This article was scientifically fact-checked by Human Sexuality expert Dr. Laurie Mintz.
At every age, sex* is a source not only of pleasure, but also a bunch of health benefits. Even though we don’t discuss it in the mainstream; it may be a surprise — or even a comfort — to know that sexual desire isn’t a switch that just turns off completely after you reach a certain age.
Sure, there are changes to the way you will approach sex* and desire as you age; women go through menopause and may experience a number of changes including a thinning of the vaginal walls which can result in painful penetration (which can be alleviated by a number of measures, including the use of lubricants). For men, testosterone levels dip and they may have to deal with erectile dysfunction. A majority of people however maintain an active sex life even after these natural changes occur.
We don’t talk enough about how sex toys and intimate health products can help not only alleviate some of the physical conditions of aging. We also don’t talk about how, no matter what your stage of adulthood is; sex toys are a lot of fun! Advanced years don’t mean an end to sexual pleasure; it’s an opportunity to continue exploring intimacy!
A Prescription for Sex!
More fun than a brisk walk or popping multivitamins, sex is a satisfying health-bolstering activity. Sharing intimacy with a partner isn’t just a hearty bit of exercise, it will help you to maintain intimacy, closeness and communication with the one closest to you. Even practicing intimacy without a partner (ie masturbation) is a brilliant stress-reliever thanks to the release of all that feel-good oxytocin into your system. Oxytocin has been credited with easing insomnia and as an effective pain reliever.
Even though the mainstream doesn’t pay much attention to the sex lives of those of us who are middle- and post middle-aged, there are some great factors at play that mean that despite our advanced years, we’ve got reason to get frisky. Even though STIs are still something to take care to avoid no matter what age you are — pregnancy isn’t.
With age comes wisdom, as well as an acceptance of yourself, inside and out. Those wobbly parts? Who cares! You’re likely more confident than you’ve ever been before and, as we’ve said before; confidence is sexy. Also, after your adult children have flown the coop, you’ve got an empty nest that you can then turn into a love nest!
Abuzz with Pleasure
For senior pleasure seekers, vibrators are a fantastic intimacy enhancer, especially given that arousal time for women tends to increase with age. Add this to the fact that knuckles and other joints can get tired after some vigorous, repetitive motions and you’ll see why sex toys can be such a boon in the bedroom.
While you’re choosing a senior sex toy, keep in mind that strength matters. As a woman ages, blood flow to the genitals can decrease, meaning lessened sensitivity and a longer time needed to achieve arousal. So, look for sex toys that pack an additional bit of punch, like the small, handheld SIRI 2 vibrator that can be cupped in your palm during foreplay, or the versatile Smart Wand Medium, which doubles as a back massager with its advanced vibe power.
If you want to up the sensations you and your partner feel during lovemaking, consider introducing a wearable sex toy to your intimate moments. A couple’s toy like TIANI 3 is worn by the female partner to deliver sensations directly to her clitoris during sex, while a cockring like TOR 2 effectively turns an erect penis into a vibrator with a powerful buzzing motor. What’s more, a penis ring will gently constrict blood flow from the penis, resulting in a harder erection while worn.
Don’t Forget to Massage
Sexual health matters at any age. For women, decreased post-menopause estrogen levels can cause a range of issues such as vaginal dryness and painful intercourse due to both the dryness and the effect of decreased estrogen on pelvic floor muscles. See your gynecologist who might prescribe a vaginally inserted estrogen cream.
Additionally, you might want to try some self-massage, internally and externally, using lubrication and a vibrator. As a first step, just moisturize your entire vulva. As a second step, using your hands and plenty of lubricant, massage externally, on your vulva and perineum (the area between your vaginal opening and anus). Use a press and release motion. As a third step, use a well-lubricated vibrator like the LIV 2 to give yourself an internal massage. Depending on how much you have been affected by a decrease in estrogen, you can do this all at once or do the steps slowly, perhaps a week or two at a time before moving on to anything more.
Amazing Things Await
As technology brings us closer and closer to an automated future, of course some of the incredible innovations are making their way to pleasure. In the very near future, your sex toys will be able to monitor your responses in order to better inform medical professionals of your sexual functions, and even in order to provide you with even more pleasures personally tailored to your taste.
This pioneering field of SexTech already exists, where sex toys include sensors that read your pleasure responses like arousal levels, and can be programmed to respond in a variety of ways. Now that software developers and programmers have these tools at their disposal with an item like the LELO F1s masturbator and a software developer’s kit that they can tinker with, we will soon be seeing erotic apps and pleasure programming reach a new and exciting era.
*In this article, for ease of reader understanding, we are using the words sex and intercourse as synonymous, as is done in popular culture in general. Similarly, we use the word “foreplay” the way it is used in popular culture (i.e., the sexual acts such as oral sex that come before intercourse). However, as aptly pointed out by our sex expert Laurie Mintz, we would also like to acknowledge that such language exalts men’s most reliable rout to orgasm and linguistically erases women’s most reliable route to orgasm—clitoral stimulation, either alone or coupled with penetration. Indeed, only between 4% and 18% of women reliably orgasm from penetration alone. We look forward to the day when such language is not commonly used in culture.
Facts checked by:
Dr. Laurie Mintz
Laurie Mintz, Ph.D., is a professor at the University of Florida, teaching Human Sexuality to hundreds of students a year. She has published over 50 research articles and is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Mintz also has maintained a private practice for over 30 years, working with individuals and couples on general and sexual issues. She is also an author and speaker, spreading scientifically-accurate, sex-positive information to enhance sexual pleasure.