Sex is good for older adults. In both men and women, good sex appears to: prompt the release of substances that bolster the immune system; release endorphins that act as painkillers and reduce anxiety; benefit the heart and lungs by increasing breathing and circulation; help us relax and feel good about ourselves.
Sexuality and sensuality are an important part of the aging process. Most people want and need to be close to other people. We want to touch and be touched, both physically and emotionally. As we grow older, some of us become more attuned to our sensuality- our ability to be fully present in each moment and to notice the smells, textures, and sounds that enhance our lives. How sensual you are plays a key role in your overall ability to derive pleasure from life.
Physical closeness and companionship are important to most seniors. Just being physically near is important, but many of us also want to continue an active, satisfying sex life as we grow older.
Is Sex Only For The Young?
As people age they often worry about their sexual performance. Some may feel that at a certain age sex is no longer appropriate- that sex is for the young. Others are embarrassed about their lack of sexual “performance” and begin to back away from regular sexual encounters. Sometimes illness or loss of a partner interferes with sexuality. Without appropriate information, and sometimes professional help, a temporary situation can often turn into a permanent one.
However, given good health and a willing partner, studies show that both men and women can enjoy sex for as long as they wish. All it takes is a willingness to learn and compensate for some of the normal changes of aging, and to ask for professional help when needed. With proper information and support, your midlife and later years can be an exciting time to explore the emotional and sensual aspects of your sexuality.
To learn more about senior sex and sexuality changes as we age, read Sexuality in Later Life.
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