Yes, people over 60 DO have sex. And they enjoy it!

Our society is starting to emerge from the dark ages when it comes to encouraging intimate encounters and relationships for seniors. It is not unexpected that delicious desire, escalating arousal and stupendous orgasms are not reserved for young and middle-aged people. With the graying of America plenty of older people are sexually active. With proper health habits, sex like wine can improve with experience and years.

To make this happen, seniors (those over 60 or 65) and those approaching the golden years need some accurate information and guidance to enhance their sexual health as part of their overall well-being. Seniors have to overcome negative labels and put-downs about being sexual. Seniors are often labeled as “dirty old men” (or women!).

Their adult “kids” and medical professionals are sometimes less than supportive to seniors being sexually satisfied and intimate. I call this the tyranny of middle age. The same adult “kids” who disparage their parents and other seniors for their interest in maintaining a vibrant sex life are often too stressed from work and their own children to enjoy high-quality sex themselves!

Seniors do not need to accept the negative labels thrown at them. Instead, people over fifty or sixty need to engage in sex-positive self-talk and talk with their lovers and friends about their sexual desires and experiences.

Seniors need to be “Sex Positive” (sometimes with a little help from a friend)

Reading a good book about sex sometimes helps. Watching videotapes can also facilitate ideas and communication to embellish a sagging sex life. But, seeing a board-certified sex therapist is the most useful way to make progress with an actual treatment plan. This is what I do.

33005Sometimes there are physical and medical blocks to being sexual in the later years. A sex therapist who is well informed about medical and health issues can facilitate a treatment plan for couples and individuals who wish to enjoy sex throughout their lives. Some physicians are aware and sensitive to the sexual needs of older patients. I refer to physicians who are a cut above the norm, and I work as a team with them to help seniors.

Sex is good for the heart, arthritis, and depression among other health benefits. Whether through masturbation (which is really important) or lovemaking with another, orgasms are stress reducers. As Master and Johnson suggested, you either use it or lose it. So use it a lot!

Use it or lose it is more than a joke. It’s true.

Some seniors are not as agile or quite as healthy but they can experiment with different sexual positions, and celebrate succulent oral and manual sex, outer-course and other intimate connections.

Women and men often need to test their hormones to see if they need to be balanced. Testosterone is a critical hormone for sexual desire and arousal, as well as orgasm, in the later years. Other hormones are also relevant to continued and full sexual functioning.

Some doctors are not knowledgeable about helping seniors with hormones. They may not even consider dealing with all of this. They look at normal ranges and fail to realize that being low “normal” in a lab may be low for libido. I deal with it with competent endocrinologists, gynecologists and urologists, as well as some progressive general practitioners.

It takes a team approach to get both on the same page

Men with prostate surgery or prostate problems need special assistance to get and maintain erections and to enjoy orgasm even if ejaculation is no longer happening. Similarly, women often need help to avoid vaginal pain during sexual activity. The key is not to give up, but to seek competent professional help to deal with mental, physical/medical and relationship hurdles to a vibrant sex life.

33055Seniors, like younger lovers, need to maintain humor and playfulness to immerse themselves in jubilant pleasure as a conduit for love and friendship. This helps minimize any depression or other negative mood states. I use cognitive-behavior therapy to help keep my clients out of negative thoughts and moods.

Sex in the 80’s and 90’s? Are you kidding? Not kidding at all.

I work with clients who are in their seventies, eighties and even nineties. Sex may not be the same as it was when they were young, but it can be more intimate and satisfying. Intercourse is not as emphasized for some, but when intercourse occurs it can be sexual bliss in slower motion. Athletic sex is not the only sexual thrill available to lovers with an imagination and the ability to discuss and act on positive emotions and fantasies.

I encourage seniors to laugh and engage often in the senior citizen romp! The combined experience of the later years makes lovers extremely qualified to gyrate, dip and rise with continued vitality and a knowing smile! Here’s to making this happen!