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Finding Senior Sizzle – Debunking 6 Myths About Sex Over 60

By Kurt Smith May 14, 2024 Family

“Hold on, dearie, while I put on my Kaftan, remove my teeth, and get my knitting needles. Oh wait, I meant, step off, darling, and let me grab my running tights, brush my teeth, and hide my vibrator.”

This is the sarcastic and rightfully snarky remark a patient told me she made when her granddaughter made a joke about her being too old for sex and possibly breaking a hip. Of course, her granddaughter, who’s in her early 20s, was mortified at her grandmother’s response.

But Lola, at 63, is fit, fun, and likes sex (with her husband), and she wasn’t going to let her 20-something granddaughter think otherwise.

Lola may be a bit more enthusiastic and open about her stance than many women who prefer to keep private escapades private. But the truth is that many women, young and old, assume that age and sexual enjoyment have an inverse relationship.

This just isn’t true. Or at least it doesn’t have to be. Sex isn’t only for the young.

In fact, sex at 60, 70, and beyond is healthy, fun, and generally recommended for several reasons (as long as it’s safe, enjoyable, consensual, and not medically contraindicated).

Dispelling Myths About Senior Sexuality

I once read a book where the main female protagonist was relieved to turn 40 because it meant she was no longer obligated to have sex with her husband.

There are several things wrong with that depiction. One of the most glaring is that women in their 40s and beyond gladly remove themselves from the sexually active club. Most of us know that’s a myth and not the only one.

Let’s address some of the most common misconceptions about sexuality in your later years. And while this is geared toward myths about female sexuality, some of these or variations of them can easily apply to older men as well.

Myth 1: Women in Their 60s Aren’t Interested in Sex

Did Samantha on Sex in the City or Blanche on The Golden Girls teach us nothing?

Libido is an individual thing. For both women and men, sexual appetite can be impacted by hormonal changes as they age, primarily a decrease in testosterone. But that doesn’t mean it goes entirely away. Interest in sex depends on the person and often the state of their relationship. And many, many women still have an active interest in sex and sexuality.

Myth 2: Sex as a Senior Can Be Dangerous

Yes, as we age, there are more health concerns. Things like high blood pressure, diabetes, and decreased mobility can all impact sexual activity. As can the effect of medications.

As long as a doctor says it’s okay, sex and orgasms are not only permitted, but can also improve health and mental well-being.

An active sex life can improve your immune system, reduce stress, solidify emotional intimacy, help you relax, lower blood pressure, and improve your mental acuity.

Myth 3: Women in Their Golden Years Aren’t Sexy or Desirable

60 is kind of the new 30. Or at least 60 now looks nothing like 60 – sixty years ago.

Many women aged 60 and beyond are focused on staying active and attractive, and many are killing it.

Need proof? Or inspiration?

Just look at Angela Basset (65), Christie Brinkley (70), Rita Wilson (67), or Belinda Carlisle (65). And that list could go on and on.

Yes, women in the spotlight may have some extra help. But if you want to see what average women who take care of themselves look like, a quick Google search or even just looking around at women in your community should be enough to convince you.

Women over 60 can be attractive.

Of course, body image issues can plague women of all ages, and a body at 60 isn’t the same as a body at 20. But that’s true for women and men alike. So, embracing the changes is important and healthy because we all face them.

What’s sexier than a tight body? Confidence and a sense of adventure, that’s what.

Myth 4: Older Bodies Don’t Perform Sexually the Way They Need To

This isn’t entirely untrue. In the same way, men can experience ED, women can experience vaginal dryness and thinning of the vaginal tissue.

But there are remedies for these problems, which are easy to procure and utilize. There are also work arounds – sex doesn’t have to look the same as it did at 20 (read on for ideas).

Myth 5: Sex Becomes Monotonous as You Age

This certainly doesn’t have to be true. By your 60s you’re likely comfortable with yourself and have learned a few things along the way.

That doesn’t mean you may not fall into a rut, but sex can be as exciting at 60+ as it was in your 20s if you want it to be.

Myth 6: There’s No Need for Condoms When You’re Menopausal

While it’s true that you don’t need birth control in your 60s, you’re not immune to STIs (i.e., STDs). So, if you have more than one partner, be sure to protect yourself and your health.

How Sex Over 60 Differs from Earlier Years

Sex drive is largely a biological function. In our 20s, 30s, and possibly 40s, both women and men experience higher sex drives.

Why?

Simple – procreation.

Whether you want kids or not, the hormones that course through our bodies at those ages are designed to push us to have sex so we have children.

As we age out of those years, hormones change, and therefore, so can the way we experience our sexuality.

How?

Sex Doesn’t Always Mean Intercourse

Being sexual and intimate doesn’t have to mean intercourse. As we age, we often appreciate other aspects of sexuality more and, therefore, expand our range of activity. Sometimes, sexual intimacy in the form of touching and kissing is all that’s needed.

We’re More Focused on Intimacy and Taking Things Slowly

As we get older, we often prioritize emotional intimacy and connection, leading to deeper and more meaningful connections. Years of relationship-building can enhance trust, communication, and understanding between partners, making the intimacy more emotionally satisfying.

We’re More Confident

By the time you’ve reached your 60s, you’ve probably gotten to know yourself pretty well. You’ve also likely accumulated decades of sexual experience. These things can translate into greater confidence and self-assurance in life and the bedroom. This confidence can lead to more adventurous and fulfilling sexual experiences, as well as satisfaction with simpler ones.

There’s More Pleasure

With maturity often comes a greater focus on pleasure rather than performance. Because we’re not in a hurry, we can prioritize mutual satisfaction and pleasure more, which leads to a more fulfilling sexual experience for both partners.

It’s also possible that at this age we feel more comfortable exploring new aspects of sexuality, like fantasies or role-playing, which may lead to a richer sex life.

It’s Freeing

No small kids to walk in on you, no teenagers on the other side of thin walls, and no parents wondering what you’re up to.

What does that all mean?

You can do what you want, where you want, when you want, and as loud as you want. So, leave the lights on, walk around naked, or test the sturdiness of the coffee table. The world is your oyster.

We Talk More

While communication remains one of the biggest problems in relationships, sometimes older adults take their new extra time to learn better communication skills. This means they may be more adept at and comfortable with expressing their needs and desires to each other. Which can lead to greater satisfaction and fulfillment in their sexual relationships.

Upping Your Action – Tips for Increasing Sexual Vitality and Satisfaction in Your 60s

Of course, just being in your 60s doesn’t make everything above true. There are plenty of women (of all ages) who’d like to improve their intimate lives. And we all know that most men want that too.

If you fall into that category and are looking for ways to increase your sexual vitality, consider the following tips.

Prioritize Communication

The most important sexual organ in a woman or man is the brain. So, use yours to create open and honest communication with your partner. Communication increases closeness and emotional intimacy, leading to greater comfort in discussing your desires, preferences, and concerns.

Focus on Your Health

Prioritize your physical and mental health to support sexual vitality. Maintain a balanced diet, engage in regular exercise, get enough sleep, and manage stress effectively. These things will help you feel ready for and comfortable with sex. Additionally, make sure any medical conditions or medications are discussed with your doctor and you’re cleared for sex.

Explore Sensuality

As mentioned earlier, sex doesn’t have to mean intercourse. So, focus on other intimate activities such as cuddling, kissing, massage, and mutual exploration of erogenous zones. This can deepen your emotional connection and pleasure.

Experiment

Don’t be afraid to explore new sexual techniques, positions, or fantasies that can enhance your intimate life. Being open to trying new things can keep your sex life exciting and fulfilling.

Note: You should never feel pressured into doing things you’re not comfortable with. Be honest with your partner if you’re uncomfortable, and expect them to respect that.

Use What’s Needed to Enhance Your Experience or Make You Comfortable

As hormonal changes occur with age, both men and women may experience decreased natural lubrication or may require patience to achieve orgasm. Incorporating lubricants can enhance comfort and pleasure during sexual activity.

Maintain Intimacy Outside the Bedroom

Cultivating intimacy and connection with your partner outside the bedroom will make things in the bedroom that much better. Engage in activities that increase emotional closeness, such as spending time together, engaging in shared hobbies, and expressing affection and appreciation regularly. Strengthening emotional bonds can enhance sexual satisfaction and vitality.

Remember, every person’s experience with sex varies. But many find sex in their 60s offers a broader, deeper, more fulfilling connection with their partners and themselves, enriched by a lifetime of experiences and wisdom.

So, the next time you’re doubting yourself or encounter a 20-something who doesn’t know what they can look forward to, remember the patient I mentioned at the beginning and know that you too can be fit, fun, and enjoy your sex life in your 60s and beyond.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

How important is sexual intimacy to you? Have you been concerned about your sex life? Found any secrets to making your sex life sizzle? Please share your thoughts and experiences and join the conversation.

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Lauren

This article has perfect timing for me. I just started dating after getting out of a very toxic relationship. Honestly, I never thought I would even consider dating again. The experience of “selfish love” and narcissism was very damaging to me after having a great relationship/marriage with my late husband. After this toxic relationship, I never thought I would be attracted to another man again. We are taking things very slowly and I’ve been very nervous about the intimacy aspect. Intimacy is very important to me and I enjoyed reading this article. It eased my concerns and anxiousness. Communication is definitely important. Thank you again for this article. I feel alive again and so happy to be moving forward. Who knew this would be my life at 64!

Joyce

I do not find the body of a “senior” man to be either attractive or sexy, a real turn off, and would not think of having sex, no way, no how. It is probably different if you marry younger and grow older together, accustomed to each other that way. But that is just me.

dawn

I am a widow of 5yrs it took 2 yrs to even think about seeing someone else. The single men out there in their 60s have had some bad experiences, and most don’t seem to want to be involved with another marriage. I have had 2 relationships since my husband’s death, both different as the person one great in bed but very controlling, the other very sweet giving and caring but not fast into the bed but loves to have life experiences together which can be just as satisfying as sex to have a good trustful relationship. It all depends on what you are looking for at this stage of life, I’m a very active 67 yr old. and learned from my 97 yr old Mom , just have FUN while you still can no matter what it involves.

Mary

Thank you for this encouraging and honest information. The phrase, “I’m not dead yet!” Comes to mind.

Ava

As my husband and I seem headed for a split after many years it is hard to wrap my head around both finding and having sexual intimacy with a new partner. After all we know each other’s medical issues and it takes time to build that trust. It’s also hard to imagine being turned on by someone else’s body. You get used to the aspect ms of your long-term partner’s body and habits. Can you talk about the mental aspect of intimacy with someone new?

The Author

Dr. Kurt Smith is the Clinical Director at Guy Stuff Counseling & Coaching and works with men and the women who love them. He is an expert in understanding the unique relationship challenges facing couples today. Check out his weekly tips on Facebook or Twitter.

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