Do you remember a time when sex and intimacy were the most important elements in your life? Perhaps in recent years you’ve found that the urge and desire to have sex has dwindled, or maybe it is simply not a part of your life as a result of your personal circumstances.

By nature, humans are social creatures, and studies have shown that in spite of some obstacles, the desire for sex, for the most part, does not really diminish as we age. However, because it might become less available, people tend to think about it less.

Regardless of age, we all have basic needs and desires. Aging is not synonymous with disengagement from intimacy.

In fact, sex can become even more enjoyable as we age because not only have we gained experience over the years, but we might have more time to engage in the act, and be more inclined to communicate our feelings and desires to our partners.

Also, most of us are more open, self-aware, and confident about what makes us feel good.

Psychologist Esther Perel, the author of The State of Affairs and Mating in Captivity, whom I had the pleasure of meeting recently, professes that desire is powerful and believes that eroticism is a life force.

She says that a sense of aliveness walks hand in hand with creativity, playfulness, and vitality. She adds, “Sex is not something you do… it’s a place you go.”

Age-Related Changes

Many of us would agree that our physical bodies change as we get older, and some of those changes can affect our sexuality. As a result, both parties need to be supportive, understanding, and adaptive to each other’s needs.

Having more patience and allowing ample time for arousal may become necessary. For women, hormonal shifts can cause vaginal dryness and loss of libido. For men, erectile dysfunction is common, whereby erections might not be as firm and may not last as long as they did in earlier years.

Testosterone has a powerful effect on libido, and typically levels drop in both men and women. Also, some illnesses can affect sexuality, including arthritis, depression, dementia, diabetes, and heart disease, to name a few.

In addition, some medications, such as antidepressants and antihypertensives, can affect libido and performance. As a result, arousal might take longer, especially if one or both partners are taking these drugs.

How to Maintain Intimate Relationships

Sexual health is important to our physical and emotional well-being. Sexuality comprises a delicate balance of both physical and mental factors. Perel claims that we make love with the entire body, and that if we just focus on the genitals, not much happens.

When it comes to intimacy, creativity is vitally important, especially if partners have had an extended relationship. Some couples read sexy books or poetry. Others like watching erotic movies or engaging in stimulating pillow talk. All of us need to find out what works for us.

For years, I’ve made it a habit of writing sexy poems. Some I share and some I keep for myself. I’ve found that for me it’s a good way to keep my sensual mind active. Some years ago, I published a book of poetry called Lust.

A hard copy of the book was published, and there was also an Audible version that was read by New York actress Kate Udall. Many people have written to me saying that listening to her read my poems during lovemaking has changed their lives. Below is the closing poem from that book.

Where Else

Where else but in art

can you let your fantasies blossom

and dreams flower—

nowhere.

Useful Tips to Keep Handy

If you have a partner and are interested in having a more intimate relationship but find that there are stumbling blocks, here are some things you might want to consider:

  • Speak with your doctor about your concerns.
  • Discuss these issues with your partner.
  • Try to focus on intimacy and touch. Enjoy the loving journey without focusing on the destination.
  • Stretch out your intimate experience – start with a walk, have a romantic dinner, and then perhaps share a bubble bath prior to engaging in lovemaking.
  • Experiment with different positions.
  • Be playful with your partner.
  • Think about using vaginal lubricants and herbal supplements.

It’s important to remember that if you care about someone, sex in not only about the act – it’s much more than that. Discovering what brings your partner joy is a crucial ingredient of your overall – and mutual – intimate journey.

How has your intimate life changed with age? Do you fill more or less sexually desirable? What do you do to keep your intimate relationship burning? Please share what has worked for you.

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