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How can I enjoy a healthy sex life as I get older?

Madeleine M. Castellanos, MD
Psychiatry
You can still enjoy a satisfying sex life well into your golden years. Here's how:
  • Get creative. Even if you're in great shape, your bodies -- and your stamina -- have changed. Can't swing from the chandelier the way you used to? Well, you don't have to! Maybe you've got a bad back and find the missionary position painful. You don't have to choose the most acrobatic or strenuous positions to enjoy the pleasure of sex with your partner. Enjoy sex while lying side by side or spooning instead. Think in terms of what you can do sexually, not what you can't.
  • Expand your repertoire. Couples who enjoy a wider range of sexual activities in their sex life already have more options for pleasure at their disposal, while those who subscribe to a very rigid definition of what "sex" is set themselves up for greater disappointment later in life. Once you recognize that "sex" doesn't have to equal "intercourse," you'll have a lot more options for pleasure. Experiment with more kissing, cuddling, touching, oral sex, manual stimulation, and vibrators and other sex toys. This helps both of you work with -- not against -- your body, giving it the time and attention it needs for maximum pleasure and arousal.
  • Change your point of view. Sex may not be what it was 20 or 30 years ago, but that doesn't mean it's worse. In fact, some things improve with age: Younger men may have stronger erections, but older guys tend to have better control. You both know each other's bodies, you've perfected your technique, and you may feel less inhibited than you did in the past. In fact, the majority of sexually active couples who have been together for 15 to 20 years say that the sex gets better because of the closer connection with and knowledge of their partner.
  • Stoke the flames. As we age, it's not unusual for our libidos to decrease a bit. Give your desire a push by talking about your fantasies or watching a sexy movie together. When we're younger, we tend to think about sex more often throughout the day. By setting a few minutes aside each day to entertain exciting memories or fantasies, we help keep the fires of desire burning, while increasing blood flow to our genitals at the same time. Also, giving your partner even a single compliment every once in a while help keep the idea of sex in both of your minds. Remember, communication is key to a hot sex life.
Mosaraf Ali, MD
Integrative Medicine
There is absolutely no reason why, as you get older, sex should become a thing of the past, but there are physical reasons why it may lose its appeal. In the wake of menopause, vaginal dryness, shrinking nipples and clitoris, and less elasticity in the vaginal walls (reducing the dilation and contraction that brings pleasure during intercourse) can make lovemaking much less pleasurable. Lower energy levels and less frequent lovemaking can also lead to less interest in sex. Some women feel under pressure if their partner’s libido is as high as ever, for fear of him turning elsewhere. Hormone replacement therapy wards off the effects of the menopause, but you may prefer instead to use natural phytoestrogens and supplements. Regular exercise also keeps your energy and stamina levels high and your joints supple, which help retain your enjoyment of lovemaking.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
One of the biggest complaints from women over 35 is that sex starts to become a chore. Sex becomes more difficult and less enjoyable than it once was due to natural changes to your anatomy.

Using a silicone-based lubricant can bring the fun back to the bedroom! It’s much slicker and lasts longer than petroleum-based lubricants. Test it out by rubbing it between your fingers -- if it doesn’t melt into your skin, then that’s the kind you want!
This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.