Every period of life brings its own challenges but it also opens up the opportunity for joyful and healthy sexlife. Understanding your body, sexual identity, and your ever changing needs in each stage of life paves the way towards a sexual fulfillment and harmonious relationship with your partner(s).
The sexual spring of late childhood and teen years is marked by the sense of discovery and the urge to find and define your identity.
Childhood sexuality is under discussed and somewhat of a taboo in most cultures even though it is a defining period that draws the blueprint for our sexual functioning. Exposure to quality information in this period is crucial for the lifelong journey of sexuality. This especially applies to information about what sex is, how to practice it in a safe and joyful manner, and above all, how to discuss it with others without feeling shame or guilt. The lack of social consensus about how to communicate sex to young people, present in too many cultures around the world, has failed generations of kids, leaving them anxious, confused, and prone to making bad decisions. Decades after the sexual revolution of the ‘60s and ‘70s, young people are actually having less sex and encounter their sexual initiation later than their parents or even grandparents. Those who, on top of the already confusing experience of sexual development, are also confused about their sexual orientation or gender identity, often face strong ideological pressures to conform to heteronormative values.
In the absence of real education an increasing number of young people is turning towards the source that seems educative on the outside – porn. Some studies show that over half of young men use pornography as their primary source of education. This can suck the delightful innocence out of youthful sexual experimentation and often promotes degrading patterns of sexual behaviour. Someone should inform boys that facial “money shot” is not the natural finish to lovemaking. I also believe girls would be relieved to find out that gag-reflex deepthroating is not a required skill in their erotic repertoire.
Twenties are a stepping stone from childhood into the world of adults and the right time for the exploration of your sexuality. A definite luxury of the present day, assuming you live in a relatively free part of the world,is the liberty to explore your sexuality in a way that pushes the borders. Sexual behaviour patterns that used to be shunned by the society like one-night stands, bisexual hookups, or multiple-partner sex – have become quite acceptable. Also, alternative sexual and relationship arrangements, like polyamory, swingers lifestyle, or open relationships are on the rise among young people.
Dating apps provide a relatively safe and convenient way to meet potential partners, opening a whole new world of options. But there’s another side to that coin – relationships are becoming less and less stable and many people report feeling overwhelmed with choice to the point of having a hard time making a commitment. Paradoxically, more sexual liberties do not necessarily imply more sex and even though some people are having loads of it, others or even general population, might actually be having less. As a matter of fact, more and more young people are having no sex at all in some places. In UK for instance, as much as one percent of the population identify themselves as asexual. Social networks open the portal to a special sort of hell called “comparison with others”; but before you let the distorted body image and personal insecurities grow, just repeat the simple mantra of youth – it is a time for joyful experimenting, fun, and a reasonable dose of risk-taking.
Somewhere between late twenties and late thirties you might discover you’ve been ambushed by the real life; maybe having a stressful job, financial worries, a discouraging string of breakups, relationship problems, and/or pressure of having kids. Problems all add up to a perfect storm that strains your sex life.
Neglecting your body through physical inactivity, putting some extra weight, accumulating problems like lower-back pain might dent your libido further and make you feel completely undesirable. But the truth is thathumans are sexual animals meant to mate for the length of their life for a purpose vastly surpassing reproduction – we mend our differences with our present partners by making love, we use sex to connect with others, but also to fill our life with love, joy, passion, and general meaning. In the finite game of life we’re all playing, love is what gives us the most points and sex is its spiritus movens. Even if you separate those two, you have the right to have animalistic sex should you desire and dare to take it. There’s no real reason for your sex to peak by the end of your 20s. Psychologically, you can benefit from your own maturation and, if you’re doing it right, shake off the insecurities of young age. Physically, you can and should work on unlocking the powerhouse of subtle sexual energy that sleeps dormant inside your body through various techniques and practices like yoga, karezza and others we regularly discuss on these pages.
To close the loop of our cultural discomfort, geriatric sex is, not unlike like our sexual coming to age, somewhat of a supressed subject in our society even though we know people can, should their health allow it, have regular and fulfilling sex life into their 80s and beyond. Maybe it has to do with the fact that nobody likes to think about their elderly parents masturbating and having sex. Or it might just have to do with the fact that our culture finds old people having sex an aesthetically unappealing sight.
The effort for the normalisation of sex in every age is the battle for human dignity. Sex is a unique part of human condition and should be treated as such. Divine in its archetypal infinity, sex allows us to steal moments from mortality. I’ve often seen the incredible wisdom in the way old people treat their simple daily rituals with serene pleasure. A simple act of having a cup of coffee in the garden while listening to birdsong can have the sanctity of a meditation ritual. I love to imagine that this immersion in the present moment is how wise old people make love. There is an endless beauty in that fantasy.