When it comes to stress, the so-called ‘sandwich generation’ (those caring for their parents and their kids) are facing plenty of demands, including hormonal changes that can also prevent efforts to have healthy intimate relationships and yet the pressure to earn and achieve goals in life. No wonder sex gets relegated. Perhaps it is a time to re-educate ourselves about sexual pleasure.
Satisfying sex isn’t only for the 20 and 30-something folks. As many happy couples know, it’s possible to enjoy a healthy and satisfying sex life well into your 40s, 50s and beyond. Self-confidence and self-awareness could make miracles: feeling wiser than when we were in our earlier years, and know what works best for us when it comes to our sex life are the key. Yes, naturally, our body is going through changes as we age. We look and feel differently than we did when we were younger. But if we can accept these changes as natural and hold our head up high, we’ll not only feel better, we’ll also be more attractive to others.
The secret for a healthy, passionate sexual life? Is simply slowing down and nurturing our relationship with our partners, spending some time opening up together before engaging in any serious love-making.
When we shift our thinking around sexuality, from being goal-orientated to something that will grow and flourish over time, the most amazing experiences will emerge. It’s really not about whether you have a G-spot, or clitoral, or vaginal orgasm – says the sex and relationship consultant Pamela Madsen, founder of Back To The Body, sensuous retreats for women -. Organic sexuality is the opposite of everything we have been taught about sex, which is getting it done quickly and quietly. This is all about intentionally trying to slow down, opening to pleasure in all the parts of your body and letting go of the idea that you have to get anywhere.
Yes, a good sex life, at any age, involves a lot more than just sex. It’s also about intimacy and touch, things anyone can benefit from. Even if you have health problems or physical disabilities, you can engage in intimate acts and benefit from closeness with another person. Take the pressure off by putting aside your old ideas of what sex “should be.” Focus instead on the importance of tenderness and contact and take your time. For Pamela Madsen:
You are going to let go of the idea that each of you has to have the kind of climax you usually have. Instead, you are going to explore pleasure in touch and sensation. That is the only goal.
It’s not just about intercourse
Sex can be about emotional pleasure, sensory pleasure, and relationship pleasure. Intercourse is only one way to have fulfilling sex. Touching, kissing, and other intimate sexual contacts can be just as rewarding for both you and your partner.
For Claudia Melli, intimacy & relationship coach, M.A. Psych and Orgasmic Meditation Master Teacher in London:
Organic sex is about making conscious choices about the quality of sex you want to have as a woman, so it can be a truly nourishing experience for your body. If you want to take sexuality in your hands and stop adapting or trying to fit into unrealistic expectations, say goodbye to standard, porn based, climax obsessed, cookie-cutter version of intimacy. Make your own menu, carefully pick your unique ingredients, be willing to send back unsavoury orders, ask standards to be raised, and become a bespoke curator of your experience. And eat it with gusto.
What about Sexual Desire?
For many couples, sexual intimacy leads to emotional intimacy, which enhances the relationship. So if libido is low, you might have to be more intentional and more creative about setting aside time for intimacy, rather than just waiting for it to happen. Being clear about your intention to connect with your partner, and creating the time to do that, will benefit your relationship in the long run. But most of all be patient and just “do it” and don’t let age knock down your libido and chances to have great sex.
Age doesn’t define a woman’s sexual desire – says Walker Thornton, an American former executive director of sexual assault crisis centres and now a sex educator for older women with sexuality-related issues, author of ‘Inviting Desire, A Guide for Women Who Want to Enhance Their Sex Life’ -. Those numbers don’t stop us from doing all the things we want. And experiencing heightened pleasure. All the things culturally perceived to be for ‘young’ people. We are only limited by our imaginations. It’s time to acknowledge that women of all ages can experience sexual desire. Our capacity for desire is much stronger now than in our earlier years. Why? Because I’ve learned to tap into the thoughts and behaviours that allow me to create desire. Because I know that pleasure includes far more than traditional intercourse. Because I’ve learned to express what I feel and to ask for what I want. And, because there is currently a man in my life who wants all of this as well.
Walker Thornton‘s book opens conversations about sex and sexuality that reflect the reality of midlife women. Using a 30-day format, each day focuses on a topic, using writings, images, and exercises, it helps women experience pleasure teaching them to enhance awareness of their body and embrace their sexuality.
In the end, it’s all about feelings. Sexual arousal is a state of mind, as well as age.