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Unfortunately, sexuality and aging is a subject that has been somewhat
taboo. For some, it conjures an uncomfortable image of our parents or
even grandparents, “getting it on.” Well, guess what? We, too, are
going to age—and our sexuality will necessarily come into new phases as
well. I doubt that many of us are willing to accept an age where our
sexuality will simply fade away.
Certainly some of us will “mellow out” with age, not needing as much
sexual activity. On the flip side, just as many of us experience an
increase in desire. Even better news is that older adults are perfectly
capable of sexual pleasure and orgasm even in much older years.
As for the physical changes, many can be overcome with a few tools.
Women can overcome vaginal dryness with the use of personal lubricants.
Radically decreased sex drive can be addressed with hormone replacement
therapy (HRT) in women, and drugs like Viagra for men.
Try looking at the positive side of change: If you and your partner
need to take things more slowly due to physical constraints, you can
use this down-time to develop new and exciting ways to make love. For
younger people sex has basically two steps: physical
stimulation/foreplay and intercourse. Now that you have more time to
enjoy each other, try exploring each other's sexual depths through
sensual massage, sharing fantasies, deep embraces, and more.
Aging does not have to mean an end to our sexuality. To get a good idea
of how your sexuality will be affected as you grow older, take a look
at your sex drive now. Chances are if your attitude toward and
enjoyment of sex is healthy now, it will continue to be well into your
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|