As we enter a new year, many of us are setting goals and resolutions to improve our health and well-being. While we often focus on physical fitness and mental health, one aspect that is sometimes overlooked is our sexual wellness, especially after a certain age. It’s not just about having a satisfying sex life, but also about feeling comfortable and confident in our own bodies and in our intimate relationships. It involves understanding and respecting our own desires and boundaries, as well as those of our partners. In this article, Dr Sherry Ross will explore the top reasons why we should prioritize it in the new year and how it can benefit our lives, despite the mechanics of sex may become a bit more difficult after menopause.
Women’s sexual wellness is important but often not put at the top of our “to-do” list. Between motherhood, work, financial stress, relationship obstacles and choosing a good night’s sleep over sex, for millions of women in the United States, sex is no longer a fun or pleasurable experience and depending on where they are in life, sexual health issues may create a roadblock.
It may give you comfort knowing that 40% of your girlfriends are having some sexual difficulties. It may even surprise you that up to 20% of women have never had an orgasm. What’s more, talking about sex and sexual dysfunction is not a comfortable conversation with our partners, our BFF or our healthcare provider (50% of women never share this information with them).
It’s time to prioritize our sexual health and reap the many benefits it has to offer. By educating ourselves, communicating with our partners, practising self-care, and seeking professional help when needed, we can achieve a more fulfilling and satisfying sex life.
Why cultivating healthy sexuality is important
Our sexuality is as much a part of our lives as is eating and sleeping. It’s an important aspect of our well-being whether we’re in an intimate relationship with somebody or single and enjoying pleasuring ourselves, ultimately it’s as critical as love and affection. But enjoyable sex is not something that happens but rather something that is learned. Sure, there’s instinct and maybe a dusting of magic involved, but you don’t magically have an orgasm without having an active role in making it happen.
You and your partner should acknowledge each other’s likes and dislikes and learn how to satisfy each other. Open and honest conversations are necessary to make the sexual experience optimal, as well as sexual self-awareness.
Here are the three top reasons why you should be prioritizing your sexual wellness in 2024.
Sex To Improve Physical and Emotional Health
Our sexual wellness has a direct impact on our physical and mental health and has been linked to a stronger immune system, lower blood pressure and reduced stress and anxiety. Sex triggers the release of dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins, which help promote relaxation and well-being and reduce the stress hormone cortisol, improving our mood and self-confidence.
It’s also thought that regular sex allows women and men to look younger and live longer. And guess what? It counts as exercise, too.
Physical and emotional benefits of sexual activity and orgasm also include:
- Comforting and calming effect
- Increasing feelings of happiness and satisfaction
- Promoting the release of natural mood boosters
- Reducing irritability and crankiness
- Having a more restful sleep
- Getting the heart pumping
- Lowering the risk of heart disease
- Improving a woman’s bladder
- Reducing headaches and joint pain
Sex To Increase Relationship Intimacy
Sexual wellness allows for a deeper level of intimacy with your partner and strengthens the bond between the two of you.
Communicating with your partner is crucial. Even the most compatible couples usually need to make adjustments as their relationship matures. Engaging in open and honest communication about your sexual needs and desires, expressing any boundaries or concerns to your partner, as well as exploring new things to try in bed can lead to more fulfilling sexual experiences under the sheets avoiding making you a depressing statistic.
According to the latest stats on relationships, 20% of marriages are sexless, over 50% of marriages end in divorce and over 40% of women and 30% of men report sexual concern. Approximately 30% of spouses have had an affair and over 20% of women report marked distress about their sexual relationships.
So, make time for sex. Turn off the TV, close your laptop and maybe experiment with new positions and play with some toys. However, don’t expect your sex life to look a certain way all of the time, because expectations are the enemy of great sex.
Sex To Boost Female Empowerment
Prioritizing sexual wellness is also an act of personal empowerment. Neglecting our sexual reality damages the relationship we have with ourselves as well as our relationships with others.
Taking control of your sexual health and pleasure can lead to a greater sense of autonomy which will set the stage for fulfilling and enjoyable sexual experiences with yourself and all your partners, leading to improved body confidence and increased self-acceptance and self-love.
Ultimately, sexual empowerment is a transformative journey that fosters self-assurance, inner strength, and happiness. It cultivates a heightened consciousness and fulfilment in one’s sexuality, enhancing overall life satisfaction and the capacity to embrace beauty.
Remember, there is no age limit on sexual activity. Sexual wellness is a personal journey, one where only you can create the roadmap. First, you must listen to your own personal desires and needs so you can communicate them confidently and openly with your partner(s). If you aren’t sure about some aspect of your own sexuality, read a book, watch a sex education film, or ask questions of an expert such as a therapist, physician, or sex educator.
Find your path and lead the lifelong journey for this very important priority in your life for 2024.
Did You Know? Sex not only benefits your body and mood, but it can also enhance your cognitive abilities. Studies have shown that individuals aged 50 and above who engage in sex more frequently perform better on memory tests. Furthermore, sex has been found to reduce stress levels, which in turn positively affects brain functions. A study specifically focused on adults between the ages of 50 and 89 revealed that sex can contribute to improved memory. In addition to maintaining the health of our reproductive organs, engaging in sexual activity also aids in preventing symptoms of vaginal atrophy, a condition that affects approximately 80% of women during menopause. Furthermore, the heightened blood circulation resulting from regular orgasms promotes the well-being of our hair, skin, and sleep patterns.