Swinging from the chandelier may be moredifficult after 60, but what about sex and intimacy? Formany, it can be as satisfying as it’s always been, though theelectricity may surge at a different current.
Today’s seniors are generally healthier, better informed,more open and more likely to seek medical help andmedications for sexual problems than the generationsbefore them, experts say. Contrary to myth, sex doesn’tdisappear in the golden years; rather, it shines with a newlustre.
“Orgasm might lessen with age but most men do
not lose their capacity to have erections and in general
women certainly don’t lose their ability to have orgasms,”
says Sandi Hirst, an associate professor of nursing at
the University of Calgary who has held a number of
leading positions in gerontology. “These are normal life
experiences and they continue as we age.”
Sex and intimacy are more often about the journey
than the destination. The experience that comes with
age informs sexual expression and provides a deeper
appreciation of your partner and any challenges that may
(or, ahem, may not) arise. Age, disease and developmental
or physical disabilities don’t necessarily diminish the
desire for intimacy and sexual expression, says the
Vancouver Coastal Health Authority’s website.
Stable and nurturing physical relationships betweenconsenting adults at any age or generation are to betreasured. One of the most difficult hurdles as we age isthe loss of a spouse, says Hirst, and the accompanyingloss of a deep sense of intimacy. Being unable to cuddle apartner in bed in the darkness and feel a familiar, sleepyembrace can be heartbreaking.
A good sexual relationship can take many forms,including when one spouse becomes a caregiver for theother.
Sex after 60
Shining with a new lustre
“In a film clip I saw, the woman talked about the soundof her husband breathing at night and reaching out andholding hands,” says Hirst. “To me, that says it all. A goodsexual relationship is whatever makes you comfortableand happy.”
— Mike Fisher
Romance tips for seniors
Sex doesn’t disappear as we get older; the experience that comes with ageinforms sexual expression and intimacy.