-aged people are so busy with their careers and kids that they are too stressed out to enjoy sex as much as could be the case.
Middle-aged people too often put down their kids—and especially their parents—for being sexual. I call it the tyranny of middle-age. They envy their kids for being sexual, and they abhor any thought of their parents actually relishing sexual pleasure.
With the graying of America, there is an increasing interest in retaining the youthfulness of sexual intimacy. How could anyone blame seniors for wanting to continue being emotional and sexual? Why should they quit being sexual when most of them are capable of a rewarding and healing sex life?
Not all seniors have a partner, but most of them could date and enjoy sex anyway. Some of them desire a partner, and after the death of a spouse or a divorce, many of them are more than ready for a new sexual adventure.
I deal with seniors in my sex therapy practice. I am currently seeing “Gary,” a 78 year old widower who has recently met a “young” woman of 73! He has been out of the dating scene for over fifty years, and he is a bit anxious about how to proceed. He has had some erection problems, but his desire is strong from testosterone supplementation. He exercises and he is now capable of intercourse. She has desire, but needs a lubricant to counter her vaginal dryness.
“Gary” lacks confidence, but we are working on his negative thoughts so he will feel more than ready for regular sexual interaction. He now understands that intercourse is not the only pleasurable sexual act, and that making out, manual and oral stimulation and the use of sex toys are all part of his emerging erotic repertoire. I will soon meet his new friend and lover, and after seeing her alone, I will see them together to fully develop their intimacy.
Sexual arousal and orgasm are important for our mental and physical wellbeing at any age. There is no reason to leave seniors out. Sex can be a healing force for individuals and couples, including older people. If a senior does not have a lover, masturbation is a healthy affirmation of self-love. It is healing to make love with another and with oneself.
As long as seniors exercise, eat well (eat veggies!), sleep well and stay off medications that work against sex, there is absolutely no reason for abstinence from sexual pleasure and love. Hormones need to be checked by a competent medical person who believes in and has knowledge about balancing hormones. There is a lot of controversy about testosterone for both sexes, but my experience is that testosterone is extremely important to have and enjoy a healthy libido.
Senior men who have regular erections and ejaculations are more likely to have a healthy prostate. Senior women who have orgasms feel more alive and happy. Staying sexual—even if in somewhat less vigorous ways—into the later years enhances our mental, physical and relationship health. Being playful is healing and soothing.
Older lovers may not be quite as acrobatic as those in their twenties, but they can enjoy sex as much or more than they did when they were much younger. As long as seniors visualize what they want, and receive some mental and medical guidance to achieve their desires, a gratifying sex life is very possible.