Let’s talk about sex in your 50s:
Graying hairs, varicose veins and sagging skin, often in unexpected places - all the unwanted signals of a body aging into its 50s. As a society, we tend to link these physical changes with a slow down in our sex lives, but that’s not necessarily, nor need it be the case.. According to the AARP, one in three 50-somethings is having sex at least once a week, and up to 91 percent of men and 86 percent of women in their 50s are sexually active. And that’s a good thing, too, because studies have found sex can actually prolong your life, make you happier, as well as boosting your immune system and lowering blood pressure. Let’s get into it.
Men and Sex After 50
This is around the time that men begin to see a significant decrease in the production of sex hormones, particularly in levels of testosterone. Unfortunately this drop off - along with other emotional and psychological factors - can result in erections that are less firm and frequent than before.
The anxiety surrounding this change can worsen the problem by constricting the arteries that carry blood to the penis, making erections more difficult to sustain. Medical conditions like obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol can impair erections as well. Medications for blood pressure and depression can also make it harder to get hard. According to the Massachusetts Male Aging Study, men in their 50s are more than three times as likely to experience erection problems compared to men 18 to 29.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that all men will experience ED, nor does it mean men with ED can’t still enjoy sex. Using a cock ring - which makes erections harder, bigger and longer-lasting - is a safe, easy method to combat ED for men in their 50s. Lifestyle changes like drinking less alcohol, eating healthier and exercise can help, along with having sex earlier in the day when you have more energy.
Luckily, there’s one big upside to sex in your 50s: the kids are out of the house. There’s more time and space to explore your sexuality with your partner, whether that means trying new spots in the house (we’re looking at you, kitchen counter), or getting into role play. Michael, a 57-year-old divorcé, had his first threesome at 53. “I’d never dare do it when I was younger! I was too hung up on my body and whether I could perform,” he told GQ magazine. “But once I hit 50 and my marriage went south, I thought, 'What the hell.'"
Women and Sex After 50
Women are experiencing significant physical changes during their 50s due to the big M: menopause, aka ovarian retirement. During menopause, your ovaries have stopped releasing eggs and producing most of their estrogen. These hormonal changes can result in hot flashes, mood changes, weight gain and a lower
sex drive, along with other symptoms that vary from person to person.
After menopause, the vagina may become drier, leading to uncomfortable or even painful sex. This is where the phrase “use it or lose it” ties in: frequent sex will keep the vagina more supple, reports Chicago Health Online. Using a vaginal moisturizer can also help increase elasticity and lubrication, and bringing new sex toys into the bedroom may spark a lowered sex drive. Finally, estrogen therapy can reduce or resolve troublesome symptoms of menopause, though there are associated risks.
What’s one nice thing about menopause? Well, there’s no longer a risk of pregnancy. Less anxiety around getting pregnant means more spontaneity and freedom in when and how frequently you have sex. Plus, some women report feeling more comfortable and confident in their bodies after 50-some years. “I now have the sex I want instead of thinking how it looks. My partner is thrilled AF about it,” says one 50-year-old woman in Repeller magazine.
Overall, both men and women experience drawbacks and benefits when it comes to sex at this age. On one hand, physical changes like ED and menopause can make sex more challenging. But emotional and psychological changes - along with a bit of creativity and a dash of passion - can get your sex drive racing again. Let’s not forget about a few physical helpers as well: cockrings, vibrators, certain types of pillows and more can do wonders in the bedroom. Cock rings can help male partners stay harder, longer, and vibrators and lubrication can help female partners continue to enjoy sex as they age.
To sum it up, we love this quote from Repeller, from another woman in her 50s. “As I have aged, sex has gotten better. I am open and speak up about what I like and how I like it. Sex brings on pleasure and confidence and it makes you glow! Sex is a key factor in aging well and taking care of yourself.”